Guest Post – Vanessa Dawn – Health Impacts of Societal Change

My Wheels R’ Spinning…..How many of you have ever bought a car only then to realize or become aware how many others just like it are on the road? Ive caught myself saying, oh look, now that I got my car, there are all kinds just like it. In reality, my awareness level just heightened. I felt the same way this past week while on vacation at the beach! First let me say to anyone reading this…I am in no way insinuating those here are obese etc etc or at fault for their disease. Doing so would be hypocritical of my own self. I am merely pointing out how my observations brought me to a different level of “awareness”. 1st—all I see on tv are beautiful, nearly anorexic sized women glamorizing their thin bodies. I have always tried to teach my girls that its not reality. My week at the beach was a far cry from what we saw on the old show “Baywatch”. I was saddened actually by what I saw. Of how the views have changed drastically from now compared to my first ocean visit at age 14, some 29 years ago!!! Have you heard that 2/3 of America is obese? That is the statistic. According to America’s criteria, obesity is when our BMI (body mass index) is above 28% determined by a height weight ratio. My awareness of this statistic was heightened when i was surrounded by so many people in one place to make the comparison. I observed very few people that would be considered in normal range, & it alarmed me. Especially the population of kids! And yes i include my own family in this observation. Whether it was at the beach or at the amusement parks, I felt surrounded by a new future population of brewing illness. Observing the consumptions of processed drinks, deep fried funnel cakes topped with sugar, corn dogs & then observing the swarms of people going out for that huge dinner at 6 everyday as an activity or treat. Furthermore i was saddened by the obese children I saw “out of breath” easily while attempting to do any exertion such as riding the waves, the parents who sat on the sidelines instead of engaging in activities & those I saw who couldnt ride the rides at the amusement parks or sit in a typical lawn chair simply because of size limitations. To know me is to know that i never meet a stranger which is why i took it upon myself to strike up a conversation with a few that i encountered who appeared to be within normal weight….all of which claimed they worked out regularly! My daughters & I had conversations about how what they were seeing now as the “norm” was not the “norm” 30 years ago. Just looking back at old family photos….everyone was so thin! I personally experienced lots of ridicule & fun poking for my own size growing up & by todays standards was nowhere near overweight. After my trip…i cant help but feel tricked by the food industry or has the human race brought it upon ourselves or have we all been mere participants in the change! This change didnt happen over night. But i feel like it has been a gradual, subtle change over the years & generations that “sneaked” up on us. I grew up on a 100 acre farm in Kentucky. My mom who is almost 80 now prepared everything from scratch. We spent summers raising our gardens, canning, raised & killed our own beef, pigs, deer & raised our own chicken. We were modernized yes. My dad was a mail carrier & my mom stayed home & worked the farm. There were hardly any processed items in our house & never a soft drink. Balogna was probably the worst thing in our fridg & lard was the oil of choice. I never had a riding lawnmower till i was 19! I push mowed several acres each week, rode my bike a lot, only ate out maybe twice a year! Gradually our lands have been tracted out & sold because it earns us more monies in the short term. Our demands for food have been put on our groceries because we arent raising our own. If we are putting this demand in the hands of others then have we really been tricked or have the manufactures been forced by us & greed to resort to GMO’s to produce large quantities to meet our demand? My grandma lived alone & died at age 97 from heart attack. My other grandparents died in their late 80’s of natural age causes…no cancer, no diabetes, no disease other than a lil dementia. I feel like I am a product of a new generation of disease. The cause & the effect! My daughters even noticed how our local Amish community lives, watching the kids push mow the yards, working in the garden etc. When i was young, i didnt have to ask what we were going to do today…because i knew! I was up by 7am…i didnt have phones or computers in my hands all day. I made mud pies, played tennis against the barn with a board & ball, swam in the creeks, played in the rain, had no germ-x….was rarely ever sick! This story like so many others Im sure. Its not all about weight, but about habits, the evolution of change….lost arts of self reliance versus dependence on others, greed etc…so many factors in combination…not just a finger pointing blame game. A societal shift in priorities! To the point I observed road signs threatening imprisonment for littering in a society where child abusers go free! Where animals are often given free surgeries & vet care while humans are homeless, sick, children are without healthcare. A generation taught to live any lifestyle & just get a pill to fix the effects! And another pill to fix the effects of that one & the vicious cycle continues. Where does it end? Where did it begin? If 2/3 of society is obese…and 1/3 to 2/3 have fatty liver…i wonder what is the correlation of the two? With the increasing need of liver transplants, i cant help but wonder if the demand will exceed supply of healthy livers in our future…more so our childrens future? Organic, non GMO food is more expensive, but not near as expensive as the medicines required for disease. I had no choice but to change lifestyle because I could not pay for the $1200 a month of meds when i didnt have coverage! Now I have coverage, and my Xifaxin alone is $1,400 a month!!! It & URSO combined cost my insurance almost 2 grand each month!!! Thats a lot of organic, healthy food! Food scares me now. Medicines scare me now! I am living proof that it can all be toxic & life threatening & have long term effects. 3 Years ago…i was on over 29 pills each day just to fix the thing each pill caused! I was toxic! Crazy! At age 27, i believed them when they said my meds where safe while pregnant, only to have my child born with a form of spina bifida birth defect that will effect her the rest of her life! The same drugs that had adverse effects have also been offered numerous times to my kids despite me explaining how they effected my liver! They insist they are safe! Theres a reason why supplements & herbs arent recommended! They arent regulated! The same humans preparing our food, our meds etc…are preparing our supplements as well. I dont live my life in fear no, but i am choosey now & determined to at least teach my girls better ways. Even if they make other choices, i will have taught them alternatives! Seeing & living with me throughout this journey has indeed been a good teacher for them. Just posting on FB wont help I realize, i do plan to be a more active participant in creating awareness & change in our society. We think our voices dont matter but they do! And our decisions & actions matter more! What we demand creates the fire thats fueled. There are no short term fixes in life, just instant gratification with long term results.
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Erin Krenzler’s story of HELLP and how she has overcome it

