Non-obese Fatty Liver: I would be... - Living with Fatty...

Living with Fatty Liver and NASH

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Non-obese Fatty Liver

Kokomodo profile image

I would be interested to hear from those who have been diagnosed with fatty liver disease who maintained a medically healthy weight prior to the diagnosis. That is, a BMI of 19-25 or equivalent percent body fat. (Statistically, this excludes 70% of Americans right out of the gate.)

If you maintained a normal weight, and were diagnosed with fatty liver disease and were able to reduce the fat in your liver, how did you do so?

11 Replies


Like you, I was just diagnosed with Fatty Liver, it was only caught by having a CT Scan with contrast when I went to the hospital for COVID Pneumonia. I don't fit the statistics at all. My BMI is low, I'm in shape and walk 3-5 miles several times a week and only have a occasional cocktail at an event or friend's birthday. I don't drink alcohol at home or keep any here. My Dr. ruled out alcohol and it's clearly not obesity and said she see's a lot of her cases caused by genetics. Dr. recommended adding the supplement of Milk Thistle and to change my diet. We will circle back in a year and watch for any changes - I'll be 48 this month and said I can look at Covid as being a blessing as we didn't see this some up in my annual physical blood work and the CT Scan caught and we can work on reversing it. Please let me know what your Dr. recommends.

Kokomodo profile image
Kokomodo in reply to jeneyes


Yeah, my case is fairly mysterious as well. I'm hoping to have a liver biopsy before the end of the year. Perhaps that will shed some light on the true condition of my liver.

I would be cautious about milk thistle. I'm quite surprised your doctor recommended it. General practitioner or hepatologist? I'm not sure a CT scan is the optimal tool for fatty liver diagnosis. You may want to request another test.

jeneyes profile image
jeneyes in reply to Kokomodo

My Dr is an internist, my ct scan was done with iron contrast which caught the Covid pneumonia that the X-rays didn’t - it showed the liver was inflamed and the Er dr brought it to my attention as well. The Dr did suggest another test next year and I have a follow up in 6 months - she recommended my diet to the Whole30 diet - I need to cut back on carbs and processed foods. Keep me posted and good luck - it’s interesting to hear what other drs may suggest.

Kokomodo profile image
Kokomodo in reply to jeneyes

My aunt had covid and associated stress on her liver. Enzymes were way out of whack. (Only blood tests, no imagery.) A few weeks later after recovering from covid her liver enzymes were normal. You may want to research covid and liver inflammation. Perhaps your results were more related to covid than fatty liver? In any case, I will be interested to know how things progress.

The Whole30 diet will leave you with few carb options other than sugar (fruit) and low calorie foods (vegetables.) Most of your calories will come from fat and protein (chicken breast and fish, I presume since a liver diagnosis excludes red meat and Whole30 excludes dairy.) So, I'm assuming avocado, olive oil, and nuts for fats and chicken breast for protein? I will also be interested in your experience trying to follow that diet.

What does "another test" mean? Another CT scan, or a liver specific test such as a fibroscan?

"sees a lot of her cases from genetics." That seems statistically unlikely.

I'm asking these questions because my initial diagnosis was from a hepatologist after I went into the hospital for a different (but possibly related) reason. Getting information out of the doctor was difficult. I sought out a second opinion and got much more information and specific tests from another hepatologist. It is, at this point, unclear whether I have liver disease or not.

In any case, yeah, you fit the profile I'm looking for. I would love to see a confirmation that your liver is, in fact, a "fatty liver" and your results reducing liver fat while maintaining your healthy weight. Thank you for sharing.

Kokomodo profile image
Kokomodo in reply to jeneyes

What about your diet are you planning to change?

My Dr also stated that it could be genetics, my mom, dad and brother all died of cancer and my moms dad died from a heart attack. My mom was an only child and although my dad had many siblings, he was the youngest, not religious like them plus lived in another province so I have no clue what they died of. I’ve read tons of stuff too but don’t necessarily believe it. I read it might depend on what your mom ate while pregnant etc. I personally think they just don’t know.

I’m sorry for your loss and what that may mean for you. That’s hard. I don’t mean to imply that any particular case is not genetic. I’m surprised that any particular doctor would characterize a lot of her cases as genetic. That implies a fairly high prevalence of genetic cases, which is not my understanding of the distribution.

I was just diagnosed with fatty liver about a month ago. My BMI is 23, I eat a healthy diet and get a lot of exercise. This past week I had a discussion with my gastroenterologist about it. He suggested it may be due to me gaining 10 pounds last year while living with my mother who was dying and eating her diet (quite different from my usual), and it's even possible that the extra weight influenced my fibroscan. The main thing that confuses me is that it was a fibroscan in September that showed fatty liver. However I had an ultrasound mid-July and fatty liver was not mentioned at all.

I also have PBC that developed into cirrhosis. So it was definitely a blow to be diagnosed with fatty liver as well.

After spending a couple of days in shock and feeling sorry for myself, I got it together and now I'm more determined than ever to improve. I have totally cut out sugar from my diet (not that I ate a lot before but I was slipping a little). I was still eating red meat but I have cut that out. Every day I walk as fast as I can for at least 40 minutes and I do some free weights at home every other day. Also do a little yoga. I've dropped a few pounds in the past two weeks.

I'm going for my twice-yearly blood test next week and hopefully everything is still stable, as it has been for years.

I am pretty much following the Mediterranean diet. Now I'm just more strict about it.

Thank you for sharing. Please let us know how it goes.

I sure will! So far I feel very lucky because I actually feel great.

I’m in the same boat, low BMI of 21, not overweight but was told I had a mild fatty liver about 8-10 years ago. No advice or diet was given at the time. Liver enzymes have been up and down. Typically they’re up some when my cholesterol is high. For the past 7 years, no red meat, alcohol and very low sugar, but was following a low-fat diet. For the past month or so, I’ve cut out processed foods, all added sugars, eating lower carbs (whole grains) and adding healthy fats. Oddly, just had bloodwork and my cholesterol is perfect, but my liver enzymes are more elevated than before. I’m frustrated and can’t figure out why. The dr. also says perhaps genetics or autoimmune issue. It’s very interesting to know there are others out there who’s liver didn’t become fatty from being overweight. Anyone in this category please keep us updated, and I will as well. I would also be interested in knowing about your current diet. Thank you 😊

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