If you are healthy and have been diagnosed with NAFLD, otherwise known as Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, you are probably asking yourself why this has happened to you.
Actually, a lot of healthy people develop Fatty Liver Disease and like you, ask themselves this question: Why me?
To those who feel reasonably well and believe themselves to be in good health, finding out that there is something wrong with their liver is terribly unfair. You might wonder how you could have a health problem like this and not feel sick. Or, worse yet, your neighbor has poor eating habits and doesn’t exercise, and is completely healthy.
So, what causes people who feel more or less healthy to have a fatty liver?
Causes of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
There are factors that can predispose you to developing Fatty Liver Disease. In many cases, even if you are living a healthy lifestyle now, you may have had certain behaviors in the past or been exposed to various substances or diseases that have caused you to develop Fatty Liver disease now.
Here are some of the factors that might cause you to have Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:
- Genetics – If you’re Hispanic, you are unfortunately predisposed to fatty liver disease. There is strong evidence linking a certain gene (PNPLA3) to higher instances of liver problems. There are other genetic conditions, too, that can bring about liver disease.
- Poor Nutrition and Starvation – Not eating a healthy diet or enough food in general can cause you to develop liver disease. So, even if you are conscientious now about observing healthy eating habits, if you binge dieted in the past or were anorexic and/or bulimic, you might develop Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease later in life.
If you went on a crash diet recently, your body’s “starvation mode” can trigger the disease as well, since your liver thinks a famine is happening, and accumulates more fat when you don’t eat enough. (Remember, our bodies are designed to live in a constant famine/plenty environment, not a life of constant “plenty” as we’ve been experiencing for the past century.)
- Certain Medications – There are quite a few medications, both over the counter, and prescription drugs, that can cause you to develop Fatty Liver Disease. Tylenol and Aspirin are known causes, if overdosed. (Basically, your liver can’t fully break down the ingredients if you take over the recommended dosage, causing toxic damage – this is why infants must not take Aspirin.)
Other drugs include those used to treat HIV, depression, cancer and other diseases. Corticosteroids may also be involved in developing liver problems.
- Environmental Toxins – Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease has been identified in persons who were exposed to certain environmental chemical toxins such as petrochemicals and phosphorus poisoning.
- History of Alcohol Abuse – If you have consumed too much alcohol in the past, it can cause you to have liver disease even years after you stopped drinking. So, if you drank heavily in your younger days, Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease could come back to bite you in the future.
- Blood Transfusion – If you had a blood transfusion or organ transplant prior to May of 1990, it is possible that you may have contracted the Hepatitis virus, which can cause NAFLD. Until then, blood for transfusions, including donated blood, was not screened for Hepatitis.
- Shared Needles – People with a history of recreational drug use that shared needles may develop liver disease much later on in life. Ditto for those who have gotten tattoos that were done with unsterilized needles that transferred Hepatitis or HIV from person to person.
So, you can see that as unfair as it might seem, you can have Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease now that was caused by past lifestyle factors. However, even a blood transfusion or organ transplant, exposure to environmental toxins, medications, a history of poor nutrition in the past, or even heredity can be causes.
The main thing is, if you have been diagnosed with Nonalcoholic Fatty liver Disease, to begin taking action immediately to reverse it and restore your liver to a state of good health.
Start here on how to begin your “get back to a healthy liver” program.