Guest blog Erin Krenzler

Yesterday the most amazing thing happened to me… I wish that I could not only tell you all about it… but I wish that you all could feel the feeling that I feel right now!

For the past 8 years I have battled numerous random major metabolic related health issues that have made the quality of my life poor at times and prevented me from doing many things that I wanted to do. I had to quit my job as a medical laboratory assistant in 2010 and I had to stop attending college after putting almost 3 years into working on my nursing degree… all due to my health.

One week after our baby Ryleigh was born just a year and a half ago… after months and months of terrible sickness and pain they discovered that my liver and spleen were enlarged. I was shortly thereafter diagnosed with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (an advanced form of fatty liver disease). I was 24 years old. Liver disease was the tip of my ice burg… I feared the fact that if I didn’t figure out what was wrong and if I did not fix it… I would not be around as long as I would like. My family has been ridden with metabolic disease, diabetes, heart disease, and death at an early age.

I sat there… holding my brand new baby… knowing that there are two little girls in this world that depend on me… one of them depends on me completely. If something were to happen to me god only knows what would happen to miss Brave Mykayla… but I sure knew I didn’t want to find this out. I can’t even describe how sad it felt to me to know that I had a condition that could potentially cause me liver failure and/or death… and in the period of 5-10 years in some cases! On top of the kidney issues I have had since the age of 17. I slipped into a state of mind where I was worried, sad, fearful, but determined to find another option besides failure. That was not an option. My mind constantly pondered thoughts… and I spent hours and hours researching and reading each and everything I could.

I refused to go back to a physician after I was diagnosed… because I had felt so ignored and abandoned for so long that honestly I felt as if I could do a better job myself with the test results I had on hand… the knowledge I have from my medical assisting degree… and the years I spent researching and working in the medical field…. Like I said… I slipped into a state of mind. I learned everything I could find to learn about genetics, metabolic syndrome, mitochondrial function, metabolic diseases, cannabis, the truth about food, livers, immune systems, insulin resistance, diabetes, fat build up on body organs, etc. The amount I have learned continues to blow my mind when I think about how all of these things function together to make our bodies work… I took the information that I was learning about and implemented it to my life. I began healing my bodies deficiency’s… supplementing with a combination of antioxidants, herbs, roots, supplements and amino acids based on my symptoms and long term problems. I made sure to develop a combination that focused on increasing mitochondrial function and repairing and cleansing the liver. I also made huge diet changes. Most people think that they could not eat the way I do… but I have to… my life depends on it. I plan on sharing more on my diet in this blog… just haven’t had a whole lot of time lately.

