Important Information About Liver Health & Nutrition- Interview
A new year often means resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more. Most dieters fail and those resolutions don’t last because we approach them as diets. Instead – eating right involves consistent behavior over time and it includes ways to manage liver health in particular.
How About Straight Talk About Nutrition?
About 100 million Americans have fatty liver disease and don’t know it. Of the 30 million people with diabetes, about 70% also have fatty livers. Obesity is an epidemic that is shortening our lives and our poor nutrition as a society is a primary cause. Because of our poor diets, we face an epidemic of chronic disease with nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) and diabetes being two of the key drivers. Fatty liver disease is becoming one of the most common causes of cirrhosis. As a threat, it is about 6 times as likely to kill you as diabetes, even though most people have never heard of it.
It’s important to know that making lifestyle changes can be critical to managing these chronic diseases, especially in their early stages. A reduction of seven to ten percent of body weight has been shown to improve liver health and also reduces the threat posed by diabetes. Good nutrition, in a “food, is medicine” perspective, is the best tool for improving health but diets are hard and most people don’t understand how to think about food.
Patients diagnosed with nutrition-related disease often remark “I wish I had known”. The best treatment for these diseases is not to get sick in the first place. As patients and doctors dealing with these diseases, we know how hard it is but knowledge is the key first step. Fad diets and get thin quick never work but good nutrition is possible, even in today’s poorly fed society. Advice about food is everywhere but there are too many conflicting claims and a lot of confusion about health. It is generally true that the best advice comes from those who are successful as patients and from physicians managing weight and food-related illnesses.
Join me in a recent interview with Dr. Meagan Gray, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama and Wayne Eskridge a cirrhosis patient and Founder of the Fatty Liver Foundation as they provided important information about liver health and nutrition, what you need to know to succeed, and much more.
Listen to the entire interview here.
For more information, go to fattyliverfoundation.org
Meagan Gray, MD Bio
Dr. Gray obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and subsequently her medical degree at the University of Louisville. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at the Medical University of South Carolina followed by fellowships in both Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology at the University of Cincinnati. She then joined faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Her clinical interests are in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and she has established UAB’s first NAFLD Clinic which is a multidisciplinary clinic in collaboration with UAB’s Weight Loss Medicine center. She also has a special interest in dietary interventions for the prevention and reversal of metabolic disease and actively promotes a plant-based lifestyle.
Wayne Eskridge, Fatty Liver Foundation President and CEO
Wayne Eskridge, an electrical engineering graduate from the University of Idaho, worked in software and electronics through a 50-year professional career. He served in many technical and managerial roles beginning as a computer programmer, through multiple levels of technical and managerial positions in businesses of all sizes. He held executive positions in both public and private corporations with worldwide responsibilities, and from startups to Fortune 500 firms.
In 2015 Wayne was diagnosed with stage 4 NASH with cirrhosis. He had no symptoms and didn’t know that his diet, typical of so many Americans, was unhealthy and damaging to his liver. As a result of his own experiences, he became aware of an acute need for educational resources for patients. While there is currently no medical treatment for NAFLD/NASH, lifestyle changes can be effective. Wayne believes that prevention through education is the only practical solution today. His desire to help others avoid his experiences led him to the decision to become a patient champion and to create the Fatty Liver Foundation.