What you wish your doctor told you when you learned you have a fatty liver?

Most people never hear of fatty liver until they (or someone close to him) have been diagnosed with it. Most of us who were diagnosed with fatty liver don’t know what to expect and their doctor doesn’t tell them everything they need to know.

So I asked many of my patients a simple question.

When you learned you had a Fatty Liver, what do you wish your doctor had told you?

I received a lot of comments on this matter, and here are just a few of them:

  • My doctor did not explain much at all, just said to lose 20 lbs in 6 months, and that it’s caused in pre-diabetic conditions, and because of being overweight. I am still puzzled.
  • I wish my doctor would have told me something – anything, except the diagnosis.
  • Didn’t tell me anything about what to eat – gave me the name of a dietitian who never called me back. I was confused.
  • I wish he would have given me the list of foods in the files found here instead of just saying lose weight.
  • My doctor just told me that it’s totally reversible with diet and exercise, then gave me a referral for a dietitian. Not once did she tell me what I should or shouldn’t eat.
  • He didn’t mention what diet to follow. He just told me I needed to lose weight. Well, doesn’t 90% of the population?
  • He didn’t tell me what actually Fatty Liver was. That there is a progression to the disease and how serious it could get. The key to beating it.
  • What is was, and how to treat it. He brushed it off as a common complaint and was solely focused on my weight.

As you just read, most of the comments were about the not explaining what fatty liver really is and what’s really important to actually treat it, especially what to eat and what to not eat.

Most of the patients just feel that doctors are in a rush to receive their next patient on the line and aren’t investing enough time to explain fatty liver and plan a proper treatment with their patient.

Another important comment I received that I think summarizes it all was:

I wish doctors made this diagnosis more understandable. Not just to say you have a Fatty Liver. Now you must lose weight, exercise, and watch your diet.  It seems the trend with everyone is how and what to eat! I wish doctors would take the time to really understand the disease and sit down to educate patients!

What can we all learn from this?

The most important thing every doctor should know is to give a personal attention to all of their patients. Just sit and explain them what this disease is all about, why it’s been caused, and how to properly treat it, including planning a proper died program. If someone can’t do his job properly, maybe he shouldn’t be doing it at all.

 

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  1. Rozzer
    Rozzer says:

    From my doctor’s very limited comments (“lose weight” – though I’m not even overweight, let alone obese – BMI = 26), I had to infer that fatty liver is no big deal. In exploring for answers I found that triglycerides are involved – though I still don’t quite understand how. Now I’ve had elevated triglycerides for quite some time, though I brought them down with daily fish oil. Are elevated triglycerides involved in fatty liver? I don’t drink at all for two-thirds of every month and only have two drinks a day in the other third. I don’t have a sweet tooth (never eat dessert) or drink soda or sports drinks (I don’t even put sugar in my coffee). No one in my family has ever had liver problems. So I really don’t get what is going on, what to do about it or even what priorities I should have.

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