I wasn’t going to physician’s for check ups… but I began to slowly drop pounds without even trying! I did not even have to exercise any more than I did before. I knew my choices were working ❤ I was healing myself! I slowly began feeling better… and the pain went from excruciating to an annoying constant tenderness.

In January of this year I decided it was time to go back to the doctors (after 14 months)… to ensure the changes I was making were helping me as much as I thought they were… also I wanted to make sure that the constant tenderness (that I thought was my liver) was nothing majorly wrong. She ran a bunch of blood work and referred me to an actual Hepatologist *liver doctor*… yesterday I had my appointment with the liver doctor… and I got the most amazing news ever!


The pain I have been feeling is scar tissue build up on a nerve that they accidentally hit when doing my liver biopsy… its not even my liver at all… actually it is a nerve that runs by my last rib! I feel that this pain will be tolerable knowing its nothing major at all… and not a major body organ hurting!

I never understood why I developed this condition when the first doctor diagnosed me with it. I did not fit the classic description of the diagnosis….and the liver disease itself came on rapidly during my pregnancy. Through the research I did I suspected it to be related to my families genetic metabolic problems and not knowing the correct way to care for myself. The liver specialist confirmed this. I am genetically predisposed to insulin resistance and diabetes. During my pregnancy with Ryleigh I developed HELLP syndrome that the doctors failed to diagnose… this initiated the problems in my liver and caused the massive swelling and inflammation that generally occur over a long period of time in an average adult.

I have lost a total of 46 pounds since the day they discovered my liver enlargement! The day I was diagnosed I didn't even consider myself that large… I never in a million years thought I could lose 46 pounds… and to top that off… I surely never thought that losing that much weight would be so easy and not require much of anything except learning the truth about what foods you should eat and what foods you should not!

I knew in my heart the entire time I was learning… and the entire time I have been learning to live a new life style… that one day I would hear that I was all better… I honestly did not expect it to be this soon! I cannot even begin to put into words how this feels!

I feel like yesterday I was given the gift of LIFE ❤

I feel like I have a fighting chance to see my babies grow old… to hold my own grand babies… To help my children through their teenage lives and adulthood. I now have a new found assurance that things like this will be a part of my future.

I thank god that he put me on this mission years and years ago… It has been a journey of ups and downs… frustration… sadness… fear… anger… helplessness… braveness… strength… courage… love… and so much more. This mission taught me the key to living a long life… If I would have been in my 40's or 50's when I discovered my insulin resistance and fatty liver the doctor said it would be so much harder to lose the weight along with reversing the damage that had been done to my liver. I feel blessed that I had the unfortunate happening occur so early.

I am 25 years old… I am very young… I have a very long life ahead of me that will be filled with good health, family, love, success, and lots and lots of good times!!!

This is the first time since I was 17 years old that I can officially say "I am free of chronic disease"!!! As you can tell if I could stand on top of the world right now and scream out how happy I am… I totally would!!!


Thank you cannabis… for helping control my metabolic syndrome… thank you for getting me through my pregnancy when all the physicians lacked compassion….thank you for allowing me to control all my pain without any need for medication… thank you for making me hungry enough to eat the food that I once thought tasted like poo (because I used to be addicted to high fructose corn syrup like most of the people in our country… food without it doesn't taste as good until you have gone without it a while)… Thank you for being an essential antioxidant to my body… thank you for helping me create a homeostasis in my body in order to reverse my disease… THANK YOU CANNABIS!

Until next time my friends…

Terri lost her battle with Fatty Liver Disease

She had just turned 55 in August. She to was one of the patients who were patted on the head and though they didn’t say “you’ll be fine ” instead they said ” okay well lets see you in two more weeks after we give this new medication time to take affect for one of many other factors that was not nearly even a fraction to the real issue of a fatty liver. Yes we did find out that she had been diagnosed in may 2011. However NEVER WERE WE ONCE TOLD ABOUT IT/THE DEPTH if it or YET TREATED FOR IT OTHER THAN THE BASIC COMMON SENSE OF GENERAL HEALTH THAT IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE HUMAN BODY.

