Patients Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and NASH
NAFLD - What is happening to me?
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Hi everyone - this is my inaugural post, so nice to meet you. I’m here searching for answers. So far, doctors are dismissive and confusing.
I recently had an abdominal ultrasound done that revealed I have NAFLD. Here’s the catch; I’m in terrific shape. My bodyfat percentage is 8 - 9%. I’ve exercised religiously for almost 30 years (I’m 43). I can spit out 775kj in a 45 min Peloton ride, bench press 225lbs for reps and deadlift nearly 400lbs. I’m lean, fit and eat very healthy (typical bodybuilder diet that is high in protein).
My Lipid Profile: Cholesterol 168 (LDL 111, HDL 45); Triglycerides 60. All well within the normal range.
Liver Enzymes: AST 22 (normal is 0-34); ALT 18 (normal is 15 - 67). So my liver is functioning perfectly fine.
I don’t drink alcohol at all. I don’t smoke. No drugs.
Everything I read says I have none of the risk factors for NAFLD.
Yet, I have NAFLD. Even worse, here are the “cures” and lifestyle changes required to reverse a fatty liver: lose weight, lower your cholesterol, eat fruits and vegetables, stop drinking. I have no extra weight to lose (getting to 6 - 7% body fat would require near starvation at my age), my cholesterol is already at a healthy level, my triglycerides are low, and I already eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and don’t drink.
So I’m at a total loss. Am I supposed to just continue to let my liver deteriorate? I feel like there is nothing I can do to help my situation and the doctors have no information for me and their best advice is to keep living how I live and it should go away, which makes no sense, since I developed the fatty liver with an already healthy lifestyle.
Can anyone help shed light on what is happening to me, share any resources or provide any guidance???
@NAFLDWTF Hi, love the username, basically describes my entire experience with NAFLD. I'm sorry you've had this dumped on your plate, especially since you're in such good shape! If you read through the forums here I think you'll find that lack of information, especially from doctors, is kind of a theme with NAFLD and NASH unfortunately.
I've had this several years now and they kind of tend to just tell you to lose weight and change your diet and that's the "fix all" advice doled out to everyone. I'm surprised in your case that you have NAFLD in the first place and then that they haven't done a serious look into your case to figure out what's going on, because like you said you sound like you're in great shape and not a "typical" candidate for it.
I wish I could offer more help. Have you thought about getting a second opinion?
I would definitely get a 2nd and maybe a 3rd opinion. He may be right and it will straightened itself out. I was told losing weight was the only way to improve it, Of course. Which is fine for me but not for you. I would definitely go for that second opinion. If no one has any answers, id have it monitored closely for any improvement. If it improves in the slightest . I'd be more satisfied in the drs answer of course. I hope you can find a way to improve your liver. I was the only person at the er who they had seen with deferred pain with a kidney.stone causing renal failure. So its not fun to be a guinea pig... good luck and God bless.
@NAFLDWTF Hey, how are you doing? Did you end up looking for a second opinion? Have you thought about getting a DNA analysis or test done? I was talking with someone online the other day who also has NASH and was young and healthy like you and they got a DNA analysis done by one of those companies you see online and it came back saying her liver has a really slow metabolizing rate (or something, I'm not great with medical terms 🤦♂️). For her that was a possible clue into why she had NASH out of the blue like that. I don't know if there's anything behind that really, but maybe it's something else you could look into.
Hi everyone, thanks for the responses and suggestions. I’ve recently had an endoscopy (biopsies clean), have scheduled a colonoscopy in late July and an MRI next week. The MRI will be down with a special machine that can gauge how much fat is in the liver. For now my gastroenterologist is thinking the fatty liver was over-called given his review of the ultrasound and my enzyme levels.
I’ve started to focus more on the original reason I got the ultrasound in the first place, which is a lot of stomach bloating and discomfort. Perhaps the root causes are related, but at this point I’m focused on ruling out the scariest possibility, particularly pancreatic cancer. Stomach and esophagus cancer seem to be ruled out via the endoscopy. Will get colonoscopy to assess colon cancer. Hoping the special MRI will give a good view of the pancreas which the ultrasound could not see.
I will update you all post MRI results.
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