Steatosis and cirrhosis in an obese diabetic. Resolution of fatty liver by fasting.
A 54-year-old woman with obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and massive hepatomegaly was found to have severe steatosis and cirrhosis on liver biopsy. Complete evaluation led to the diagnosis of fatty cirrhosis associated with obesity and diabetic mellitus. She underwent four months of fasting with a protein-carbohydrate and vitamin-mineral liquid supplement to control her weight and metabolic abnormalities and to evaluate the effect of this diet on her liver disease. She lost 40 pounds to ideal body weight, normalized her serum glucose and lipids, and decreased total liver height by one third. Liver biopsy at the completion of her diet showed inactive cirrhosis and complete resolution of steatosis. Supplemented fasting with only modest weight loss can safely resolve fatty liver in obese diabetics with nonalcoholic steatosis and cirrhosis. Aggressive dietary approaches to achieve long-term weight loss deserve study in this subgroup of diabetics with unexplained chronic liver disease.