Once the initial shock of knowing you have NAFLD is over, one extremely important question takes its place: How long does it take to reverse fatty liver?
The amount of time required to reverse your fatty liver can vary from a few months to a couple of years. It is influenced by various things, like how committed you are to your diet, the starting grade of your fatty liver and how impactful the lifestyle changes are.
In my case, it took 18 months to fully reverse my fatty liver, although massive improvements were seen after just 7 months.
However, I have talked to other people who have managed to fully heal their liver in just a few months. Others fully reversed their condition in several months, while others are still struggling years after being diagnosed.
But generally, those who are serious about reversing it and take all the measures required, will usually reverse it in maximum 18 months.
As you can see, there’s no “treatment” and different people will react differently to both the condition itself, but also how they choose to fight it.
Therefore, we’ll have to go a bit more in depth in our analysis of how long it takes to reverse fatty liver disease / MASLD.
One thing is certain, though: don’t expect it to be reversed over night! It is a condition that most likely developed over several years of bad eating habits and no or little exercise and you can’t undo several years of evil in a week.
Reversing Fatty Liver Disease: Factors that Influence How Long It Takes
Every person is unique. Their bodies are unique. The particular causes for fatty liver are unique even though obesity caused by poor eating habits and lack of physical activity are the main ones.
As a result, some people will manage to reverse their fatty liver faster than others. It’s not only genes that matter here, it’s also how you deal with it and what actions you take for reversing it.
Below are some important things that will have an influence over how fast you’ll reverse your MASLD. Based on these things, you can estimate how long will it take for you to reverse your fatty liver.
Remember – we’re looking at a minimum of around 6 months, which can take up to 18 months or even more if you don’t really put in the effort to do it.
1. The severity of the fatty liver when diagnosed
The severity of a fatty liver is described on a grade factor from one to three, with the latter being the worst.
Automatically, it will take longer to reverse a Grade 3 Fatty Liver than it would take to reverse a Grade 1 Fatty Liver, simply because there’s more damage for you to undo.
But it doesn’t really matter what grade you’re at, this condition can still be reversed. You can read more about the grades of a fatty liver disease here.
2. Following a proper diet
You can’t reverse your fatty liver unless you follow a proper diet. I personally recommend this diet which is based on a healthy Mediterranean diet.
This is the exact diet that I followed to reverse my fatty liver and many other people who managed to reverse their condition have followed it.
But you have to take it seriously and understand that unless you follow it closely and stick to it long term, you won’t have a lot of success!
The diet itself is not extremely restrictive, but you will still have to say goodbye to some delicious things like sweets and fried products, to name just the most important ones.
But the better you do at following this strict diet, the faster you will be able to reverse your fatty liver.
3. The amount of exercise you do
Complementing the proper diet with at least a bit of exercise will help you reverse NAFLD a lot faster.
Even though eating right is the most important thing here, exercise will help you lose more weight, burn off more fat, get in better shape and get healthy again.
The good thing here is that you don’t need to become a gym buff, although it’s not really a problem if you decide to go that route.
Instead, start adding exercise to your daily routine by simply taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes.
After a week, increase it to 45 minutes and soon after you’ll be able to run for 45-60 minutes per day which should be enough to be and feel really healthy. Jogging is great for reversing fatty liver. The same goes for cycling.
And the truth is that you don’t really have to do this each and every day. I only go to the gym for cardio 3-4 times a week and that seems to work well in my case. I still walk a lot – on a daily basis.
You can read more about the best exercise types for fatty liver here.
4. Your age
Being younger gives you an advantage when it comes to the speed at which your body can repair itself (with your help, of course).
However, age doesn’t seem to matter that much when it comes to how fast you can reverse your fatty liver.
On the Facebook group I mentioned earlier, I personally know two people over 60 who managed to reverse their condition in under 1 year.
But the truth is that the older you are, the slower the results will be. However, this shouldn’t matter too much – you can wait an extra month or two to fully get rid of this, right?
While this is definitely out of your control (we all age!) I just wanted to mention this so that you don’t feel discouraged. If you’re doing all the right things but the progress is slower because you’re a bit older – it’s just the way it is.
You will still be able to get there, just keep on doing the right things, eat healthy and get some exercise!
The most important thing here is that fatty liver disease can be cured.
I know that some people might want to be able to take a pill and get rid of it over night, but that’s simply not the case.
However, the several months that you will put in to get healthy again will hopefully teach you to eat better and live a healthier life overall and you will continue to do this from that moment on.
The truth is that even if you manage to reverse your fatty liver – no matter how fast or slow you do it – it can still come back if you also get back to your old self with poor eating habits and no exercise.
So learn to embrace the new lifestyle that this condition is forcing you to follow, understand that it’s the best way of living and find comfort and happiness in other things than food.
I know, as somebody who loves food, that it’s not the easiest thing to do – but it can and has to be done.
I was diagnosed with a fatty liver back in 2014 and managed to reverse it by mid 2015. Since then, I’ve been studying NAFLD and I have decided to share everything I have learned over the years to help you reverse your condition.
I am also the admin of the Fatty Liver Support Group on Facebook and the Fatty Liver Subreddit.