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Digestive Disorders

Liver Disease

02/05/2009

Question:

I am a 36 year old female. I am a little over weight. My triglycerides are 248 and good is 22. I had an ultrasound it said I have diffuse fatty liver disease with increased echogenicity. What does this mean and what are the treatments for this? I am also on meds for high blood pressure and underactive thyroid disease(hypothyoidism). Do I need to worry? Is this curable and will it ever go away? Please help. Thank you.

Answer:

Over the last few years, we have been learning more about fatty liver. The typical patient that has fat in the liver (often seen on ultrasound) are people that have diabetes, high cholesterol, and are overweight. Sometimes medications or abdominal surgeries can also lead to people developing excess fat in the liver. Sometimes people with fat in the liver can develop inflammation in the liver or scarring in the liver.

There is a lot of research going on currently re: fat in the liver and there is research regarding possible treatments. There currently are no standard treatments available for this. The recommendation is for diabetics to control their blood sugars, treat high cholesterol if it is present and if someone is overweight, to gradually try to lose weight.

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Response by:

Julia Gore Thornton, MD Julia Gore Thornton, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University