Cruisin with the Real"s

Cruisin with the Real"s
Joe and Nancy Grand Cayman 10-07

Loma Linda Medical Center

Loma Linda Medical Center
Where the magic happens........

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let's talk Liver.....Fatty Liver in particular (NASH)

The slide on the left shows fat accumulation in liver cells. The slide on the right shows healthy liver cells.

Ok, Enough with the pretty pictures and back to the subject at hand....Liver disease.

This photo as you have guessed by now is one of a fatty liver. Fatty Liver is one of the steps towards Cirrhosis. It doesn't always end up as cirrhosis but a lot of the time is does.

It can either be alcoholic related or not. NASH stand for Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease.

I am going to repost a little bit here and give you a couple of links to look at but what you should know is that it is becoming more and more prevalent and is effecting younger and younger people. Even children who are overweight. It is a serious health care problem today.

I will tell you how it relates to livers available for transplant in a minute...

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) describes a range of conditions involving the liver that affect people who drink little or no alcohol.

The mildest type is simple fatty liver (steatosis), an accumulation of fat within your liver that usually causes no liver damage. A potentially more serious type, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is associated with liver-damaging inflammation and, sometimes, the formation of fibrous tissue. In some cases, this can progress either to cirrhosis, which can produce progressive, irreversible liver scarring, or to liver cancer.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease affects all age groups, including children. Most often, it's diagnosed in middle-aged people who are overweight or obese, and who may also have diabetes and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

With the increasing incidence of obesity and diabetes in Western countries, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has become a growing problem. Although its true prevalence is unknown, some estimates suggest it may affect as many as one-third of American adults.

Because early-stage nonalcoholic fatty liver disease rarely causes any symptoms, it's often detected because of abnormal results of liver tests done for unrelated issues. Treatments for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease include weight loss, exercise, improved diabetes control and the use of cholesterol-lowering medications.

Here is a link to more technical stuff from wikipedia talking about the differences between Fatty Liver related to alcohol or not....

One of the reasons I bring it up is PLEASE have your blood drawn at regular physicals and ask your physician in particular about your liver enzymes. ALT and AST. If they are high you need to pay attention !!!!!

I wouldn't be where I am if I had.....But then nothing is going to happen to ME !!! or so I thought. There won't be any outward symptoms....You won't FEEL sick but your liver may be screaming at you.

Something I learned from my coordinators at Scripps I find interesting. Usable livers available for transplant are getting scarcer as they can take a perfectly healthy looking donor. Get all the approvals for transplant from the family. Be ready to get the organs of that generous person ready for transplant. With a liver that includes a biopsy. And low and behold the liver is a *FATTY LIVER*, therefore NOT good enough for a transplant.

This is happening far more these days than in days past. There is more obesity, more diabetes or pre-diabetes etc and it is effecting the liver so much that it is no longer a viable organ for transplant.

ALSO, the increase of fatty liver in the general population is increasing the number of people who NEED transplants...

As you can see, it is becoming a huge problem and is effecting transplant from both ends. Donors available and an increase in recipients listed for transplant.

Hope everyone got out and voted today!

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