Healing Fatty Liver and Heartburn

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is becoming increasingly common in American society, and it is easily reversible with a few lifestyle changes. In this episode of Wellness Radio, Dr. Nathan Warren discusses how to reverse this disease through diet and supplementation. 

You’ll also hear some causes of heartburn and how to potentially heal your heartburn later on in the episode. This article is a summary of the topics discussed. For more details, here are the timestamps for the topics as they appear in the video:

7:10 - How to reverse non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

11:38 - How to tell if the liver isn’t functioning as optimally as it should be

19:12 - Intermittent fasting and a nutrient-dense ketogenic diet to heal NAFLD 

28:58 - How long should you be on a nutrient-dense ketogenic diet

33:51 - Dr. Nathan’s recommendations for pre-purchased keto desserts

36:42 - Supplementation for NAFLD

44:26 - The causes and solutions of heartburn

One of the easiest ways to reverse non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is to heal the body metabolically. This can be done through drastically and radically changing your diet and then supplementing with the relevant herbs and minerals.

A healthy ketogenic diet, eliminating processed sugar and carbs from the diet is a great way to change your diet radically and heal your body metabolically. An estimated 85 million Americans currently walk around with prediabetes because our population isn’t visiting their doctors often and when they do, they’re getting incomplete labs done, probably just the minimum that insurance will cover. 

If you are prediabetic and taking medicine, that’s called managing, that’s not getting to the root cause. Your medicine will not heal prediabetes, the only way to do that is to heal the root cause. 

How to tell if your liver isn’t functioning optimally

The liver is a regenerative organ with the ability to heal itself. If you support it with proper nourishment, it has the capability to completely reverse fatty liver disease and the symptoms it causes. How do you know if your liver isn’t functioning as it should? You’ll develop one or more of these symptoms:  

  • Age spots
  • Liver spots
  • Thyroid issues
  • Digestive system issues
  • Skin issues like eczema
  • Low vitamin D levels despite trying to supplement and getting daily sunshine

The liver produces an antioxidant called glutathione, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. It fights bacteria and viral infections and kills cancer cells. Outside of poor nutrition, your glutathione levels can be decreased by environmental pollutants. If you live in a highly populated city, your glutathione levels are probably low thanks to these pollutants. Those in the country are not exempted as they are probably being affected by pesticides and herbicides in the air or in the water. 

How Intermittent Fasting and a Nutrient-Dense Keto Diet Helps NAFLD

The first step in reversing fatty liver disease is intermittent fasting for at least 16-18 hours, to give your liver a chance to heal itself. Nourishing your body by removing carbohydrates and sugar and feeding it with nutrient-dense foods is the next step in your fight against a fatty liver. Good quality fat and protein are the keys to reversing NAFLD. 

If you’re not sure what nutrient-dense meals that are ketogenic look like, here are three meal ideas to choose from. 

Meal ideas to break your fast on a nutrient-dense ketogenic diet: 

  • pasture-raised eggs with organic chicken sausage and avocado 
  • an omelet from pasture-raised eggs with broccoli sprouts and goat cheese 
  • a smoothie with unsweetened full fat coconut milk or macadamia nut milk, with frozen blueberries that are low glycemic but loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants

Add some good healthy fat to all three meal ideas, including your smoothie. This can be in the form of MCT oil or raw, cold-pressed oils like those from Andrea's Seed Oils. Choose the flaxseed oil, avocado oil, or olive oil. Then, in your smoothie, add in your favorite protein powder. 

I love collagen protein powder for the amino acids and the protein that’s great for your joints. I also add green powder into my smoothie because it’s nutrient-dense and already broken down into a gut-friendly digestive form. Get one that’s sweetened with monk fruit or stevia and has no fillers or processed sugar. 

In your feeding window, you’ll want to decide between eating 2 or 3 meals; I recommend 2 meals unless you’re very active. What you don’t want to do is snack throughout your feeding window. 

Your second meal of the day can consume any good quality animal protein. Switch up your protein but make sure it’s the very highest quality you can get your hands on. Wild-caught, grass-fed, and pasture-raised is always best. 