So we went about having the impression that she was back to being better . for the most part–(in the meantime she had suffered from a stroke and a mild stroke). Still no treatment or even depth on this liver situation being a key factor to her decline. My mom was my best friend , and we were inseparable. I would do anything for her – and that’s why I agreed to hospice the three last days before her death. She wanted to just come home. I was Still under the impression that she could graduate out of care possibly. In reality at that point I knew it was the last thing I could do for the only person who gave me life. She wanted to not hurt any more. Going to the Emergency Room I was asked within 6 minutes of speaking to the dr info about her transplant status. I froze and could not speak. Terrified- by the fact that we were in an illness/disease in which that could of and should have been an issue from day one .If, in fact it was going to be neglected up to the last week of her life. i explained all i knew, had done, all that i felt and also the despair my mom had been denied. she was baffled by the lack of information . Not only our situation was limited but at that point even all procedures and even iv meds/saliene fluid was very minimal. due to her blood pressure dropping below 60 and under. It was painful and for years she hurt and it always was present yet none of us knew the depth or seriousness. We had just gotten used to dealing with how to ease it. This did not always come though. The doctors are pretty good about helping pain management and perscribing a good supply of drugs that half of, she didnt take or need. This didnt help or impair her liver issue. she had a handful of dr”s and yet the order was written for an abundance of MRI and catscan a and blood work and ultra sound and digital image scans of her body in all areas . Only once she was filmed for the lower back in which then I asked to also take images of her abdominal area. Then we had the actual depth of our situation. Still nothing on reversible measures or how and what we had to look forward to. So MUCCH of this I could go on about for maybe the rest of my life. No let me rephrase that : I know that there are many patients that get left behind. Insurance isn’t always a factor either. It is a great help but what I’m saying is sometimes the unfinished business that our mothers, family friends, neighbors and, even those next to us on the street ; get left behind is due to the whole health care / pharmasudicles industry. Yes we all are aware of coverage issues determining our health for sure. So take it upon yourself to really listen to what their not saying. Then do your own research. Now I’ve done some and it came much to late for my mama Terri. However the best treatment you can truly do for the body is learn it. seriously consider your diet and make your body your temple. if you want to live and not die finding out just how terrible the premature preventable and sad horror is then u i know will consider my plea. im sorry for those who found out too late and I’m sorry for those who simply didn’t find out.
And to Michele , my heart is fully in your search to get the very best for your daughter. I’m also a mother of of two girls not much difference in age and I can only expect that every child will get a long lived and beautiful life that is bombarded by happiness, joy, beauty, knowledge, privilege and love and compassion. I know that your family will see her do very well in life and go through it thankful for your strength and courage to take great concern so seriously and graciously genuine. To all of you who read this please know my mother was one of the littlest headstrong and increadibly caring for others first -ladies known.

she was the one everyone wanted to resemble. many really did. she had talent, skill, smarts and a knack for the best crafting/decorating most had ever seen. she always was requested for her stage presence and eye to create. A cool lady for sure. she had other journeys to travel and i know she will be missed more than life itself. ALWAYS a GIVING, loyal, and good hearted person. Please ask questions and go to the library for your answers. This I know now will be a disease that has other long living options if it is fully taken charge over. Best of health to you readers!

The Turning Point in Modern Medicine – Shift or Fade – Tommy Caldwell

There was a time when your local MD was the only person you would go to in times of health related woes. Be them minor aches and pains, or major health concerns, there was only one source you knew of that could tell you not only what was wrong, but how it was going to be made better.

As we grow as a society so grows our own knowledge of personal health. A great portion of the population is learning how to self educate themselves and realize not only the current flaws in the medical structure, but alternative resources that can be found in order to combat some of the problems that modern medicine was once thought to be the only remedy for.

People have many theories or arguments as to why things are shifting the way they are and why the medical community is thriving less and less. Some blame the intervention of aggressive drug companies, some blame the lack of enthusiasm in modern GP’s that would sooner write a prescription than spend the time educating their client, and some blame their local government for restricting the ability for medical facilities to operate the way they should. These are all valid arguments, and there are many, many more with equal validity- but the true problem in medicine today is its ultimate disconnect from the modern community; the inability to relate to the updated knowledge and mindset of the modern human being. The medical community has two choices as time moves forwards: change, grow, and reconnect with its people, or fade, crumble, and disappear into the past.

