Fatty Liver

I wondered if anyone can advise or if they have had similar problems.

About four years ago I took the decision to do something about my weight and this time I was going to succeed. I was over 17 stone and, although I didn't eat a lot of fatty food's (i.e. take's away's and chips etc), I did over eat and liked a drink at the weekend.

As with previous diets I succeeded at first but then it got hard, I continued to watch what I ate and carried on with the exercise even though, at time's, I felt really, really tired and the weight loss had become very slow.

After loosing over 2 stone I decided that something was wrong as I felt worse than I had before. I was sometimes having to sleep in the afternoon and was having headache's (among other things) and couldn't understand why on some day's I didn't seem to have any energy at all.

At that point I was told I was Hypothyroid; when I looked into this condition it answered so many questions about problems I had been experiencing over the last 15 to 20 years, I was so happy that now I had an answer and I could begin the life that I had always wanted.

Life has been much better for me, I am now 5 1/2 stone lighter and much, much fitter. I have needed to go back to the doctors, when I feel the symptoms coming back, which has resulted in an increase in Thyroxin several time over the last few years.

The last increase was earlier this year (I think!!!), all was going well, I started running around April this year and put myself in for a Half Marathon at the end of September to give myself a goal to keep me motivated; like most people I like to have a drink at the weekend (maybe a glass of wine or two (or three), but after my holiday in July I gave that up so I could be in tip top condition for my run.

I was just after this that I started to notice that my symptoms were starting to creep back. One day I would run 11k and then next time I'd struggle with a 5k run. I kept thinking that this could just be because I was tired due to the additional training in preparation for my run, but then the vivid dreams came back, the numbness in my hands came back, I started to get headaches and needing to sleep in the afternoon and sometimes feeling breathless. I was also feeling unmotivated and depressed and was no longer enjoying all the things I'd enjoyed before; lastly my period became heavier and more regular which was new to me so I decided it was time for a trip to the doctors.

The results showed that my dose was OK this time (1.9 TSH) but it showed that there was a problem with my Liver. The doctor said that a Liver Function test had been done 2 years ago and it was OK, yet it was over 4 time's the normal range which he believed could indicate fatty liver.

I had an ultrasound scan last week and today I received the results. Good news is everything is OK, but there is a small amount of fat in my liver. I almost choked when the doctor recommended a life-style change!!!! Having reminded him that I had already changed my life-style he explained that it is harder to clear the fat from the liver than it is from your arms or legs and that he thinks then that I only need to continue the way I am and this should improve in time.

He has requested another blood test mid December to check that it is improving rather than getting worse, along with some other test's, and he's also doing a test for autoimmune disease as I'd asked him if it was likely to be this. I've checked out the internet and found that Thyroid conditions can effect the liver and cause fatty liver disease but I'm really confused, as I would have thought that this would improve after weight loss but I'm not entirely sure how an autoimmune disease may effect the liver.

I haven't lost much weight this year but I have maintained my weight to just under 12 stone, so there is room for improvement and I think I'll take this as a message to loose a little more weight, that's if I can find the motivation again; maybe if I get a good nights sleep :-)

10 Replies

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  • ElaineR, I can't advise on fatty liver but I would say that TSH 1.9 is a little high and you may feel better with an increase in Levothyroxine. TSH of people on medication is usually comfortable just above or below 1.0. Scroll down to Guidelines and Treatment Options to read Dr. A. Toft's comments in Pulse Magazine thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_... If you want a copy of the article to show your GP email louise.warvill@thyroiduk.org.uk

    Ask your GP to test ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate as hypothyroid patients are often deficient/low and these deficiencies can cause musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and low mood similar to hypothyroid symptoms. Post your results with the lab ref ranges (the figures in brackets after your results) in a new question and members will advise whether supplementation is required.

  • Thank you :-)

  • Hi,

    Liver detox often involves Milkthistle... and Dandelion and Artichoke, etc.

    I don't know if they particularly detox a fatty liver. You can google it &/or try Dr Mercola's website.

    I'd start with Organic Milkthistle herb/tincture and Organic Dandelion tea. Clipper do an organic Dandelion tea in unbleached paper, at various stores inc Holland & Barrett.

  • I'll have a look at that, thank you.

  • Is alcohol involved with fatty liver? Maybe worth cutting alcohol out all together and see if you improve. It may also help you to shift a few more pounds.

    I have to say I think you're an inspiration the way you've turned your life around!

