With October being National Liver Awareness Month it’s staggering to realize four and a half million Americans have been diagnosed with liver disease. In the past liver disease has been affected by older Americans, but in recent years that has changed with 27 percent of patients now being young women.
Landree Sarata was diagnosed in 2015 with a serious complication of liver disease cirrhosis called Hepatic Encephalopathy. She began feeling extremely fatigued and noticed swelling and bloating yet had no idea why or what was going on. It was only when she went to the emergency room that she learned the severity of her problem. It turned to be stage four cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy. While liver diseases like cirrhosis are more generally known, lesser-known complications like hepatic encephalopathy actually affect 70% of patients. Hepatic means it’s related to your liver and Encephalopathy means a disease of the brain. It often goes undiagnosed because the initial symptoms are rather subtle, such as forgetfulness or disoriented and while the symptoms can be subtle at first after diagnosis Landree found herself in a very dark place.
Landry battled through many tough times and through the battle learned that it’s important to be an advocate for yourself and doing that means being persistent with your doctors, asking them questions and really educating yourself. Fortunately, there is a number of effective treatments that include simple things like diet and exercise. Landry was lucky enough to find a treatment that works for her and is feeling better every day.
To learn more about Hepatic Encephalopathy you can visit websites like liverFoundation.org and if you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms of a Chi make sure to consult a doctor immediately.