The Napster Age

Remember when music first became free through sites such as Napster? The music industry was furious, fearful, and at a loss. Billions of dollars were spent trying to prevent the sharing of online music and in keeping the music industry the way it has always been; and why not? The music industry was a money making machine that had been operating pretty much the same way since the 1940’s. We went from records, to 8 tracks, to cassettes, to CD’s- but the creation, packaging, distribution, and profit from music was always constant.

The music industry knew that with ability to share music through online communities, the industry was in trouble. Instead of looking at this as an opportunity to evolve and find new/interesting ways to run their model and succeed through change, they wasted billions of dollars trying to prevent the world from spinning. If they had only seen where the future was headed and adjusted accordingly, they would’ve changed the music industry as we knew it, saved a ton of money, and continued to succeed within an updated system of music.

Medicine is in the same boat, and it is being handled the same way.

Now that people have the ability to share information online they are more aware of many things. Firstly that they have the ability to prevent many health problems by educating themselves on what is good for them to eat, how important exercise is, and how to access the avenues in order to live a better life. They also have a new insight into the drug industry and its deep ties to the current medical system. Most people are starting to understand the motivations of billion dollar drug companies and their great influence over the medical community. The combination of understanding how to better your own life without the medical community, as well as all of the ever-growing education of flaws within the medical establishment is bad news for medicine. They all know it, but much like the music industry they are squeezing their eyes shut and hoping this will all go away.

Drug companies, Genetic Engineering groups like Monsanto, and all the like are putting forth billions of dollars in funds in order to shut down the natural medicine industry and make any natural product that can help remedy the human body available only by prescription. This is one example of many on the agenda’s of these kinds of companies, but it shows you their combative approach to the current situation. Much like the music industry they are too late, and will ultimately, fail.

Medical practitioners aren’t to blame on that level, but they are still fully resistant to the current change in the community. I believe that all (or at least the majority of) MD’s are out to help people. They are out to make the world a better place and serve their community- but they also have their heads buried in the sand when it comes to how the world and industry is changing, and they are losing their audience.

With the level and speed of information sharing the way it currently is- the medical world needs to change. It is no longer useful to resist your own people like the music industry tried to do- rather, you need to change your approach and rebuild a trusting relationship, and more importantly a ‘connection’ with the world.

The Paradigm Shift

We live in a truly amazing age, and I don’t know how many of us realize that. We live in the first and only age known to man in which we can share any information with any person in the world within less than a second. The fact that ANY PERSON can do it with even the most basic means of technology is truly amazing and groundbreaking. This is a time that will be written in history books- and this generation of human beings will change the entire direction of the planet. It is unbelievably exciting when you think about it.

The problem for many industries is that the world has the ability to change far faster than the industries want to change themselves. This is why you see so many failing industries in the world; not because they deliver bad products, because their staff are ineffective, or because nobody wants their products or services- but because they refuse to change in order to accommodate an ever changing world.

This is something that the medical community needs to understand- and they need to understand it quickly. Like it or not, they are an industry just like any other- selling products and services in exchange of financial gain. And just like all the other industries their refusal to adapt and change is allowing the world to look past them.

Health- The Key to Reconnecting

People in this world (or at least a significant portion of them) are starting to not only understand, but become enthusiastic about health. They are taking control of their own lives from a very fundamental level and learning how important it is to take care of their bodies. Even with this change, however, they still seek out some sort of outside assistance to keep them confident in times of health uncertainty. People are finding Naturopathic Doctors, Chinese Medicine, and all kinds of alternative methods to modern medicine. I think it’s important to note that, because it isn’t as if people who are educated in health want less help in their lives- but they want help from people who have the same values, ideals, and principles as they do. What I’m getting at is people aren’t seeking modern medicine less and less because they simply don’t want help from anyone when it comes to health related issues- they just want help from people who care about what THEY care about- and for a typical individual who understands health and wellness, that person is not an M.D.

Modern Medicine practices a disease model. That means most of their education and scope of practice revolves around waiting until there is an issue, and then finding a way to treat that issue. There is nothing wrong with that and people need to understand that medicine (the way we know it today) came from a place that required practioners to solve existing problems- not prevent them from happening. It was also established in a time where life was so simple in terms of people having access to ONLY good sources of food and in a time where everyone had to be active each day in order to get work done. This meant that the need for prevention wasn’t there like it is today- it was much more valuable to have a medical model that could diagnose an existing problem and find a way to fix it.

