Fatty Liver Help!

Hi there, my husband was told a few months ago that he has a fatty liver and is borderline Type 2 diabetic. His main concern is getting his weight down, which he has started to address, but he saw the specialist again last month who says his cholesterol and liver aren't getting much better and that they should think about statin therapy soon. She has also recommended he be prescribed Metformin. Sorry this is all a bit copy and paste by the way, he will be speaking to the gp tomorrow about her recommendations, but he's desperate to avoid medication. She did say she'd be happy for him to delay starting these tablets to see if he can get his weight down more.

Does anyone have any advice or help about reducing the fat in his liver? We've been doing a lot of reading about diet, supplements, shakes etc but it'd be so useful to hear from people who really know and have found solutions!

14 Replies

  • Watch the "kitchen clear out" video from the BBC programme Doctor In The House, or the full episode if it's still on iPlayer. bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06qbs4n

    The GP cleared a diabetic patients home of all items containing sugar, fructose, glucose, lactose etc and all carbohydrates and started again with fresh foods - protein, green leafy veg.

    The patient reversed their diabetes and came off Metformin and had normal blood sugar.

    It's not easy but it seems it's possible to prevent and even reverse diabetes by only eating foods that don't elevate your blood sugar.

    Got to be so much better than Metformin and statins.

    And will reduce the fat in the liver too.

    Don't just cut down, cut it all out 100%.

  • Thanks Bolly, I will check that out! He's already cut down on his sugar intake and we bought a spiralizer yesterday so we can cut out pasta too.

  • Not heard of a spiralizer but what a clever idea.

    Remember not to use any root vegetables in the machine to make fake pasta as these are loaded with natural sugars and have a high glycemic index.

    The plan works better if he will cut out completely all sugars. Cutting down means he will still get spikes in his glucose when he eats something with sugar. Check all packaging, for example supermarket sauces that you might be tempted to put on your fake pasta have sugar in them.

    Fruit has fructose.

    Milk has lactose.

    Foods such as these are ones to choose livestrong.com/article/2486...

    The rest of the family and visitors can eat the same foods as him, that means there will be NO foods in the house that he can't eat.

  • spiralized courgette with steamed chicken-almost zero sugar and fat

  • Hi, I had gestational diabetes, which occurs only during pregnancy and goes away after the baby is born. While I was pregnant, I controlled the diabetes with diet and never had to take insulin shots or Metformin. That was 14 years ago. I have 70% chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes, but I have been able to avoid it through diet.

    I suggest testing blood sugars throughout the day with a glucose meter. This way you can see if a particular meal caused a spike in your sugar, then avoid that meal in the future. You could also see a nutritionist who could give you further advice on how often to eat and the correct grams of carbs, fats, and proteins to eat at each meal. I kept a log of what I ate, when, and the corresponding blood sugar reading. It's good to avoid sugars and carbs and eat low fat, but I benefitted the most from blood sugar testing and following a specific diabetic diet.

    That being said, I have been recently diagnosed with fatty liver disease and my cholesterol is high. I also have PBC. I started on Ursodiol, the medication for PBC, and I have heard that it can help lower cholesterol sometimes. If anyone has advice on reversing fatty liver and lowering cholesterol, I am interested to hear it too!

  • Hoopla, Don't panic just take it in your stride. I was rushed to A&E in June this year, after a ultra sound the scan showed gallstones. I over heard the specialist doing the scan, (she was teaching a student) she said fatty liver, but didn't tell me this, I was the one to bring it up with the doctor. I was told I'm over weight and I drink to much. Earlier in the year January, I had started eating healthy as my cholesterol was 8.1 it was 6.3 12 months previous.

    In June I was now faced with a gallstone problem, fatty liver, even though I had been eating healthy since January, I had lost some weight, and felt deflated when the specialist said I was obese (I am 5 2 and weighed 12 stone, I am now 10.5 stone.

    The funny thing is when I went in hospital, my cholesterol was 5.1 so I was doing something right, I was over the moon.

    The one thing I have not mentioned is I excercised and still do at least 5 days a week, very fast walking on a 8 step incline on treadmill.

