Teenage son has fatty liver disease

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Hi! My 16 year old son has just been for a scan and the scanner person said that it seems he has fatty liver disease but with the right diet and exercise in a year's time a scan would be clear. He doesn't exercise despite me nagging him and he must be around 1 stone 7lbs to 2 stone over weight. We don't own a deep fat fryer and only have oven chips and I mostly use spray oil for anything that needs oil. He does eat a lot of sweets, cakes etc which I will stop. We will no doubt be contacted by the GP when she gets the results but can anyone help with regard to what we should be doing eg cutting out all fat, exercise, anything else? Any medication etc? Many thanks

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  • Posted

    My experience is with haemochromatosis.  In my support group two ladies who were carriers only (one gene does not cause high ferritin levels) had high ferritin levels and thought they had haemochromatosis.  They did not but they had fatty livers which were causing the high ferritin levels.  If you son has a fatty liver, he will probably have a high ferritin iron level - ask for Iron Studies to be done.

    They finally took matters into their own hands and (separately) decided to cut all sugars, and starchy foods.  They did not drink alcohol.  This includes the usual sweets, cakes, biscuits, bread, wheat obviously and other grains, pasta, rice, potatoes of all forms, corn, root vegetables contain lots of sugar, and softdrinks of course.  Your research will confirm all these.  Do not bring packaged foods into the house to tempt him.  I am not one of those ladies but I had already adopted that lifestyle way of eating and found my waist again.

    They reduced their fatty liver problems and their ferritin iron levels dropped by the hundreds.  Sugar and starch convert to fat in the liver, but there are good fats/oils which are necessary, e.g. xv olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil.  There are more, and you can search out the bad fats, which is usually in meat (some will disagree) so just cut off the excess fat before cooking or render it down.

    If you must have bread (and I personally found it necessary to have with my egg at breakfast), find the seediest, 'sweepings off the floor' type bread.  Compare levels of carbohydrates in each brand.  The less the better.  Eat fruit in the morning to work it off.  Always whole fruit - juice is full of sugar and no fibre.

    Eat protein with all meals, and snacks.  E.g. have on hand, boiled eggs, small tins tuna, salmon, crab, some turkey, chicken legs, cheese, nuts etc.  I find nuts too addictive though, lol!  Also have lots of green veges, and other white veges that are not starchy.  Eventually, after weight lost, reintroduce carrots, sweet potatoes, beetroot, but you will know what to cut out if the weight creeps back on.

    If difficult because of habit, start cutting out all starches at dinner time, and work backwards, then afternoon tea, lunch, morning tea, and lastly breakfast (when I found I had to give up my beloved porridge to continue to make progress).   I now have a protein brekky of fried egg, turkey or cheese, with advocado on aforementioned toast, and tomato, some yoghurt, some fruit.  A probiotic capsule would be helpful to get his good bacteria going again, or some kefir milk/yoghurt.  Try to introduce teas instead of soft drinks.

    No need to be hungry, eat heaps of the allowed veges with a normal serving of protein - e.g. the size of palm of hand.  As I dearly missed the sensation of pasta, I found a product called 'slim pasta' made from konjac root.  It is now marketed by Slendier and comes in different forms of pasta and 'rice'.  A packet is two serves, but only eat one or you will burst!  It just needs rinsing and heating up in hot water.  Apart from using it with a pasta sauce, I also like to mix some in with my veges, keeping the rest of the serve in the water in the fridge.  It has no carbs nor protein - it is all fibre.  Have some ready for a snack - I know what teenage boys are like.

    As your son starts to feel better with the right food (do not say 'diet'), you will notice his abdomin shrink and he will probably start to get out there and be active.  Fatty liver can also cause foggy brain, bad moods and lack of concentration, so you might notice a difference there too.

    Ask dr to check his Vit B12, and Vit D levels.  If his Vit B12 levels are low, injections work better than tablets, and Vit D3 drops work better than tablets also.  Have dr check his levels now and then to see if they are improving.  Some people's bodies just don't absorb these vitamins.  Most others are usually ok if eating as above.  If fresh veges not available, frozen is good too.

    Good luck and keep us posted.


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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    My GI specialist told me that salt is horrible when it comes to matters of the liver. The sodium makes you retain a ton of water weight and that puts added pressure on your organs but more specifically your heart and lungs and liver. Those are all major organs including your kidneys that u can't afford to have working harder then they already are. Best of wishes to you. Also my GI told me to stay away from proteins from meat if your liver can't process it properly then then the toxins end up going to your brain and causes confusion and muscle spasms and a bunch of other things so I suggest upping ur fruits and veggies and cut out bad fats and sugars! Good luck and I am praying that u have the best results possible and hopefully u can tell me u don't need my advice 😉!

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  • Posted

    I wish your son well.

    when I buy food I always look to see how much sugar ,salt and fats are in.

    I've been amazed at the amounts especially sugar.

    I use sweetness but have been told they are not good for you so I'm looking into it.

    Ive tried honey in tea without success.

    I eat shredded wheat for breakfast now.

    spray oil is great but I try not to use it at all.

    your Dr will give you more inform when you get the results.

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