With that in mind the need for preventative medicine has been growing rapidly over the last century- and of course, the medical world has refused to change along with that rapid increase in need. This is what has created such a massive disconnect between people and modern medicine.

Music is now medicine, record companies are now hospitals, and Napster is now information about taking care of yourself. The medical industry now has to become a source of accurate and effective preventative health information, and stop resisting the change that is happening before its eyes.

Don’t Tear it Down- Just Build with Better Bricks

The medical community isn’t going to just disappear, and if it did I think a lot of us ‘health extremists’ who may see that as an ideal situation would quickly realize what a huge loss and mistake it would be. Instead it needs to take a new direction with new objectives, and a better understanding of how to relate to its every evolving population of patients.

While a lot of the technology that has been implemented into medicine has been controversial and it some cases even dangerous or counterproductive, there has still been (and will continue to be) great technologies and advances is medical science that can do amazing things for the world’s population. And while a lot of the operation and structure of the medical world has become stagnant and ineffective, there is still a lot about the medical system that can be quite advantageous to the world as well. Not to mention the great need for emergency care, care for the elderly, and care for the large population of people who quite frankly just can’t care for themselves.

We get so caught up in what is wrong with medicine these days that we forget about all the things that are also right and benefit many people that surround us. We forget that the best solution is a change, a medium, and the letting go of old ineffective ideas for new effective ones.

If the medical system puts a large shift towards educating their MD’s on health, prevention, and patient education- the damaged relationships with its patients and image will repair and recover. If it however decides to fight tooth and nail to protect a dying system of sickness and disease medicine, the people will disconnect and seek professionals that are more relatable to how they view life and wellness.

Therein lies the crossroads that the medical community is facing- follow the music industry and fight for a dying system that is inevitably going to change with or without you, or learn from other industries mistakes and give the people not only what they want, but what the world (currently) needs. And remember- the choice doesn’t have to be any more complicated than choosing to connect with your patients on a level that makes them feel secure, confident, and like you care about their views on health- but following your own agenda with your fingers in your ears yelling “LA LA LA LA LA LA” isn’t a great way to convey that message.


Roller coaster ride in finding doctor for Megan!

I am so tired of doctors in general. They make me sad, they make me feel like I can never get the right answers for Megan. I moved to London Ontario in July 2011. This was a fresh start for Megan and I after 3 years of being talked down to by doctors and being told its all in her head. Megans life since 2008 has included the following realities that doctors have no answers for:

1. She has been bleeding constantly since 2009 with her menstrual cycle. With birth control pills its basically spotting every day, and then when her pill ends she deals with extreme bleeding that makes her wear 2 pads at a time.

2. Extreme Vertigo in 2010 that had her in a wheelchair for 10 months. She was 13 years old and in a wheelchair!

3. Colds and Flus that impact Megan take 3 – 5 times longer to recover from… you and I might be 5 days she will be 15 days.

4.Insomnia – This week Megan is getting 1 hour sleep per day. This is as bad as it gets but she averages 3 – 5 hours. 5 hours is a GREAT day!

5. Liver pain is there as a good reminder if she eats anything bad. Her liver tells her quite clearly. Sometimes its nausea and sometimes she looses her appetite.

6. Extreme dryness and redness on her arms.  Constant battle for Megan. Any creams or lotions tend to make it worse and make it sting.

She is a SICK kid. She is homeschooled due to these issues.


I have been trying to find a family doctor since July. Initally I started via the HealthConnect program in Ontario that is supposed to match you up with a doctor. So far that has resulted in NOTHING.

I tried finding the list of family doctors accepting patients and then we end up on a list never to hear from anyone. I call and follow up and there is never a good answer !

A friend in London recently talked to a family doctor in London about Megan and she was given the name of a Hepatologist in London that actually focusses on Fatty Liver Disease! This was perfect! But then found out that because Megan is 15 she is not eligible to be seen by this doctor. We were pointed to the Pediatric Gastroentologists!

The Pediatric Gastroentologist read about Megans symptoms and said he has seen 100 cases of Fatty Liver Disease and none of them with megans symptoms. They suggest we start over with a pedicatrician and search for the root cause

I have done nothing but try to find a doctor who will treat Megan with respect and truly look into her case uniquely in Ontario. So far I have gotten no where!

