Monday, June 30, 2014

Sugar and Cirrhosis of the Liver

I recently updated my vitamin levels, which you can read HERE. In it, I also discussed some other health issues.  My doctor ran some additional tests and I went back this weekend to get those results. 

First up...my old lady hip.  My doctor was worried I had arthritis in that hip.  He literally grabbed my leg to move it and said, "whoa!  You have a very stiff hip."  So I went in for an x-ray.  The good news is that there is no arthritis.  YAY!  But that also means that it is a ligament/muscle issue, which is fixable.  So I've been potentially limping around for almost five years for no reason.  He will perform myofascial release on me twice a week for who knows how long.  I assume it is similar to the stuff Keith of TriValley Bodyworks has done for me, but at least I can just pay my co-pay and go on my lunch hour.  He has informed me it will be very painful but that I should be cured.  Ummm...yay?

Gallstones...nope.  Nothing.  More YAY!

Also, I'm suddenly low on iron again (actually my ferritin, which apparently is iron stored for future use??).  Sigh.  Add it to the supplement list (along with Vitamin E...also the doctor says to take it with Vitamin C so you don't get constipated, but also remember not to take it with calcium...so many rules!!).  I know Ellen has given me some very good information on how to get iron in the right way but I still need to read and digest all of it.  I've been able to take simple supplements before to get into a healthy range.  BOO!

We all need a little help sometimes
Next up...my liver.  My liver panels were off in the last test, so he re-tested and also ran preemptive tests for Hepatitis A, B and C.  My two panels were still high but I was negative for any Hepatitis.  He had me go in for an ultrasound of my liver.  And he says I have a fatty liver.  Double BOO!  I'm like, hey who doesn't like a lil chub on their liver?!  Well then he drops the bomb.  Fatty liver can turn into cirrhosis of the liver.  That's not possible, I hardly drink alcohol!  Then it hits me.  Alcohol and sugar probably break into the same basic thing once they're in your body.  So, of course a high sugar diet could cause cirrhosis of the liver!  Fuck me.  Okay, now I'm listening. 

What is a fatty liver?   Read THIS WebMD article:

"Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is now the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the U.S. Some people with excess fat in the liver simply have what's called a fatty liver. Although this is not normal, it is not serious if it doesn't lead to inflammation or damage.

The cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is not clear. Certain factors tend to increase risk, but in some cases, no risk factors show up. However, NAFLD tends to run in families. It also shows up most often in people who are middle-aged and overweight or obese. These people often have high cholesterol or triglycerides and diabetes or prediabetes (insulin resistance), as well.
Other potential causes of fatty liver disease include:
  • Medications
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Autoimmune or inherited liver disease
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Malnutrition
Recent studies show that an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine and other changes in the intestine may be associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Some researchers now suspect this may play a role in the progression of NAFLD to NASH."

So maybe gastric bypass (that's a pretty big change to the intestine) caused this issue too???  Moving on...

What is cirrhosis?  Read THIS article:

"Cirrhosis is caused by scar tissue that forms in your liver in response to damage occurring over many years. Each time your liver is injured, it tries to repair itself. In the process, scar tissue forms. As the scar tissue builds up, liver function worsens. In advanced cirrhosis, the liver no longer works very well."

According to THIS article:

"Since all fructose gets shuttled to your liver, and, if you eat a typical Western-style diet, you consume high amounts of it, fructose ends up taxing and damaging your liver in the same way alcohol and other toxins do. In fact, fructose is virtually identical to alcohol with regards to the metabolic havoc it wreaks. According to Dr. Lustig, fructose is a "chronic, dose-dependent liver toxin." And just like alcohol, fructose is metabolized directly into fat—not cellular energy, like glucose. So eating fructose is really like eating fat—it just gets stored in your fat cells, which leads to mitochondrial malfunction."

Soooo, yeah...one more reason to take this sugar stuff seriously (if you want to read my sugar adventures, click HERE).  Anyone else ever wondered about what else sugar is doing to us??

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