Even my liver is fat.

In the past three months, I’ve had 22 vials of blood drawn, one abdominal ultrasound, one liver ultrasound, one diagnosis, four doctor’s visits, three crying fits and exactly one bag of movie theater popcorn (The Heat. Go see it. Melissa McCarthy is one funny gal). I prefer the latter to all the above! The good news is, the medical mystery is winding down as results of my liver ultrasound came in.

Drumroll please… I don’t have cancer. YAY! I don’t have jaundice. YAY! I don’t have hepatitis. YAY! What I do have is… a fat liver. Yup. Because I’m all about synergy and fitting in, even my organs have to match my current shape… which is healthy with an accumulation of fat. Basically, my liver is not inflamed, but appears to have a “fatty streak” or build-up of cholesterol, likely a genetic condition (Thanks Dad), which is causing the high liver enzyme results. This will only be a concern if my cholesterol is high, which as of now, is healthy and A-OK.

In addition, my thyroid panel came back and while I’m not full-blown hypothyroid, my thyroid results are in the “low” range, giving us some wiggle room to try out some thyroid medications. I fit all of the symptoms for a hypothyroid, so my doctor and I have agreed that next month we’ll start out a low-dose of thyroid replacement medication and see what it does. I was initially nervous about this because I had heard once you start thyroid medication you can’t get off of it, but in my case because I don’t need a full dose or replacement of thyroid hormone, it’s safe for me to “dabble” a bit. I have mixed feelings about trying medications to get everything moving correctly, but at this point in the weight loss game, I’ll take any help I can get. It’s like I’ve said before – I know something’s not right, so if it takes a little trial and error to pinpoint it, I’ll do it.

So, now we have a kind-of diagnosis of what’s going. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, which makes weight loss near impossible yet its biggest treatment is weight loss, sluggish thyroid which is not yet in full-blown “hypo” mode but dangerously close, and a chunky liver. What does this mean for moving forward? It means squeaky clean eating 90% of the time, but still allowing myself to live every now and then, with a piece of wedding cake here and there, a few sips of wine, some movie theater popcorn. It means getting back on track with my exercise plan, which has dwindled thanks to my reduced calorie-diet, laziness and house-hunting. It means telling everyone and their mom (hence this blog) about my condition, to try and glean knowledge about these conditions I may not have known before, and it means, more than ever… to keep fighting the fight, to stay strong, to keep going, to laugh in the face of my fatty liver, cystic ovaries and lazy thyroid, to say to them, “You’re a motley crew… but together, we’re going to do this.”

So — let’s hear it. What do you know about livers, thyroids and ovaries? Are yours in working order? Do you know anyone who has the same malady I do?

 


14 thoughts on “Even my liver is fat.

  1. Dr. Robert Lustig’s book, Fat Chance, has a lot of good info about fatty liver and its causes and treatment. I listened to it as an audiobook and was so interested that I bought the Kindle version too. He is an endocrinologist.

  2. I have Grave’s Disease (hyperthyroidism) so my thyroid was blasted into oblivion when I was 16. I’ve been taking replacement ever since. It’s no big deal annnd although my levels get checked every year, my metabolism won’t slow down as I get older :-P

  3. I have had the high liver enzyme count in the past – and the diagnosis of “fatty” liver. I thought, well, the rest of me is too – why shouldn’t my liver join in the fun! But – I was doing a severely restrictive diet – a fully fasting, with calories under 1000 a day. My doc explained that even though it seemed like the low calorie diet should help a fatty liver, the opposite was happening. My body was losing weight rapidly which meant that my liver was having to process a huge increase in fat – putting a strain on an already “fat” liver, which meant that my enzymes went through the roof! Doc increased my calories, thus drastically slowing down my weight loss and helping the liver numbers. It sucked because I was having so much success in my program. I do hope that you find a good medication, and that this won’t slow you down too much! Sending warm thoughts!

    • INTERESTING!!! I hope this means I can eat more, because 1,100 calories is making me feel stabby. I really appreciate you commenting.. thanks Dawn – it’s always so good to hear from others in the same boat.

  4. I just wanted to say thankyou for being so honest over your struggles with PCOS its such a frustrating condition and its knowing others are also dealing with it with a huge dose of humour!

    • Kristy, I’m so glad people are reading it… I sometimes wonder like “Does anyone even care?”. Humor is the only way I’m going to get through it!!!! Thanks for stopping by :)

  5. My mom has hypothyroidism and the medication made her feel about a million times better. And my friend’s wife has pcos. You are not alone! And you’re gonna kick these health problems in the butt. Why? Coz you’re awesome! Duh. Love you!!!

  6. I know I am late on this post but I just saw your guest blog on Authetically Emmie’s page. I am wondering, since the docs just discovered (in Aug) that the thyroid levels are in the “low” range, is it possible the levels have been low all along? But just not low enough to qualify as “low”.

    I wonder about this kind because you were struggling for a while prior to having a low reading. I speculate that it may have been an issue for a while but not readable. I was just wondering if you knew the answer?

    • Hi Tricia,
      As far as I can tell from meeting with an endocrinologist, apparently thyroid levels can drastically fluctuate on a month to month basis, and sometimes, always show as “fine”but still be low. I am no doctor of course, but I think it’s always worth investigating every possible scenario. I meet with my endocrinologist again this month and will post an update on all of it as I find the science behind it quite fascinating. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

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