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Liver Health

Updated 20 July 2018

How can non-alcoholic fatty liver disease be prevented?

While it might not always be possible to completely prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, there are some measures you can take.

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) cannot always be prevented, but managing your weight, exercising regularly and following a healthy, low-fat, carbohydrate-restricted diet can certainly reduce your risk.  

It’s furthermore important to:

  • Keep your blood-glucose levels under control if you’re diabetic, pre-diabetic or insulin resistant. 
  • Keep your blood pressure within the normal range with the help of a healthy lifestyle and, if prescribed, medication.
  • Keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check with a healthy lifestyle and, if prescribed, medication.

Also avoid things that can put extra pressure on your liver. For example, use alcohol only in moderation (if at all) and check with your doctor to see if any medication you’re taking could affect your liver. If so, discuss alternatives.

Reviewed by Dr Mark Sonderup, B Pharm, MB ChB, FCP (SA). Senior Specialist, Division of Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital. July 2018.