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British Liver Trust
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Feeling in the dark with my diagnosis

Hi I wonder if anyone can tell me what my results mean?

I had some blood tests and the doc said liver tests were abnormal so I went for an ultrasound and it came back with the following info:

'The right lobe of the liver appears enlarged and the hepatic parenchyma appears hyperechogenic with a few areas of reduced echogenicity particularly in segment 5. The appearances are suggestive of fatty infiltration and focal fatty sparing respectively. The hepatic veins are patent and there is an antegrade flow in the portal vein'

My doc just said eat properly and lose weight and off I went with the results above.

I am 5ft 3 and was 11 stone. I am losing weight slowly and surely. I am exercising daily, eating lots of veg and fruit and taking high compound vit B and some corn free vitamin c. I also have some lethicin to take that was recommended to me.

But really what I want to know is how seriously ill my liver is and at what stage. Should I be worried and should I be seeing a liver specialist? I've done as much research as possible but still don't know what it means really. How do I know what stage of liver disease I have for instance?

My stomach goes rock hard at the top when I eat a slightly biggish meal. It gets so hard and big it interferes with my breathing until it goes down again once the food has gone through my system. I have to eat healthily, no processed food, no crap, no alcohol for it not to flare up. Even a bowl of rice left me with a swollen stomach.

Any advice from anyone will be great, thank you.

3 Replies

Hi to you,I'm certainly no expert,but it sounds like fatty liver,if you don't drink-at all,I believe it's reffered to as n.a.f.l.Or non alcohol fatty liver disease.I think you're getting a warning that your liver is struggling.If you're overweight,try to keep gradually losing weight,help your liver as much as possible,avoid fatty,salty foods,processed stuff,easy on the red meat.Eat small meals a few times a day,rather than big blowout meals no booze if possible.It sounds like your doing all the right things,regard it as a timely warning,rather than a terribly scary sentence of doom.I would expect your gp to monitor your bloods fairly regularly and from that you'll get some idea of how your doing.Try not to worry too much,I think it's a matter of understanding that your liver is stressing,and you can put it right by the right lifestyle choices.You've come to a good place for advice,there's loads of clued-up peeps on here who know a lot (more than me).Regards,Andy.


Hi, sorry to hear about your health worries. Has your GP recommended you see a dietician. I suffer with cirhossis and on the days when my tummy feels rock hard like yours I take a suppliment called Fortisip which contains all the nutrients needed like vit K, C, and everything else in a small drink. Im not suggesting you have cirhossis because that would have been picked up you just sound like your having a blip with your liver and need to give it some TLC. Personally I dont take in too much fruit. Some can be quite acidic. Also, do you have a laxative on prescription as I find the food I take in takes ages to go through the gut without help. Im 45 and had my first liver failure 5 years ago so Im a long way down the road from you but I still manage to get out and about etc. You will no doubt me monitered with regular blood tests and hopefully you will start to feel better soon

best wishes



There are 2 ways of finding out how much damage has been done to your liver. One is a Fibroscan which is non invasive but not all NHS regions have one. This measures the stiffness of your liver, the stiffer the reading the more your liver is damaged. The other is a liver biopsy, which is invasive and not without risk. With a diagnosis of fatty liver my guess is there is no particular reason to have a biopsy, a biopsy is mainly used when there is doubt about a diagnosis. You could ask your GP for a fibroscan. However my guess is that your best course of action is to carry on with the better nutrition and hopefully some exercise and then get your bloods tested again after a few months. If the liver enzyme levels improve and your weight comes down and you feel better, that gives you an answer as to whether your liver is getting better.

The right lobe of your liver which the scan said was enlarged is the biggest lobe of your liver and lies up under your diaphragm. If it is enlarged there will be less room for your stomach and other internal organs. Try to eat small meals rather than 3 large meals a day. In other words "graze" lightly during the day. Keep a food diary and see if there are particular foods that "bloat" you, some people find cutting out gluten and sugar from their diet helps.

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