Hey all...I'm really scared. I was just diagnosed with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
I am only 30, just had my first baby...and I am very scared. Any helpful tips or anything? They said I'm at the non-mild stage (via the fibrosure nash blood test)...and my Dr. is recommending a 6 month follow up and just continued diet and exercise. Does this sound right?
I'm so scared that I am a ticking time bomb for cirrhosis or something...
I didn't think of many questions over the phone but is this a condition that can improve or am I fated to die from liver failure eventually? Is this something I can live a normal life with? Why me? Why do I have this chronic thing when there are people out there WAY more unhealthy than me with 'benign fatty liver disease'?????
Can someone shed some light on this condition? My Dr. didn't seem too concerned...but from what I've read it is a serious condition and in some cases just keeps getting worse!
Hi neochiq, & sorry you've had this disturbing diagnosis.
Fatty liver, and fatty liver disease are epidemic now days... I'm not a doctor, but I have a couple of thoughts you might ponder and ask your doctor about.
Two major dietary differences that have occurred since fatty liver has become such a problem are the big increase in the use of high fructose corn syrup, and the switch from saturated fat to vegetable oil in processed and fast foods.
The difference between "benign" fatty liver and fatty liver disease is when the fat in your fatty liver starts oxidizing. Vegetable oil is heart healthy, but oxidizes much more easily than saturated (animal) fat. Deep fried fast food used to be cooked in beef tallow, but the entire industry switched to vegetable oil around 10 years ago and this adds a lot of easily oxidized fat to your diet if you eat fried food. Margarine too is made from easily oxidized vegetable oil... Your liver most likely would prefer real butter.
Iron acts as a catalyst for oxidation of polyunsaturated oils, and prenatal vitamins contain oceans of iron. Now that you're not pregnant any more, you shouldn't be taking iron unless you've had a positive diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia. Pregnancy in general is hard on the liver, and it's possible your liver hasn't completely recovered from this yet. If you were taking prenatals (with iron) with meals containing vegetable oil, the iron will oxidize the oil before you even absorb it. A bad mix!
Environmental toxins can oxidize polyunsaturated fat in the liver too... If you've got a closet full of dry cleaned clothes, these will "out-gas" dry cleaning fluid for a couple of weeks after you bring them home and hang them in your closet. You'll breath this all night as you sleep. Better to keep dry cleaned clothes in a spare bedroom (but NOT the babies room!) or at least keep a window cracked at all times.
Antibacterial soaps and fragrances (especially dryer sheets/fabric softeners) can be toxic too. Wash your hands in antibacterial soap if you must, but don't rub it all over your body! People with liver issues need to go as non-toxic as possible.
Many supplements, especially fish oil (which is often rancid) can stress a liver too, but vitamin-E has shown promise in studies on steatohepatitis. Check with your doctor before you start popping any pills though.
Best of Luck to you, with your liver issues, and your new baby!
Last edited by BillinSD; 03-01-2013 at 08:48 PM.
A common cause of fatty liver is diabetes, as well as being overweight. I would ask to have a HbA1C done, a test that reflects whether your blood sugar has been elevated over the past 6 weeks. Pregnancy can cause "gestational" diabetes, so wait until you are at least 6 weeks past delivery. The weight loss should help your liver. It may not reverse the situation completely, but may help it improve and keep it from getting worse. If your liver enzymes are elevated, you will be able to see the improvement as the fat in the liver reduces. This is a very common condition and usually doesn't develop into full-blown cirrhosis, but it requires treatment and preventive efforts on your part to help it improve or at least stabilize.