My NAFLD Journey, Part 1–Liver Disease
So, I was worried about NAFLD which is why I researched it and wrote a post about it a few weeks ago. What is NAFLD? It stands for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. People with celiac disease are at a 3X higher risk for developing NAFLD. The reason for this is probably because celiac leads to malabsorption, which leads to malnutrition; this is one of the causes of NAFLD. Unfortunately, the risk continues to be high for as long as 15 years after going strictly gluten free. (I’ve been diagnosed with celiac and gluten free for 13 years.) Now, I begin this journey to heal my liver.
So, I was hoping that some of the pain I was beginning to feel in July was because of my Gilbert’s disease/syndrome. (I do have problems with some medication because of Gilbert’s. It isn’t really as simple as they make it sound.) I have been drinking a lot of lemon water, using both fresh lemons and essential lemon oil. The pain was coming and going and sometimes it was gone for a week or more.
Then, last week I had so much pain I almost went to the ER! I really didn’t want to, because I was afraid I would be hospitalized and my 30 year high school reunion was that night and I didn’t want to miss it! I did several essential oils, my neighbor and husband gave me a blessing and I took some pain reliever. By the time the reunion came I was doing well enough to have a good time.
Into the Doctor
Made it into the doctor at the beginning of the week. Because of recent medical issues with a family member and my uncle having died of liver cancer the doctor was very concerned. He wants me to have a genetic test to see if I have Lynch Syndrome.
He did some blood work and an ultra-sound. No one has actually said I have NAFLD, but everything I have researched. (Including my blood work, which I always research, because in my experience, they never tell you everything!) points to NAFLD as the problem. On top of that, everything the doctor has said to do, is the treatment for NAFLD.
What it feels like
It does feel like my liver is too big for the space it has. My ribs push on it and press against it. It hurts frequently and is uncomfortable. Sometimes, it feels like cramps. Some sitting positions are really uncomfortable! Standing very long can get uncomfortable. If I move just right (or rather just wrong) I have a lot of pain.
(I wonder if my liver is bruised from being pushed against the rib.)
Amazingly, riding my bike isn’t uncomfortable! Which is good because my daughter and I have been trying to get in a good exercise routine for the past 8 weeks and we enjoy bike riding. (We have been trying to lose weight and get in shape!)
Some things that are hard to do
- Some sitting positions
- Bending over
- Shaving my legs
- Most exercise
- Finding a comfortable sleeping position to fall asleep in
If left untreated it can lead to needing a liver transplant or liver cancer. YIKES! (In the words of my kids: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”)
NAFLD is reversible!!! Yeah!
- Bring down my ALT level- (The ALT level is part of a metabolic panel that is done in a blood test. This is a measurement of liver enzymes.)
- Lose some weight (Only 1-2 pounds a week or it can make things worse.)
- Smaller, more frequent meals
- Less red meat
- I’m already avoiding high fructose corn syrup but I could stop having an occasional soda.
- Take a magnesium supplement and do more Epsom Salt foot baths
- Take 400-1200 IU Vitamin E
- Look into beet juice to lower my ALT level
- Keep exercising 3-5 days a week
Part 2 is up.