Georgia Noble’s heart started pounding when her doctor’s name popped up on her phone. “I was concerned about your abnormal liver enzyme levels,” he told her. “Your ultrasound confirmed that you have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.”
Fear and confusion swept over Georgia. That dull ache under her rib cage, the occasional dizziness, the grogginess even after a third cup of coffee — she thought it was just aging. “I don’t drink alcohol, and I try to eat healthy,” she gasped. “How can I have a liver problem?”
Later, Georgia told her husband, Paul, “The doctor said I’ll need a biopsy if it gets worse.” The couple owned a small business —being self-insured, if Georgia got sicker, it could mean financial disaster. Isn’t there more I can do? she wondered.
As Georgia did more research into non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), she learned that postmenopausal weight gain from eating even “healthy” foods, like whole-grain bread, can be the culprit. Prediabetes or elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels causes a build up of fat on the liver that can lead to inflammation and decreased liver function.
On nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman’s website (AnnLouise.com), Georgia also learned that many women are deficient in choline, a nutrient that increases the production of bile, a digestive fluid that helps break down fat. Choline also works to thin the bile so it can more easily flush fatpacking toxins from the liver. Having heard friends complain about expensive prescriptions for their liver ailments — even with private insurance, NAFLD can cost up to $7,800 the first year for diagnosis and treatment, and $3,800 annually for long-term management — Georgia decided to give choline a try.
After getting her doctor’s okay, Georgia began taking two capsules daily of a choline supplement like NOW Choline Supplements (Buy on Amazon, $6.86). She also swapped her carb-heavy meals for veggie based dishes and started walking more. After a week, Georgia noticed she wasn’t desperate for her usual 3 pm coffee fix.
“Your blood work is really improving,” her doctor said a month later. Georgia was getting more done at work and still had energy to spare when she watched her 2-year-old grandson. Within two months, her liver enzymes were back in the normal range and she had dropped 21 pounds.
Two years later, Georgia, now 55, cheers, “I feel amazing. I haven’t had any dizzy spells, and I feel energetic. Fatty liver disease doesn’t have to be devastating. The choline supplement, fresh fruit, and veggies and exercise gave me back my health. You can do it too!”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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