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Old 12-15-2018, 11:47 AM   #1
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Fatty Liver

And I'm not talking about Foie Gras (although apparently I'd be a perfect candidate).

I was told by my doctor that my liver is fatty, following an ultrasound of my upper right quadrant, because something in there has been bothering me lately. I wasn't sure if something was really going on or not because all of this started just after my husband passed away from liver cancer in September. I tend to be somewhat of a hypochondriac and have had generalized anxiety disorder for the past 10 years. So a lot of the physical problems I encounter are brought on by my own paranoia. After he died, I started feeling something in the area where my liver is located, like I was having 'sympathy pains' or something. And, I'm ashamed to admit, I'm one of those people who turns to the internet to research symptoms, which is the worst thing I could do. Even my doctor told me to stop doing that because when you go online to research every single little symptom that pops up, you literally Google yourself into madness. Not to mention scare the living poop out of yourself. It doesn't matter what you research, you'll always come across the websites that basically say, in so many words, "you have a terminal illness and you're going to die in 6 months."

Someone like me, with general *and* health anxiety, will become very depressed and it interferes with my quality of life because death is all I think about it. And it's even worse now, having someone very close to me die of cancer. I keep thinking 'I'm next.'

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I wanted to ask if anyone else has been told they have fatty liver and if you can actually feel it. Because even though my doctor told me everything else looks great; gallbladder is fine, pancreas is fine, liver is not inflamed despite the fat, and nothing else was found on the ultrasound, I still have this weird, dull, uncomfortable feeling right beneath my right rib cage. Almost as if something is stuck there. It's not painful, it's just bothersome at times. Maybe it's in my head or maybe something is really there. I don't know. This is how bad my anxiety is - even hearing 2 doctors AND an ultrasound telling me there's nothing there, I still don't have peace of mind, as though I don't believe them. This is how the brain of an anxiety-ridden person works. Any of you out there with anxiety and/or panic disorder knows exactly what I'm talking about. You can be told you're in perfect health and that's still not good enough, despite also being told over 80 million people in the U.S. have fatty livers, as it's very common and you're not alone.

Basically, I'm wondering 2 things...

1) Does anyone else have fatty liver and do you do anything to try and improve it?

2) Can fatty liver be physically 'felt' from inside? i.e., could this discomfort I'm feeling under my rib cage be my liver or is it probably something else?

Thanks for listening to my insanity

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Old 12-15-2018, 12:34 PM   #2
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Linda I hear you loud and clear. I also have a fatty liver (I can't feel), and I lost my husband to liver disease 13 yrs ago. You are a brand new widow and it's no wonder you are having problems. I did too. It's only natural. In the end I needed medication for my anxiety, panic attacks and depression. I'm sure not saying that's the right answer for you, but was for me. You need to talk with a professional about how you're feeling. I no longer take any meds for that, and my life is more than worth living again.

My heart goes out to you.
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Old 12-15-2018, 12:48 PM   #3
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So your doctor said, after doing an ultrasound, that your liver is fatty, but he didn’t say “fatty liver disease,” right? Apparently, a lot of things can cause fatty liver, the main ones being alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and a diet high in fatty foods, deep-fried foods, and highly processed foods.

Did your doc run a liver panel on you? If he didn’t, you might ask him why he didn’t.

As far as the discomfort you’re feeling underneath your right rib cage, I really can’t comment, as I’m about as far from being a medical professional as one can get! I don’t try to self-diagnose on the Internet; as you said, that road leads to madness! But when I get a doctor’s diagnosis, usually for Mark, who’s probably the only hypochondriac in the state who’s actually sick, I will look it up on the web to research what I can do to help him to wellness.

I did find this webpage about foods to eat and foods to avoid if you’re concerned about fatty liver. It’s not too alarming, and pretty straightforward. It even has a few links to recipes!

