TRY THE LIVE LONGER DIET!
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is on the increase in the UAE – and left unchecked it can shorten your life expectancy. Liz Jarvis has discovered how you can reduce your risk by making simple lifestyle changes
How healthy is your liver?
It’s probably not something you’ve considered very much. Yet the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD, has more than doubled in the past 20 years worldwide. In fact, the World Health Organization suggests that up to 30 per cent of people in the UAE may be affected.
Patients usually experience no symptoms to begin with, apart from tiredness or discomfort, and it is often picked up only when they’re referred for other tests.
NAFLD is caused by the build-up of fat within the liver cells, and can lead to a range of serious health problems such as stroke, heart attack or cirrhosis (permanent damage to the liver), which leads to liver failure. There is currently no medical treatment for NAFLD, with experts putting the emphasis on prevention over cure.
“You are more likely to develop NAFLD if you are overweight or obese, have high blood pressure or suffer from malnutrition,” says Lily Mueller, nutrition coach, Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre. “NAFLD is caused by an inflamed liver, so improvements in daily diet and moderate exercise are crucial in preventing it.”
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