Case Study: Kidney Stones And A Fatty Liver

Markus is a 38 year old man who came to our clinic seeking help with weight loss and a diagnosed fatty liver. Everyone in his family was overweight in the abdominal region, and his father and brother were both type 2 diabetics. Markus knew he was borderline diabetic and wanted to avoid the same fate.

Markus was diagnosed with a fatty liver four years ago. He must have had the condition for a lot longer than that though, because his liver enzymes were significantly elevated and his liver actually showed the early signs of cirrhosis. Markus felt a dull ache in his liver region most days, and that’s what brought him to his local doctor initially.

I explained to Markus that he had syndrome X and this was the driver of his obesity and fatty liver. Syndrome X is also known as insulin resistance. The cells of Markus’ body were no longer very responsive to the hormone insulin, thus it was doing a poor job of getting sugar into his cells, where it could be used for energy. Hence his fasting blood sugar level was around 114mg/dL most of the time, and he felt very tired.

Elevated blood insulin promotes the creation of body fat, which primarily gets stored around the torso. This hormone also inhibits the fat burning hormones in the body, making it almost impossible to lose weight despite exercise. Markus had a fairly good understanding of what he needed to do to resolve his health issues because he had bought our type 2 diabetes book for his brother and had also read it himself.

Unfortunately Markus experienced a great deal of hunger and cravings, for chocolate in particular. He knew he needed to keep his carbs low in order to lose weight and reverse the fatty liver, but the problem was he couldn’t maintain a healthy diet for long enough. Markus had elevated uric acid levels in his blood, which is common in people with syndrome X. Uric acid can cause gout or kidney stones. Therefore his doctor had put Markus on the medication allopurinol, to keep the uric acid down. Despite this, his level was still higher than ideal and Markus did experience mild ankle and toe pain occasionally.

My recommendations for my patient

  • Markus had quite an unhealthy lifestyle. He is a hedge fund manager and works extremely long hours. Consequently there are some nights of the week where he only gets four hours of sleep. Lack of sleep is a huge risk factor for nearly every serious disease, particularly syndrome X and type 2 diabetes. Markus travels a lot for his job and this disrupts his routine significantly. He is often unable to switch his mind off and get a good night’s sleep. I gave him melatonin and magnesium, to help him get to sleep more quickly and improve the quality of his sleep.
  • Lack of exercise was another problem. Markus would often sit at his desk for 14 hours straight. In summer he experienced a great deal of swelling in his legs when he sat this long. The constant sitting made him feel tired and he snacked on sugary treats in order to try and revive himself. After dinner at home, Markus would often do another couple of hours work on his computer. This was a dangerous time for him in terms of sugar cravings. His cravings became so intense that he could no longer concentrate on what he was doing unless he grabbed a chocolate bar. I gave him Glicemic Balance capsules to balance his blood sugar and reduce cravings, and I also asked him to modify his diet.
  • Markus knew he needed to keep his carbs low, but he wasn’t eating enough fat. This meant his meals weren’t satisfying and he needed herculean willpower in order to not reach for chocolate sooner or later. He was following the meal plan in our diabetes book but I asked him to add more natural fats to his meals, such as olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, butter and macadamia nuts. I asked him to eat oilier foods more often, such as lamb and salmon, which are generally more satiating than chicken or tuna.
  • In order to help his liver, I gave Markus Livatone Plus. It was critically important to reduce the inflammation in his liver, which could help to heal his liver cells and arrest the progression of the cirrhosis.

Markus was a highly motivated patient and he followed the diet to the letter. He was able to normalize his liver enzymes and he no longer experienced the dull ache in his liver. He also managed to lose 32 pounds and his blood sugar reading was now in the healthy range.

Markus had been seeing me for a consultation every six weeks for several months, because it helped to keep him motivated and focused. One Thursday afternoon I got a phone call from Markus. He was in hospital, admitted with a kidney stone. He had been taken to hospital in severe pain, where a scan showed the presence of one stone. Markus was given strong painkillers and sent home that evening. Kidney stones are far more common in men than women, and the majority of cases do not require surgery. Markus actually passed the stone a month later, which required another trip to the hospital.

Not drinking enough water is a big risk factor for developing a kidney stone; so too is having syndrome X. Markus had travelled more frequently than usual in the past month, thus he wasn’t drinking enough water and his good diet had lapsed a bit. I asked him to take Kidney Health Formula capsules to help reduce the risk of further stones. They are one of the most painful conditions and Markus was highly motivated to never go through that experience again. Kidney Health capsules contain the herb Phyllanthus amarus, which has a long history of use in the prevention of kidney stones. They also contain cranberry, parsley, vitamin C and NAC to further support kidney health. That episode was a year ago and fortunately Markus hasn’t had any more kidney problems since.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.