I attribute ongoing chronic stress as one of the biggest factors contributing to both my Fatty Liver and my abdominal fat.
Chronic stress made me feel worried, anxious and gloomy about the future. Sometimes stress could make me feel agitated and annoyed too.
But stress didn’t just affect my mind, it affected my body as well.
Worrying thoughts would often occupy my brain late into the evening which would lead to sleepless nights causing me to be tired and grumpy the next day.
Overall – chronic stress was just a big unwanted problem contributing to my already problematic health issues.
Why is chronic Stress so bad for my Fatty Liver?
A bad diet is one of the main causes of Fatty Liver disease (NAFLD), and chronic stress appears to amplify the damage caused by having a bad diet. Scientific studies have shown that chronic stress worsens all the damage caused by bad diets that includes increased abdominal fat, increased insulin resistance and increased oxidative stress. (ref)
Scientific studies have also shown that higher abdominal and visceral fat is correlated with a Fatty Liver. (ref)
Another study has shown that even non-overweight slim women who are more prone to stress, have higher levels of cortisol and abdominal fat (ref).
So it looks like chronic stress not only adds fuel to the fire for developing a Fatty Liver but it can also cause a myriad of other health problems.
So if you have a Fatty Liver, taking the steps to reduce your chronic stress appears to be very helpful to your Liver health.
If you want to see how bad my diet was and some of the foods I had to avoid to reverse my Fatty Liver – click here.
What was causing my Chronic Stress?
Before I could treat my chronic stress, I needed to understand what was causing it.
On reflection, I observed the majority of my chronic stress was actually coming from watching too much negative news on the television and internet.
I had developed a habit of constantly tuning into the news, multiple times a day (including late at night) and the headlines I used to read were often grim and not nice.
These could include anything from terrorism, violence, wildfires, hurricanes, landslides, foreign wars and political turmoil.
The main problem with this is that by overdosing on the news – it put my mind into a constant state of anxiety and my perception of the world began to get significantly negatively skewed.
And watching and reading all this stressful news (especially late at night) was wreaking havoc on my hormones, especially cortisol and adrenaline.
And having these stress hormones pump through my body late in the evening was a disastrous recipe for trying to get a good nights sleep.
This chronic stress was amplifying the significant damage already being caused to my Fatty Liver by my bad diet and needed to be stopped.
How did I reduce my Chronic Stress?
I solved this chronic stress problem by simply reducing and limiting my exposure to stressful news.
This was done by:
- Filtering out negative news – specifically avoiding websites or channels that I knew would stress me out.
- Substituting out negative news for either neutral or positive news (e.g. instead of reading about the latest political apocalypse or natural disaster, I’d read about the latest health-science break through).
- Mentally reminding myself that I’m not responsible for bad things or events that I can’t control – and stressing over things I can’t control is pointless.
By carrying out the above 3 methods, I reduced my chronic stress over time. This led to increased feelings of relaxation, optimism for the future, feelings of positivity and better health for my Fatty Liver.
Some possibly helpful ways you can reduce your Chronic Stress for your Fatty Liver:
- If you are chronically stressed, try to observe what is causing this stress and see if it something that can be easily avoided? If so, try and filter it out. If it can’t – seek professional medical advice for assistance.
- Try to reduce your consumption of stressful news. If you must tune into the news, try limiting your exposure to 30 minutes in the morning (when your cortisol levels are naturally high) and don’t read or watch stressful news after 6pm in the evening (that may jolt your cortisol and adrenaline levels). Eventually, try to avoid stressful news if you can and read more positive or neutral news which doesn’t invoke a physiological stress response in your body.
- Remind yourself that you can’t control everything that happens in the world (natural disasters etc) and there’s no point stressing over things outside your locus of control.
- Always take time in the evening to wind down and focus on relaxing. Spend quality time socializing with family or friends or read or watch TV shows or books that you enjoy and make you feel relaxed. This will help you get a relaxing and rejuvenating nights sleep.
I hope you find this useful and always consult a trained medical professional before applying any of these ideas.