    As regards the Fatty Liver, I went to see my GP who said it can't be reversed, but I believe it can, and doing research has proved that.

    The is lots of info on the liver doctor website, it can get worse and turn in to worse diseases, so all you can do is change your life style, and hope for the best.

    I'm doing ok, but I hit the biscuit barrel last night, (eat 6 chic bid) very bad I know.

    I eat nothing but salads,greens, spinach, kale smoothies, poached eggs, fish, chicken, cottage cheese (fat free) muesli with fat free honey Greek youghurt ( I know there's sugar in the honey, but that's my evening treat.

    You see sugar destroys the liver, and it's the sugar that gives us all these problems with our health, yes to much fat is no good either.

    Just do the best you can.

    there's that many people with a fatty liver you wouldn't believe it. That doesn't mean to say it's Not a problem it is a big problem,, but we can only do our best for our bodies.

    I can understand the worry, I was manic when told, but I just take things in my stride now, have the odd treat now and then.

    I do like a drink of red wine (to much) but stop drinking for 4months, then go on holiday and drink and enjoy myself, when I return I go back to non drinking, and healthy eating and excercise for another 4 months the have what I want on my next holiday.

    Some would say what's the point, but I'm doing it my way, life's to short to stuff a mushroom, I'll do my upmost best for my liver excluding approx 6 weeks a year, holidays and Christmas, when I eat and drink what I want.

    Good luck, need any tips let me know.

    You never said what kind of a specialist your hubby sees? And if your hubby drinks to excess?

    Hope this helps, long winded I know but just trying to help xxxx

  • Hi Hoopla, yes I've been through Exactly the same experience re diagnoses, and now about 7/8 years later, have had other health problems which I'm convinced developed through being put on Metformine! Believe me there is NO such thing as "borderline" Type 2 - you (anyone) either IS or ARE NOT Type 2 Diabetic - there are specific 'normal ranges' on the blood tests and the blood test for the individual will show the number, with normal range numbers in brackets beside it!

    Overweight yes, probably drinking too much on occasion, not eating well but certainly was eating properly, We had adjusted our diets re fats, milk, etc etc - several years before, I just never did have a big appetite but didn't lose weight. That was because my body was not metabolising properly. Has your husband ever had a Thyroid blood test?

    Whoever has a blood test should always ask for a printed copy. Blood test results can be checked by yourself on labtestsonline. Also all medications if taken in conjunction with others can be checked either singly or in comparison with other meds - your husbands can be checked out on drugs.com

    I was taking Levothyroxine for several years after being diagnosed HypoThyroid in 2000. Only a few months after starting the Metformine for being "borderline" I began to notice muscle loss/strength and started being more fatigued during the day, often falling asleep afternoons. I soon stopped taking it, though I didn't know about the above websites then. Combinations of meds can counteract each other. I understand your husbands reluctance to take more!

    Approx a year later the doctor didn't like the look of my Thyroid test result, so I had another blood test - then I was sent to see a Haematologist, I had a Bone Marrow biopsy, and a scan over my stomach, I had a swollen spleen - the spleen is responsible for the production of blood cells, especially white ones that fight infection etc etc. My red blood cells were also peculiar in shape and number, yes I have a blood disorder! 3 months later, I had a brain haemorrhage.

    15 months later in a different area I'd moved to and changed doctors et al, I had a full health check - I'd been tested for Hepatitis first, then had alcohol and cancer ruled out by blood testing. After an MRI it was decided I had cirrhosis - not caused by any of above blood tested conditions. The Haematologist said I had portal hypertension, so I'm now under 3 specialists who are only looking at their own specialities, not at the whole picture.,I've never been told since that I have diabetes. I did lose some weight eventually but that was because through the brain injury effects, my taste and appetite disappeared, also personal circumstances came into play through marriage separation. No messages being sent to- from the brain for my health. I never did get any rehabilitation.

    My own doctor had also over the months put me on several different types of anti-depressants - "I was anxious" he said! My research eventually revealed it was highly likely I had toxins in my liver - I stopped taking all the meds and it's taken a long time but it's also stopped playing havoc with my brain, no brain fog, confusion, personality changes plus the weight and my metabolism is managed by my Thyroxine.

