I have been helping several groups doing research on what is happening with liver disease patients and I have been surprised by a trend that I have noticed. When a person first learns that they have a serious liver disease they reach out to Dr Google, our forum, and significantly to FaceBook support groups. I don't have numerical data, but I interact with multiple forums that reach thousands of patients so I have a window into what the day to day is like.
A problem we have focused on is that it has been the standard of care not to screen for liver disease at the primary care level, in the absence of symptoms. That means that the first time many people learn of their risk is being told that they have cirrhosis. Much of our effort has been spent trying to illuminate this as an issue. We are particularly concerned as the disease is showing up in younger people in the death rate statistics but we hadn't really seen movement in when people learn about the disease.Read more
This is a major step for us as patients. We all know the story. The doc says sadly, "You have cirrhosis, I'm sorry we have no treatment". This is a refrain we see retold thousands of times here at the Foundation and it is the path I have personally traveled. I've written that we are on the brink of a new day when we will have options. This is the dawning of that day.Read more
Fatty Liver & Liver Cirrhosis Are At Epidemic Levels!
- 100,000,000 Americans have a fatty liver. Most don't know it.
- 20,000,000 will develop liver fibrosis disease or NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) as a result.
- 5,000,000 million will progress to liver cirrhosis or NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) and possibly end stage liver failure.
- Some will be lucky enough to be listed for a transplant, the only cure for late stage liver disease, but 30% of those listed will die waiting. Death by liver failure is long and difficult.
- We want to help you avoid this kind of death by helping you understand how you may be killing yourself slowly. And, what you can do about it.
- If you are already ill, we will do our best to help you with that process.
To improve the diagnosis, treatment & support of Americans with fatty liver, NAFLD or NASH through awareness, education, screening and patient advocacy.
We Advocate Early Screening
Typically, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are silent diseases. They have no symptoms. Even if cirrhosis has developed, there are often no symptoms until the liver has become so damaged that the only option is a liver transplant.
There is currently a quick, easy and economical method to screen for fatty liver disease called a FibroScan. Unfortunately, the current medical standards policy is not to screen for liver disease. And, unless you are sick and have symptoms, insurance probably won't pay for the scan, even if you're lucky enough to have a testing system in your area.
The Fatty Liver Foundation is championing a nationwide program to provide liver screening services in cooperation with Liver Care Canada and Echosens, the manufacturer of Fibroscan, to make it possible for people who have a concern for their liver health to get an inexpensive scan. Since insurance doesn't normally cover screening for people who aren't sick yet, it will be on a private pay basis. However, as a nonprofit foundation, we believe we can deliver this service at an affordable price.
If you would like to watch some very good videos about liver disease,
Where is your liver
How does your liver affect digestion?
What are the liver's metabolic functions?
How does your liver affect blood clotting?
What other proteins does your liver make?
What are the hormonal functions of your liver?
What is your liver’s role in breaking down unwanted substances?
The liver, an amazing organ!
Some Liver Facts!
Hopefully you clicked on the picture to hear the very short quote from Shakespeare. Sometimes I can't resist a bit of drama.
Since you have an interest in liver disease, I wanted to let you know that we have reached a real milestone in the development of the foundation. We intend to help change the way liver disease, particularly NASH, is managed and to save the lives of millions who do not know today that they are at risk.Read more
I recently wrote about my view that for the first time a cirrhosis patient could look forward to real medical therapies. A few folks felt that I was planting false hopes and that such miracles weren't going to happen. In light of that, I thought I might provide a broader view of the situation today.
Some of you are old enough to remember that not so long ago Hep C was unknown. We called the illness non A non B hepatitis. Today we have a cure. A miracle perhaps but also a lesson.Read more
This information is primarily for physicians but may be of value to some of our patients. As a patient, it is important to know that the interpretation of a Fibroscan score is not simple. The meaning of a test depends upon what caused the liver damage as we can see in this scoring guide.
In light of this, it is important that a qualified physician makes the interpretation of your test results. Some of the guidance available for physicians is found in these documents.