I am ready to burst into tears and Megan is scared that she will never get a doctor that care! She is cynical after The Hospital For Sick Kids in Toronto didn’t help her. They even put her on anti depressants at 13! We do not need more doctors patting us on the head and saying that this is all in her head. This is her reality EVERY DAY!

What do I have to do in order to help my child? Why won’t a doctor take ownership and truly focus on finding out whats wrong with her?

We are in Canada where Medical care is free. But its looking more and more like I will have to take her to the States to get the attention she needs.

She is 15 years old with a chronic illness and this is no way to leave a child to live!

Please if you are in London share this story with your doctor and ask if they will take her case on and help her! I just need 1 doctor to truly be there for her!



Michelle and Megan

Are you tired and have stomach aches a lot?

There was no way I thought liver disease when my child was complaining of stomach aches, all kids complain of stomach aches. What a great way to get out of going to school. Sometimes she would throw up and I would think it was a stomach flu, she ate something bad or had heat stroke. Never once did I think Liver disease.

She complained she was too tired to help out around the house, I thought she was just being stubborn or lazy. I never thought Liver disease.

She would take forever to get over any cold or flu bug, I thought her immune system was just weak, I filled her with vitamin C, supplements and chicken soup. I never thought liver disease.

She would have trouble sleeping at night, she would toss and turn, never able to get into a restful spot, I tried sleepy music, I tried calming her with words, I tried melatonin and gravol because she always had a tummy ache. I never thought liver disease.

In Fall 2008 ,When the pediatrician finally did an ultrasound of her stomach and had the blood test results he turned to us and said…you have a disease called NASH, go home exercise.and eat better.

I went home happy, I finally had a diagnosis for my daughter, the name of a real disease, she was not making it up!

I went to the internet and typed in NASH. I got a lot of Steve nash sites. Then i found one site that talked about it as liver disease.

I started reading and see that it can be fatal, that there is no cure and that its the 2nd stage of fatty liver disease.

Now I was angry, how could the doctor just turn to us and casually say this, no real direction no real help!

She could have cirrohsis next how close was she to that , I had no idea.

I then started searching for a diet for fatty liver disease. There was nothing. Out of desperation I started a support group on Facebook. Slowly I started getting people joining the group from all over the world. Some old, some young, some skinny , most overweight. Now I know how to deal with living with the disease and thats why I am doing this blog. I want everyone to know about and to start respecting this disease.

This is a global disease, with global ramifications. This is not going away, you cannot hide from it. Doctors are only now starting to research it and most know less than I do after dealing with over 200 people in my group with the disease over the last 3 years. I know the pains, I know the challenges with doctors, I know the ways to alleviate symptoms.

Stomach aches and fatigue are the symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease. 2 years ago it was estimated that 25% of the north american population has this disease. Now in 2011 that estimate is at 30%. Most people are completely unaware that they have the disease or that their child may have the disease.

With the increase in Sodium, preservatives, pesticides, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and other chemicals in our foods our poor liver has no way to break everything down and it starts to give up. It takes this odd unnatural item and it stores it within itself as a fat cell. It doesn’t want to make the other organs try to deal with this intruder in your body. The liver is a martyr , the liver is the hardest working organ in your body. When its compromised the rest of your body has to work harder. When its comprimised you have no choice but to change the way you eat!

The next time you are at the doctors office, the next time you take your child to the pediatrician, ask them to run a blood test to check your liver levels. You need to know if you have this disease as early as possible to avoid the later stages and to avoid more complications.

So do yourself a favor get tested,  join my group on facebook to find people that understand and please share this blog with everyone you love.

Your liver will thank you

Michelle Clermont

Fatty Liver Disease Consultant

Liver Disease – Do you Judge? Are you Vulnerable?

I have been running a support group for Fatty Liver Disease on Facebook since 2008.  Do a search on Facebook for Fatty Liver Disease Support Group (NAFLD and NASH).

 I have talked to 100’s of patients with the disease. You might think they are all middle age obese people but you would be very wrong.  Do not take your health for granted, do not assume you are not at risk for this disease. With the current obesity rates in the world the odds are 1 in 5 that you could have this disease and not even be aware of it. You might be a child, a healthy person, a mother, father, daughter, son, grandmother, grandfather, husband or wife. 

Fatty liver disease can be very quiet :

you could be going through your day and feel a pain in the right side of your tummy and easily discount it to a general tummy ache.

