It’s me again, dang it. : Hello all. I... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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It’s me again, dang it.

Mywildlove profile image

Hello all. I feel like all I do is ask ask ask and never offer any kind of help in return. I apologize for that but I’m still learning myself and I’m not comfortable with offering advice really. That being said, today I’m here to vent.

One of my aunts was recently diagnosed with cirrhosis which was caused by her poor diet/weight. When she told me, I tried to be helpful by telling her good liver friendly foods, what to avoid, etc. The other day she shared a recipe for a cake and said she wanted to make it so I told her no! Haha she then comments back and said her doctor told her that there’s no documentation on any specific foods or diets that help people with cirrhosis! I told her if that was the case she wouldn’t have cirrhosis caused by her diet to begin with and to find a different doctor. I’m absolutely shocked and heartbroken over this, she has always been like a second mom to me and all of my siblings and I know she isn’t watching her diet like she should. Liver disease is everywhere it seems and today I’m feeling defeated by it. Thank you for reading this, I hope you all have a good weekend.

35 Replies

Hi, feel free to vent away, we should all do it more often! I am sorry to hear about your aunt. My liver problems have been caused by poor diet and obesity and I never thought in a million years that an unhealthy diet and being overweight could cause it.My Doctor told me it’s the new Diabetes.

Just a suggestion but what if you were to show her some posts on here where people’s illnesses have caused severe problems, like a short sharp shock? There are some great facts on here for diet and exercise.

Sorry I can’t help more and I hope your aunt knows how lucky she is to have you care about her so much.

Thinking of you,

Owlie xx

Mywildlove profile image
Mywildlove in reply to Owlie

Hi Owlie, thank you! I never knew it could cause liver damage either until loved ones got sick. I tried adding her to a group on FB but she declined. We message back and forth and talk about things, all I want to do is help educate her on the importance of a healthy diet so what you’ve suggested is a good idea. I’m going to send her screenshots of things. Thank you again and I hope you’re well today!

Owlie profile image
Owlie in reply to Mywildlove

Hi, I have a long way to go but as long as I stick to a healthy lifestyle I should be okay. I was very lucky as I was told the damage is reversible but it could take 2 years to reverse. The shock of the fact that my liver was damaged was what kicked me into gear. I’m not perfect but so far my tests have all shown improvement. I really hope your Aunt listens to you...she is very lucky to have you! Take care Owlie x

Sorry but you do sound a bit judgemental..and to have called her out publicly like that was a bit off..if she wants to eat cake let her..

I have primary liver cancer but still eat and drink whatever I want..if someone commented on one of my posts I would be pretty peed off..

Mywildlove profile image
Mywildlove in reply to Mama41

What might seem judgemental is me scared and worried about her health. My aunt is a very blunt and straightforward lady, she also doesn’t hide anything and talks freely about her having cirrhosis in public. I have lost an aunt an an uncle to cirrhosis so far (2 of her siblings) and my fiancé has it also. If me being worried about her and calling her on her shit seems judgemental then so be it. She knows what she’s not supposed to eat and I won’t sit back and watch her continue to harm herself without saying something to her, no matter where it may be.

Popel profile image
Popel in reply to Mywildlove

İ think considering what you’ve seen and are going through you can be as judgemental as you want.paul

Mama41 profile image
Mama41 in reply to Popel

No sorry but it doesn't work like that. I have non self inflicted liver cancer imagine if I shamed everybody who doesn't live a healthy life style.

If her aunt wants help she will ask for it. She doesn't need to be publically shamed.

Mywildlove profile image
Mywildlove in reply to Mama41

She also doesn’t need to eat cake and junk, yet here we are. I’m not going to argue with you about how or where I talk to my aunt.

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Hidden in reply to Mywildlove

Shes your aunt and know her better than anyone on here and i wish you luck in educating her xx

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Hidden in reply to Mama41

How is she publically shaming her? Shes venting a frustration that her aunt who got NAFLD from eating crappy food is denying that continuing to eat it is going to worsen her condition. In fact she is basically stating that the doctor told her it was ok to do so.

