British Liver Trust
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Fatty liver diagnosis today

Hi all. A couple of months ago i went to doctor to get bloods done as i have high cholesterol. The lft came back high and I was sent for an ultrasound. Well todsy I just found out today that I definitely have fatty liver. The doctor said the scan wasnt clear enough so im been send for an internal scan to check more of the liver and pancreas. Im a 38 year old single mum who drinks three bottles of wine a week. Ive cut down to one the past few weeks. Ive had fatigue and swollen ankles for a while and my skin has been terrible. I dont really know what to expect from here on.

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The fatigue, swollen ankles and bad skin are not good signs. They can be signs of a liver under significant stress & you should not ignore them. I once noticed that my ankles were swollen and I dismissed it. I also used to experience frequent bouts of fatigue and my skin was prone to fungal infections (dermatitis). In retrospect they were all symptoms of liver inflammation that gradually got worse until 8 months ago I got acute hepatitis.

The good news is that fatty liver is reversible if you work at it. Give up alcohol completely (I know it's easier said than done), exercise regularly (walking daily would be a good start), if you are overweight lose weight (again easier said than done) and eat a healthy diet. There's a lot of information out there about reversing fatty liver that you can read and try different ways of achieving the things I mentioned. Basically if you do the 4 things I mentioned you should reverse your fatty liver eventually if you stick at it.

I'm 66 years old and my weight is good apart from my waist measurement being a little too high. I gave up alcohol 2 ½ years ago when I felt it was harming me and I gave up painkillers 8 months ago as soon as I realised I had hepatitis. I exercise most days using a treadmill in my home for 40 minutes while listening to music wearing cordless headphones. I've cut down on fat & I only eat lean meat. I try to eat good quality minimally processed carbs (whole grain cereal high in fibre, brown rice, whole grain bread etc.). I eat lots of vegetables and several pieces of fruit (mainly oranges) daily. I've also learned that getting a good night's sleep is important and I spend some time each day trying to manage stress better through meditation.

I'm now starting to feel healthy again after feeling rundown for years & not realising how sick I was. My liver feels like it's over the hepatitis but a blood test in a couple of weeks will confirm whether I'm right.

How do I make sure that I keep doing the things I've mentioned? I apply the following simple motto that I thought up long before it became one that Nike used to promote its shoes:

Do it. Just do it!

Whether I feel like exercising is irrelevant. As long as I'm not injured or overly sore I do my treadmill session. The same applies to the other things I mentioned like not drinking alcohol or taking painkillers (more of a problem for me than alcohol) etc. Sometimes I ache badly and feel tempted to take painkillers but I rest instead and the aches go away.

Another quote I like to motivate me to do things is the following:

The common conception is that motivation leads to action, but the reverse is true -- action precedes motivation. You have to 'prime the pump' and get the juice flowing, which motivates you to work on your goals. Getting momentum going is the most difficult part of the job, and often taking the first step is enough to prompt you to make the best of your day.

One of the most important lessons I learned from getting hepatitis is how big an influence the liver has on how you feel. If your liver is struggling you feel bad and you get used to feeling bad. Now that my liver has come good I feel like a different person-life is good again in ways I never thought it would be again. I feel good more of the time now and the dips aren't as bad. I'm also handling things with relative ease that previously would have stressed me out. It's a pity I didn't make the changes I have years ago when I was your age but better late than never!

Good luck. I hope things go well for you.

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I feel like I could have wrote that story Edward. Late 2016, I had the fungal infection, red dots, acid reflux. I never liked drinking but was taking painkillers. I have many injuries from the Army. I got to a point where I was tired of pain so I caved and started taking painkillers. A year later, my liver was so inflammed it tore my abdominal wall, portal pressure I assume. My doctor in the Army was horrible. She kept telling me I was fine, that labs were good. However, labs weren't good for six months. The pharmaceutical companies love their money. I never abused my medication, but because they have sweetheart deals, everybody gets a cut. They throw nasty Paracetamol/Acetaminophen in the medication. That's what ended up causing my acute hepatitis. It was horrible, thought I was going to die. To the original poster. If you have fatty liver at your age, that means your liver is being damaged. The only way your going to reverse this is good diet, exercise and stopping drinking completely. It's nothing to mess with, stopping can be very hard. I couldn't stop the painkillers, although I wish I did. Fatty liver will turn into cirrhosis down the road if alcohol isn't stopped. You're at a crossroads right now and you have a decision to make. One will lead you back to full health, it took me a good year to start feeling better, but it happened and labs are good again. AST 16, ALT 20. Fibroscan at a 4.0kpa. The other decision will lead to pain heartache and sickness. I don't mean to sound doom and gloom and I know you know the seriousness of the situation. I just like to reiterate it. When I put myself in others place. I would be like, "OK I'm feeling better, I can take more painkillers". I just kept feeding the beast. As we think we're improving sometimes we jump back on the marry go round. Once the liver has been damaged, something I learned is that it's much easier for it to be damaged again.

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Hi-I'm in a similar boat...high cholesterol. Big factor in fatty liver is alcohol-try and avoid-same goes for other complex carbs-bread/pasta/pastries-try and minimise those. Once you sort the diet out-start looking at exercise or preferably start now-all will help-don't worry too much-it can be tackled.

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