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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for fatty liver

Answered by
Kathy Shattler

Dietitian & Nutritionist

Practicing since :1985

Answered : 882 Questions

Posted on Thu, 4 Feb 2016 in Diet Plans
Question: Do cleanse diets (liver) work and if so, which one do you recommend? What is the best diet for a fatty liver?
Answered by Kathy Shattler 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Liver "cleanses" so to speak are not evidence-based

Detailed Answer:

I understand your dilemna and have carefully reviewed your history. You have asked about a liver cleanse. No, liver cleanses are not advised. Your liver is one of the organs that cleanses the body and keeping it functioning properly is the best treatment.

Your next question was on your diet. The predictament you are in makes dietary recommendations difficult. You say you are a type II diabetic with uncontrolled blood sugar and no medication listed. The type of diet recommended should take into account your medication, so I will operate under the assumption that you are not on any.

It is important to keep your blood sugar stable, so any advice you were given for taking care of your blood sugar still applies. At this point, the most important consideration is that you have stopped drinking, which is at the root of your liver problems.

By the way, congratulations for taking that big step. Staying away from alcohol completely is key to healing your liver, getting your blood lipids down and controlling your blood sugar.

Next, I strongly suggest you visit with a Dietitian one-on-one to learn carbohydrate counting or to help you set a meal plan for you that you can follow based on height, weight, age, health goals, medications and supplements.

Important supplements for you to consider right now given your history are the B vitamins that were depleted while an alcoholic (especially B12, folic acid, thiamin)

Your elevated triglycerides will respond to the alcohol cessation and the restriction of sugars, high fructose corn syrup, excessive juice and "high glycemic" carbohydrates. Please use your browser to get a list of "high glycermic" foods as these foods will tend to elevate your sugar quickly and drop it quickly as well as having an adverse effect on your triglycerides.

A "fatty" liver, in addition to the meal plan you will follow to control your diabetes, for a healthy liver, it is helpful to know where your liver is at.

I am tending to think small frequent meals might be helpful as nausea and vomiting are common with liver disease. Also, the small, frequent feedings might keep the blood sugar stable since liver disease may throw you into states of low blood sugar.

The next problem is to assure you get enough lean protein in and a balanced diet for weight issues.Have your doctor check for vitamin K and vitamin D deficiencies as they are common in liver disease (due to reduced glycogen storage).

Milk Thistle Tea has been used to help heal the liver. Protein is not restricted unless you get to the stage where you have encephalopathy. S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) taken in supplemental form has been shown in some studies to be beneficial in healing an alcoholic liver.

I suggest you take your fat soluble vitamins A,E,K in water miscible forms and the same for D if you can locate it. With a compromised liver you may have difficulty absorbing the fat soluble vitamins so encapsulating them into a water miscible form can be more easily absorbed. Branch chain amino acids are of no benefit.

To summarize:
Do not restrict protein unless you get to encephalopathic state

May drink Milk Thistle Tea Supplement with B complex, will probably need B12, thiamin, folic acid, vitamin D repletion. Water miscible forms of ADEK vitamins may be needed.

To avoid nausea and maintain blood sugars 70-100, no lower, eat small frequent meals.

To control blood fats, supplement with B12, no alcohol, sugar, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, soda, sweeteners (except stevia) or high glycemic carbohydrates.

Your doctor may change diet orders with the changing needs of your liver, blood sugars, lipids. . . If he gives you a diet order you don't understand, please come back.

If you need clarifications, I need additional information such as all medications, ht.,wt, usual weight, supplements and typical food intake.

I hope this helps. Please come back for clarification or if you understand the fatty liver guidelines, feel free to rate and close out the question. I truly wish you good luck. Keep up with the exercise, the motivation and you can heal yourself! If you ever get doubtful, visit my motivational section at Regards, XXXXXXX Shattler, MS,RDN

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee

The User accepted the expert's answer

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