How long does it take to reduce a live... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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How long does it take to reduce a liver fibro scan score?

SianJane01
SianJane01

Mine seems to have improved over 3 months just through swimming three times per week rather than once per week and without dieting just by exercise. Am being re scanned in 6 months in case it was a false score. Obviously I’ll try to exercise more and eat less but am just wondering how long it took you. Thanks in advance for your replies

30 Replies

Hi SianJane - what was your fibroscan score?

SianJane01
SianJane01 in reply to farranccc

It was 9.7. I think they said it’s now 5.4. Seems a quick decrease in 3 months but I’m new to this so not sure..

farranccc
farranccc in reply to SianJane01

Wow that is good. I have a fibroscan planned for Thursday and am super scared.

There will be someone else along soon that will know more but from what I have read the score can be improved quite quickly but yours seems significant.

Did you drink previously? Have you stopped now?

SianJane01
SianJane01 in reply to farranccc

No I’m a very light drinker. I’m also hypothyroid (think you are too) and understand there might be a connection with this and fatty liver disease. I was only diagnosed in June. As I say they are rescanning me in 6 months to recheck as they think that’s quite a good improvement too. I still have plenty of liver pain though and ALT still raised... Am having lots of blood tests repeated too (don’t really know which ones but will be sent results). The fibroscan is very quick and totally painless and you can see your score on the machine very easily and ask the operator for it too. Good luck with yours

I have sub clinical hyperthyroidism but am on no medication but have been a drinker for a long time.

My gastro consultant told me last week that my upper right quad pain is not liver but will do a fibroscan to put my mind at rest but I have a really bad feeling that it is my liver and it’s screwed.

How do you already know your score has reduced?

SianJane01
SianJane01 in reply to farranccc

Ive had 2 fibroscans 3 months apart. I have other illnesses and the hospital doesn’t know the cause of my nalfd yet so think they are being cautious so I’ve been lucky to have 2 fibroscans already. I’ve also had a liver ultrasound which confirmed nalfd but nothing else sinister. I’m also interested in if there’s a link with hypothyroidism (haven’t heard of it being linked to hyper though) and have posted that question also to thyroid uk on this site.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to SianJane01

Hi

My consultant told me the liver doesn't feel pain , it's the capsule around it that has lots of nerves in it so when your liver becomes enlarged it stretches the capsule which then causes the pain. Take care. Love and hugs Lynne xxxx

SianJane01
SianJane01 in reply to Hidden

Yes I’ve heard that too. The constant pain is a bit wearing. I don’t take any painkillers for it as I thought they’d be bad for my liver but the liver nurse said I can take paracetamol (?) but I’d be taking it too often so I’d rather not start. Do you take anything for the pain? I know the solution is lose the fat though! But even with a lower fibroscan score I’m still in pain. So I’m wondering about the hypothyroid connection as well and that being a cause I can’t alter maybe.. Hugs too x

Hidden
Hidden in reply to SianJane01

Yes, I'm on oramorph, zomorph, nortriptyline and pregabalin!! I also have IBS, diverticulitis, gastritis and fibromyalgia to name but a few! Xxxx

SianJane01
SianJane01 in reply to Hidden

Oh my goodness, poor you. I have pills for IBS and hiatus hernia but none of these will help for liver pain. Just had a quick read of liver sites and with minor liver pain like I have most people seem to start with paracetamol. I’ll just use it very sparingly for when I need it most I think. Xx

Hidden
Hidden in reply to SianJane01

Yes, good Idea. Night night God bless xxxx

JimmyJackson
JimmyJackson in reply to Hidden

Be careful with nortriptyline it has in my opinion possibly cause serious side effects if used over a period

Hidden
Hidden in reply to JimmyJackson

Hi

What type of side effects?, If you don't mind me asking? Take care

JimmyJackson
JimmyJackson in reply to Hidden

I took amyltriptaline for 15 yrs only 10 mg I developed bronchiectasis

which I am sure was result of it, a chest specialist told me to stop, my continuous cough improved very considerably, but still left problem.

