"There's a myth that anyone who has a liver problem has brought it on themselves" This quote is from a Crohn's disease patient living with a blocked portal vein hoping for a liver transplant (Independent 31st Oct 2010)

Sunday, 24 October 2010


Lovely sunny day. Bollington is in the midst of a 2 week walking festival event. T has gone on the 'Ridge Raider', an 11 miles, strenuous, mostly hill walking ramble through Harrop Valley, up to Rainow, down into Dunge Valley, up to Pym Chair and back via Jenkyn Chapel.

Having had temporary muscle paralysis during anaesthesia I'm not up to an 11 mile strenuous hill walk!

Along with painkillers I was discharged from the hospital with lactulose (to get digestive things ‘going’ again). Noticed on the bottle it’s also prescribed for a complication of liver disease caused by too many toxic substances in the blood normally removed by the liver including ammonia. It’s also considered a prebiotic because it enhances the good bacterial flora in the intestine. So I’ve carried on taking it, alongside a daily dose of acidophilus – the stuff in Yakult advert ‘I just want to be appreciated’ talking stomach (voiced, apparently, by Edward Enfield father of comedian Harry, as an aside of useless information).
At pre-op I was asked if I was taking any supplements and they didn’t seem surprised by milk thistle. So I’ve carried on taking that every day. Milk thistle has been a topic of clinical and pharmaceutical research for many years, it’s not a whacky health food store promotion. It’s known to have anti-inflammatory as well as anti-metastatic (metastasis is the spread of cancer cells) activity. It’s also been used for a number of years alongside other therapies to prevent or reduce chemotherapy.
And finally, vitamin deficiencies are common with cirrhosis because the liver is the organ responsible for converting vitamins into a usable form within the body, so I have a multi-vitamin supplement with A, D, E and K as these are the fat soluble ones stored in the liver.

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