Finally, may I offer my deepest condolences on the passing of your husband. Liver cancer is a most unpleasant way to go, it must have been very difficult for your family. I pray that you have a support system, and that you are surrounded by people you love and who love you. Take your time healing, and seek out laughter and warmth. Revel in the loving memories. Blessings.
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Old 12-15-2018, 01:01 PM   #4
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My sympathies on your husband's passing.

Could it be something you are eating? I have a guilty pleasure. I LOVE Fritos and french onion dip. I really limit allowing myself to have these in the house because I tend to binge eat them when they are available. Reasons being not only the high fat and calorie content, but also due to the fact that almost always the day after I start eating them I get a feeling like there is a fist sized ball in that area. Like you, it is not really painful, but is uncomfortable and bothersome. A couple of days after the Fritos and dip are gone, the feeling goes away. It's a direct correlation so I know it's the food, which is why I get them less and less frequently now.
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Old 12-15-2018, 01:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Linda I hear you loud and clear. I also have a fatty liver (I can't feel), and I lost my husband to liver disease 13 yrs ago. You are a brand new widow and it's no wonder you are having problems. I did too. It's only natural. In the end I needed medication for my anxiety, panic attacks and depression. I'm sure not saying that's the right answer for you, but was for me. You need to talk with a professional about how you're feeling. I no longer take any meds for that, and my life is more than worth living again.

My heart goes out to you.
I'm sorry you lost your husband. It's tough, it really is. I've lost a lot of people throughout my life, including both of my parents, but this is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with. My life has been forever changed.

I'm prescribed Ativan and Buspirone. The Ativan helps with those "oh crap" moments and the Buspirone is a new thing. I've only been taking it for a few weeks. Back when I was first diagnosed with anxiety, I was prescribed Celexa. Horrible, horrible side effects for the first few weeks. But once my body got used to it, it gave me my life back. That's why I'm trying another anxiety med, but one with fewer side effects. However, despite the side effects Celexa put me through, I REALLY miss not giving a you-know-what. The Buspirone doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot of good yet, but I will give it some time and up my dose, if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJoel View Post
So your doctor said, after doing an ultrasound, that your liver is fatty, but he didn’t say “fatty liver disease,” right? Apparently, a lot of things can cause fatty liver, the main ones being alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and a diet high in fatty foods, deep-fried foods, and highly processed foods.

Did your doc run a liver panel on you? If he didn’t, you might ask him why he didn’t.

As far as the discomfort you’re feeling underneath your right rib cage, I really can’t comment, as I’m about as far from being a medical professional as one can get! I don’t try to self-diagnose on the Internet; as you said, that road leads to madness! But when I get a doctor’s diagnosis, usually for Mark, who’s probably the only hypochondriac in the state who’s actually sick, I will look it up on the web to research what I can do to help him to wellness.

I did find this webpage about foods to eat and foods to avoid if you’re concerned about fatty liver. It’s not too alarming, and pretty straightforward. It even has a few links to recipes!

Finally, may I offer my deepest condolences on the passing of your husband. Liver cancer is a most unpleasant way to go, it must have been very difficult for your family. I pray that you have a support system, and that you are surrounded by people you love and who love you. Take your time healing, and seek out laughter and warmth. Revel in the loving memories. Blessings.
Firstly, thank you for the condolences. I have family and I have my son, who still lives with me (he's a teenager) and I'm so glad I have him. If it weren't for him, I'd have lost my mind by now.

Thank you for the resources, I will look into them.

As for what my doctor said, she didn't say "fatty liver disease." She said, simply, "You have a fatty liver, but other than that, everything looks good." I used to be very strict about the foods I ate, but the last few years, admittedly, I've become lazy about it and have been eating more fatty foods than I normally would. I also enjoy my drinks in the evenings. Add to that the fact that I'm overweight and bam, recipe for liver disaster. My overall cholesterol numbers are fine, but my triglycerides are high. Very high. I believe that to be the biggest contributor to the fat on my liver. I've got to get those blood fats down to normal levels.

My doctor, every 6 months, runs blood labs on me and my liver enzymes (bilirubin) are always within normal range. I just had my blood checked again last month. Bilirubin still normal.

