Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver (NAFL), Acid Reflux and Low Vitamin D are some of the most common ailments that Indians suffer from, given our lifestyle and diet. But in most cases, its never considered serious enough to be treated.
I struggled with Acid Reflux and fatty lever for well over Ten Years . It took me a long time to even discover what I was ailing from. I used to always feel tired and sluggish. I was gaining weight. Frequent early morning flights, eating out regularly, late night dinners, oily food, the occasional drink, no time for exercise and a lot of stress at work – all this formed the perfect recipe for Fatty Liver & Acid Reflux.
Soon, the ailment became aggressive – I used to feel feverish and have a sore throat. Thinking it to be a light viral attack I self medicated myself with Paracetamol and in some cases even antibiotics – but the fever persisted before dying out after a week or two. I hate going to a doctor and never visited one for a few years – thinking these were basic day to day ailments. On the advice of a friend I finally visited a GP who immediately asked me to get a Liver Scan done – and diagnosed it as Level 3 Fatty Liver. What this means was that at age 39 I had the Liver of a 58 year old. Now, I panicked.
Fatty Liver is caused by the poor lifestyle coupled with bad genes (The Punjabis are lucky) and as such, has no medical cure. The liver stores some fat, but greater than 10 percent is considered abnormal. Too much fat might cause inflammation and liver malfunction.
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease is extremely common. This is caused by stomach acid backing up to the throat causing coughing and sore throat. If left untreated, it can even result in throat cancer.
Though there is no direct linkage between Fatty Liver & Acid Reflux – I was clearly facing both these problems. Unfortunately, fatty liver has no medical fix.
It can, however, be reversed with
- Regular exercise,
- A controlled diet and
- Total prohibition from Alcohol.
For 7 – 8 years I tried this, Rantac before meals, Gym whenever possible, a combination of Yoga and meditation , and a bottle of Liv 52 always by my side – a tight control worked , but on the days you erred a bit – an early morning flight, flight food, the occasional indulgence with Aloo Paratha or Luchi Aloo Dum and a glass of Vodka after a stressful day at work was all that was needed to awaken the dormant Acid Reflux – and then it was 10 days of trauma, sometimes so acute that I used to throw up at night just to get relief.
The best way to treat an attack is to eat very light, lots of Ginger, Buttermilk, Sugar Cane juice, fresh fruits, food with very less salt, Coconut water (This is alkaline) , Lemon Juice – think you have a light attack of Jaundice and treat yourself accordingly.
This is when a good friend of mine advised me to do a few yoga poses. My visit to Shreyas and the Yoga Teacher there added a few more asanas. Basically any twisting pose is great for the Liver. Twisting poses act as a Detox for the body. Hold the pose for 5 – 6 breaths so that the effect reaches beyond the muscle to the glands. (Consult with a good Yoga Teacher , any Yoga posture that pumps or squeezes the stomach like Kapalbhati is avoided)
This helped – and things got better after a few sittings of Reiki.
Reiki is a spiritual healing art with its roots in Japanese origin. It is believed that a person’s “ki” or “energy”, should be strong and free flowing. When this happens a person’s body and mind is in a positive state of health. When the energy becomes weak or blocked it could lead to symptoms of physical or emotional imbalance.Reiki is akin to “Prana” and a Reiki healer acts as a conductor of universal energy helping you to generate energy balance.
I was lucky to have the experience of a good Reiki healer close to home. When she conducted the sessions in a serene setting with lighted candles and soothing music, I could feel the energy pulse through each and every inch in my body. Three direct and a few remote session created miracles – and I could feel the fat in my liver melt.
Dr Jha a naturopath ( http://www.totalphysiocare.com) helped with his own useful advise – after checking for energy balance he was quickly able to identify my Fatty Liver problem without me even telling him. A few beads taped in some nerve endings on the hand immediately brings relief – he also suggested a few simple things to do daily.
- A glass of diluted cold milk in the morning when you wake up ( I add a spoon of ice cream to make the taste better)
- Cooked Rice soaked in water previous night to be eaten with Curd and green cooked Papaya
- Pineapple slices soaked in honey in the evening before dinner
- One Tender Coconut every day (Its alkaline – so solves for the acidity very affectively)
All these wonderful people with their helpful advise and professional expertise almost cured my Fatty Liver & Acid Reflux problem, I can see the change at the cellular level. Now the occasional drink or oily food does not affect me – life goes on. I guess the fat in the Liver is melting away.
A few more tips if you have Fatty Liver & Acid Reflux
- Eat in moderation . Try shifting to a millet based diet from Rice & Roti.
- Don’t drink water while eating food – or 30 min before or after
- A diet that has a lot of fresh leafy green vegetables, walnuts, avocados, Apple, Lemons & Lime + Green tea – are all great for Fatty Liver reversal
- Have a glass of coconut water every day
- Leaves of Drumstick cooked with “Adai” or mashed up boiled is strongly recommended
- After every meal sit in Vajrasan for a few minutes
- Finish your dinner by 7 PM
- Get at least 7 hrs of restful sleep
- If you can’t make it to the Gym – walk briskly for an hr every day (Don’t walk after dinner)
- Try Kunjal Kriya ( Water cleansing of the stomach) – I haven’t but a friend swears by it – again needs the guidance of a good Yoga Teacher
- In the initial stage you may need a special inclined mat in your bed – as the Acid Reflux may cause severe coughing at night.
And finally don’t go to a doctor – medicines are drugs , they don’t solve the problem at the root. They just get you addicted to the medicines without which you cannot sustain.