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,
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
We are working with the Healthy Trucking Association of America, (HTAA) to help educate and support truckers at risk of liver disease. It isn't commonly known that truckers have among the highest rates of diabetes and heart disease of any profession which means they also have a high risk of asymptomatic undiagnosed liver disease. We will be doing a live radio broadcast about liver disease on radio at 4:00 PM CST February 6th. This is internet radio so if you would like to listen click on the link at that time. If you are a country music fan you may like the station even if you aren't a trucker.
We are working with the Healthy Trucking Association of America, (HTAA) to help educate and support truckers at risk of liver disease. It isn't commonly known that truckers have among the highest rates of diabetes and heart disease of any profession which means they also have a high risk of asymptomatic undiagnosed liver disease. HTAA produces INTHECAB radio an internet radio so if you would like to listen click on the link. If you are a country music fan you may like the station even if you aren't a trucker.
Dr. John McElligott, cofounder of the St. Christopher Trucker Development and Relief Fund, has described fatty liver disease as, “the scourge of the trucking industry,” in a September 2017 blog post. Data from 1670 long-haul truck drivers obtained by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in their 2010 National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Driver Health and Injury support substantially higher prevalence of metabolic disease among truckers relative to the general working population:
- 69% obese (vs 31% of working adults in US; P< .01)
- 17% morbidly obese (vs 7% of working adults in US; P< .01)
- 14% with diabetes (vs 7% of general US population; P< .05)
Since nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are commonly without any symptoms, most truckers do not know that their risk of developing cirrhosis is much higher than that of the general population. We are working to help the community understand that and begin to take steps to address it before they become ill.
1. Dr. John’s Medical Solutions Blog. https://docjmd.com/blog/fatty-liver-disease-the-scourge-of-the-trucking-industry/. Accessed August 15, 2018.
2. SieberWK, Robinson CF, BirdseyJ, et al. Obesity and other risk factors: the national survey of U.S. long-haul truck driver health and injury. Am J IndMed. 2014;57:615-626.
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
There are some benefits to being an advocate. Sometimes you get to be first. We just finished training and certifying our staff to do FibroScan tests. As part of that I got to be the first one tested. Getting to this point has been a long journey, about 9 months, so a birth of sorts though happily a painless one. Everyone shows off baby pictures, here is beauty for anyone who hasn't seen a FibroScan report. This is my new scan. Click on it if you'd like to see the full size view.
Although this note is about our screening project, it is also an opportunity to reinforce our view that with lifestyle changes it can be possible to improve liver health, even for a cirrhosis patient.Read more
In every battle there are moments which mark the end of an era. They portend the beginning of something new and a time when tiny things can sprout and grow to a vast scale. We have just completed our installation and certification of our first FibroScan system for our liver screening project. We are alive and well in Texas City and a new day is dawning.
You can now schedule a FibroScan liver screening test in Texas City
The goal of the study is to identify patients who are at risk for NAFLD or NASH but do not yet have any symptoms. The study will provide information about the incidence and demographics of liver disease in the general public.
WHO CAN TAKE THE TEST? You must be at least 18 years old, not pregnant, and do not have any implanted electronic devices.
FASTING PLEASE NOTE: You should fast for at least 3 hours before the test so plan your schedule accordingly.
FibroScan liver stiffness and fat content tests are being offered for free to patients who have a high risk of liver disease, such as NAFLD or NASH. Patients who suffer from diseases that are related to obesity or lifestyle, such as type 2 diabetes, are most at risk but liver disease can be associated with a wide variety of illnesses and still present no symptoms until the organ is badly damaged.
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