You might feel really worn down  and need to sleep more often and easily discount that to your busy life.

You might notice you get sick more easily, you go to the drugstore and fill up with supplements, and vitamins.

You might go to the doctor and they will likely think you are just depressed and give you drugs to treat symptoms.

The liver is the hardest working organ in the body. We all abuse it in some way everyday.

Pollution and Chemicals – in the home, in our cleaning liquids, our shampoos, our beauty products, dusts and mold. Car Emissions, factory emissions, pollens, and allergens.

Eating – Processed foods, spicy foods, junk food, fast food, genetically modified foods, chemical replacements for sugars, diet products, caffeinated, low fat, high sodium, high sugars. chemically treated fruits and veggies, and processed meats. Even organic foods are not necessarily organic!

Alcohol – Oh I know this is the general vision of the liver patient. Uncle Joe has been an alcoholic all his life and now he is paying for it because his liver is pickled!

Drugs – Oh I know the drug addicts sharing the needles down around the corner get liver disease due to their lifestyle choices.

Unsafe Sex, tattoos- Pamela Anderson has liver disease due to unsafe sex and tattoos.

Its so very easy to make quick judgements of liver patients, they should have prevented this by not drinking, partying, abusing their bodies so much.

Let me introduce you to a few of the stories I am aware of:

A 12 year old child is immunized for HEP to prepare for a trip overseas, she returns and gets hit with pneumonia and Mono…6 months later she has liver disease. Her 40 mother is obese but she does not have the disease…

A healthy , skinny, strong healthy young man is 30. He is 6 foot 3 and 183 lbs. He is not a drinker, he does not do drugs, he does not have unclean tattoos. He has liver disease. He grew up with a dad who worked for the coca cola company.. Coca cola was always in the house, he drank it like water.

A 52 year old woman is a registered nurse and she goes to the Gym daily. She deals with one patient with a transmittable liver disease and her life changes forever. She warns everyone to stay away from pain killers and be careful what you eat.

A 29 year old man struggles with knee surgeries, radiation, steroids. He was normal weight…then his fatty liver disease started….

A 30 Year old man has frequent migraines, gets diagnosed with a genetic disease that made him prone to liver problems and now he has fatty liver disease.

A 26 year old woman is rushed to hospital due to excessive nausea and diarrhea, she faints in emergency room. They do ultrasound as she has been told she has galbladder issues for the last 4 years. They poke around and finds her liver swollen and causing pain. They review the ultrasound look at her and say your ultrasound has white masses of fat in your liver. This fat should be filtering through your liver. That it is not is very strange. You are not a drinker, you are not over 40, and you are not obese. So it appears you have non alcholic fatty liver disease.  

35 year old woman is diagnosed with Nash stage 3 fibrosis brought on by  fatty liver disease she is 5 foot 1 and 185 lbs. She is very scared as she watched her mother die from this disease.

a 40 year old woman is mildly obese and finds out not only her but 2 of her children also have fatty liver disease.

A 44 year old woman has undiagnosed Celiac disease and undiagnosed Diabetes. Her Liver finally causes enough trouble that everything gets diagnosed!

What does the liver really do? There are more than 500 functions, here are just a few! 

  • processing digested food from the intestine
  • controlling levels of fats, amino acids and glucose in the blood 
  • combating infections in the body 
  • clearing the blood of particles and infections including bacteria 
  • neutralising and destroying drugs and toxins 
  • manufacturing bile 
  • storing iron, vitamins and other essential chemicals 
  • breaking down food and turning it into energy 
  • manufacturing, breaking down and regulating numerous hormones including sex hormones 
  • making enzymes and proteins which are responsible for most chemical reactions in the body, for example those involved in blood clotting and repair of damaged tissues

Your liver is a miracle organ, do not lose hope ever. It does regenerate, in fact its the only organ in the body that can do so. With eating right and exercising, learning how to have fun without alcohol or drugs you can have a full happy life with a liver that will thank you!

Think of your body as an aquarium full of living organisms. Treat the liver as the filter in your tank , a valued member of your team! It does a lot of work and you need to respect it and avoid clogging it.

Please take the time to reflect on Liver patients, no one asks for this disease and they are treated by most of the doctors, and people in the world as being at fault. Please treat them with respect and be thankful its not you or someone you love.