My doctor told me my liver tests were abnormal

Many patients with obesity have some fatty infiltration and inflammation of the liver, which can progress to cirrhosis (liver scarring).  We used to think of alcoholism as the biggest cause of cirrhosis, but many experts think that obesity will outpace alcohol as a cause of cirrhosis in the future.

Liver problems seem to be related to insulin resistance (prediabetes or diabetes).  Liver problems can be made better by weight loss.  A new study suggests that use of statin drugs (like Lipitor) can reduce heart complications in patients who have coronary heart disease and abnormal liver tests. In the past, we thought patients with liver disease should not receive statin drugs.  But now we see that abnormal liver tests are signs of extreme inflammation.  Statin drugs not only reduce cholesterol, they also reduce inflammation.  Many complications of obesity seem to be caused by increased inflammation.

Interestingly, olive oil reduces liver inflammation.  I suggest not using any butter, margarine, or bacon grease, but rather olive oil.  I add a TEAspoon of olive oil to my veggies.

Note:  I have no conflict of interest with any drug companies that make these statin drugs.  In an ideal world, we’d all eat healthy diets and exercise so that we wouldn’t need the drugs.  In the meantime, I think the drugs are better than leaving the condition untreated.  Obviously, you should consult your doctor and have blood tests done to decide if you’re a candidate for starting statin drugs.

Obesity is an inflammatory disease.  Proper diet and exercise can help reverse this.  My liver functions used to be elevated; no longer!

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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