Advice on Fatty liver!

So for a while now I just haven’t felt myself. I have gained 5 stone in the last year after been really slim my whole life and I have gone from been an active person to a tired sluggish person, it is really getting me down. Most of my problems came about after going on the Depo Provera contraceptive injection in which I have been off 9 months now and still had no changes in how I feel.

The GP referred me to someone at hospital to see if it was Cushings Disease that was causing my problems which has since been ruled out since all my tests came back clear. However she did some tests for my Cholesterol and other things.

Here are my results.

Cholesterol – 7.4 mmol/L

Triglycerides – 3.00 mmol/L

Alanine Transferase – 48 u/l

25-OH Vit D – 30 nmol/L

Around 2 months ago I also had a scan on my liver, this came back that there were large amounts of fat on my liver. I get a lot of pain in the top of stomach just underneath my breasts on right side and it is solid to touch. I always have a dull aching pain there and feel so sluggish all the time.

The GP never said anymore about it though till after I seen the specialist which has since ruled out the problems in which the GP thought I had. This GP has now gone on maternity leave, I went back to the doctors before I had the results but the lady I seen said as she was new she did not know what to suggest now and that she would give me a call within 2 weeks which I haven’t heard from yet.

I got the above results in the post the other day and called the GP surgery asking someone to call me and explain the results as I did not understand what they are for.

Today I got this call, but as it was only a 5 minute phone call she spent most of the time on the phone trying to find the letter in which the specialist had sent with the results on, then when she came to talk about it she just said because I had the blood test done in a hospital that isn’t part of their group or something like that then I would have to have the blood test taken again at the GP surgery, which I found annoying.

I just wanted a bit of advice really on my results and if anyone knows if they are normal or not. Also the fat on my liver is a concern, is it something I should be concerned about and something I need to get sorted?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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17 Replies

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  • Sorry, I don't know about the test results, but generally fatty liver is a dietary thing. To help with fatty liver, it's generally a good idea to lose weight in general, and cut way back on sugar, processed foods and alcohol.

  • Hello x_b_x Welcome to the Weight Loss Forum ☺

    First of all that doesn't sound terribly helpful from the GP, and I strongly suggest you insist on further information and advice.

    However, if they suggest weight loss you are in the rightplace ☺ Have a good look around the forum especially the Newbies post (in the Pinned Posts section to the right of your screen (bottom if you're using a mobile) and also the links to the NHS 12 week plan weight loss plan. This is an excellent plan with weekly email support.

    But please speak to someone about your results, especially as the weight gain is so rapid.

    Best wishes

    Anna

  • Unfortunately it reads like you've been lulled into a false sense of security, eating too much carbohydrate. Think of the example of foie gras, where the geese/ducks are force-fed only grain.

    Cooper27 is correct that fructose and alcohol are both implicated in fatty-liver.

    Triglycerides are our body-fat, and consist of three fatty acids bound by a carbohydrate backbone, so theoretically for each carbohydrate molecule less that you have you also take three fatty acids out of commission. Your triglyceride levels are high, and reducing your intake of carbohydrates (not eliminating them) will help. Prioritise by eating real food, from something that was recently living that has been minimally processed, so that you receive the micro-nutrients that are needed for health. Follow this link phcuk.org/booklets/

  • Hello x_b_x

    Unless you’ve routinely consumed an additional 700Kcal per day on top of recommended intake, a five stone gain within 12 months certainly suggests that something isn’t right.

    As such, keep pushing your GP surgery, particularly since cholesterol and triglyceride readings are both high.

    While the problems surrounding your liver may not be related to intake, to help reduce the level of fat surrounding/covering it, aim to increase consumption of fibre and non-starchy vegetables over that of refined sugar and saturated fat.

    Fruit can still be eaten but its consumption should be measured, due to the sugars contained. If you do fancy a little chocolate, opt for dark that contains a minimum of 70% cocoa solids.

    Reduced consumption of alcohol (if you do drink it) will also assist in reducing any inflammation that may be present.