    Also as others have said could you increase your thyroid meds a little more? Doesn't T3 do a good job of reducing fat in the body? I wonder if that may help your liver?

  • Alcohol can be involved with fatty liver, but doctor doesn't think this is drink related as I don't really drink to the volume that would be expected for that to be the cause; plus I hadn't had any alcohol in the two months prior to the blood test.

    From what I can find out, I think that fatty liver can be a result of a slow metabolism (i.e. an underactive thyroid); I think the liver doesn't effectively convert the calories into energy and so begins to store them as fat, so it would probably make sense that this is the case rather than it being down to my diet, especially as the liver function test done 2 years ago was in the normal range and I weigh less now than I did 2 years ago, plus I'm much fitter.

    I think your probably right though about loosing some more weight; I have decided to cut back a little bit more, and I am seriously thinking of giving up alcohol altogether, or maybe a sneaky one occasionally on special occasions. Hopefully if the results improve in the next test then I can put it down to having not lost enough weight, but if it doesn't improve then at least a loss of weight will show that maybe there's something else going on.

    Thank you for your kind words as well; my worry is that I'm not going to be able to keep it up and I get so frustrated when I try to improve my heath which seems to go well for a bit and then seems to take a backward step, although I am thankful that I am well enough most of the time to keep going even when I feel tired. I'll just keep trying and it's just so nice to be able to talk to people like yourself as quite often the people around you don't really understand.

    Thank you x

  • Hi Elaine, I know you don't drink to excess, just thought it was one thing you could look at. My partner gave up alcohol for a month and he looked so different. He only drinks a bottle of red wine at the weekend and a couple of bottles of beer. He lost 7llbs and his somewhat flabby face improved no end. He snores a lot and our thinking was would it reduce the size of his neck, and it did! Of course it didn't last and he's back to square one!

    My heaviest was 16 stones 3 llbs. My under active thyroid had been going on for 20 years too, but the doctors always put my tiredness down to working full-time with 4 children. I knew by the heavy irregular periods and weight gain I didn't deserve something was up. I've never been well on thyroid meds and currently trying just T3. I'm gaining weight again which is so depressing.

    I was breathless and my heart racing until I addressed low iron, folate and Vit D3. Also B12 injections have helped a bit with stamina.

    Positive I must have a fatty liver, although my last function tests were in the normal range, although the lab did flag something, it was ignored.

    I really hope you're able to tackle this and regain a bit more health.

    Hugs. X

  • Hi Helcaster

    Thanks for the hug :-)

    I think the whole thing is ironic as I stopped drinking and then I started to feel unwell again, maybe I need a drink lol.

    I weigh myself at the weekends and this week I've put a pound on, but I've been eating less, so I am a little worried that all the additional running was keeping the weight gain at bay. Doctor asked me about my weight and I said that I've maintained but I would have expected to loose weight with all the activity.

    Anyway I can only try to keep positive and see what the blood results show in a couple of months.

    xx

  • Hi Elaine, lol! I just wish I could drink, I would probably be drinking quite a lot as i'!m so fed up :-( I'm really gaining weight on T3 for some crazy reason. I have low stomach acid thanks to a drug I have to take for a bladder disease I have, so always have issues with absorption. I have to take a shed load of thyroid drugs and I was on Levo for 2 years, but never felt any benefit, then I added armour with it. After that I weaned myself off 200 MCG of levo and just took NDT, then I added T3 to armour, now I've weaned off at armour and just trying T3, only this last 6 weeks I've just been on T3. I do give all my changes nearly a year or so. The only thing that produced weight loss was 3 grains of armour and 6x 25mcg T3, you know I still never felt a thing! I honestly think i'm just totally resistant to any combination of thyroid drugs. I do have low cortisol though, nothing is being done about that at the moment. My GP did prescribe hydrocortisone but I had problems with my heart rate. I'm waiting to be referred to an endo of choice, but I think my GP has forgotten to do the referral letter, as this has been going on since I had an MRI in August :-(

    The running was probably what was keeping your weight stable, you did so well to be able to run! Rotten you found something that worked for you and now you can't do it. I find thyroid problems very eratic in symptoms. So hard to get any kind of stability. I still get really low temps, in the 35's despite my shed load of thyroid meds, still have dry skin, hair loss, muscle and joint pain and exhaustion. Trying T3 was my last option. I'll give it a few more months but if I still keep gaining I will have to question what I'm doing again.

    I hope you get your answers.

    Good luck. X

  • Thank you.

    Hope you get sorted soon too

    xxxxxxxx

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