What I Wish I Had Known Sooner

Hello and Welcome to the Fatty Liver Foundation (FLF) website!

My name is Rosemary and I am the wife of the FLF founder, Wayne Eskridge, who is an improving NASH/Cirrhosis patient.  From 2010 to 2015, we were on a roller coaster ride, the type where you slowly get pulled up higher and higher, only to drop back down at stomach-turning speeds.  Unfortunately, I hate roller coasters.

If you’re interested in the details of Wayne’s story, click here and it will take you to it.

When we finally figured out what was really going on, I found myself looking back and lamenting “If only I had known.”.  Wayne and I have put together a list of some of the things we wish we had known at the start of our journey, in the hopes that it may be helpful and valuable to you.

  • You must be your own advocate and an active participant!

    • The days of “the doctor knows best” are long past; no doctor can know it all and specialists only address issues specific to their specialty
    • Educate yourself and ask questions
    • If the doctor in front of you cannot answer your questions, get in front of one that can
    • If the diagnosis does not feel right, it probably is not; get a second or third or fourth opinion until things add up and make sense
    • If you are too sick to be your own advocate, find someone that can do it for you
    • When the doctor tells you what you want to hear, but it does not really add up, do not simply accept it
  • You can have advanced liver damage (i.e. stage 4 damage with cirrhosis) and have absolutely no symptoms.

    • Your liver test values can be completely normal
    • You can feel fine and not have jaundice or any other symptoms
  • A liver biopsy can confirm that you have liver damage.  Unfortunately, in the early stages of the disease, it cannot confirm with 100% confidence that you do not have damage.

    • Since the damage can be patchy, it can depend on where the biopsy is taken and whether the sample size is adequate
    • Pathological interpretation can vary
    • It can also depend on how experienced the pathologist is in reading liver biopsy slides
  • The average primary care physicians and Gastroenterologists know little to nothing about fatty liver and liver disease.

    • They believe that fat in the liver is benign and will not hurt you; they are likely to tell you “it is nothing to worry about”
    • They tell their patients that there is no treatment for NAFLD and NASH since there is not a pill they can prescribe
    • They may mention in passing, but do not emphasize the importance of losing weight, getting exercise and changing what you eat
    • They do not believe their patients are capable of changing their behavior and losing weight
    • They do not tell, that for some patients, fatty liver can progress to NAFLD, NASH, cirrhosis, liver cancer and even death
  • What I thought was a healthy diet, really was not.

    • Too much sugar is as damaging to the liver as too much alcohol
    • Too much sugar is the primary thing that turns to fat in the liver
    • Eating excess white flour, white rice and potatoes is almost the same as eating sugar
    • Saturated fats (e.g. milk fat, red meat fat, etc.) cause inflammation which is bad for the liver
  • While the liver can regenerate, there is a point of no return where there is so much damage that it cannot repair itself; at this point, the only option is a liver transplant

    • There are not enough livers to meet the demand for all of those that need one
    • As the liver fails, you develop terrible symptoms (e.g. constant itching, varices, HE, ascites, fatigue, jaundice, pain, bleeding, etc.)
    • Liver damage can lead to other organ damage (e.g. pancreas, heart, etc.) and diabetes, heart, digestion and brain problems among other things
    • While it is way better than death, life after a liver transplant is not a cake walk with all of the pills you have to take, higher risk of infection, etc.

There is a lot of information on this site about NAFLD, NASH, cirrhosis, etc. which we hope is useful to you.  Otherwise, we wish you the best of luck with your journey.

Rosemary & Wayne

P.S. If you have things you'd like to add to this list, it would be great it you'd use the comment section below to share them!!


Showing 10 reactions

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  • Robert Goodban II
    commented 2021-01-19 12:09:21 -0700 · Flag
    Enjoyed reading Rosemary’s comments and getting her perspective. To the list of things your doctor may or may not tell you I would add the doctor does not tell you that depending on your current or future liver status you might best be served by considering joining an appropriate clinical trial. Although the doctor is correct there is no current treatment, but that really is only true if you are referring to a drug being available for treatment. The patient again is mislead as the most important “treatment” at this time is a liver friendly diet, exercise, weight loss if overweight, and the possible benefit of joining a clinical trial depending on your liver status.