My son took Noratryptaline & started to develope same symptoms, he stopped & they cleared up ( sorry about spelling)

Hidden
Hidden in reply to JimmyJackson

Thank you . Take cate

Julie8
Julie8 in reply to SianJane01

The fibroscan isn’t always 100% successful. They can tell you. My letter said mine was 75% successful, so this could be shown in the anomaly.

Dazgr
Dazgr in reply to SianJane01

Paracetamol!! I was told by the hospital paracetamol is the worst one and it acts as acid to the liver I ended up nearly havin liver failure from paracetamol x

Hidden
Hidden

I'd be wary of placing too much faith in a drop in your FibroScan score from 9.7 to 5.4 in 3 months just from increasing the amount of exercise from swimming once per week to 3 times per week. Common sense should tell you to be suspicious of a big improvement like that in such a short period after making a minor change in the frequency of exercise.

The same sort of reductions in FibroScan scores occur in people with cirrhosis when they abstain from drinking yet their livers remain cirrhotic. After a couple of years of abstinence FibroScan scores for people with cirrhosis can drop from a maximum possible score of 75 kPa right down to 7 kPa which is the top of the normal healthy range however when a biopsy is performed they still have cirrhosis despite their FibroScan score indicating that their livers are neither cirrhotic nor significantly fibrotic.

It's possible that a similar phenomenon happens with people with fibrosis leading them to wrongly conclude that their livers have healed or their doctor to conclude that their first score was a mistake when in reality the greatly improved score in a short period after making minimal lifestyle changes may be the score not to be trusted as is the case with people with cirrhosis.

My FibroScan score after 6 months living clean was 4.3 kPa yet I felt very sick & I could sense that my liver was in bad shape. In my case my problem could have been acute hepatitis but nevertheless I'd only trust my 4.3 kPa FibroScan score if my scan had been performed when I started to feel very sick. At that point I didn't know that FibroScans existed nor did my GP so I wound up having my scan after 6 months of living clean after seeing a specialist. I feel much healthier now after living clean of painkillers for over a year however my ALT has risen to its highest score ever & my platelet count has dropped 46 points in 6 months to well below normal.

I stopped drinking Alcohol almost 3 years ago & taking painkillers 14 months ago. I'm exercising daily quite hard & I'm dieting to get my belly fat down. I won't rest easy until all of my blood values (especially ALT & platelet count) are in the normal range for successive blood tests. If that happens I'll then work on the assumption that any liver damage I have will take at least a couple of years to fully repair.

NaffedoffXYZ123
NaffedoffXYZ123 in reply to Hidden

Hi Edward, what did your ALTs go up to and do you have anyupdates 4mths on?

Thanks in advance..

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NaffedoffXYZ123

My ALT rose to 54 & my platelet count dropped to 135. This shocked me because I'd lived clean for a long time yet my blood test values worsened instead of improving. The next blood test my ALT dropped back into the normal range at 37 & platelets rose to 159 & my GP congratulated me on getting all of my blood test scores (except ferritin which has always been slightly raised) back to normal. I thought I was home & hosed & I could relax but my most recent blood test revealed that my ALT had risen back to just above normal to 41 & my platelets dropped below normal again to 143. That result was against all expectations & shocked me.

It now appears that I have early NASH & I have to do absolutely everything right to keep my blood test values in the normal range. All of the years of taking painkillers wore my liver down so it can take no more abuse. When my weight drops a few pound my ALT & platelet count normalise but if I become complacent & eat a little too much & I gain a few pounds my early NASH returns. This is despite my body mass index being close to the bottom of the normal range.

If after losing a few pound of fat my ALT & platelet count don't drop back into the normal range I'll see the gastroenterologist again & he'll most likely suggest a biopsy which I'm not keen on having. I'm hoping that I can get my blood test values into the normal range & keep them there by exercising, eating right & keeping my weight down near the bottom of the BMI range but time will tell. I'm continuing to live clean of painkillers & alcohol & exercise daily & build up my fitness & I don't miss my old lifestyle of using painkillers like tramadol to mute arthritic pain & stress. Clear headed & fit like I am now I tackle problems differently.

My mother died of cirrhosis probably from many years of undetected NASH. If I'm not very careful the same will happen to me eventually. I'd prefer to avoid that if I can help it! When I suggested to my GP that when he sends patients off for an ultrasound of the liver he includes elastography he baulked at the idea. He told me that most of his patients go right on abusing their livers regardless & that I'm a rarity.

