Fatty liver has many causes, but in the US the most common are obesity and/or alcohol abuse. I am a sonographer and I scan people EVERY DAY that have fatty liver and there is not just one cause, but many, for most people. We call this "non-alcoholic fatty liver disease".
While many posters here have given some suggestions based on their own experience, what the OP (and anyone else for that matter) needs to do to help it is entirely dependent on them, the reason they have it, medications, etc. Seek the advice of a doctor that specializes in diseases of the liver, or see an internist. Also, get your medical results and go to a dietician for recommendations on foods to eat that are appropriate for you and the causes of your fatty liver.
There is no "one size fits all cure" for fatty liver disease, so see a doctor to get medical advice that is appropriate for you.
3/16/13 4:52 P
I assume that the doctor who ordered the ultra sound will be following up with you on the results of the test, possible causes and treatment interventions. Talk to your doctor. SP Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist Becky
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44 3/16/13 2:41 P
I recently found out from an ultrasound done that I have a fatty liver. In researching what exactly that entails, it was revealed that there are two types. How do you figure out which type you have?
To the OP... It is actually very normal for a doctor not to recommend a diet to follow even after diagnosing you with a disease.
I have CHF, diabetes, and gout. None of my doctors ever suggested any dietary changes, or referred me to a dietitian. You have to ask. Looking back, diet should have been the first change, but they are so focused on treatment through pills, or in my case an ICD, which have immediate results, they forget about long term fixes of the underlying problem.
Demand to see a dietitian, and work out a plan. Their only focus is diet, and they can give you a meal plan. Write down your diet for 2 weeks, and they will explain where you need to make changes, and explain why, which is just as important. If you know why you are avoiding a food, or eating it, you won't make a mistake.
Other than that recommendation, I doubt anyone on here is an expert on the problem. It seems to be a new problem that people are reporting. Probably just something they actually test for now, but since it is more of an unknown than diabetes for instance, how to deal with it, is also unknown by most people.
You might be surprised to learn that your doctor is clueless as far as diet, or treatment of fatty liver is concerned. They will hand you a sheet of paper that you could find on the internet. That is why we have experts in particular areas.
Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 11/10/2012 (10:25)
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11/10/12 8:59 A
What is PCOS my doctor never mentined this? Should I be concerned about that too?
9/11/12 2:43 P
Absolutely ask your doctor. If he recommends more of x, and less of y, then do that. He or she is going to be the person who retests your blood and can tell whether the diet recommended is working for you. Then, if it's not, you would be trying a different approach, right? And your doctor would know what that might be.
My fatty liver kept me from giving blood for years. Because of weight gain (has nothing to do with fruit, etc., has to do with calories!) being so prevalent in our society, the Red Cross changed their stance and allowed me back in the fold. They still question the heck out of me and test my blood, though, JUST like they do everyone who donates.
Now, my blood chemistry results have reverted to normal. I lost weight. I did it with WW but it was calorie-tracking, plain and simple, with more emphasis on fiber and loads of vegetables and yeah, fruit. I don't know if my fatty liver will come back some day, but the person who knows about that is my doctor - he does the tests!
9/10/12 8:39 P
I suggest that for appropriate nutrition education for your specific needs, you ask your doctor for a referral to see a Registered Dietitian. The dietitian will look at your medical report,your labs, your other health conditions, your medications---and develop an eating plan to meet your needs. Treating fatty liver disease, is "not" a one diet meets everyone's needs. Your plan will be individualized based on what is happening in your body.
SP Registered Dieititian
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9/10/12 3:36 P
I just found this site and I have Fatty liver:( Mine hurts ALL the time. When the dr told me she really did not say anything other then you should loose weight and eat healthy....drink lots of water. From her attitude I thought it would stop if I did this but it didn't. For a month it was like that. Then I came to grips that I could not ignore it which I am good at sometimes.
I researched the liver, liver function, fatty liver, NASH (non booze liver problems), and natural remidies. It was disappointing. There is no pill to make it all better, no cure other then doing the work:( and time.
