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How Long Does It Take To Reverse Fatty Liver (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Between 9 Months To 1 Year To Reverse

Most people know that fatty liver is a condition where fat accumulates in the liver and can lead to other health issues.  A fatty liver is a common but serious health issue. It can be caused by obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other factors.

It doesn’t take long to reverse this condition with diet and exercise.  In as little as two weeks, one may find themself feeling more energized than ever before. 

If left untreated, it can lead to severe complications, including cirrhosis of the liver or pancreatitis, potentially fatal conditions.

How Long Does It Take To Reverse Fatty Liver?

TypeDuration
Reverse fatty liver 9 months
In severe cases1 year

To reverse fatty liver, it can take anywhere from 9 months to 1 year. It also depends on whether it is a temporary condition, how much alcohol one consumes, what kind of diet one eats, etc. If it’s permanent, contacting the doctor for specific advice related to the health status is necessary.

Sometimes, a fatty liver can take years or even decades to develop, depending on its severity. The problem with not addressing the fatty liver when pregnant (because cases like these are irreversible) is that the baby will likely inherit their parent’s tendency toward developing this problem in adulthood due to having an adverse intrauterine environment. 

Long-term lifestyle changes are necessary to successfully manage conditions that have led to fatty liver disease, including obesity and a diet high in sugar.

Suppose obese patients follow a healthy diet and lose weight. In that case, their risk for developing liver problems is reduced significantly because the fat creates inflammation which compromises the immune system response that usually protects against any damage that has been done or may result from toxic agents.

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According to experts, losing weight is the most effective thing one can do to manage or reverse. A reasonable goal is to reduce one’s overall body weight by 10%, but even a 3% to 5% reduction may improve liver health.

One can also achieve it with diet, weight loss surgery, exercise, and weight loss medication. Another thing a doctor suggests is to include lots of fruits and vegetables in one’s diet.

Why Would Reversing Fatty Liver Take So Long?

Fat is very heavy and the wealthiest of tissues. It’s also hydrophobic, meaning it doesn’t mix with nor dissolve in water. 

To make the fatty liver go away, one has to do two things: decrease fat created or absorbed into the system by following a healthy diet and then gradually flush out the existing fat using weight-bearing exercise and insulin sensitizers.

This is because “fatty liver” is not a disease but rather a sign of significant overweight, which predisposes the person to other issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type II diabetes. In other words, it takes time for the body’s metabolism to catch up with the poor food choices in how it handles fat.

What one can do in the meantime is work on reversing weight gain by removing the glucose overload in the cells, getting plenty of dietary fiber (an excellent way to reduce cravings), and reducing stress.

 If necessary, take prescription medicines, consider changing the diet, increasing exercise levels, and ceasing smoking habits.

The symptoms for fatty liver are – a pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, fluid and swelling in the stomach and legs, fatigue/weakness, weight loss, and more.

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One of the biggest and scariest factors for getting a fatty liver is obesity. Other risk factors include:

  1. An increase in cholesterol.
  2. Disruption in the microbiome.
  3. A diet high in fructose.
  4. High triglyceride levels.

Conclusion

Life can take a different turn when one is diagnosed with fatty liver disease. The reversal takes time and cannot happen overnight. To come through it, a person must follow a strict and healthy diet with regular bouts of exercising.

Make sure to include fiber-rich foods, fish, reduce carbohydrates, limit salt, saturated and trans fat. Alcohol is another reason why fat can build up in the liver. This is why one must avoid alcohol at all costs. Not only that, but it can also lead to organ damage.

A routine blood test can reveal what the condition is when consulting a healthcare provider. 

References

  1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmra011775 
  2. https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.1204265