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Feasting at Christmas: How to prevent a pathological fatty liver


More and more Germans suffer from fatty liver - many children are also affected

The foie gras, which is considered a delicacy, is a pathologically enlarged "fatty liver" of ducks and geese. Production in animals is prohibited in Germany, but it is becoming increasingly common in humans, reports the German Liver Foundation.

More and more Germans suffer from fatty liver

According to health experts, more than a third of Germans suffer from fatty liver. The alcohol-related fatty liver is caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) mostly occurs in people who exercise far too little, who are excessively overweight, or who eat incorrectly. According to the German Liver Foundation, the number of patients with NAFL has risen dramatically: one in four Germans over the age of 40 is already affected and the vital organ of the liver is becoming more and more pathologically altered in many children.

At Christmas time, many Germans do not pay attention to calories

At Christmas time there is usually a good feast. As the German Liver Foundation wrote in a message, 78 percent of Germans said in a survey that they do not pay attention to calories at Christmas.

And this carelessness, which for many German citizens is not limited to the “contemplative days”, is reflected in the alarming rise in the so-called non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL).

This development takes the German Liver Foundation as an opportunity to point out the dangers of careless consumption of sweet, fatty and alcoholic foods at the beginning of Advent.

Tricks of the confectionery industry

The months of September and October are strong sales months for the confectionery industry - in the area of ​​Christmas sweets.

In these months, German consumers are already buying and consuming large amounts of speculoos, dominoes and other Christmas treats.

So that supermarket customers are not made aware of the discrepancy between outside temperature, tree foliage and the premature Christmas range of sweets, the manufacturers do not display Christmas symbols on the packaging.

This offer, which has recently been declared “autumn pastry” by the producers, is high in calories and can damage the liver if consumed excessively. In addition - due to the colder season - there is a tendency to move less and prefer to stay in the warm apartment.

Oily liver can lead to cancer

"The production of foie gras in ducks and geese, whereby the liver of the animals swells up to about ten times their weight due to forced feeding, is rightly prohibited in Germany," says Professor Dr. Michael P. Manns, Chairman of the Board of the German Liver Foundation.

“But in humans, this pathological change in the vital organ is the most common liver disease in Germany. In addition to a lack of exercise, improper nutrition - and this includes in particular sweets and fatty food - is one of the main causes of the development of a non-alcoholic fatty liver, ”explains the expert.

"A fatty liver can become inflamed and lead to cirrhosis or liver cell cancer," warns the doctor.

Many children also suffer from fatty liver disease

“It is particularly worrying that about every tenth child in Germany suffers from fatty liver disease. We strongly recommend that you always check up on fatty liver disease in overweight children and adolescents, ”says Professor Manns.

Many have not noticed their pathological liver for a long time. Because the organ suffers dumb and only when the liver is greatly enlarged does symptoms such as a feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen, fatigue and loss of appetite appear.

“A simple ultrasound examination can make liver changes visible. The liver values ​​(GPT, GOT and GGT), which are determined during a blood test, for example, at the pediatrician, can also indicate the disease, ”explains the doctor.

More exercise and healthier nutrition

So far, there are no approved medications to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver. Therapies are primarily aimed at lifestyle changes that involve more exercise and a change in diet.

Scientific studies have also shown that fasting can break down fatty liver.

However, not everything has to be left out - it should, however, be enjoyed in moderation and not constantly.

For the Christmas season 2017, the liver experts therefore recommend walks instead of sitting in the TV armchair, more often a salad instead of the sausage from the Christmas market and the question of whether each Christmas gift actually has to be presented together with a chocolate Santa Claus. (ad)

Author and source information


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