On July 6, 2021, my ALT and GGT were mildly elevated. At that time, my gastroenterologist’ hypothesis was that I had consumed excess carbohydrates, which, in turn, might have led to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
My core daily diet had not changed appreciably in the previous months, though I might have picked up the habit of eating several bananas as a snack in the evening. Over the months, the proportion of the day during which I water fasted had gradually diminished, such that I was not fasting for perhaps up to 12 hours per day. This was a significant deviation from the 15:9 diet I was on – this could have contributed to the rise in my liver enzymes and weight gain.
I have not drunk alcohol since my diagnosis of ulcerative colitis in early 2018.
My daily exercise routine had not changed much. Between April 1 and June 30, 2021, I was doing about an hour of exercise – running or rowing at moderate intensity – per day on average. Most people would not consider my lifestyle sedentary.
My gastroenterologist’s plan was for me to try and lose some weight, and to undergo an upper abdominal ultrasound scan and a repeat liver function test after three months. He also recommended liver supplements – Essentiale Forte N, 1 capsule t.d.s.
I consciously reduced the amount of carbohydrates I was eating, e.g. 25% less rolled oats for breakfast, 25% less steamed brown rice for lunch, and no afternoon tea on most days (this meant no bread for the entire day).
In addition, I followed the 15:9 diet – 15 water fasting hours cycled by 9 non-fasting hours – more strictly.
My exercise plan remained essentially the same. However, after two months, I developed left-sided sciatica. Because running, rowing and cycling are activities thought to worsen the symptoms of sciatica, I resorted to walking long distances with a weighted backpack, i.e. rucking. To my surprise, rucking gave me a sufficient workout during those weeks I was recovering from the sciatica.
Over a three-month period, my weight fell from 74.1 kg (on July 6, 2021) to 67.8 kg (October 5, 2021).
Upper Abdominal Ultrasound Scan
The ultrasound scan of my upper abdomen on October 5, 2021 only found a 3 mm gallbladder polyp and no other abnormality.
Liver Function Test
My liver function test was normal. In particular, my ALT and GGT had returned to normal levels.
|October 5, 2021||July 6, 2021||April 17, 2020||Reference Range|
My liver enzymes were normal again. My gastroenterologist believed the elevated levels seen in July were related to weight gain in the preceding months. He recommended I stopped taking the liver supplements.