Pair this with a cruciferous vegetable like cauliflower or broccoli or brussels sprouts. Cook these in good fat like avocado oil. Add another side of leafy green vegetables like spinach or a bag of power greens from the grocery store or maybe some sprouts. Put healthy fat on your greens as your dressing. Primal Kitchen has lots of keto dressings and sauces that are made with high-quality ingredients that you can choose from. 

How long should you be on a nutrient-dense keto diet?

The answer to that question is as long as it takes to see your blood glucose and insulin be consistent and low and as low as you’ve ever seen it before. For some people, that might be 60-90 days while for others it may be even 6 months. Try not to worry about holidays. The quality of your life is more important than indulging in an unhealthy Thanksgiving meal. Surviving holidays with delicious food is also becoming increasingly easier with loads of health food stores and brands now coming on the market with keto desserts, snacks, and food options. 

Yes, you can have amazing low carb, nutrient-dense desserts on the keto diet. You can make these yourself if time is available for you but money isn’t. If you’re low on time and have the funds to spend on keto desserts then check out Swerve and Lakanto who make keto desserts with high-quality ingredients. 

I love to make Lakanto brownies with spore probiotics with my kids. I open up a capsule in the batter since spore probiotics can withstand heat up to about 500 degrees. It takes an already great low-carb nutrient-dense brownie, and makes it even more nutritious. Enjoy it with your kids or to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Supplementation to Support Your Liver

The question to ask when it comes to supplements is “How can I support my body’s natural production of glutathione?” It’s not very well absorbed from a supplementation standpoint so we have to come up with unique ways to help your body to produce more of this antioxidant. 

GCEL by Systemic Formulas has all the components in it to support the liver’s function of producing glutathione. This supplement is also great for breathing issues like asthma and bronchitis. Take two capsules, two times per day to begin supporting your liver’s natural function. 

PushCatch Liver Detox by Quicksilver Scientific (available here) is a more powerful supplement that helps to thin the bile, push it out the liver, then the "Catch" portion of the supplement binds itself to the eliminated toxins so they can be removed from the body via waste. 

Another option is the Pure PaleoCleanse 14 Day Detox by Designs for Health (available here). Within a 14-28 day time period, you will see a marked improvement in your liver enzyme and cholesterol markers with this cleanse. 

These are great options to help you reverse fatty liver and support your body’s function to heal itself. 

The Root Cause of Heartburn

When it comes to heartburn, it’s about finding the root cause so you can heal and eliminate the symptom. Doing a stool test is the best way to figure out what’s causing your heartburn. It will also show you some functional markers of your gut like your pancreatic enzymes that help you break down protein. It will also reveal your hydrochloric acid level. Not producing enough hydrochloric acid is one of the most common causes of heartburn. 

A stool test will also reveal any issues with your immune system. This test really puts a microscope on your gut to see what’s going on. 

Quite a number of people have issues with their vagus nerve function. The vagus nerve will over time become damaged if we are always in fight or flight mode which the majority of us are. Some people will see improvements just by working on the nervous system and supporting vagal nerve function through chiropractic treatments.  

Heartburn medication and antidepression medication also negatively affect your vagal nerve. These medicines were only studied to be used for 2 weeks at a time, so if you’ve been using them for years, it will drastically change your body. 

Solutions for Heartburn

When it comes to the treatment of anything, I like to start small. Try the most simplistic thing you can do to improve your issues then scale up depending on the severity of the problem. 

One of the easiest things you can do to start healing heartburn is to stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid prior to the consumption of a meal. Apple cider vinegar in water or bitters will help to do this. Bitter herbs can be infused in your water or you can chew directly on them. Chewing on rosemary, for example, will help to get your hydrochloric acid production going. 

The next step is supplementation. Try supplementing with Betaine HCI by Designs for Health (available here) at the beginning of a meal and following up with a good enzyme during your meal. This will help break down your food to make sure you’re digesting appropriately. 

You can also use adaptogens to help calm the nervous system and vagal nerve. Ashwagandha, astragalus, and American ginseng, all help support the hypothalamus and vagus nerve. Humming, singing, and deep breathing also helps with the vagus nerve, which in turn regulates your internal organ functions. 

Try a mix of these depending on your symptoms to begin healing your fatty liver and heartburn. 

 

Disclaimer: This content is strictly the opinion of Drs. Warren and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All recipients of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Drs. Warren do not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All recipients of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

Wellness Radio - Oct 10, 2020

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