Fatty liver, insominia and CFS

I know now that I live with ME for 35 years, maybe more. In the early 1980s, after a glandular fever which lay down me 4 days in the emergency room, I never was what I was before. I had a diagnostic of ME, 17 years after, July 2001, the doctor found a chronical infection with CMV, a Herpes' family member. I had 2 months of IV treatments with Ganciclovir, two times. I try everything, diets, supplements, acupuncture with some success each time. With year my resistance is lower and lower but my health is more stable. Now I follow a "standard" diet: gluten free, dairy free, sugar-free, no alcohol, no industrial foods and kefir water, which helped me, at least it is better than an oral probiotic.
One year ago a radiologist found a light fatty liver. Yes, I am a little bit overweight at 57,75 kg, 1m70 (128lbs, 5'8, male), no diabetes and no alcohol so I don't have risk factors. Fatty liver touches 25% of the American population, but without risk factor, it is around 1%. My doctor had sent me for this test because I had intercoastal pain, right side. In the same time, I lost power with the right arm and I had pain in right shoulder since one or two years. I see since then an osteopathic doctor with some relief. But the main problem was and reminds insomnia, a specific kind. I think it is linked to the liver, because a glass of wine as a guest or MSG as a restaurant patron, I stop to sleep for 3 nights with a headache. Just meat or beans at home stop me to sleep for a night.
What matters? Recently a Naturopathic Doctor tries some liver helpers: milk thistle tincture, ultra gamma E complex, inositol and choline. I feel strong reactions: white night. My therapist told me to slow down the supplement because ''my liver doesn't take it''. I am upset and disappeared because since 35 years all kind of therapists told me the same: "your liver can't take it". Where to begin? Should I only have herbal tea? Are we at least on the right path? It seems clear that I have a metabolic issue. Is it with sugar or methylation?
My main concern is about sleeping. What a surprise! I stop to sleep around 12 am to 1 am and resume after 4 am. It seems to me that insomnia is linked with food. For Chinese medicine, 1 to 3 am is the ''liver time''. In biology, there is no simple causal link. Where think begins and finishes, it is not clear. It is a logical effect of ME? Or a sideshow? Are we in the good paradigm? There is someone who has the same experience?


Well-Known Member
The book "Liver Rescue" by Anthony William is one of the most comprehensive books on all things liver. I have learned so much about how hard the liver is working on a daily basis. According to Anthony, most people are dealing with some level of fatty liver............even kids are showing signs.

Anthony gets very detailed about the issues of fatty liver and what to do to help restore.

You might check your local library to see if they carry this book. If they don't carry it you can make a request that they order it.

Here is a link I just found: www.medicalmedium.com/blog/do-you-have-a-fatty-liver?
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Well-Known Member
Hi Jean,

I would recommend trying only one new thing at a time. If you take a supplement with many ingredients, you can't tell which ones help and which ones hurt. For example, milk thistle helps me sleep but choline and inositol disagree with me.
Hi Jean,

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) flies under the radar of most doctors and many patients and can have hundreds of downstream effects since it causes malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies and over time affects our metabolic pathways. It was the underlying cause of ME/CFS in my case. It is interesting that fatty liver, and fatty pancreas, are still almost always associated with alcohol, when these days it is more likely the excessive sugar/carb (often unaware) intake in our diet.

Some tests to consider are:

1. Stool pancreatic elastase test - Simple, cheap and not affected by any pancreatic enzymes you may be taking.

2. 24 hour fecal fat test - Simple, cheap and tests if you are breaking down fat properly, which can indicate pancreas dysfunction.

3. Genova Diagnostics - FMV - Gives a great overall picture of nutrient deficiencies, microbiome dysbiosis, pancreatic enzyme issues, and many more. Biochemistry and metabolomics in practice. This test should be standard for all primary care and family practice doctors as a regular preventative maintenance test, and for anything chronic or hard to diagnose. Great Plains Laboratories has similar tests.

4. Genova Diagnostics - Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis 2.0 with Parasitology (microbiome dysbiosis indicators), Fecal Fat Distribution (checks if you have issues with different types of fat intake and digestion), Elastase (for EPI, pancreas enzyme marker)and Chymotrypsin (for EPI, pancreas enzyme marker). Doctor's Data has similar tests.

5. MRI MRCP of the abdomen with contrast - Gives a great picture of pancreas and ducts, gallbladder (3D) and ducts, liver, stomach, intestines.

As a side note, have you had food sensitivities tested for any obvious allergies?

Also, when you are suffering from malabsorption, either through EPI, SIBO, Candida, gallbladder issues or other, you can get sensitive to all kinds of foods even if you do not have 'official' sensitivities or allergies. Beans (mostly starch = sugar) are hard on a fully functioning intestinal system, not an uncommon sensitivity. MSG headaches are also common.

Have you looked into Primal type of food lifestyle? That helped me enormously.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Well-Known Member
It was the underlying cause of ME/CFS in my case.

Hi PrimalPancreas,

Would you have had a blood amylase test done? It is an enzyme associated with the pancreas. If so, were results normal?

I ask because both my mom and I have very high blood amylase consistent with chronic alcohol abuse while we certainly don't abuse alcohol. She had episodes of extensive fatigue, but no CFS nor ME. I have ME.
Blood amylase is the standard test most doctors do, along with lipase, to check the health of the pancreas. My results were always normal, and they are a very poor indicator of exocrine pancreatic health.

However, if they are elevated, this can point to things like pancreatitis, inflammation, duct blockages, cysts, intestinal issues, medication side effects, etc. as the amylase is spilling into the blood. I would certainly have a doctor look into further tests. Perhaps an abdominal CT scan or an abdominal MRI with MRCP. The abdominal MRI with MRCP was a great test for me as it shows a 3d picture of the ducts, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, intestines. Highly recommended and clearly showed the damage of my pancreas.

Have you had a very close and honest look at your food and beverage intake? Is it high in carbohydrates or sugar? What is roughly your daily carb intake in grams, including food and drinks. What is your HbA1c level? If it is 5.3% or higher, your carb intake is likely too high. I do not drink alcohol, but it was chronic excess sugar and carbs in the diet that had a massive negative effect on my pancreas and health. Amylase is the enzyme that breaks down carbs.


Well-Known Member
However, if they are elevated,

...then they can also point to increased acetaldehyde levels in the body. There is another threat on it and I do seem to fit the description quite well. It can both be produced by gut bacteria or by intense oxidative stress in the body. So I presume that is my cause of increased amylase levels.

As to carb intake, I returned to higher carb intake but avoid fructose a lot and go with a (not that easy to maintain) diet that avoids both blood sugar spikes and lows. It helps me and I believe it has anti inflammatory properties too. It seem that both the spikes and the lows are the major inflammatory parts of carb intake. Haven't redone the amylase test; may do when getting up another notch or two in health ;-). Meanwhile, keeping cholesterol and triglycerides under control will do as a test.

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