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Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver in lean competitive powerlifter

by (20)
Updated about 14 hours ago
Created January 19, 2013 at 2:52 AM

Recently I was diagnosed with NAFLD. My liver enzymes were slightly elevated so the Doc sent me in for an abdominal ultrasound. I carry around 9% bodyfat on average throughout the year and have no problems with insulin sensitivity. I ate pretty well before, although I was eating wheat products once or twice per week. I have now cut out wheat entirely. I eat eggs regularly so I don't think this is a choline deficiency issue, unless it's due to a malabsorption issue. What do you guys think? Any other lean individuals with NAFLD out there?

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578 · August 20, 2013 at 2:23 AM

Sounds like gluten sensitivity to me. Celiacs and gluten sensitive folks experience slightly elevated liver enzymes that are not commensurate with their BMI, body fat %age and leanness. By getting rid of gluten, you might have gotten rid of the environmental toxin. There's no need to test for gluten sensitivity. Just go gluten-free and your liver enzymes should be normal and if you're completely gluten-free, should drop below 20. At your level of leanness, I would expect normal ALT to be between 8-15. Yes, that low.

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20 · January 20, 2013 at 2:39 PM

My primary care doctor referred me to a gastroenterologist for Feb. 13th.

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2904 · January 19, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Do most hepatologists even believe in a connection between diet and liver health? Aren't they still working in the CW/SAD field?

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20 · January 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Just wondering if anyone had experience and got some answers regarding etiology. So my question would be what is the etiology of NAFLD in lean individuals?

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2904 · January 19, 2013 at 6:19 AM

Try taking milk thistle and increasing your b5 intake.

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8 Answers

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2751 · May 15, 2013 at 7:39 PM

How is your diet in relation to fructose. I've heard somewhere about a correlation between fructose and NAFLD, especially since it's metabolized in the liver and is mostly turned into triglycerides.

I've found a lot of articles about the relationship between fructose and NAFLD, but I don't want to assume that you have a high fructose intake.

Here's one summary: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23390127

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10 · August 19, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Hey Kira, This is Rex. Sorry for the late response but I just got my new labs back today, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to answer your question. For starters my results: Ast: 21 and Alt: 26. This was awesome news as it puts me back in normal range after being consistently elevated for over 5 years! I followed the "Perfect Health Diet" by the Jaminet's during the period between my last elevated lab results and now. I believe the only major changes I made were: Changing my macronutrient ratio closer to the PHD ratio (more fat, less carbs), Eliminating protein powders (Whey, casein, and pea protein) and eliminating cereal grains (I still eat white rice). I am not sure which was the offender (could have been all of them). Hope my story helps you in some way!

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578 · August 20, 2013 at 2:23 AM

Sounds like gluten sensitivity to me. Celiacs and gluten sensitive folks experience slightly elevated liver enzymes that are not commensurate with their BMI, body fat %age and leanness. By getting rid of gluten, you might have gotten rid of the environmental toxin. There's no need to test for gluten sensitivity. Just go gluten-free and your liver enzymes should be normal and if you're completely gluten-free, should drop below 20. At your level of leanness, I would expect normal ALT to be between 8-15. Yes, that low.

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327 · August 19, 2013 at 11:13 PM

Well besides that, you could of been exposed to some environmental factors. Or you could have a virus, lots of different causes. Get it figured out

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55 · August 19, 2013 at 10:12 PM

I agree with Anon. Fatty Liver disease is usually due to too much fructose (general carbs and sugar contain fructose too) or alcohol consumption. What is your general fructose intake like? Also how do you measure your insulin sensitivity?

I have heard about a lot of vegetarians affected by non-alcoholic fatty liver and in most cases too much carbs coupled with over-consumption of omega-6 oils was the reason. Increasing saturated fat intake (and hence lower carb) and improving o3:o6 ratio brought down the Bilirubin, AST, ALT, GCT etc.. numbers down, for a couple of people I know including my brother.

If you are anyways going to eat SAD food, then it is far superior if you prepare it yourself at home rather than restaurants or preserved food.

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60 · May 17, 2013 at 1:39 AM

Rex, did you go to the Doc? I would be very interested if you could share some info bcd I am lean as well, but for many years I have had consistently elevated liver enzymes (blood test) and all the supplements I tried didn't do much... Pls let me know:-)

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514 · January 23, 2013 at 4:51 AM

Follow your doctors referral to a GI doc. If that doesn't work, I wouldn't rule out hepatologists (you do have a liver condition). Best of luck, let us know how you do.

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0 · January 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM

I did a quick search of pub-med and it looks like NAFLD in non-obese, non-diabetic people is not uncommon. It can indicate the presence of a metabolic disorder. Getting to a specialist is important. Get a recommendation for a good hepatologist (liver specialist) in your area. To rule out a metabolic disorder.

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20 · January 20, 2013 at 2:39 PM

My primary care doctor referred me to a gastroenterologist for Feb. 13th.

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2904 · January 19, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Do most hepatologists even believe in a connection between diet and liver health? Aren't they still working in the CW/SAD field?

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514 · January 19, 2013 at 5:29 AM

It's possible. Whats your question though?

D515c08901a6501c8339fcf2a09d8f99
20 · January 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Just wondering if anyone had experience and got some answers regarding etiology. So my question would be what is the etiology of NAFLD in lean individuals?

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