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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes fatty liver?

We were just told that my husband liver enzymes where high and that the ultra sound showed that he has a fatty liver. He has to go on a low-fat diet to see if that will help his levels go down. What is a low-fat diet? What does it mean when you have a fatty liver?
Thu, 26 Apr 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response

Incomplete data like age of your husband, any associated symptoms or medical illness, habits of alcohol or smoking?

Fatty liver is a reversible condition in which too much fat is stored in liver cells and that can often be resolved with lifestyle modifications. Alcohol intake is the most common cause of fatty liver.

If your husband is a non-alcoholic fatty liver may be due to:
1. Overweight or obesity.
2. Insulin resistance, in which the body cells don't take up sugar in response to the hormone insulin.
3. High blood sugar indicating pre-diabetes or actual type 2 diabetes.
4. High levels of fats, particularly triglycerides, in the blood

These combined health problems appear to promote the deposit of fat in the liver. This excess fat acts as a toxin to liver cells, causing liver inflammation which may lead to a buildup of scar tissue (fibrosis) in the liver.

The life style modifications which are beneficial include:
1. He should avoid taking alcohol, smoking, and etcetera if any
2. He should take a healthy plant-based diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.
3. He should maintain a healthy weight, if he is overweight or obese he should reduce his body weight by reducing the number of calories and by doing physical exercise.
4. He should avoid fatty vegan and non-vegan foods, fast and junk foods, carbonated sweetened soft drinks, etcetera.

A standard low-fat diet contains about 30% of calories from fat while limiting it to 20 to 30 percent of calories from fat is considered a low-fat diet.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr. Mohammed Taher Ali
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