    All the above I was just accepting all I was told - no one could tell my why though or give me any prognosis on any of it. My portal hypertension has gone, although I do still have a couple of "small" glasses of wine at dinner time. I live in France and here small glasses means small. Not the huge ones served up everywhere in UK. I don't drink lager or beer, never have.

    I now look after my body, and buy the type and quality of food I eat, like and is good for me and my health. I have recently been taking a liquid supplement - not tablet form- which contains Ginseng,honey, Royal Jelly because I wanted to clear my liver of toxins and start putting the right and healthy nutrients into my endocrine system. What lies in and toxifyiies the liver goes into the blood stream and the brain! There are so many mental health problems out there, which I think are caused by wrong and over medication as well as some other reasons. It is a known fact that alcohol and "drugs" affect the brain!

    We need to investigate our own health related conditions and I wish you luck with your husbands.

    Some of which, or all, may also apply to your husband, but I know what started my bad health off, I take and was given no medications for my blood disorder. I was given and refuse to take Propranolol for my liver. I just stick to my Thyroxine and natural health supplement which looks after my endocrine system. I've still got a way to go, but I'm getting there.

    It's true that we are what we eat & drink, including medications! I hope above helps a little.

  • Hi

    Very interesting read, glad u are getting there sounds like a long road u been down, I have auto immune hep and am very interested I the liquid sup u been taking (ginseng) could u pls pass on the details.

    I to am going to try the 5:2 diet, good luck. Karen

  • Hi Karen. The supplement I took 1st, was made by Arkopharma - you can google or wiki them for their website, it's probably a .co.uk - I live in Fr now. Their website is in a multitude of languages so choose UK if that is where you live. The supplement itself is called Arko Royal. I box supplies 20 ampoules - 1 per day for 20 days - then 10 days with nothing. It really worked well the 1st month and I feel gave my gut a good clear out as well as improving my brain function

    2nd month of treatment still good, not as strong an effect as 1st month - not surprising if a lot of the grot 'impurities' were clearing out of gut and or liver whilst it was also working on strengthening my endocrine and adrenal system.

    I've been there done that over the years with diets - if promoted diet systems worked the companies would go out of business! Not sure but I think the 5:2 one is an all or nothing for the number of days! For metabolism to work properly it needs something to work on, to digest. The 5:2 will use some body fat for the 2 days NOT eating and put some back on when you do eat! Little and often daily is better and is what the body needs! a healthy but small breakfast of some sort. A piece of fruit or raw veg if necessary, or better still a glass of vitamin rich juice, a hot chocolate drink - mid morning, for lunch perhaps a piece of cheese or cold meat, some salad and a little bread (carbohydrate makes you feel full for longer). If time, a walk afterwards for perhaps 10 mins.

    In France most of them eat their main meal at lunchtimes (hence the 2 hr lunchtime is commonplace here 12-2) they have a drink, mid afternoon, quite often a green or fruit tea, or whatever, but not alcohol, they save that for lunchtime, or aperitifs time 5pmish. Eating a light meal in the evening shortly after 7 - makes it approx 12 hours after b/fast. The problem is that yes, habits are different comparing UK & France. you'd never catch a Frenchman or woman doing the 5.2, WW or Red/Green diets if their lives depended on it! they have far less obesity problems here until much older, then it's usually a Thyroid problem that's caused it. A lot of women put on weight after they have gone through the menopause and glands have stopped producing Oestragen.,remember to stop getting pregnant the pill is now widely used, I was a 60's late teenager and after being married young with 2 small kids I was on the Pill for 13 years - ŵith,no weight issues till the menopause. What affects our hormones and adrenals then starts affecting our livers because of the number of meds prescribed or OTC we start taking. These are my theories only, backed up by a lot of my medical health research I've done more recently.

    So yes also with an autoimmune disease, which has an underlying reason not necessarily associated with my Thyroid - it does lead to other health issues including whichever type of cirrhosis we have.

