Recent diagnosis of Fatty Liver

While being checked for something else, I have just recently been diagnosed (from an ultrasound) with having a fatty liver. I have been a heavy social drinker (one or two cocktails and then red wine with dinner) almost every evening. I never got drunk so maybe I just have always had a high tolerance for alcohol. My enzymes are completely normal so that makes me feel a little less worried. My doctor has suggested severely cutting back on alcohol which I have done. I now only have a glass of red wine with dinner but I don't have it every night. My question is....am I doing enough? Should I quit completely? Can my liver repair itself if I'm still having the one glass of red wine 5 days a week?

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  • Fatty Liver can arise due to alcohol and there is also Non-Alcohol Related Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). There is guidance on how to take care of your liver as regards both of these causes of fatty liver at the British Liver Trust website.

    britishlivertrust.org.uk/li...

    britishlivertrust.org.uk/li...

    It is good news that your liver function tests are showing as normal and I would go along with your doctors advice that about severely cutting back on alcohol to give your liver the best possible chance of recovery. It might be worth knocking it on the head completely for a few months and have a repeat ultrasound to see if that has reversed things. I am not going to say you can then resume drinking at anywhere near what you did previously as your liver is already saying enough is enough and fatty liver disease isn't a benign condition. It is the start of liver damage, next step is potentially fibrosis and potentially cirrhosis. Your liver isn't liking something in your lifestyle - be it the booze, food choices, exercise levels. I'd ask myself is the wine worth it?

    Wishing you all the very best,

    Katie

  • Thanks for your insightful comments and for the website for british liver trust!

  • I too would suggest no alcohol. Sound drastic but so is suffering and possible death. Had no idea that fatty liver was serious. I read too George Michaels autopsy was due to heart problem and fatty liver. I wish you a long heath happy life.

  • Hi quite surprised your liver enzymes are normal including ggt ? And yet the u/s is showing fatty liver. Normally it's the other way round. Anyway- it doesn't sound too bad. It's almost certainly alcohol over an extended period that's done it. From my experience I would knock it on the head for at least 6 weeks and maybe more and get tested again. If you don't have any symptoms that's good news. It took me many months to get to a level where I was feeling well but I'd been overdoing the vino for years and I had elevated ggt levels and digestive issues. Treat this as a wake up call. Try and keep to below 7 units a week and have a few days off per week if you're going to drink. Take care

  • Thanks...yes my liver enzymes were completely normal. I eat a very healthy diet with very little meat and lots of nuts and olive oil. I also walk briskly about 5 miles a day and don't smoke. I was going to go 6 months before repeating the ultrasound to really give my liver a chance to heal. In the 6 weeks that I have already given up the cocktail start of my evening....I really don't miss it. I have substituted "fizzy" waters and add a lime! The wine is now only a glass with dinner...never more than the one and not every night...usually 5 a week. So... is this giving my liver enough ability to repair itself or should I cut out the glass of red wine completely?

  • Depends on the glass size lol! No seriously you sound pretty informed...the recommended weekly intake has been revised down to 14 units. That's for a normal liver . I would halve that if you fatty liver but some on this forum would advise abstinence. If you're not missing it I would give it a break for six weeks and see how you're feeling? I'm still surprised you were sent for an ultrasound with completely normal blood tests? What prompted that? Did they test for ggt?

  • I had a tightness just below my rib cage that's been going on for months. A Cat scan revealed nothing as did the regular Xray. Upper G.I. series also showed nothing out of the ordinary. A nuclear stress test showed nothing abnormal with my heart....so I asked for an ultrasound to see if this might show something muscular...possibly a torn muscle. All these proved negative but in performing the ultrasound on all the organs in the stomach area, my liver showed the fat deposits. I had had no symptoms, it just was discovered during the ultrasound...that I had requested. Bloodwork was done showing the enzymes were completely normal. The tightness turned out to be a band of nerves that start in your back and come around to the front. It was caused by having biopsies of my lungs last year due to enlarged lymph nodes and scar tissue that turned out to be from Rheumatoid arthritis back 30 years ago. But in having the biopsies, they created scar tissue which seems to be hitting the nerve that comes around the front of my chest.

  • ah i see that explains it. well back to your question michael mosley (trust me I'm a doctor) says there's no such thing as safe levels of alcohol. in correspondence he advised as part of the 5 : 2 diet that if you're going to drink then make it 2 drinks max and 2 days off per week-sounds sensible. obviously with fatty liver you need to take more care. From my own experience I didn't take enough care despite good advice from this forum and my fatty liver has worsened so now I'm having to work doubly hard to get back on track. It's going to take a lot longer to stabilise now if it does stabilise. Up to you-your bloods look good and you have no relayed symptoms so you should be ok. no guarantees in this life as with everything...all the best

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