    Opt for complex carbohydrates, such as oats, lentils, quinoa, beans, bulgar-wheat over that of cakes, sweets, pastries and white varieties of potato, bread, pasta and rice or anything containing flour, such as crumpets, bagels and muffins, for example.

    As for veg, aim to ensure that broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, beetroot and sweet potato feature more regularly, for example.

    When it comes to fat, aim to obtain it from avocados, fish, unsalted nuts (especially walnuts), ground flaxseed (excellent in smoothies and porridge) and oils, such as virgin olive and sunflower, avoiding fatty cuts of meat (particularly processed), fried snacks and vegetable oils.

    Concerning protein, ensure that it’s obtained from lean cuts of meat, eggs, fish, whey powder and nuts, for example.

    Again, as already stated by Anna61, take a look at the NHS 12 Week Plan, to gain an idea of the kind of food that ought to be consumed and that which is best avoided, while also making use of the BMI calculator, to ascertain recommended minimum and maximum calorie allowances, based upon current measurements and level of activity.

    By maintaining a daily deficit from maximum calorie allowance, while also eliminating consumption of refined carbohydrate and increasing level of activity, you should hopefully begin to reduce the level of fat surrounding the liver, helping to reduce the discomfort currently experienced.

  • Does it make sense to avoid natural mono-unsaturated and saturated fat on meat that our evolutionary ancestors ate, that is necessary to avoid the depletion of vitamin A from the liver when we eat protein for example, and favour processed oils like sunflower oil that are high in inflammatory omega-6?

    Natural baby milk is low in PUFAs, why would adults need more? We didn't even have the technology to obtain such oils until about a hundred years ago.

  • While I support the notion of increasing consumption of natural/saturated fat, as you're aware, 21st Century diets aren't nearly as primitive, by virtue of amount of refined carbohydrate still present.

    As such, the two combined are indeed a recipe for disaster. Moreover, those consuming high levels of refined carbohydrate are also likely to consume higher levels of unhealthy saturated fat, further exacerbating symptoms related to cardiovascular disease, for example.

    Consequently, as individuals seek to make changes, depending upon certain health conditions possessed, it'd be incredibly bold of you to claim that increased consumption of saturated fat is the cure to all ills.

    If an individual, already possessing contra-indications, increased their consumption of full-fat yoghurt, cheese and butter, thinking that they were benefitting their health, yet still chose to consume foods that contained trans-fat and partially hydrogenated forms of natural fat, when their condition worsened or landed them in hospital with a MI, for example, what they'll no doubt recall, upon speaking to medical staff (on the assumption that they survive), is that someone on a forum told them to their increase consumption of saturated fat.

    Granted, the above example is an extreme, but it's certainly not beyond the realms, largely due to confusion (and indeed debate) over dietary guidelines relating to the consumption of fat and carbohydrate.

    Now, you and I both know that their continued consumption of unhealthy saturates and refined carbohydrate will have caused blocked arteries, but the individual won't necessarily see it the same way, since people are often quick to find someone else to blame.

    While it may be easy to advocate following a higher fat diet, listing the many benefits of doing so, it's on the assumption that individuals don't already suffer from conditions that may have arisen through the consumption of foods high in saturated fat.

  • It's the continued confusion of man-made junk with food that is the problem. I'm sure you are correct that someone with an existing condition could continue to eat junk, and worsen whether or not they eat natural fat.

    However, the consumption of a natural, higher fat, low glycaemic, low protein diet is likely to allow the body its best nutritional chance of recovery according to sources such as Dr. Ron Rosedale, Paul and Shou Ching Jaminet.

    There's no good in keep demonising natural fat to protect the status quo. The evidence shows that too much fructose is harmful for instance, but we are still being told to eat fruit as our 5-a-day. More fructose on top of a high fructose diet actually is harmful; people could seek to blame nutritional authorities in the manner you describe if this were common knowledge.

  • I would suggest you go back to your gp , quick look, vit d looking on low side. Cholesterol high side diet changes may well be recommended by your gp . If you live in the uk many people have low vit d in the winter and the public health message is that most people need supplements in the winter . Any blood results need explanation from your gp who has all the facts .