    I suggest, you speak to your pharmacist, take blood test results with you if necessary. I have FBC every 3 months - and since I started on the Supplement my red cell count has improved for the 1st time in 3 years! This is better news for my endocrine system also! I can only write of my own experiences thus far. But eat healthily and properly then you'll get all the necessary vitamins and minerals you need. gov.uk says don't eat salt - the body needs iodine, so I cook my veg in water with a little Sea-Salt in it. I put honeŷ on my cereal in place of sugar, don't drink any sweetened drinks unless it's from fruit, and can eat wheat products, as well as dairy and still maintain my metabolism now. Due to mobility issues from Brain haemorrhage, I don't exercise that much either, just enough! Like food, little and often! Best wishes and good luck to you also. s x

  • Thanks shall look into it . Karen

  • you might want to look at 5:2 diet as well-worked wonders for me in short order-not easy but effective and very liver friendly-combine with exercise and very effective

  • Just to tweak a little what SAMBS said about the 5:2. Its not an all or nothing. Its limited calories on 2 days (500 I think) and a normal diet on 5 days up to the number of calories for your age, sex, height, weight, level of activity etc. On the 2 days of a 500 calorie limit you eat just protein and green veg, so no sugar in any form, that means no fructose (fruit) no lactose (dairy) no glucose, no carbohydrates. But you do eat, you dont fast.

    It works well for some because for 5 days you are eating normally and should not be hungry, but on the 2 days you go into fat burning mode. My husband was 2 stone overweight and went on this regime and lost the 2 stone in about 2 months. To start with he was hungry on the 2 days but not so hungry that he caved in. He also tweaked which days he had as his '2' days to those where he was not particularly physically active, as he got very tired if he tried to do a full day of physical activity on 500 calories. He has stopped the 5:2 now but his weight is stable and he no longer craves sugar or chocolate or puddings which were his downfall.

    As Briccolone adds, its a regime that is ok for your liver unless you have advanced disease.

  • Boldly thT sounds similiR to the American Dr diet (can't remember his name now) where you cut out carbs for 2 weeks and were alright with protein and dairy. He also advocated t he sugar substitute call Splenda because there wasn't any Aspartame (as used in artificial sweeteners) in it. I can't get that here any more and had been using Canderel on my breakfast cereal till I saw a post 1st on Headway, then a month ago on Thyroid UK all about the dangers of artificial which are used in fizzy drinks, even Diet Coke - perhaps even fruit juices - we just read new names that say free of this and that and take the manufacturers words for it! Ŵe shouldn't even use artificial sweeteners in hot drinks. Sugar free doesn't mean Aspartame free! They still sweeten foodstuffs.

    There is a chemical reaction in the body - if I can find he relevant information on TUK again I'll come back on here with it. Or perhaps you all know about them as well. I am fortunate I have never liked fizzy drinks, always have drunk tea without sugar and if I have 2/3 coffees a year because I don't like it - is only time I need it sweetened - so think I'll stick to a little brown cane sugar instead. On my breakfast cereal I put honey from my area, where we have lots of sunflowers growing in fields, the honey bees feed on those.

    I'd been told by an old Frenchwoman a few years ago that locally produced honey suits us better because bees inhabit the same local environment we do!

    Sorry about my error with the 5/2 diet.

  • With the 5:2 diet you don't cut out carbs for 2 weeks, just the 2 days each week.

    You are right about sweeteners, but there is a product called Stevia which is a plant based product and is apparently ok for not causing sugar spikes.

    Even better is to cut out processed sugar completely, your tastebuds will get used to it and then anything even slightly sweet tastes too sweet.

    However..... a new study in Italy has found that it's our differing gut bacteria that causes people to have sugar highs after different food. So you and I, with different gut bacteria, if we ate EXACTLY the same foods and measured our blood sugar after every meal, we would find that I can eat food like chocolate and ice cream and get zero blood sugar response while yours goes sky high, and you can eat croissants and pasta and get zero blood sugar response while mine goes sky high. Unfortunately the only way to find out what your gut bacteria is doing is to provide a stool sample to this laboratory and then you also need a blood sugar monitor. So it's not possible for us to work it out for ourselves. But it does turn most conventional diet advice on its head and disprove it!

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