Today’s article about the things that I’ve learned in the first six months after being diagnosed with NAFLD was written back in 2018. I have updated it a couple of times to keep it as accurate as possible and as useful as possible for you.
It’s actually scary to think about the number of people that get diagnosed with a fatty liver each day. Even though this is unfortunately becoming such a common thing, NAFLD is still downplayed by many doctors and people don’t really know what it is all about.
Over the years, since starting this blog, I met so many people who told me that they had their fatty liver for over a decade. And did nothing about it because their doctors said “everybody has it”. And they got worse.
It’s unbelievable to hear that a trained doctor can ignore such an important disease. Sure, it’s not as bad as many other things out there… but not something to ignore either as it has the potential to get worse if you don’t reverse it.
When I was diagnosed in 2014, I knew absolutely nothing about fatty liver and I was terrified when my doctor told me I can’t reverse it. Best I could do, she said, was to hope it won’t progress into something worse that could become life threatening.
Hearing that at 30 definitely shakes your world and life!
Fortunately, I did my own research and managed to reverse my fatty liver in one year and a half. So it is possible to do it, despite what some doctors say, and more and more people learn that through regular research.
Today I am sharing an article written by Melissa, one of the moderators of this blog’s Facebook group offering fatty liver support and information (make sure to join it if you haven’t done so already!)
She has been diagnosed with a Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease six months prior to writing this article and, just like most of us, didn’t know that much about this condition.
She was luckier than most as she has experience working in the health industry, but even so there was a lot to learn. (And in the mean time, she managed to fully reverse her fatty liver also!)
She was kind enough to share with us what she has learned during this time and I personally consider this inspiring and 100% accurate.
So read Melissa’s words and understand one important thing: you can do it! You can reverse this! Don’t give up!
Now here is Melissa’s story with NAFLD and the key takeaways from her fight against it:
I was diagnosed in July 2017 with Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. I thought I’d share a synopsis of what I’ve learned over the last 6 months on this crazy journey called liver disease.
1. We’re all terrified upon diagnosis, and many physicians seem dismissing in regards to treatment. Lose weight and exercise.
We’re all kind of left shell shocked with little direction. The terror will subside as you take control and educate yourself. There are no stupid questions. Ask them all.
2. Be insistent that your Dr. explain your specific diagnosis. Then own your diagnosis. People can’t correctly respond to your questions if you they don’t know where you are in the disease process.
3. There is Alcoholic and Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. There is NASH, were scarring is forming, then Cirrosshis. There are levels of NASH, and MELD Scores for End Stage Liver Disease requiring transplant.
4. Your liver filters toxins out of your body. When the liver is stressed it will not filter properly leading to inflammation and scarring.
Toxins can be sugar, chemicals, alcohol, antibiotics, viruses, such as Hepatitis A,B, and C, and bacteria. Many people undergoing treatment for cancers, cure the cancer but then end up with liver disease from the toxic treatments.
There are autoimmune issues that can cause liver damage. Alcohol is no longer the most common cause for liver transplant requirements anymore. It’s the common toxins we put in our systems that we never realized could be harmful along with obesity and lack of exercise.
5. Many times fatty liver is discovered by accident when doing an Ultrasound or CAT Scan for something else.
Liver Disease is often silent until so far along that it shows up on lab work, and at that point it’s serious. You’ll see elevated Cholesterol, Triglycerides, and Liver enzymes.
6. Liver Disease knows no age limit or geographic boundaries. It’s world wide and becoming epidemic.
7. When caught early, it is reversible with proper diet and exercise.
8. There is no magic quick fix fad diet, detox, or smoothies. In fact weight loss that is too rapid actually puts more strain on the liver making inflammation worse.
And yes, we all have that achy pain up under our right rib cage that our Drs claim we can’t have.
Proper Diet helps that. Cut out all refined sugar and products that contain them. Cut out over processed foods with preservatives.
When the liver is stressed it can not process sugar and turns it into fat and stores it in the liver.
Eat lean meats, bright colorful vegetables and leafy vegetables. Eat whole grains sparingly and cut out all products made with white flour.
Sweeten sparingly with raw honey or pure maple syrup. Eat dairy sparingly. Eat dried beans, legumes, eggs, healthy fats as in olive oil and avocados.
Black coffee, green teas, most herbal teas, and lots of water. You can have sugars that occur naturally in fruits and vegetables.
9. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. I’m up to walking 5 miles a day. Start your exercise routine small and increase in achievable steps. But stick to it and never give up, no matter how hard it gets!
10. Many people diagnosed with liver disease are often diagnosed with other debilitating disease processes first like immune disorders, metabolic disorders, diabetes, inflammatory processes, stomach or reflux problems, IBS, thyroid problems, sleep disorders, sleep apnea, or esophageal varices.
11. It sounds impossible, but many stages of liver disease are reversible. So far I’ve lost 35 pounds, no longer suffer from IBS and reflux, and all of my labs are normal.
Still have another 30 pounds to lose and will return for US at the end of this month. Will continue to be tested over the next 3 months to make sure I continue on track.
The founder of this group did it, I’m doing it, and you can too.
The support from this group is awesome. Never stop asking questions. Never stop seeking answers. Never stop reaching out to help others.