As the work from home culture has gained strength all over the world including our country, including the 6 months of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, we have seen a surge in weight gain and an increase in liver enzymes due to fatty liver changes in our population. India already ranks high in the number of obese population with more than 150 million population overweight which roughly comprises 5% of the total population of the country.
WHAT TO DO IF I AM OBESE AND HAVE FATTY LIVER?
People with fatty liver changes usually have more weight for height and age. A good number of the people also end up having more weight concentrated around their bellies called torso fat. As such we have observed that people with a sedentary lifestyle and irregular eating habits have relatively more issues of fatty liver changes. It can also be hereditary and such individuals have to be more cautious. If proper care is not taken, it can land to sever Grade II fatty changes and ultimately leading to cirrhosis of the liver which is an irreversible serious condition.
It can also lead to various cardiovascular issues including a high risk for heart attack and diabetes along with low self-esteem. People with these issues need regular exercise and diet control and a proper diet chart should be followed in consultation with a doctor or dietician; curtailing to the specific person's needs, based on their weight and lifestyle.
- Foods like ghee, butter, oil should be decreased consumed in limited quantities and replaced with nuts, fish, eggs, berries.
- Junk foods and processed foods should be avoided and more of green leafy vegetables and fruits should be incorporated.
- Carbohydrates and soft drinks should be avoided and fiber foods should be increased to form the bulk and induce a feeling of satiety.
- Fluid intake like water should be increased to flush out the toxins.
- People with these issues should start exercise gradually from walking, brisk walking and then jogging. As their body starts adjusting to a new routine, more demanding exercises like HIIT (High-intensity interval training) should be incorporated into their daily routine. It involves an increase in the heart rate by running for short intervals and then resting for a short interval. The maximum heart rate should be 220 minus your age (220-your age). It should be monitored by a smartwatch.
WHEN TO CONSULT A DOCTOR?
Regular USG of the abdomen and hepatobiliary system should be done along with liver function test (LFT) and lipid profile test and other tests prescribed by your treating physician.