Q and A

Question

My consultant found some fat on my liver. Should I be worried?

Started meds (Isentress and Truvada) in November 11 and am now undetectable and CD4 595. I recently had a liver scan and the results showed some deposits of fat on my liver. I am not co-infected with any hepatitis, not over weight and my recent cholesterol was 4.1 and I drink in moderation.

My consultant didn’t seem that concerned and said that he would monitor it. I would welcome your view on what is causing this to happen, what can I do to improve/reverse it and what are the medium/long term risks to my health?

Is my consultant right not to be concerned?

Answer

I’m very happy to hear that you are in good health.

It is very difficult for me to answer your question about fat deposits in your liver, but as your doctor knows you well and has also seen the results and is not concerned then he or she will be giving you good advice.

Although a healthy liver shouldn’t contain much fat, about one in five people in the UK have higher levels. This is called either “steatosis” or “fatty liver” but it sound like your symptoms may be more mild than this.

The two main types of fatty liver are defined by whether this is related to alcohol use or not. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is usually related to being overweight.

When you next see your doctor ask whether your results are anything unusual – it sounds like they are not. You could also talk to your doctor about what could have caused this in case your description of alcohol in moderation is contributing to this.

Monitoring your liver will also help to detect any changes early on to ensure that they do not progress or get worse. In the meantime, your doctor may just recommend a well balanced diet, regular exercise and perhaps less alcohol.

Your current cholesterol level is at 4.1 which is in the normal range. UK guidelines usually only recommend treatment to lower cholesterol when this goes above 5.1.

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