Go figure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
My sympathies on your husband's passing.

Could it be something you are eating? I have a guilty pleasure. I LOVE Fritos and french onion dip. I really limit allowing myself to have these in the house because I tend to binge eat them when they are available. Reasons being not only the high fat and calorie content, but also due to the fact that almost always the day after I start eating them I get a feeling like there is a fist sized ball in that area. Like you, it is not really painful, but is uncomfortable and bothersome. A couple of days after the Fritos and dip are gone, the feeling goes away. It's a direct correlation so I know it's the food, which is why I get them less and less frequently now.
Ha, yes, my weakness is potato chips. But I limit myself now to eating them only once a week. But perhaps you're right, it may be something I'm eating, which is close to what my doctor believes. She said because of all the stress I've been under lately, it's possible I have a buildup of gas and/or stomach acids. I've had more heartburn lately than usual, that much is true. My doctor said to up my dose of omeprazole. I normally take one every 2-3 days to keep the heartburn away, but she suggested taking them more often to see if that helps.

Thank you for your sympathies. Everyone here is so kind.
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:06 PM   #6
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So sorry for your loss, Linda. Yes, give yourself a chance to heal, and let your doctors do their thing. My dear departed DH had hepatic steatosis (fatty liver) but it was not his cause of death. He didn't have any symptoms/pain.
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
So sorry for your loss, Linda. Yes, give yourself a chance to heal, and let your doctors do their thing. My dear departed DH had hepatic steatosis (fatty liver) but it was not his cause of death. He didn't have any symptoms/pain.
I'm sorry for your loss as well.

I was pretty shocked to learn that 80 million Americans have fatty liver. Shocked at the numbers, I mean. But not shocked that fatty liver is common, what with the traditional American diet and all. It shouldn't surprise me. There are probably more people than that who have it and they don't know it yet or may never know it.
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:38 PM   #8
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Linda, I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how difficult this must be for you and your son. I'm glad you have good support.

I have also been diagnosed with fatty liver - not disease, as it hasn't progressed that far yet - with no symptoms; I think whether it's symptomatic may depend on what part of the liver is affected. I also have high triglycerides. Since I also have inflammation bowel disease (among other things), I've been seeing a gastroenterologist for many years. I would suggest that you ask your doctor for a referral to a GI doctor. There is a range of liver tests that my GI doctor orders for me regularly - my family doctor, who has been my doctor since 1989, has told me flat-out that he can't interpret all of the tests my GI doctor has done. He just doesn't have the same training. He also doesn't necessarily know about all the treatment options.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:32 PM   #9
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A good friend of ours has the same condition, her doc told her to cut the alcohol. She is very small and doesn't carry any fat. She is also diabetic so that doesn't help. She's about 55 years old and loves a drink. I guess going by her drinking habits she isn't changing. She's aware of it but just carries on.
Sorry to hear of your loss, one of my customers died of the same thing as your hubby. Cancers terrible.

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Old 12-15-2018, 03:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Linda, I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how difficult this must be for you and your son. I'm glad you have good support.

I have also been diagnosed with fatty liver - not disease, as it hasn't progressed that far yet - with no symptoms; I think whether it's symptomatic may depend on what part of the liver is affected. I also have high triglycerides. Since I also have inflammation bowel disease (among other things), I've been seeing a gastroenterologist for many years. I would suggest that you ask your doctor for a referral to a GI doctor. There is a range of liver tests that my GI doctor orders for me regularly - my family doctor, who has been my doctor since 1989, has told me flat-out that he can't interpret all of the tests my GI doctor has done. He just doesn't have the same training. He also doesn't necessarily know about all the treatment options.

Hope this helps.
Excellent suggestion, thank you. I'll take it up with my GP the next time I see her.

I appreciate your condolences. It's been tough, but I'll get through it, with the help of my son. He's so much like his dad - outgoing with a great sense of humor, so he keeps me laughing
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