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Living with Fatty Liver and NASH
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Just Diagnosed With NAFLD - No Risk Factors

I am new here and was just diagnosed and am very afraid because I have no risk factors. I had an ultrasound for pain and everyone was sure it was my gallbladder. I was also suffering from extreme fatigue. The ultrasound revealed fatty liver. I don't know how I got here. I am healthy (no diabetes, high cholesterol or obesity) - all my tests are completely normal. I drink alcohol - maybe one drink a month. How does a healthy person get a fatty liver. Has this happened to anyone else? And how will I know if it's getting better or worse?

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Hi Magicwrd

Many people on this forum have been diagnosed with the same and like you are left bewildered about how this can happen, my husband is in exactly the same position and all we were advised was to change his diet so we removed all refined carbohydrates so he has no bread, pasta, pizza, nothing made with flour regardless of whether it's white, brown, wholemeal etc, no rice regardless of white or brown, replaced with quinoa and buckwheat, no desserts, cakes, sweets, chocolates, we eat lots of vegetables, salad, lean protein and fish, I make milk kefir which has shown to improve fatty liver, as well as pro and prebiotics, he also includes whole fruit, not fruit juices, and nuts, seeds and plenty of exercise is also very very beneficial to reducing if not reversing fatty liver, but this is a lifestyle change and needs dedication and commitment to change a lifetime of how we have eaten before. We still have the odd cheats every now and then but realise the implications.

No consultant has ever been able to explain properly to my husband why he has this, like you kept fit, no obesity, cholesterol perfect even on the lower side of normal, came as a shock. The enzyme that showed up for him was high GGT levels and it appears to me this is not provided in the US just here in the UK for routine blood liver function tests.

A recent threat by Darkdog might be worth a read on how he reversed his fatty liver:

track.healthunlocked.com/tr...

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Thank you for sharing your husband's experience. It makes me feel better to know this has happened for am in the process of altering my diet drastically. I was a healthy eater before but now trying to do even more vegetables and eliminate all carbs. And add more exercise also. Your advice is very helpful. I will look into the GGT levels. I have seen or heard of that test before. My only symptoms are extreme fatigue and pain on my right side, under the ribs which I see from these boards is a common complaint. Going to see a naturopathic doctor next week to learn a little more about what's going on. Very grateful for your advice!

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Yes. I am not obese, no cholesterol issues, no diabetes. I have had mild elevation in AST and ALt and fatty liver in US. 4 years later liver became enlarged but blood test ( fibrosure) and fibroscan only shows mild fibrosis and moderate steatosis. Came out of the blue. Diet is extremely important. Good luck

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Rick thanks for sharing. I had not heard about fibrosure. Will ask my doctor about it and the fibroscan. It seems important to know more exactly that state of your liver so you can know how things are progressing. Thank you!

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Your very welcome. We all learn the hard way unfortunately and you do have to take your health. Into your own hands because some doctors will blow you off and say it's nothing. There are a few blood tests out there that look for specific biomarkers, fibrosure is one of them. It will give you an indication of how much fat is in the liver, how much fibrosis and if you NASH. The fibroscan uses a probe like an ultrasound to test the stiffness of your liver. It will also give you numbers to help grade your disease.good luck

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Hello,

Sorry to hear about your fatty liver. Two questions. 1. What has your daily sugar intake been over the last two decades? High or low? 2. Do you drink a lot of carbonated sodas and if so what kind?

Regards,

Harrison McBeal

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Hi Harrison- I have not drank soda regularly since I was a teenager and even then growing up on a dairy farm I drank more milk. I did eat a fair amount of sugar up to my 20's but that was almost 30 years ago. And I am not diabetic or pre-diabetic. My blood sugar is on the low side but healthy. Normal cholesterol. All tests normal, including liver enzymes. I don't eat alot of red meat, drink green smoothies daily.

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When I read your post this morning, I thought I had written it! Diagnosed with fatty liver on Wednesday after pain under right ribs. Everyone said "gallbladder". Have lived a healthy lifestyle my entire life, although I do love cheese and sourdough bread and unlike you, could stand to lose a few pounds! Grow all my own veg. Have exercised daily my entire life. I am afraid, as well. So, here we are... Thank you for posting, Magicwrd, and thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences. I am taking notes and have already made huge changes. Just ate homemade miso soup with tons of veg and a bit of tofu. Ordered milk thistle, and yarrow flowers for a daily liver compress. Will not eat after 6 pm. I would be very interested in hearing what the naturopathic doctor says, if you want to share. I don't even have a real doctor (not too many want to live in this very rural area of Maine!)- just a family nurse practitioner who didn't even suggest a blood test. Can't thank you all enough for being so generous with information. I truly appreciate it! And let the healing begin, Magicwrd!

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Fatty Liver is recoverable by going to more of a Mediterranean diet. No fast food!

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Hi Miss Rona- Well this board is the best thing I have found since being diagnosed. I think we may be lucky to have had a symptom to alert us because it seems some people don't have any symptoms. I will share what naturopathic doctor recommends. I see him Monday. Have good health care here in California but my doctor gave me no information. Very grateful for the internet and this group. I have learned a lot in a week. Weird that no one knows about this. I had never heard of anything about the liver. Don't even remember learning much about it in school! Thank you everybody for sharing your knowledge and experiences. It definitely helps to have a place to go.

