A bit worried: Hello - im very nervous... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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A bit worried

Cat1408 profile image

Hello - im very nervous to write - i have recently had an ultrasound for something unrelated and in passing the nurse said i had 'quite a fatty liver'. Following a docotrs appointment on friday the doctor confirmed this. My blood test for liver function is normal but my ferritin level is over 200? I i have been feeling nauseous of late and a bit light headed not sure if related to this? Im about 2 stone overweight which i am absolutely determined to lose - tbh im not eating much since friday as im terrified that im doing the wrong thing and eating the wrong things. My docor is sending a letter to the haemotology dept at the hosp regarding the ferritin but as for the fatty liver i havent got another appointment for that. Im scared and worried but im seeing this as a chance to put things as right as i can myself. I just wondered if anybody had any advice or could share their similar experience. And merry Christmas. Many thanks.

6 Replies

I presume you are female for a ferritin level of 200 to be considered high. I wouldn't be too concerned about a slightly high level. I don't have fatty liver or liver disease and my ferritin level has always been slightly above the normal range (30 - 300) for a male. Mine is usually anywhere from 385 to 535 for unknown reasons. You should avoid crash dieting to lose weight as it could make your fatty liver worse. Gradually lose the 2 stone of excess weight & the amount of fat infiltration in your liver should come down.

Fatty liver without inflammation is considered benign but if you have inflammation (NASH) together with the fatty liver it can eventually lead to cirrhosis. Insulin resistance is considered a major risk factor for fatty liver being accompanied by NASH. Lose the excess weight & insulin resistance tends to reduce or disappear which may in turn result in NASH going away. Anyone with fatty liver shouldn't drink alcohol.

Someone recently posted that his/her fatty liver became cirrhotic despite blood tests being normal as the liver progressively deteriorated. It appears that having fatty liver and normal blood tests is no guarantee that you don't have NASH (inflammation that can lead to progressive scarring). The only way to determine if you have NASH is a FibroScan to measure liver stiffness & fibrosis (scarring) or a biopsy. Successive FibroScans would determine whether the fatty liver was causing progressive scarring due to ongoing NASH.

I know that you're worried and have probably lost your appetite but it's important that you eat regularly. At the beginning of this year I did a low carb diet and lost 35lb in about 3 months and was subsequently diagnosed with cirrhosis...I don't drink or smoke. When I finally saw the hepatologist a couple of weeks ago he was horrified and told me that I should never fast as it stresses the liver. My ferretin is at the extreme end of normal at 12 but I also have regular bouts of anaemia. Try not to worry too much, if you have fatty liver you can take steps to reverse it. Take care. Deb

No reason to starve yourself to fix your fatty liver.

Hopefully you will be referred to a nutritionist for some guidelines, but there are a few universal basics to the fatty liver diet.

Focus on reducing sugars above all else; particularly High Fructose Corn Syrup. Sodas and fruit juice are loaded with fructose, so eliminate these entirely if you can. I switched from sodas to ice tea with my lunch, & both tea and coffee are known liver tonics. Avoid the new boutique coffees or sweet teas if you've been drinking these and get back to basics. Black coffee with a drop of milk if you like, and black tea with a little lemon are both liver friendly.

Dietary fats aren't nearly as problematic as sugars & carbs, but you want to avoid fat bombs like deep fried foods. Real butter is supposed to be much better than margarine, so avoid margarine if you can, but don't be afraid of butter (in moderation).

High iron is known to promote insulin resistance, so when you see your hematologist, you might tell him/her you are enthusiastic about treating this if he/she thinks this might help.

Hope you start getting some good news soon!

I would make sure I go to the specialist about the high ferritin levels, high ferritin could be due to inflammation, most hept. specialist will help you lower your iron levels. Too much iron can cause problems with your liver and kidneys. Good luck with losing the weight. If you drink coffee or tea with your meals this can lower the absorption of more iron.

in reply to

True. Also the liver doesnt do well at all with being starved. Nutrient defiency happens when you do that and that hurts the liver. Eat and eat plenty. Just dont eat crappy. I'll keep the nutrition lecture short lol. But honestly keep eating. You cant stare that fat away from your liver. Start eating more vegetables fruit and lean meat. Chicken is good. Kale spinach cauliflower and broccoli are great and lots of apples pears oranges grapefruits etc but avoid to much of fruits that contain maganese like mangos and tropical fruits. Good carbs. Whole wheat bread (with the germ) or else it's just dyed white bread. Just stay away from high fat foods that's all. :) :)

Oh and I forgot. Avoid refined sugar like the plague. It's basically almost as bad as booze for your liver

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