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Old 02-26-2010, 04:22 PM   #1
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Angry fatty liver

please brace yourselves, because i am ready to go on a tangent....i found out about elevated liver enzymes 4 years ago, when i was 36 weeks prego with my youngest. i was induced a few days later and didnt hear anymore about it..i lost all my baby weight and felt great...but then 2 years ago, it all crashed down...i put on around 60 pounds in like 4 months. i hadnt changed anything in my diet or lifestyle. i was tested for everything and dealt with criticism from my doctors...they kept telling me i needed to stop eating high fat foods and that i needed to exercise more...and all that. meanwhile, all this time i was having lab work and my liver enzymes were creeping up higher and higher. i fell into a depression. no one listened to me and i kept getting fatter. i went to a WALK IN clinic with severe abdominal pain and rectal bleeding. He immediately ordered a CT scan with contrast. there was my huge fatty liver. within the next few weeks,i first switched doctors! i had my gallbladder removed ( which had not been functioning for awhile), i had a liver biopsy and i also had my tubes tied ( because the GI doc told me that having another baby could cause me to go into liver failure quickly. sooo...i have tried everything...milk thistle and dandelion root, weight loss meds from doc, working out 3-5 days a week, eating less than 1500 calories a day, etc....and guess what? my liver enzymes levels are still high. this means my liver is getting WORSE. i also found out that i am extremely vitamin D deficient. I have low iron and i also have elevated glucose, but i am not a diabetic....and to top it off, even though i can lose weight with the help of meds, its never more than 10 pounds and as soon as i get off the meds, the weight comes right back... working out is supposed to give more energy? HA! after a 30min workout, i am done for the day...i am so depleted of energy and will sleep for 12 hours....i am not obese because i have an eating disorder, i am obese because the docs failed somewhere and in turn it caused a metabolic disease. i also have ADD too! all of these things are correlated. having a fatty liver is not always the cause or the effect of being over weight. i am demanding more answers from my docs ( i have a team of them) if anyone has ever gone through this or known anyone who has, please let me know....and please dont comment about any hokey stuff about lost weight or exercise more or do this or that..because i have tried it all and guess what? NOTHING WORKS!

Being addicted to food is like being addicted to drugs...my dealers are on every corner too! But I am not going to lose this battle..not now..not ever.

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Old 02-26-2010, 05:25 PM   #2
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I am not a medical person but this what I would do, google fatty liver,you will get a lot of information , I would print much of this out and take it with me to my doctor and say LOUDLY AND CLEARLY , WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT THIS? I think sometimes doctors think that they know all about a certain disease that we do to. Insist on answers and insist that they give you a treatment plan.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:07 AM   #3
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I am a physician (but don't take this as medical advice, just some guidance.)

The most common risk factor associated for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is insulin resistance seen in metabolic syndrome. In fact, NAFLD is now referred to as the liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome.

The fact that you have elevated glucose (and are not diabetic) is a risk factor. Genetics always play some role, but genetic factors are not well understood and certainly are not modifiable. There are other causes of fatty liver (viral hepatitis, high cholesterol, drugs, medications, perhaps excessive consumption of fructose, etc.), but I assume your GI doc has addressed these. If not, get another opinion and consider seeing an endocrinologist.

10-20% of Americans have fatty liver, another 2-6% have a much more severe progression of fatty infiltration called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Here is a link from the National Institutes of Health that is primarily about NASH but also has information on NAFLD that you might find interesting.


Please do not minimize the impact of your eating on your liver function. Some people can develop NAFLD with relatively little amount of excess weight. Dietary management seems to be key, assuming that other factors are not involved.

I agree with bargoo above about Googling "fatty liver" and "patient education"; make a list of questions for your doctor before the next visit; and set the agenda yourself.

Last edited by Sskar; 02-27-2010 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:40 AM   #4
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this scares me. I feel i am going through the same thing. My mother died from it. my liver almost ruptured during birth and i want to have another. I'm scared and cannot lose the weight
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:42 AM   #5
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As an R.N.,(retired now) I'm going to chime in here too and advise better patient education. You would have us believe the tail wags the dog. SSKAR is correct in stating that fatty liver is a manifestation of metabolic syndrome. The good news is that metabolic syndrome can be controlled and even reversed through dietary changes (and yes exercise because the two go hand in hand). One example of an eating plan that could benefit you is the South Beach Diet. I'm sure there are other plans out there, but what they all have in common is that they will be some variation of a way of eating that is designed to combat and reverse insulin resistance which is really the root of the problem. Dr. Agatston (South Beach Diet) goes into a lot of detail regarding metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance in his book and cites many examples of his patients recovery by following his eating plan. I would certainly recommend you get a copy of his book and read it. Alternatively, I would recommend that you request a referral from your doctor to a nutritionist. It really sounds like you are frustrated and lost and just really need a sound plan to help you find your way.

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Old 02-27-2010, 08:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wannabesomebody View Post
this scares me. I feel i am going through the same thing. My mother died from it. my liver almost ruptured during birth and i want to have another. I'm scared and cannot lose the weight
Liver disease during pregnancy is often related to HELLP syndrome - a combination of "H" for hemolysis (breakage of red blood cells), "EL" for elevated liver enzymes, and "LP" for low platelet count (blood clotting factor). It is a severe complication of preeclampsia and eclampsia (toxemia). Obesity is a risk factor for preeclampsia (toxemia) and thus can raise a woman's risk for HELLP.

Don't be scared. Take charge. Work with your health care provider, nutritionist, and support here to find what are the best options for you to optimize your health. If you are worried about fatty liver and metabolic syndrome specifically, address this with your doc while you start cutting carbs now.
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