Doing the rounds this week is a very interesting article, and one which I want to bring to your attention…and it is all about fatty liver disease.
Many Australians are now overweight, and a lesser known complication of obesity is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
It is affecting about one in three Australians….one in three!
The article featured John Hatty, who we first met when we did a talk at a pre-transplant workshop.
We met him again last week at the post transplant Christmas break-up…he now has a new liver, and is on the road to recovery.
But just 18 months ago, he discovered he had this potentially life threatening condition…all caused by eating too much sugar, processed fat and salt.
Although this particular disease does not product symptoms for most people, Hatty experienced fluid in his abdomen and lapses of consciousness…his liver was being ravaged as a result of diet.
Associate Professor Paul Gow, a senior liver specialist at the Austin Hospital…and one of the specialists who looked after my husband…said although some people of a healthy weight suffered from fatty liver disease, suggesting a genetic factor, most people with it are obese.
While it once affected mostly older men, it can now be found in people in their 20s….specialists are calling it an epidemic….
What is happening to us humans…are we basically eating ourselves to death?
And another frightening statistic…5-10 per cent of people experience potentially fatal consequences of fatty liver disease, including cirrhosis, cancer and liver failure.
The trouble is, by the time you have these problems, it’s usually too late.
Potentially, it can be cured with diet but it seems many people just can’t keep the weight off, and in the end, the only solution is a liver transplant, and believe me, that is no walk in the park!
Just because you need one doesn’t guarantee you getting one in time, let alone getting on the waiting list at all…there are so many factors at play.
I can tell you first hand that any liver disease is not pretty….after seeing my husband go through it, albeit to an autoimmune disease not fatty liver, as well as seeing others fight for life while on the waiting list, I want to wrap my liver in cotton wool.
When your liver is damaged, you can’t go on dialysis like for kidneys…if your liver stops working…so do you!
In most cases, fatty liver can be prevented by eating sensibly so this Christmas, be kind to your liver….enjoy but don’t over indulge…be sensible.
Now is as good a time as any to start taking more care of yourself, and get moving!
Eat healthy…it isn’t hard and you get to indulge in treats like this…an acai bowl.
It’s heaven in a bowl on a hot day such as today…
Now is as good a time as any to start taking more care of yourself, and get moving…perhaps try Pilates…I recommend it!
So I will finish by imploring you to love your liver, and it reciprocate by keeping you alive!