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Old 09-11-2017, 10:43 AM   #1
loopytheone
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Default Fatty Liver Disease

I'm interested in people's opinions on fatty liver disease.

So far, people I've talked to seem to fall into two camps; either 'its caused by being overweight' or 'its caused by crash/starvation dieting'. I suppose that ultimately it doesn't matter what the cause is.

My point being, aside from losing weight, what is the general advice for dealing with mild cases of this? There doesn't seem to be much information about it.

(I should point out that I don't drink or do drugs or anything like that either)
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:46 AM   #2
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I have read that it can be genetic; does anyone else in your family have it? That said, I'm not clear on the relationship of fatty liver disease to cirrhosis of the liver, except that (a) they can both be caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, and (b) alcohol is a sugar. The liver metabolizes carbohydrates, and when it is overwhelmed by (e.g.) a lot of refined carbs like bread, it sends out an SOS to the pancreas to send insulin quick -- and insulin metabolizes sugars into fat, which is then stored around the liver. My experience as a vegetarian is that when people take meat out of their diet they fill the void with something else, and that is liable to be refined carbohydrates, since they're so prevalent in our diet anyway. I don't know if that could be contributing to your condition -- coincidence is not causation -- but it might be a place to start your inquiry. I hope this helps.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:32 PM   #3
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A very close male friend of mine has fatty liver disease and it was from drinking too much alcohol and being 50 lbs over weight.
He has since lost 40 lbs and stopped drinking and has been eating healthy so his liver is improving and working more like it should.
I was kind of sad his belly vanished but he is doing much better and thats the important thing.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Feelgood View Post
I have read that it can be genetic; does anyone else in your family have it? That said, I'm not clear on the relationship of fatty liver disease to cirrhosis of the liver, except that (a) they can both be caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, and (b) alcohol is a sugar. The liver metabolizes carbohydrates, and when it is overwhelmed by (e.g.) a lot of refined carbs like bread, it sends out an SOS to the pancreas to send insulin quick -- and insulin metabolizes sugars into fat, which is then stored around the liver. My experience as a vegetarian is that when people take meat out of their diet they fill the void with something else, and that is liable to be refined carbohydrates, since they're so prevalent in our diet anyway. I don't know if that could be contributing to your condition -- coincidence is not causation -- but it might be a place to start your inquiry. I hope this helps.
Fatty liver disease comes in 2 types; the type that is cause by alcohol and the type that isn't. Both can progress to cirrhosis of the liver though the alcoholic type obviously tends to progress much faster. No, there is no family history of it that I am aware of.

I'm a vegetarian but I always have been so I don't feel that there has ever been a void to fill, as such. I tend not to eat much refined carbs anyway as they set off my IBS, but the sugar content is something I could definitely improve in my diet. More consistent exercise would probably help as well; I tend to be the type to go a few days never leaving bed and then spend a day constantly working/walking/moving. Thank you for your thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracii View Post
A very close male friend of mine has fatty liver disease and it was from drinking too much alcohol and being 50 lbs over weight.
He has since lost 40 lbs and stopped drinking and has been eating healthy so his liver is improving and working more like it should.
I was kind of sad his belly vanished but he is doing much better and thats the important thing.
See, the alcohol-induced kind of fatty liver disease is fairly common and pretty easily fixed; the cause and solution are quite obvious. I wish there so something so obviously the cause for me but I barely drink at all (maybe once every few months?). I honestly don't think, in my case at least, that my liver issues have anything to do with me being overweight but like I said above, I think trying to reduce the sugar in my diet and exercise more would probably help.

Thank you as well for your input.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:22 AM   #5
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Its worth a try Loopy
If you are on various meds they can affect liver function.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:57 PM   #6
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Loopy, a quick question -- how was this diagnosed? (blood test? ultrasound? something else?) I'm just curious for my own info.

My understanding is that this is very common in obese people, and is one reason why (in at least some places?) livers from obese folk are, as a blanket rule, not considered suitable for transplants (or for donating a piece of). Which in turn makes me wonder if doctors get the diagnosis then tut-tut about it as another way to scare us thin? (not saying that this is the case, just speculating)

(I know that I have a mild case, based first on blood work (to get life insurance they had a pretty broad panel of blood work that they wanted, and some indicator was a bit on the high side) and ultrasound (I had an acute attack of something abdominal most of a decade ago that I now suspect was IBS related, but at the time was suspected of being gall bladder related. The ultrasound technician mentioned the fat deposits in my liver during the inspection that found nothing else of note). The Nurse Practitioner who is my primary care giver is pretty un-phased about it, just saying 'let's keep an eye on the enzyme levels for any signs of change' and 'it isn't surprising given your weight, but since you are pretty active and your diet isn't too bad I don't expect it to be a big problem' )
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad View Post
Loopy, a quick question -- how was this diagnosed? (blood test? ultrasound? something else?) I'm just curious for my own info.

My understanding is that this is very common in obese people, and is one reason why (in at least some places?) livers from obese folk are, as a blanket rule, not considered suitable for transplants (or for donating a piece of). Which in turn makes me wonder if doctors get the diagnosis then tut-tut about it as another way to scare us thin? (not saying that this is the case, just speculating)

(I know that I have a mild case, based first on blood work (to get life insurance they had a pretty broad panel of blood work that they wanted, and some indicator was a bit on the high side) and ultrasound (I had an acute attack of something abdominal most of a decade ago that I now suspect was IBS related, but at the time was suspected of being gall bladder related. The ultrasound technician mentioned the fat deposits in my liver during the inspection that found nothing else of note). The Nurse Practitioner who is my primary care giver is pretty un-phased about it, just saying 'let's keep an eye on the enzyme levels for any signs of change' and 'it isn't surprising given your weight, but since you are pretty active and your diet isn't too bad I don't expect it to be a big problem' )
Kinda of both of the above. I had an ultrasound a few years back that showed some fat deposits there but not enough to show up on an blood test. Now my blood test results have come back borderline. Nothing terrible but I want to stop it from progressing and getting any worse.

The way I've always been told, it tends to be that fatty liver disease is associated with intermittent fasting/fad diets and a high sugar diet; both of which are seen more commonly in obese people, hence the correlation. Certainly being very obese does make it more likely to have fat on your liver as well, because you have more fat everywhere, but fat on the liver in itself doesn't actually necessarily mean anything is wrong. Which is why most people never go past the 'we saw fatty deposits on your liver' stage (and why that it itself never concerned me) The raised blood work concerns me a little though.

Honestly, as somebody that used to starve themselves a few years back, I imagine that has more to do with the liver damage than my weight per say. That and I took a medication around that time that causes liver damage and that's why they took me off it in the end. I get the feeling that the damaged caused back then might not have healed as well as I hoped it would.

I think for now, less sugar and more exercise would probably be the best idea. We'll see what the blood tests in a couple of months show, I guess. I never lose weight just from eating better and moving more so I'm still gonna be a little fatty no matter how much the doctors hate that, hah.
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