If someone came on here and said that they were frustrated that their aunt was still drinking despite being diagnosed with alcoholic cirrhosis, would you still say that she is publocally shaming her?

I personally think it is brave of you to say out loud to your aunt how you feel. I find it strange that by showing you care for someone that that is considered being judgemental. People today seem to find it difficult to hear the truth and would rather be lied to!

So much negative language is attached to being caring and honest "shaming, judgemental, whistle blowing etc etc". So many people find themselves in a situation of having poor health and wish someone had told them of the real risks. As far as I can see, that is what you are doing. Don't feel bad about caring enough to risk their wrath. Good for you is what I say. All the best:)

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Hidden in reply to Mama41

She was merely trying to help her aunt because she cares about her. If she hadnt tried to help her she would have been accused of neglecting her !

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Very true, Laura, well said!!! Xxxx

Hi, you clearly care a great deal about your aunt, and only have her best interests at heart. However food is a very emotive thing for some, and their poor diet and attitude towards food can be similar to addiction to alcohol and drugs. I'm aware it isn't physical addiction in the medical sense, but it does similar things in the brain releasing endorphins and giving the person a sense of emotional well being. As you know how hard that is from your partner you have insight into how tough it is. Rather than telling her what she should do, maybe offer that insight, and offer to support her get well.

The British liver Trust has a section on eating for liver health, and info on nafld and Nash which you could send her links too.

I agree her Dr sounds awful if he did say that, however people often hear what they want to hear. She may have misinterpreted, or taken this out of context. There are many stories on here of people who have drastically improved their liver by following a sensible eating plan and doing exercise (this can be started from nothing and built up slowly).

I really hope you are able to find a way to help her turn things around. Although don't spread yourself too thin, you've a lot on with your partner, make sure you look after yourself too.

Best wishes and good luck x

Mywildlove profile image
Mywildlove in reply to Wass71

I absolutely agree! I am also a very emotional eater like she is. It’s a hard thing to deal with and I know that even though she knows she’s not supposed to eat certain things, it usually can’t be helped. I’ve sent her links to things and lists of good healthy foods she might like, I can only hope she listens before it’s too late for her. I know she’s trying, I guess I was “triggered” by her damn cake post haha thank you very much for commenting, I’ll send her more links about eating healthy.

We all vent 😊 we're allowed too...

All you can do is advise your aunt, I find people will only listen when they want to, so don't get angry or upset over it, she going to have to learn the hard way by the sound of it..

And you are right food does play a big part in the damage to the liver, I am an example I have reduced the damage to my liver in just six months by changing the smallest of things but I have already had a transplant so I am not ignorant..

You just worry about yourself and your partner it doesn't matter how hard we try we can't help everyone x

Mywildlove profile image
Mywildlove in reply to jojokarak

Hi! Awesome job reducing the damage to your liver!! I’m hoping the same happens for my fiancé and aunt. She’s a stubborn gal and likes what she likes, I’m also stubborn so you can imagine how things have gone so far haha thank you for taking the time to comment!

jojokarak profile image
jojokarak in reply to Mywildlove

Aye clashes galore lol

Print some info off here and leave it in her home or post it lol

Keep being stubborn. We are what we eat and improving diet is the way forward. Good on you I say :)

Hi there.hope your both ok. I have a similar problem in that my partner who is slightly overweight and eats crap won’t listen to me even though she’s been with me all the way through being ill with liver disease yet because of that she says stop trying to control me and I’ll eat what I want.but I’m just looking out for her because I don’t want anyone to experience cirrosis so she makes me feel bad for bringing it up and it instantly stops us discussing it.yet I do all the cooking and only eat healthy food which I make her she’ll still bring rubbish sweets and deserts and the they say you can take a horse to water but can’t make it drink.junk food can become as addictive as drug to alcohol for some wishes.paul

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Perhaps she misunderstood the doctors words. Even if he believes that no diet will help cirrhosis.

He certainly DID NOT say their is no diet that causes it or progresses it. I think this is a case of selective listening on your aunts part and as you said already: Clearly you cant eat the foods that caused your NAFLD and expect it not to worsen. Thats just common sense Auntie Wildlove!

