Paleo Diet for Fatty Liver??

Hi, I've been looking into the Paleo Diet ever since my husband's back Dr. recommended it to him for weight loss and to control his diabetes. Ive read that Paleo is good for autoimmune disease, too. I have Hashimotos/Thyroid, Endometriosis, and have a positive AMA-M2 antibody which is associated with an autoimmune liver disease PBC. My liver biopsy showed only a fatty liver, so I'm good for now on that front, but would like to lessen/reverse autoimmune titers/disease. My liver Dr. didn't give me much info except to lose weight. I've read that weight loss should be gradual 1-2 pds a week and rapid weight loss most likely make fatty liver worse. According to my last blood work my thyroid may have reached treatable TSH levels of 8.4. At least I'm hoping the Dr. will start me on meds cause I've been so tired lately and I think that is definitely causing the recent weight gain. I've read other sources that recommend complex carbs that are whole grain etc in certain meat to carb ratios and of course lots of fruits and veggies is ideal, which goes against the ideal of Paleo's grain free. Do you think Paleo would do more harm than good or is there anyone here that has had good success with it for fatty liver and weight loss? I also have high Crp levels and I don't know if just by losing weight if that will lesson the inflammation going on in my body. Im worried about it worsening or causing perhaps other autoimmunity problems. Does the inflammation cause autoimmunity or is the inflammation caused by the autoimmunity? Any advice is appreciated thanks!

8 Replies

  • the fatty Liver may not be connected. PBC is a problem where your own immune system attacks your biliary cells as far as I understand it and can lead to Cirrhosis and a Liver transplant. I think they can slow it down but im not so sure they can stop progression completely. The earlier its found the better, you appear to have early diagnosis, some unlucky people don't find out until their Livers are nearly failing.

    The inflammation will be caused by the auto immune issue. Some do have dual auto immune issues, but i guess your doctors will be looking out for this.

    Exercise is great for the Liver and of course avoid fatty foods and sugars and carbs like white bread, get plenty of water down you too.

    take it easy to start with, rapid delipidation of the liver can cause strain on the Liver and also dump a load of fat into your blood and cause heart problems etc.

  • Hi Ralph,

    Wow, that last part about dumping fat into your blood and causing heart problems that I didn't know and thanks for the info. I may just start easy and cut out processed foods and add more fruits & veggies.

  • Interesting about the Paeo diet as i've just started going to a chiropractor and he says he is on the Paleo diet himself. Maybe 'back' doctors/osteopaths/chiropractors like it for some reason.

    I've heard of others with AIH swear by an 'anti-inflammatory' diet. I dont know what that is, but might be worth researching.

    For basic weight loss without any medical problems the 5:2 diet works well but I would never massively change my nutrition without letting my doctors know. Hepatologists generally seem to have no nutrition training and usually say, unhelpfully, just eat a healthy diet. But I would still tell him/her if you change your nutrition in case its reflected in your blood tests.

  • HI Gean43 thanks for the Info


    This is the diet recommended by someone I know with AIH autoimmune hepatitis

  • Hi Bolly,

    There are so many diets out there and gluten seems to be the new evil and intestinal permeability or (leaky gut) seems to be gaining some traction. I don't know if I buy into it totally but it may be worth a try. My daughters Dermatologist recommended the South Beach diet for her because of her acne which has some similarities to Paleo but not as radical. I think there's even an Autoimmune Paleo that goes further and eliminates eggs and nightshades etc. Thanks for the info on the diets, I'll check that out!

  • You sound pretty level headed and knowledgeable, so i would be thinking along the lines of first identifying what caused the fat infiltrate into your liver, as you know and I know it's not necessarily due to eating fat or being overweight. Yours could be due to long term damage from the PBC or your thyroid issue, or a diet rich in carbs or so many other reasons. When you are fairly confident you know the reason, then maybe address that through nutrition (which is different from diet, as when you google diet it's all about losing weight which is not the same as good nutrition). I don't think there is any harm in first eliminating as much sugar, particularly refined sugar from what you eat. It's great for your waistline and your teeth, it changes your palate as you get to prefer less sweet foods, and it forces you to avoid convenience and cook from scratch. You can also cut right down on salt and substitute spices and herbs for flavour. Reduce portion sizes if you feel you eat too many calories, and avoid snacking except perhaps on nuts or raw veg. You could do all that without going on a diet with a "label". If you find you feel sluggish after bread or other gluten foods (having cut out cake and biscuits due to the sugar elimination), then yes try gluten free but this gets costly if you buy gluten free supermarket products.

  • I have had high liver labs for many years and was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome/fatty liver over 15 years ago. I have tried losing weight but it stayed in a band between 212 and 230 lbs for many years. In the meantime my ALT lab results slowly dropped from around 200 to about 75. Recently I saw a naturopath who has put me on a diet with no grains, sugar or dairy. I just got my ALT checked and the results amazed me, its as 49, so in the high normal range for the first time in almost 20 years. I feel more energetic at times and have lost almost 20 lbs over the past few months. I had previously tried going veggy/semi-vegan (lots of grains) and the 2:7 fast diet (I couldn't handle the low calorie days). I also went to an 8 hour eating window which my doctor recommended against in terms of blood sugar levels.

    Hope this is helpful.

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