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Please see if you have hemochromatosis. Most doctors know nothing about this. It's a condition where you have an elevated ferritin level and transferring level

el. It has nothing to do with your Red blood count, hematocrit or hemoglobin level. Iron builds up in the liver first. If it goes untreated could cause major problem with the liver and all other organs

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Hi Smilinone- Yes I have requested too get this blood test done. Thank you!

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I had slightly elevated liver levels. I was sent to a GE that did a lot of blood tests. I was dx with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.

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Hi TGK62-

This is very helpful thank you for mentioning it. This all started almost a year ago with what I felt were breathing related issues but nothing was found through heart tests and my lungs seem fine, according to my doctor. However, my grandfather died of a strange lung ailment and this sounds like it could be very similar to what he went experienced in the early stages (not that he talked about it much). Thank you I will look into this.

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I hope you get answers soon. You can get free confidential testing for AATD by going to Alpha1.org in their resources. The labs ran at my GE office could only tell me I had Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, but could not detect what BOTH alleles were. I have a rarer AATD phenotype than what is searched for through normal labs. Alpha1.org was able to tell me what both of my alleles were. Two of my siblings also did the Alpha1.org testing to find if they were carriers or had AATD. But it can take a couple of months to get results.

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This is very interesting. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I did go on the website and it is very informative. I have ordered the testing kit and told my brother about it also. I will tell my dad and uncle's if it turns out that I test positive for it. This may be what killed my grandfather many years ago. Thank you very much for sharing.

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I was diagnosed with Alpha 1 deficiency 2 years ago . I now have Nash the more severe form of fatty liver and although its believed to be caused mainly through diet Alpha doesnt help .No life style advice from Consultant -just lose weight - I have taken control myself and found as much info as possible and have lost 16 1b just by changing diet to Mediteranean diet

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I had an ultrasound for pain

My Dr. put me on enteric coated Peppermint Oil capsules ( Natures Way - Pepogest ) for the pain , a loading dose of 2 per 30 minutes before a meal 3 times a day then lower to 1 x 3 times a day . Found it gave full relief very quickly.

Don't bother with capsules that are not enteric coated as they are not of any use , I have tried Now Foods peppermint capsules but they didn't work the only other brand that seems to work is Heathers.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

The enzyme that showed up for him was high GGT levels

After changing my diet from medium carb to low carb and with increased exercise my GGT levels fell from 71 to 15 in three months.

I have a BMI of 22.4 , diabetes 2 and cholesterol 4.5 not a drinker.

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Sleeksheep - I will ask the doctor about the peppermint capsules tomorrow. And you are the second person to mention GGT levels.

Thanks!

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I'm following this. I have not been formally DXd, but I'm 28 and have 0 risk factors. I didn't have the best diet and I'm not overweight. All I drink is water and have for 10+ years. I'm a hypochondriac and this is really scaring me. I have changed to a medditeranean diet and working out more. My GI never told me what to do about it. I had to research it myself. My liver is enlarged to 19 cm, so I don't even know if I have NASH. I'm kind of a mess :(

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I am a 55 year old woman who weights 130Lbs. I don't drink, I exercise 5 days a week. and still I got diagnosed with fatty liver in 2017 . my dr said I didn't fit in the category of a person with fatty liver , my enzymes were very high . they also order an ultrasound and it showed I had a ''rough'' spot in my liver, and MRI followed. it showed nothing . after a second blood work , my enzymes were normal. after 2 years I still feel discomfort in my right upper side, where the 'rough' spot is supposed to be. I just got an ultrasound and the results show I have a ill area in the upper right side of my liver that measures 3.1X 3.2 X 1 . Only God knows that that is ! I am scheduled for a new MRI next Thursday... In the mean time I am eating as healthy as I can and I a praying a lot . I hope the disease is not advanced.

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Hi Thereshegoes- will be saying a prayer your MRI goes well. This is my concern about my doctor's approach - cut out sugar and carbs and you'll be fine. That doesn't seem to be the experience of a lot of people. I have radically changed my diet from careful to extreme eating. No sugar ever, coffee which I never drank before, tons of vegetables, no bread and a green smoothie everyday religiously. I have also added supplements for liver support and going to try peppermint capsules. The naturopathic doc was very expensive. He wants me to get all these tests done. I have already spent $700 getting started with him and I don't feel I have anything to show for it really. His focus is on overall health which is good but not sure it's something I can't achieve on my own by educating myself and good self-care. Really just want to get my health back and get on with my life.

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Yes, I agree, my Dr. didn't seem to be concerned, She never said " from this point on you have to watch your diet and exercise or the fatty liver can turn into fibrosis and later on into cirrhosis if you don't take care '' . she didn't say anything of that kind. In the mean time I have been eating very healthy , no carbs, no fast food, green smoothies to start my day and I feel really good. praying for a good MRI result. sending prayers !

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Magicwrd, I don't have an answer, but I am going to a new internal medicine primary provider doc the end of May. I am going to ask how I can track if I am getting better or worse. I will definitely let you know, if has meaningful recommendation.

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