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Weight Loss = Hard on The Liver?

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Old 02-25-2013, 12:28 PM   #1
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Default Weight Loss = Hard on The Liver?

So since I started losing weight, my liver enzymes were slightly out of whack and a scan indicated I had fatty liver. Its quite possible I had fatty liver before weight loss but it just didn't show up in the enzymes so I never had a scan. Turns out very obese people, particularly with apple shapes, tend to have fatty liver. (*Note: This is a reason we all need to be healthy, we want healthy functioning livers - not the liver of an alcoholic!)

Reading more, I did learn that weight loss can contribute to fatty liver disease - I think because your liver has to process all those toxins stored in fat ... but that's just a guess - I couldn't find out info about the mechanism as to why. Reading more, I learned that weight loss is kind of tough on the liver and your liver has to work over time.

So that said - anyone know more info on this?
And, does anyone know things that we can do to lessen the burden on the liver during weight loss?
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
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This has been a concern of mine too. I try to eat very clean, so that my liver doesn't have more work to do. every few days I have a cup of dandelion tea as that is supposed to help too.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:14 PM   #3
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NA fatty liver is actually one of the preliminary signs of insulin resistance.

It isn't caused by weight loss, although maybe the enzymes might be.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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As part of my medically supervised diet I get my liver checked every so often with the bloodwork they do.

My levels were high when I started (I'd have to pull all the paperwork to find out what it was) so they were definitely watching it. I assume that's from all the junk I ate plus whatever drinks. (I do believe you can have a fatty liver even if you don't drink, it's just a matter of all the processing of food and drink crap your liver has to process.)

The last time I had mine tested my doc high-5'd me as it was back at a healthy level after giving up alcohol and all off plan foods (chips, pizza, burgers, etc.).
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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Rana - I actually do have insulin resistance, so that contributed. But weight loss, and lower carb healthier eating seemed to make things worse (at least temporarily). Some stuff I read online (though who knows how reliable it was) confirmed that weight loss can do this (at least temporarily).

Elvislover - so glad to hear you reversed it!

RadioJane - I'll look into dandelion tea!
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:29 PM   #6
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I wonder if the speed of weight loss contributes to it. I mean, if you lose slowly, is there less of an impact than if you lose quickly?

interesting.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:05 PM   #7
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Hmmm....I'd like to know as well. I have fatty liver and had no idea that weight loss could compound that issue. I think I may make an appt with my doc and have everything checked out, since I've lost 20 pounds since the first of this year.

I am going to look into the dandelion tea right now. I really don't want to tax my liver any more than it needs to be.

Thank you for posting this! I was actually about to post asking if anyone had fatty liver disease and if it improved after weight loss and healthy living.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:10 PM   #8
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I just found this article and wanted to share it. Guess I will be having a glass of red wine every evening from here on out! I love it anyway and was actually told by a doctor a couple of years ago to have a glass every evening.

I also ate more than the average person in pasta, white rice, and cereal in my life. This article was really interesting to me.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news...ent-prevention
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
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My gastroenterologist said weight loss is pretty much the standard treatment for people with fatty liver. I think it's when the weight is lost too quickly that it can pose problems for the liver.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:31 PM   #10
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How quickly is to quickly? I'm worried I should be concerned? I've lost 20 pounds since 1 January.

Is there something to look for if your weight loss is compounding the fatty liver issue? Or would you only know if you got your levels tested?

I think I will be calling tomorrow to get in and speak to the doctor.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:36 PM   #11
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From this article:
"In obese individuals, gradual, sustained weight loss of 10% of body weight can be beneficial. However, rapid weight loss can worsen the condition."

I'm guessing this is the standard 10% of your body weight per week is safe. Above that may or may not cause issues.

Edited to add:
Here's another article that says 4 or more pounds per week can damage the liver.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:10 PM   #12
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Thanks!!
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:03 PM   #13
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Hold on folks ... this is not a case of which came first, the chicken or the egg?

But first, a public service announcement. Liver disease is hard to treat, it's effects are nasty and potentially fatal, liver disease must be taken very seriously.

Ok with that out of the way - if your liver is healthy you can lose weight extremely rapidly and have no problems, at all. Rapid fat loss does not cause liver disease.

If your liver is not healthy, you need to be very careful.

This is one reason why every diet book ever written always starts with the disclaimer that you should consult with your doctor.

In the specific case of MandyPandy it's most likely that the fat loss exacerbated the existing condition. Mandypandy - you need to consult with your doctor. No one here can give you specific medical advice on what is a serious condition.
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