NaffedoffXYZ123
NaffedoffXYZ123 in reply to Hidden

Thanks for your post can I ask how does your doctor believe you have Nash, has a biopsy been carried out or a fibroscan?

Hidden
Hidden in reply to NaffedoffXYZ123

Neither my GP nor the gastroenterologist I saw know what's wrong with my liver. The fact that my blood test results continue to be abnormal unless I do absolutely everything right suggests that I may have the beginning of NASH. NASH is inflammation of the liver not caused by alcohol, auto immune disease, the different types of hepatitis caused by viruses etc.

My blood test results suggest that my liver hovers on the cusp between normal & inflamed. My platelet count continuing to fluctuate is not a good sign. It started to drop below normal about 3 years ago which is about 2 years before I felt really sick & realised that my liver was struggling. My platelet count has fluctuated above & below normal ever since. I got it up to 181 at one point but then it dropped 46 points over the next 6 months. It appears to rise when my weight drops a few pounds easing the load on my liver. If I take in too many calories (especially too many carbs) & my weight rises a little my platelet count drops below normal.

The 2 ultrasounds, 2 FibroScans and an MRI that I’ve had showed that I don't have cirrhosis or fibrosis. My liver, gall bladder, kidneys, spleen & pancreas all appeared to be normal. It looks like my liver hasn't yet fully recovered from the hepatitis I got that resulted in me feeling very sick. My liver may just need more time to fully heal. Whether or not it will come good if I do everything right is unknown. So far I've lived clean of painkillers for 18 months & a blood test I had 3 months ago the result was normal (only just). Then the next blood test 3 months later my platelet count had dropped below normal again & ALT had risen just above normal. The only possible cause for this that I can see is I ate a bit too much & put on a few pound.

Over many years when I was taking painkillers & drinking moderate amounts of alcohol my ALT was usually 30 or less but things started to change 3 years ago & I didn’t see the warning signs because I was ignorant about liver health. Getting my liver healthy again may just need more time. The other possibility is that NASH has started & can't be switched off.

If my ALT & platelet count don't normalise at my next blood test I'll probably see the gastroenterologist & he'll more than likely suggest a biopsy to determine the true health of my liver cells. The alternative would be to continue monitoring my liver function through blood tests & hope that my liver fully repairs itself given sufficient time.

I'm lucky in that I'm more aware than the average person. My GP & the gastroenterologist told me that most people they see with far worse liver problems than I have keep on drinking, drugging etc & can't be helped. Dying of cirrhosis is something I'm keen to avoid if I can!

NaffedoffXYZ123
NaffedoffXYZ123 in reply to Hidden

Thanks for responding so quickly, best of look with it all.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Hidden

An absolutely perfect response Edward

Thank you Edward1952. This is my feeling too as I’m still in pain and my ALT is still high but as it was only my 2nd visit to the hepatology clinic I didn’t query it too much. They did take loads of bloods and confirmed they’ll copy the results to me which is good. They are also booking me in for another fibroscan in 6 months. There had been talk about a liver biopsy but as my fibroscan score has improved they are waiting for the next fibroscan in 6 months to make a decision now. There was also a bit of talk that my autoimmune hypothyroidism may be impacting on my liver but I don’t think the drs pursue this - it’s just another contributing factor. Yes I will err with caution for now. Thanks again

Hidden
Hidden in reply to SianJane01

My fibroscan dropped by 22kpa in less than 3 months. I've been fully on board with what Edward has said here since I learned about fibroscans. Lower kpa does not neccesarily mean fibrosis regression. Fibrosis regression can take years to occur. It simply would not happen in that short amount of time. On the flip side higher kpa scores dont always mean fibrosis progression either.

Luckily my score was normal on the fibrosis scan so I have no idea

I was once told by a leading Hepatologist it can take up to 18 months for histology to change back to normal.

SianJane01
SianJane01 in reply to kurtymac

Oh that’s a long time! Thanks for replying

Hidden
Hidden in reply to kurtymac

Depending on the severity it can take years

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