Fatty Liver, angry with the doctors!

Posted , 7 users are following.

Not sure if anyone else can relate to this.  I am a Type 2 diabetic and to cut a long story short, last year, after having an ultrasound scan, it was found (by chance) that i have a liver cyst and fatty liver.  Naturally, (from what i have read up about it) i am very concerned but the doctors don't seem to be, they say that as my LFT's (liver function tests) have come back normal as far as they are concerned, it's OK.   I have been to see a couple of different GP's at my surgery to have a chat and air my concerns but they just don't seem worried.  Yes, i am pleased that my LFT's are normal but that doesn't mean to say that my liver is not damaged in some way as i have no idea how long i've had fatty liver, it could be years.  I didn't really know that fatty liver is part of the metabolic syndrome which is part of diabetes, high BP and high cholesterol.  I'm now on a mission to lose weight and cut out carbs, sugar and fats in my diet and i have already lost 10lbs in weight but am just wondering if it's too little too late as surely i should have been scanned for this at time of diagnosis of diabetes 7 years ago.  A Fibroscan test is one that they can do to assess any liver damage but i guess they are costly and i haven't been offered this by my GP.  I just can't believe that the doctors just leave something like this to chance - it makes me so angry!

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  • Posted

    I know that you posted this a month ago, but I just joined and saw this.   I too have found that I have fatty liver and it was seen on several test several years ago and no Dr ever mentioned it.   My liver functions are now elevated and a cause for concern.   The Dr's say it is because I went on a diet nod lost the weight to fast that has caused my functions to elevate.   Dr's don't seem to take many conditions seriously until there are complications.  We have to be proactive in our medical care.   I guess what I am trying to say is research and learn everything you can about any condition you may have.  You are on the right track by loosing weight, just take it slow because your liver can have adverse effects if you loose your weight rapidly.

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    • Posted

      I am surprised to learn that doctors don't take fatty liver that seriously, my GP was very matter of fact about it.  I am now steadily losing weight and excercising (just bought myself a treadmill) and have been told that losing weight too quickly is not good for fatty liver although i don't know why.  I have LFT's every 6 months because of a liver cyst that was found in my liver last year and my next lot are due next month so hope they will be fine again.  I think doctors should educate people more on fatty liver especially if they have diabetes like me as apparently they both go hand in hand together but when i was diagnosed with diabetes in 2009, fatty liver was not mentioned at all.  It's quite shocking really.  I did go and see my GP not long ago armed with a list of questions about my liver and fatty liver and how much of a concern it should be but he just told me that losing weight and excercising will help and basically told me that if my LFT's are OK then they don't really pursue it further but i think i may ask for another US scan in a few months time but i want to give my diet/excercise time to take effect first and hopefully it will improve things for me.  I do agree with you that from my experience, doctors tend to not focus on the 'prevention' bit of any illness or disease but are just there when symptoms show up.

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    • Posted

      I totally agree with what you say about doctors - generally they are only interested in their own speciality.  The consultant who was investigating nodules on my lungs didn't even mention the multiple liver cysts that showed up on my scan, I read about it in a copy of the letter he sent to my GP.  When I went to the GP about it, she said I also had an enlarged heart - that wasn't mentioned either.  The blood tests the GP organised showed that my liver function was fine, so they weren't bothered by the cysts, despite the fact I was having pain and could actually feel a couple of them, hard lumps below my right ribs.  

      It seems it is up to us to sort these things out for ourselves.  Like you I have adopted a cleaner diet, juiced raw veg & fruit each morning, and have cut out dairy and red meat, and only organic chicken once or at most twice a week.  The growth hormones fed to animals nowadays make these cysts grow.  I take a milk thistle capsule and a selenim tablet daily, and 6 weeks later I am feeling better and have lost weight.  But all this advice I have discovered either at my health food shop or on the internet.  Good luck with your own regime, carina - I'm sure it'll pay off.  And I share your frustration with the lack of preventative advice from doctors - surely it would make their job easier in the long run!

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    • Posted

      What have they decided to do about your liver cysts?  mine is being left alone but it does concern me sometimes whether it is growing as i often get a mild discomfort (not really pain like) under my right rib and when i bend down sometimes it feels like my rib has 'caught' something.  My liver did not show up as enlarged or anything and my pancreas and gall bladder were fine on the scan.

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    • Posted

      They're not doing anything at all about it that's why I am trying to do something myself through diet and supplements.  They just said don't worry about it!  But I don't like the thought of multiple cysts (they're filled with fluid or pus, like boils) on my liver.  And I've never been a drinker - if I have three or four small glasses of red wine a week, that's my limit.  

      I've read on the internet that they can drain the cysts but usually they just fill up again, so I've not gone back and asked about it.  

      Yes, the mild pain you describe is similar to mine - though I've had it on and off for a couple of years, and it was much worse then, particularly in bed at night if I changed position.  It's not so bad lately, so hopefully my changes are working.  

      Yes, I'm disappointed that the doctor seems to think it's no big deal.  I sometimes wonder if it's down to funding - they say that elderly medicine (I'm 67) is being rationed because the NHS is running out of money.  Definitely pays to try to keep healthy these days.

