Fatty liver eradicated plus a weight loss bonus
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
60 yr old Maggie came to me feeling a ‘bit of a mess’, as she called it. She was quite overweight, bordering on diabetes, had aches and pains in different joints, and the final straw was she had just been diagnosed with ‘fatty liver disease’.
Blood tests showed elevated bilirubin and liver enzymes ((LFT’s). An ultrasound showed enlargement of her liver as well as a few cysts. Maggie’s doctor told her to, “lose weight or else you will get serious complications”. Maggie tried to lose weight by cutting back her food intake, but it didn’t seem to help, so that’s why she decided to see me.
Because we already knew what we were dealing with, I didn’t suggest any more tests at that point. I found that Maggie’s diet was very carb heavy, using packet foods for convenience and lots of sweet foods like scones, muffins and biscuits as well as two teaspoons of sugar in each of her four cups of coffee per day.
I started her on a liver detox. Maggie was happy to ‘do a detox’ as it sounded much better for her than a ‘diet’ which she was afraid of. She had previously attempted many diets to lose weight, only to find that she would put it all back on again, plus much more. So the detox was a great place to start.
The detox comprised of going gluten free, dairy free, grain free, sugar free and alcohol free.
But rather than focus on what she couldn’t have, we focused on what she could have.
For example, Maggie was used to a light breakfast of a coffee with a slice of toast, so we didn’t go for a heavy breakfast. Instead I suggested a super easy to prepare green veg and berry smoothie with protein from some soaked nuts and seeds plus some Spirulina powder to super boost her detox.
Cups of coffee throughout the day were exchanged for bone broth, mineralised with loads of vegetable off cuts, and seasoned with various herbs and spices such as turmeric, parsley and coriander, which would also help her to detox – all strained off to be a clear broth.
Lunch was a mega healthy salad with wild caught, low mercury species fish, like sardines. Dinner was steamed vegetables with a super greens dressing and either organic chicken livers or dry roasted almonds and sunflower seeds. Chicken livers which are very low in fat helped to boost Maggie’s nutrients, particularly B12. Various ways of cooking with herbs and spices make them taste great.
This is known as ‘organ therapy’ where the nutrients from healthy animal organs are used for a period to replenish the underperforming organ in the human body.
Apart from the food changes, I asked Maggie to walk daily up to to where she felt was reasonably comfortable for her body, and to progressively build as she felt able to do so. This was important, because without movement it is hard for the lymphatic system to clear toxins and the liver is the largest lymphatic organ in our body.
Her initial weight was 105kgs/231lbs. Maggie’s weight slowly dropped over a period of three months (the duration of the detox cleanse) to 85kgs/187lbs – a significant weight loss. While still some way to go to reach her optimal weight for her height, she was delighted with the result and felt much stronger and healthier with loads more energy.
By that stage, Maggie was going to the gym for extra help with fitness and lymphatic movement. We adjusted her food plan to a diet for a healthy liver, which is less restrictive than the detox, which still helped her to slowly strip away the extra kilos/pounds over the next six months.
After this time, she returned to her doctor who barely recognised her. With beaming eyes, she requested a new test for her liver which came back clear and healthy. Maggie now weighed 70kgs/154lbs which was great for her height. Not super slim, but healthy and she no longer had pains in her joints.
Maggie managed to drop a total of 35kgs (5½ stone), rid herself of pain and eliminate diabetes and fatty liver. She was encouraged to keep eating for a healthy liver and wanted to continue.