She may be in a bit of denial here as well. Hopefully you can reach her or perhaps visit her doctor with her and get him to explain it to her in a way thats more black and white?not that you dont have enough on your late already of course!

sunnysmile profile image
sunnysmile in reply to Hidden

Think you have nailed it there :)

First, kudos to you for loving your Aunt so much - she is lucky. ❤️

Second, I am still a newbie to this site, but I do find some of the comments to your post a bit confusing. Members of this forum often support each other in trying to get a loved one to stop drinking alcohol, a well-known cause of Cirrhosis. Now that the medical community understands that being overweight and not exercising accounts for almost an equal number of Cirrhosis cases, does it not make sense that we apply the same logic to these loved ones? Encourage them to improve their lifestyle just as strongly as we would encourage a loved one to stop drinking? Once overweight, chemical and hormonal changes occur in the body making it very difficult to lose that weight. Kind of the same effect that alcohol can have.. I commend you for trying to save your aunt’s life. I agree with the individual who suggested showing her posts and comments from this site. Tell her this is her future if she does not heed your advice.

Finally, feel free to vent here and ask questions as often as you like. There is no requirement to provide advice to others. This is all new to you. Let the experienced people help you now … No one is keeping score. I am sure you will pay it forward someday during a less stressful period of your life. Take good care. ❤️

Thank you all for commenting! I live far away from my aunt so talking online is the only communication we have at the moment. She’s older so she only has friends and family online and she’s very open about what’s going on with her. I’m going to share what people said here and send her links to things and hope she takes it to heart. You’re all great people, thank you for taking the time out of your lives to help people like me.

You didn't (or she didn't) state which type of doctor told her that.

I can tell you that GPs in the UK are taught very very little on nutrition, perhaps even just an hour.

So. If it was a GP that doesn't surprise me at all.

Mywildlove profile image
Mywildlove in reply to Dave5

I asked her and she said her doctor is a hepatologist which absolutely shocked me!

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Hidden in reply to Dave5

Again i think it may have been a miscommunication in that she heard "no foods will help cirrhosis get better" as "eat whatever you want because it doesnt matter". Or something to that effect.

Mywildlove profile image
Mywildlove in reply to Hidden

I agree, I think she’s looking for a way to justify the things she eats. All I can do is try I guess. My fiancé jokingly calls it “mywildlove’s medical prison” hahaha

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sunnysmile profile image
sunnysmile in reply to Dave5

Hey you are so right there. My female doc has no idea on healthy eating and the benefits of such. I can read the telltale signs on her face regarding her diet.


'Dang it' made me smile (in a good way) Suddenly I was nine years old again, watching Champion the Wonder Horse on a black and white TV that only worked on one channel... Good luck with everything, and, yes, make sure you are looking after yourself, too

Thank you so much! In person I have a mouth like a sailor but I try to watch how I say things online. I do say dang it a lot though haha

It sounds like your Aunt is comfort eating. She also seems to be resigned that she has a serious liver disease and can't see the point in dieting as it won't cure her cirrhosis. In her mind she thinks whats the point? The consultant was telling the truth, no diet will cure her.However mine was very pecific. He said that a low carb diet will still redue liver fat. He would expect to see me still around in 20 years if I did this. My emergency bowel op has messed up my dieting but now I'm healed so will be resuming my low carb diet very soon. The diet recc. for my intestines was white foods including bread,potatoes,rice. Your Aunt is addicted to sugar. Calorie counting and most diets have treats which have sugar. I was very dubious about the claim that low carb diet causes the craving for sugar to stop! In under 3 weeks I no longer craved cakes chocolate biscuits etc. Like any addiction the person has to be the one to decide. Maybe showing her this could reassure her the craving goes completely. It takes time to prepare for this diet like removing all carb foods from the house. Ensuring you have a well stocked fridge and freezer of foods you can eat. Hazelx

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I think you are doing what any great niece would do. Take comfort in knowing that whether or not she wants to change that you have done your best to educate her and to not support her negative habits. You can only lead the horse to water as the saying goes, but you’re doing all you can with her best interests in mind 😊

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