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    • Posted

      They are not doing anything about my liver cyst either (they don't like to operate unless they really have to).   My LFT's are due next month and this time i'm going to ask for the Gamma GT test as part of it because i've read that this is a good indicator for liver health.  I'm getting a bit paranoid about my liver cyst and fatty liver so i'm trying to keep on top of it all to make sure everything is OK.  I have read quite a bit about liver cysts when i was diagnosed last year but in a nutshell they can be left alone and we can live perfectly OK with them.  My consultant said that if the population was to be scanned, half of them would have cysts in their bodies that they would never have known about.

      I do think it is down to funding because they won't scan unless you present yourself with symptoms (and they don't always scan then) because if you think about it, if they scanned everyone who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes to check for fatty liver - you can imagine the cost!! I think to a certain extent, we need to take a lot of responsibility for our own health ourselves and the doctors would probably say the same.  At 54 i am certainly now doing this as last year was such a bad year for me with health issues, i had one thing after another.

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    • Posted

      I do sympathise.  You seem to be getting more accurate and detailed results from these tests than I am - I'm never given numeric results, just "everything's okay".  Yes, I believe cysts of all types are more common than we realise.   Mine were only discovered because the initial panic over my lung nodules resulted in two CT scans and a PET scan over the last nine months.  Like you I feel as though I have virtually lost a year with ill health, and hardly a week or two goes past without a hospital visit - I am now on warfarin for life, and it took fully six months for my INR to stabilise.  

      I am sure we should all take more responsibility for our health.  My partner has type 2 diabetes and we're working on improving his lifestyle too.  I'm also convinced that irresponsible food production and marketing plays its part in the surge of obesity and diabetes, with GM crops and animals fed antibiotics and growth hormones.  I now cook simply using natural ingredients, organic where possible, find our food satisfying and we're both losing weight steadily.  

      I hope we both enjoy a better year ahead, carina - best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Have now got wise to it, I now always ask for a print out of my blood tests results so that I can do a comparison.  Good luck yourself and do post on here again to let us know you are getting on and I will do the same.
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  • Posted

    UPDATE - i had my 6 monthly liver function tests last week and got my results, everything is fine and the doctor is pleased so carrying on with my weight loss in the hope that i continue with this trend.
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  • Posted

    I know exactly what you mean....my doctor is very unsympathetic and just send me home after an appt with no further forward info etc. Iwent to see him on friday as i have been having a lot of pain in my right side really excrutiating pain also left shoulder pain and at one stage i thought i washaving a heart attack ...allhe said was thatall my problems were down to being overweight and that i should just get on with it...i said so if i die it will be his fault i really was taht scared his reply was that if i died it wouldnt matter wouldit as i would be dead....i was diagnosed with a fatty liver two years ago and told i also have gallstones. I am going to write to the practice manager tocomplain as i felt totally let down.
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    • Posted

      It seems that i am not alone in thinking that doctors do not take fatty liver seriously enough.  I am fortunate to have LFT's every 6 months as i also have a liver cyst (this was found by chance along with the fatty liver).  I often get a discomfort under my right rib and when i last mentioned it to a doctor he said that it is probably the cyst which is causing the discomfort.  I honestly don't know what else to do other than try and lose weight like i've been recommended to but it is a very long and slow process and with Xmas looming it's going to be very difficult indeed.

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  • Posted

    Hi, 

    I hope its ok to jump in on this conversation.  I won't go into all the details but basically after a couple of years of extreme fatigue & being tested for all kinds of things I had a scan about a year ago when I was told I had fat on my liver. I was told, quite weakly imo, to try losing a bit of weight - the problem being that whatever is causing my fatigue means that is really hard in terms of excersise - when I mentioned that to the doctor he kind of said 'oh, er. yes of course' but didn't really offer any further help or advice.

    Anyway, I saw another specialist the other day for a routine check on it & she's scheduled another scan. 

    I echo what other people have said here, there seems only fairly 'light' concern form doctors & yet when one reads up it does sound something that should be taken more seriously. 

    I haven't been told how much fat I have on my liver or given any idea of where I am on some sort of scale. Can anyone tell me what kinds of things I should be demanding to see or have tested ?

    also, any links to good diet books for those with FL - I've read various bits of advice but haven't as yet found much in the way of interesting receipies.

    btw. I don't drink at all & don't eat fast food very often (perhaps a couple of times every six months if that). The big problem in my diet is that I can't drink straight water. So my drink intake is mostly orange juice (that I water down by perhaps 40-50%) & fizzy drinks (I know !). This is where most of my sugar intake comes from.

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    • Posted

      I have heard that the only real test for fatty liver and to see how it is on a scale ie how bad/not so bad it is, is by having a Fibroscan and that is very expensive if you go privately for one and i know for sure that if i asked for one from my doctor, he would find every excuse why i shouldn't have one (the main one being that it's too expensive on the NHS).  I am seriously thinking of saving up for one and paying privately.  I've heard they can be £200 - £300

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