What I have found is that you have to keep your carbs down and they have to be complex(whole wheat & grain) lots of fiber from veggies. Cut out sugars(REALLY HARD FOR ME) very little or NO fats, stay away from fake sweetners because a damaged liver does NOT process them well at ALL, I learned this the hard way:( . You have to limit your protien as well I would have to find the formula but for me I have to eat 18grams of protien or less at each snack/meal or it hurts because since the liver is not working right it can not process itfast enough and can cause a reaction that is painful(again I learned this the hard way). They say that MILLIONS of people have enlarged fatty livers but I have not found them and have not found much help....that is free help. Some sites say they have what you need to "cure" it but you have to buy this or that...stay away from them I say. I also bought an ebook about liver cleansing that was informative but the foods...were hard and complicated to make so that was not much help to me(bad at cooking)
If you want to be friends/support I would REALLY love to comiserate:) Learn from each other. Also make sure to drink LOTS &LOTS of water. Does exciersize hurt your side? It HURTS mine BAD!!! Since I have been told I was told I have PCOS(most women that have fatty liver have PCOS too) The dr's do not seem to be much help for the $200 I give them each time:( I am flyin blind(ish) and would love a friend:)
7/15/12 3:05 P
If your doctor diagnosed you, then he or she has some clear ideas about what to do with that diagnosis, So, that should be your first stop. No tricks or spins, just simple medical advice, is what I'm guessing you'd get.
7/15/12 2:02 P
Please be aware that this site, our members and our experts are not reliable sources of the treatment of fatty liver disease. This is not the focus of this site and our experts and members are "not" aware of your specific medical nutrition needs. It is not safe for your health or appropriate. Please turn to your doctor and health care team for the appropriate treatment of your condition.
Your health care providers will be directing you on the appropriate carbohydrate intake and the type of carbohydrate sources to include in the diet.
SP Dietitian Becky
Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 7/15/2012 (14:08)
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9,840 7/15/12 12:59 P
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80 7/15/12 11:47 A
7/15/12 10:29 A
a healthy and appropriate carbohydrate intake is "one" of the nutrition recommendations for the treatment of fatty liver disease. Please seek appropriate treatment for fatty liver disease through your doctor and health care team.
Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 7/15/2012 (14:05)
7/15/12 8:04 A
I recall this article about the creation of a fatty liver. Thought it might be of help.
"If you want to make foie gras, you feed ducks and geese copious quantities of grains, such as corn and wheat.
The carbohydrate-rich diet causes fat deposition in the liver via processes such as de novo lipogenesis, the conversion of carbohydrates to triglycerides. Ducks and geese are particularly good at this, since they store plentiful fats in the liver to draw from during sustained periods of not eating during annual migration.
Modern humans are trying awfully hard to create their own version of foie gras-yielding livers. While nobody is shoving a tube down our gullets, the modern lifestyle of grotesque carbohydrate overconsumption, like soft drinks, chips, pretzels, crackers, and–yes–”healthy whole grains” causes fat accumulation in the human liver.
Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatosis, two forms of liver disease that result from excess fat deposition. The situation gets so bad in some people that it progresses to cirrhosis, i.e., a hard, poorly-functioning liver that paints a very ugly health picture. The end-result is identical to that experienced by longstanding alcoholics...."
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936 7/15/12 6:58 A
Edited by: CD12123899 at: 7/15/2012 (07:03)
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7/15/12 12:27 A
Hi everyone, I'm 37 years old and was just told I have "Moderate" fatty liver via a health screening (rather than from a doctor). Unfortunately, my triglycerides are also high, and I had some high liver enzymes, potentially due to the obesity or potentially due to my use of alcohol. Thankfully my sugar is in good shape. Either way it's a wake up call, and I need to make significant changes to my diet and lifestyle. I was planning to make an appointment with a doctor in six months to have my liver enzymes checked again (that was the recommendation from the clinic) as well as my cholesterol. As I don't have a GP I don't really yet have anyone to consult with... ugh maybe i should see someone sooner.
I'm glad I was able to do this screening and get the wake up call but now i have to do something about it!
Get back in contact with the doctor and ask for more information. If you actually have fatty liver syndrome, it shouldn't be a "side comment;" it should be a major focus. But having a few more fat deposits than average might not be a huge worry. Talk to the doctor to find out exactly what your situation is.
By the way, did they tell you not to use Tylenol? Acetaminophen can increase the liver damage and sometimes make you very sick very suddenly. Be sure to talk to the doctor about that, too, if s/he hasn't already mentioned it. You need to be very careful about non-prescription medicines, and avoid herbal stuff too unless the doctor specifically tells you it's okay.
I am just learning about this as a mom of 3 who does not drink any alcohol. My doctor mentioned the fatty liver as a side comment when we were dealing with diagnosing hepatic nodules (found to be benign).
