‘Prevention is better than cure’ is a really famous saying but how many of us are wise enough to adapt it in our lives?
Life is a real puzzle and all of us are busy putting the pieces in the right places but what we often forget is that our health is one of the most important piece. We are only as good as our health still we dare to ignore it on a daily basis.
I am 38 year old working woman and like most of us, I was also really busy living my life under the illusion of a healthy self. I always thought that I could never get sick or have any serious health problem as no one in my family has ever suffered from any major disease. I am also a true Punjabi when it comes to food, I just love eating or you can say that I am actually a fan of good food. I never had any digestion or bloating problems but had started gaining weight and feeling lazy all of a sudden which really alarmed me.
I was really lucky as my company took an initiative towards healthy living and got a health checkup camp conducted in the office. I was quite confident of my health and was not considering the health checkup but my colleagues put some sense into me and told me to get tested. There were lots of tests which were being done according to the symptoms and complaints. The doctors advised me for a full body checkup which included CBC and vitaimin tests. With the fine precision of the phlebotomist my blood samples were taken and was assured that the tests results will be delivered to us within 24 hours through mail.
To my complete horror the reports revealed that I was at a high risk of several diseases. The values of lipid profile and liver function tests were altered reasonably and vit D3 levels were quite below the normal levels. The results nearly broke me down but my family and friends acted as my true pillars of support at that time and encouraged me to fight these health problems.
My doctor brought out a bitter truth that I was prone to fatty liver disorder. This meant that my liver was heavier than the normal because of the excess fat content in it. I who considered myself really healthy was in a complete shock. I was advised to follow strict regimes to avoid damaging my liver further and prevent it from diseases like liver fibrosis and worst stage of liver cirrhosis. The dietitian advised me to:
- Eat vitamin and mineral rich foods, particularly those high in B-complex vitamins, folate(folic acid), manganese, selenium, and sulfur
- Follow a balanced diet and avoid excessive eating
- Not to eat high-fat foods particularly those high in saturated fats
- Not to consume alcohol and high sugar drinks like energy drinks and soda
- Exercise regularly to lose weight gradually rather than trying for a ‘lose it all at once’ solution
- Eat vegetables daily, particularly greens and leaves
- Eat fruits daily, particular citrus fruits high in vitamin C
- Eat complex carbohydrates such as those found in brown rice and whole grains
- Not to eat simple carbohydrates such as those found in candy and desserts
- Eat foods high in fiber
The doctor advised me the above-mentioned steps without any medications to prevent from further damage. He even warned me that if I do not take these precautions I could face the health complications attributed to the fatty liver like:
- Steatohepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver
- Metabolic syndromes like excess body weight
- Insulin resistance
- High triglyceride levels
- Loss of appetite or anorexia
- Discoloration of skin (turns pale)
- Acute or severe back pain
- Liver cancer
- High risk of heart disease
I made a vow to myself to fight the disease and started working towards it. Few regular changes in my lifestyle made the once impossible goal achievable. After a period of 6 months, I got tested again and my lipid levels were under control. I was no more at the risk of fatty liver disease, the news filled me with a feeling of relief and joy. I had fought my way towards a healthier and immensely happier me.
I was living in a glass room which shattered into pieces once hit with the stark reality. I was lucky enough to be diagnosed on time. My experience taught the importance of regular health checkups and it is a must for everybody regardless of the age. My only advise to one and all is to take care of your health.
No excuse is good enough to ignore your health. Start taking care yourself because you are really important.
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