    So thank you Rosemary for reminding all of us that it is a common experience that doctors unfortunately understate the importance of the “treatment” that we can do ourselves and on our own. We must not allow ourselves to make excuses for not taking our “treatment” seriously. If we are making excuses then the doctors are only partially responsible for our lack of “treatment”.


    aka: Troutwhisperer
  • Beverly Menahem
    commented 2020-11-20 05:00:15 -0700
    Oops- auto correct- right side belly and right side mid back pain.
  • Beverly Menahem
    commented 2020-11-20 04:58:11 -0700
    Thank you so much for this information. I am obese and I know I must lose at anc be more active besides my dr telling me to lose wt. I’m too addicted to ice cream. That’s my major downfall. After suffering Er side belly pain and Er mid back pain my abdominal ultrasound shows a very fatty liver. Obviously I must take serious action to improve my liver health. I’m happy to join this group and learn about liver disease. Again thank you and wishing both of you the best in health.
  • Kathleen Hall
    commented 2020-07-24 21:36:44 -0600
    I have had a nonalcoholic fatty liver for a few years now. This last week I had surgery. After a few days I looked into a mirror and saw my eyes had turned jaundice and blood shot, pretty bad looking. We purchased 2000 mg liquid milk thistle. In just few days by eyes have begun to look more normal‼️ I am excited to think that is helping heal the liver. So I went looking to see about blood sugars and the liver since I just turned diabetic. And found this post. And hope that somebody else will get benefits from what I’m sharing.
  • Joseph DiMaggio
    commented 2020-05-28 14:41:36 -0600
    Wow!! We discovered the same things and more when the littany of doctors we saw had either no answer or something that was utterly ridiculous. I can’t believe just how little the Allopathic segment of the medical field understands about how the body works. I wish I had known before so much time was wasted with them. Once we found a doctor who understands how the body functions, the remedies for all the symptoms were easy—and they worked. We also gained an education along the way by asking all those questions you mention. We now have a path to health until death. Our healthspan will most likely equal our life span assuming we practice all we have learned from real doctors with a paradigm that works and doesn’t feed the beast of big-pharma and insurance.

    It is very disturbing what is going on with the American Medical Association that is churing out all these doctors who don’t even understand the basics of body function. They even attack the other side for providing real solutions for chronically ill pations including those with Cancer. People like us have earned the right to be outraged at what we see once we see it.
  • Startup Jobs Portal
    followed this page 2019-10-23 05:36:44 -0600
  • Wayne Eskridge
    commented 2019-02-11 16:05:56 -0700
    Green is usually used as the color for liver awareness, here is a link to a discussion at the ALF forum https://www.inspire.com/groups/american-liver-foundation/discussion/liver-disease-awareness-ribbon-color/
  • Amanda Manning
    commented 2019-02-10 09:36:49 -0700
    😥😥😥 this is a serious issue that is on an extreme rise….I lost my mother to Non-Alcoholic Cirrhosis April 2018.. (No alcohol consumption involved)….is there a “ribbon” color for this?? If not let’s make a move for it ✊🏼✊🏼🙏🏼❤…
  • faith coleman
    commented 2018-11-06 11:19:12 -0700
    This site is giving me so much hope and info’ So far this year I have been admitted to the hospital twice and the doctors cannot agree on the problem. The specialist wanted the surgeon to remove my gall bladder but because I did not have the pain associated with gall bladder disease only the loose bowels and vomiting he refused. I did have hep C which was cured in 2016 but have had no follow up since then. I was told I had stage 3 liver disease because of the Hep C which could not be cured but was stabilized I was not giving any info on diet or how I could maintain my liver, from reading your page I see I should have not be eating red meat which I love. Hopefully I can have a meaningful discussion with my doctors now that I am more informed. Thank You
  • Julianne DeNicola
    commented 2018-05-06 19:59:28 -0600
    Blessings and love to you both.

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