Our oldest son had a lot of blood done today, and he’s going on to see a specialist. Our pediatrician is checking for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, or any signs of the beginning of it.
How does someone end up with Fatty Liver Disease, you might wonder?
1. They’re an alcoholic.
2. They ate too many foods that stressed their liver.
3. They were given soy oil, intravenously, for nutrition (TPN).
Some foods that stress the liver are:
1. Processed sugar
2. Corn products
3. Soy pruducts
5. Starches like potatoes and rice
Since this list includes the staples of the American diet, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is on the rise and is the most common liver disease in the Western World. Many people are walking around with it and have no clue. The majority of these people will end up with Diabetes, as Fatty Liver Disease is often a pre-curser to Diabetes.Â The crazy thing is, in most situations, it can be prevented entirely with diet!
Our son was given TPN as a baby, and 60% of the kids who are given TPN will end up with Fatty Liver Disease–like an alcoholic. Most of the time, Fatty Liver Disease goes undiagnosed, because a person with this disease does not necessarily show any symptoms. Our son shows 1 symptom: he is itchy all the time. We have tried different laundry soaps (fragrance free, all natural), different soaps, etc. We thought maybe it was brought on by certain foods (pineapple and banana), but he’s still itchy when he doesn’t eat those foods. We went on the GAPS Intro to remove many foods from his diet to see if they were the culprit. Even on beef, chicken, fish, broth, squash, onions, garlic, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower–he is still itchy.
So, he’s getting tested. As I read about this disease, I am amazed–amazed that the very foods that tax the liver (and could make this whole disease worse) are exactly what the hospital “dietitians” were telling us to feed our son when he was younger. Unbelievable. They went to school to study food and it’s relationship to the body–and yet they advise mothers of young children to feed their kids Cheetos, Lorna Doone cookies and soy and corn-based high calorie drinks as a method of gaining weight. All of these foods would do further damage to an already potentially damaged liver!
We have one liver. It’s kind of an important organ. I don’t think any amount of weight gain is worth damaging the liver. What good is it to have a chunky-monkey toddler with a worn out, fatty liver?
I’d like to write more about gaining weight in a *healthy* way, soon. Unfortunately, if you have an underweight child, you’re going to be told to give them packaged junk food. We bought into it. We gave our son everything they told us to give him. We even melted Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and put it in his bottles. Yes. We were that desperate to get him to gain weight, and we believed the dietitians. We are wiser now, and if I could turn back time, I would re-write our menus and shopping lists and feed our son real food with real nutrients and real fats. But that’s for another post…