GUT MICROBIOTA AND NON-ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE
Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; NAFLD, is a condition that is becoming ever more common in our patient population, especially those with poor blood sugar control, metabolic syndrome (a combination of high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood sugar and excess fat around the midsection) and those who are overweight, pre-diabetic or diabetic
While NAFLD is considered benign, the danger is that it tends to progress to a more serious liver condition, Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis or NASH. NASH leads to inflammation of the liver resulting in scarring, fibrosis and cirrhosis (permanent damage and loss of function).
While naturopathic treatment protocols for NAFLD must include lifestyle and dietary changes to ease the toxic burden on the liver, there are excellent nutraceutical and herbal options as well. The target of these treatments is to improve insulin sensitivity, lessen inflammation, protect the liver from further damage and ultimately to help to regenerate normal liver cells and restore normal function, or at the very least, to slow and arrest the disease process.
Many recent studies have focused on the damaging effects on the liver of toxins absorbed into portal circulation as a result of dysbiosis (growth of harmful bacterial, yeast species in the gut) and SIBO (an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine). It appears these conditions can play a major role in the development of NASH and therefore their detection, diagnosis and treatment can be an important and effective part of a naturopathic NASH treatment protocol.
I have found that testing for and treating both dysbiosis and SIBO improves a great many health conditions and have begun to use this approach with patients suffering from NASH as well.
Sources: Klotter, Jule, Gut Microbiota and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Townsend Letter, June 2020, pp.32
BACKGROUND: A CONDITION WHEREBY THE LIVER LOSES ITS ABILITY TO PROPERLY PROCESS FATS, WHICH THEN BEGIN TO BE DEPOSITED IN THE LIVER ITSELF AND THROUGHOUT THE BODY LEADING TO WEIGHT GAIN, INFLAMMATION. POOR BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL/INSULIN RESISTANCE IS PART OF THE CLINICAL PICTURE