There seems to be more people coming to my gym studio, here in Christchurch, who have been told by the doctors that they have "fatty liver disease".
How do you know you have fatty liver disease?
Unfortunately there are no symptoms of this disease, before things start to get serious. We've all heard of people getting cirrhosis of the liver-been around for decades and due to an overload of alcohol.
An overload is a good description, as one task of the liver, the main task in fact, is detoxifying or as we often hear detox. The liver detoxifies alcohol together with other toxins such as medicines, bacteria, chemical toxins (think of processed foods and the long, long list of strange unpronounceable words that are the ingredients).
Of course when we are over 50, all our person equipment and body functions don't work as well as they used to!
If we eat too much our liver cannot keep up with breaking down excess fat that builds up.
Here's an analogy to explain and overloaded liver.
Imagine you're working in a packing room of a busy warehouse and Joe the truck driver has disappeared. More orders are coming in, drowning you in boxes with no outlet, as Joe should be loading up his delivery van. But, he's nowhere to be seen; no one is clearing the boxes for me to keep working.
This is what happens to your liver when you don't use or burn up the calories you eat. Like the boxes, fat collecting in the liver squeezing it up and leaving much less space for your liver to do its work of detoxification.
So the next time you're sitting in front of a meal that is piled high with pasta or rice or bit too much bread, think of me in the packing room of the warehouse trying to sort out these boxes and hand them on to Joe, so I can continue my work.
Over time fat can build up in your liver. In this picture below we have a picture of two liver samples. On the left is a healthy liver ready to do its work. The one on the right looks very different, as it has begun to fill up with fat. The liver has to put this fat somewhere so it can continue to do its work.
A healthy liver can have about 5% fat, but I suspect many of us have much more.
Unlike many diseases today, such a high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or diabetes there is little in the way of medications for fatty liver, being ineffective, lifestyle change centred on exercise remains the most effective treatment (Thorp, 2020)
"This disease, fatty liver disease is not only aptly named but it's very much a lifestyle disease that we do not have to to have."
Here's your answer to 'Fatty Liver Disease'!
Based in Riccarton Christchurch, Charlie knows all about health and wellness over 50 as he's been there already for a few years.
His secret to a healthy lifestyle is to get people moving more, in their daily lives.
Charlie - Fitness Coach in Christchurch
Firstly as a fitness coach - he spends time one-on-one to address any health concerns and advices you how to make changes, at the same time providing educational information about healthy ageing and supportive understanding lifestyle advice.
Fun and Friendly Group Classes in Christchurch and Online
Secondly, he runs a range of different and interesting group classes that are fun and bring people together to socialise as they get fit.
Audrey Thorp & Jonathan G. Stine. Exercise as Medicine: The Impact of Exercise Training on Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Curr Hepatol Rep. 2020 December ; 19(4): 402–411. doi:10.1007/s11901-020-00543-9.