The answer is probably just to eat a high fiber, low "bad" cholesterol diet, but that is surprisingly hard when my coping mechanism is to eat junk food! Just a little every day to get me through those low energy points, but apparently that is building up inside of me.
I definitely need some accountability to keep up a healthy lifestyle!
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12/10/11 1:35 A
I have just been diagnosed with fatty deposits in my liver and I am in my 20's... My doctor gave me alot of pointers... if overweight than work on losing the excess weight because when a person carries extra weight it goes everywhere btween organs and etc as well. So exercise and weight loss is a key factor to reverse the affects... Low fat meats plenty of fruit and vegetables and skipping extra sugars like candy cookies and icecream... A good diet to follow for the liver is "Diabetes diet" My doctor gave me printouts of this diet to follow. Pretty simple to follow. I hope this helps whoever reads this!!! Having a gall-bladder removed can also trigger your liver to have a harder time breaking down fats... Gall bladder helps break down fats. Its not that eating fats are bad just foods with high amounts in it. as well as eating alot of fats/sugary items quickly or a relatively short period of time before digestive system can complete cycle... well Hope that may help too! Good Luck!!!
You MUST get this advice from a licensed or registered medical professional who has examined you in person, has your lab results in hand, can order more tests if needed, and can check on you as often as s/he feels is necessary. When you have a disorder this serious, it' downright dangerous to listen to anything that anonymous strangers on the internet read or heard somewhere. Notice that Becky Hand, who is a professional and has treated patients with this disease, did NOT give you any advice herself. It wouldn't be safe.
Call your doctor first thing tomorrow for a referral to a registered or licensed dietitian s/he knows, trusts, and has worked with before. This is a life-threatening condition; take it seriously and don't delay.
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1,939 9/8/11 9:07 P
The original poster should definitely get the help of a dietitian or doctor. It may very well be important to know the reason for the fatty liver in order to decide how to treat it. Too much alcohol? Just too overweight? Too much trans fats? Too much sugar?
I would actually disagree with the idea of eating way more fruit. Overconsumption of fructose can definitely be a partial cause of fatty liver. This generally is caused by overconsumption of sugar and HFCS, but fruit is still a source of fructose. Lots of healthy meats and vegetables are a good idea as well as a general weight loss plan. Strangely enough a high fat/low carb diet will help with fatty liver disease, but only if the fatty liver is due to overconsumption of sugars. The doctor or dietitian will be able to help decide things based on this particular situation.
My DH doctor told him to eat a lot of fruit. Fruit has natural fiber and will help pull the fat out of the liver. Avoid bananas and raisins, too much sugar. Eat apples, pears, oranges and berries.
He also suggested broccoli, garlic and onions for natural fiber as well. Beans are great too.
He also said whole grains like oatmeal help too.
Doctor also said NO ALOCHOL AT ALL !! Lots of water, limited 1 cup of coffee or tea a day. No juice , too much sugar.
It was explained to us that your liver is your body filter and you must keep it clear in order for your body to filter out the bad stuff.
My DH loved oatmeal with sliced apples for breakfast ! Not instant oatmeal, but the kind you cook on the stove.
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9/8/11 7:57 P
Would be interesting to know your cholesterol/triglyceride numbers. Decrease fats. carbs and calories and increase exercise.
9/8/11 4:25 P
I often see people with fatty liver disease for diet counseling. There are specific guidelines and recommendations based on your weight and laboratory results. So do ask your doctor for a referral to see a Registered Dietitian in your area. Then use those diet guidelines when planning your meals. You can enter your meal plans in the SP food tracker to make sure you are staying on target.
The best way to reduce the amount of fat in your liver is to reduce the amount of fat in your entire body. You can ask your doc for specific recommendations, but for the most part, you should do what we all should be doing. Eat whole foods including lean protein and fresh vegetables, cut out refined carbs, and watch your cholesterol intake. Many people think that overconsumption of fat contributes to fatty livers, but refined carbs can do it too.
9/8/11 2:02 P
Call your doctor and tell her/ him that you need some help with this. Preferably a referral to a registered dietitian. All the information I found on the internet was so confusing.
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9/8/11 1:36 P
No ma'am he hasn't which is strange.
9/8/11 1:28 P
Has your doctor given you a diet program to follow or referred you to a dietitian? I googled fatty liver diet and couldn't find anything useful
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9/8/11 1:18 P
Is there a way to follow a "Fatty Liver Diet"? I have been diagnosed with a fatty liver, and would like to follow the routine here.. Please advise, and thanks