  • I echo the others on here, do go and talk to the doctor about this. I can't understand why you would need to have another blood test.

    Apart from cutting out sugary and white carb foods, also make sure you cut out sugary drinks, fruit juice as well as soda.

    Good luck with sorting this out.

  • Thyroid?

  • This is my thinking too... My mum had an underactive thyroid and gained several stone rapidly. In her case prompted by hormone changes when she had us kids.

    I'm wondering if the Dr tested for it though? Seems an obvious thing to investigate.

    The 12 week plan is a good place to start - make sure to keep a food diary in particular. If you continue to gain weight while eating just 1400 calories a day, it would suggest thyroid is wonky.

  • Hi x-b-x

    Following a scan my doc told me I had fat round ALL my organs. I really didn't need telling that because my waist measurement was evidence enough. I didn't do anything about it for a while but last November decided I had to get on with it. I went with Michael Mosley low sugar diet. It's low carb and sugar for eight weeks. It apparently lowers the risk of diabetes. It has worked for me and I 've lost a stone and 7cms off my waist so I'm fairly sure the fat round my organs has decreased.

    I must say I did give up alcohol more or less totally as well which has been a challenge but I've broken the habit now. I didn't find it too difficult to do. I don't think we're all the same when it comes to weight loss. I seem to have found something that works for me. I hope you can to. There's lots of advice on here for you to try.

    Here's a link to Michael Mosley. thebloodsugardiet.com/ I didn't buy the book just followed the arrows :)) Good luck. You can do it. You just need the mind set.

  • Yes, I tried Michael Mosley's 8 week diet last year, and have the book. I really wanted to do it, but by about day 3 I was already flagging. I'm such a starch lover that I found I couldn't face any of the meals at all! So I stopped and went back to my calorie counting. But I have halved my carb portions, which I think must be of some help.

    I do believe in the health claims of these low-carb diets. But I don;t like the demonisation of bread and potatoes that results, as I think these things in moderation have actually sustained the human population for many years.

    Stone age man was probably extremely healthy on his meat-based diet. But the popluation was small, and life expectancy was low, probably because no one got enough to eat. When men started farming grains, it raised overall life expectancy and you saw a big increase in the human population. Maybe people were all burping and farting their way through middle age with a fatty liver and high blood sugar, but they had at least got there, thanks to grains! Stone age man died of starvation, but in perfect health!

  • When farming got going, it enabled more people to stay alive but not to live longer. Throughout history huge famines have occurred because grain harvests failed. Stone Age men and women did not just eat meat but gathered fruits, nuts, roots etc, whatever was available. Most people died young because of the lack of modern medicine.

  • Some good points here, Penel. I accept that infections would have carried a lot of stone age people off. However, they also carried off a lot of farming folk as well, as it is only in the last 75 years or so that we got anything like proper medicine to treat infection. I don't think there was a material change in infection rates between hunter gatherers and farming communities, although I could be wrong. It's not an area I have studied in any detail.

    I stand by the history though that farming did create/enable the overall human population to increase a lot. You might be right about individual life expectancy not changing, but there being more people overall. Obviously "huge" famines can only occur when the numbers of people alive to be affected by them are also "huge".

    And I stand by the belief that hunter gatherer societies can never sustain large populations. (Of course, it might be better for the world if there fewer people!) With our very large human population alive now, if we all went on a mainly meat diet, we'd only get enough to eat by massive factory farming of animals, which I don't think is the right way to go.

    I think most people most of the time are going to have more carbs in their diet than is ideal. We can't go back to how our ancestors lived.

  • Yes, I agree that hunter/gatherer societies could never sustain large populations, studies on modern hunter/gatherer societies support this.

    Carbs in our diet can be absolutely fine, if they are mainly whole foods (veg) and minimally processed carbs. It's not a bad idea to go back to what our grannies would recognise as food (or perhaps our great-grannies?).

  • I'm old enough that it's my granny!

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