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Alcohol and fatty food: At Christmas, the liver is often stressed
Especially in the Christmas season, there is often unrestrained feasting: fat roasts, cookies, mulled wine and eggnog. Not only does this add extra pounds, it also puts a strain on the liver. The organ is often used all year round anyway, as the increase in fatty liver diseases shows. Some tips should therefore be observed on and after the feast days.
Increase in fatty liver disease
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.
Many Germans do not pay attention to calories on the holidays
"Sweet Christmas" is growing in Germany:
According to the “Christmas Survey 2017” study, which was carried out across Europe in October 2017, sweets, cash and vouchers are among the most popular gifts for men in Germany; for women it is sweets, books and cosmetics.
The festival of love obviously doesn't work without sweets in this country!
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 draw attention to the dangers of careless consumption of sweet, fatty and alcoholic foods.
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," said 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 advise 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 shown that fasting can break down fatty liver.
Artichoke tea or capsules with milk thistle are also said to be good for the liver.
However, it is not necessary to do without everything - it should 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)