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Liver damage

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

I'm starting a new thread about this because it is near and dear to my heart and very much an integral part of my journey. If you don't want to hear about how your diet can impact your health (good and bad), stop reading now!

In 2004 when I decided to stop chemo, I still had 2 active tumors in my liver and my oncologist had told me I had a "fatty liver". I was also getting ready to have to go on a 4th different blood pressure med, my blood levels were abysmal, my body was a mess, and my mindset was scaring me. I had to change things and had to do it quickly and aggressively.

I did a ton of reading about what I could do to get my body back as quickly as I could. I concentrated on my blood levels and the cleansing of my elimination system. My thinking was that if I "cleaned it up and got as much gunk out, then it would work more efficiently and effectively. I started with my liver and pancreas. With the help of my ND, I started juicing twice a day. There were several things that did for my body. It got already broken down nutrients into my liver about as quickly as you can while giving my digestive system a break. I only ate red meat once or twice a month because it is so difficult and time consuming for the body to digest. I juiced 1/4 carrots, cabbage, celery, and beets. The beets were specifically for my liver and bloodstream.

When I did eat any meat, poulty, or dairy products I made sure they didn't contain any antiboitics or had been given steriods or growth hormones. The liver also gets rid of toxins and other "bad" things so I didn't want to add an additional burden to it. I wanted it "firing on all cylinders", I really needed it to. I also only ate grass fed not grain fed products since they have less fat and more nutrition.

Lastly and I'm probably going to get blasted for this but I avoided sugar for a while. Sugar, known as sucrose (including beet and cane, white and brown) is made up of a 50/50% combo of a molecule of fructose and a molecule of glucose. Fructose is the sweeter of the 2 molecules. There are also products with free standing fructose and free standing glucose, like fruits and veggies. High fructose corn syrup is a man made product that is 55% fructose and 45% glucose, much sweeter than sucrose.

Free standing fructose is absorbed by the small intestines and that is why some babies and adults may get diarhea from eating certain fruits and veggies.

Sucrose is not absorbed by the small intestines, it is sent to the liver. The liver splits the molecules and sends the glucose on out into the body for all cells to metabolise but keeps the fructose and metabolises it itself! If it gets too much fructose at one time, like in liquid form from a soda the liver converts it to fat and it's not one of the good fats our bodies need. It is bad fat and contributes to a fatty liver. So to again take additional burden off my liver I avoided sugar as much as I could for months.

I did take milk thistle later on but not the first year. The cool thing about the liver is it is very responsive and can be affected very quickly.

I hope this helps some of you. If you want a really good explanation about the sugar "stuff" and how the president of Sloan-Ketterings Cancer Center and the director of the Cancer Center at Harvard Medical School feel about it, you really should read the long article Hatsheput posted a few weeks ago title "Is Sugar Toxic".

Lisa P.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 2706
Joined: May 2009

Thanks for the info Scouty! Keep on living healthy! I plan to!

janie1
Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

I'm reading and learning. Did u say you were juicing beets for a while, but then stopped due to the sugar content. Or is juicing always a good thing. The sugar and the juicing always confuses me. Thanks everyone.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 2706
Joined: May 2009

Scouty, I juice beets but very little...how much do you add to drink?

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

Then went to daily............I never worried about the sugar content in the veggies since most of it is free fructose absorbed by the small intestine and never hits the liver. There is some sucrose in fruits and veggies but a minimal amount especially compared to the amounts in added sugar products.

Hey Rachel, I started slow cuz that stuff is potent. I always had about 20 oz of juice and after adding a little more of the beet juice every few days it was 1/4 or 5 oz. I did equal amounts of the 4 veggies and got so I could eyeball it with the different sized. I also got it down to a 15 minute ordeal from opening the fridge to finishing cleaning up.

Break's over, back to mowing the yard.

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

The CFA (Corn Refiners Association) claims that HFCS is essentially equivalent to sucrose, nutritionally, since sucrose is broken down into 50% each fructose and glucose. In his article "Is Sugar Toxic?", Taubes seems to have accepted this claim, and says that sucrose is just as bad for you as HFCS. Lustig says this, also.

--Greg

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2396
Joined: Jun 2006

nice to hear your clear calm voice.....

and your thread was nicely introduced too

tell me you aren't really cutting grass/////hahahah we don't have any yet

good to see you kiddo

best regards, mags

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

It's always great to see you on here too Mags!!! Been mowing since mid March. Heck I'm eating fresh lettuce, spinach, and brocolli from my spring garden now (I planted it in early March). My asparagus patch is getting ready to peak and I'll have raspberries from my first harvest in 2 weeks (I'll get another in August)!!!

There are advantages to living here in North Carolina but the storms and tornadoes this year have been much more frequent and intense than usual. Nothing like what hit Alabama though! As I said on another thread, Mama Nature seems really pissed the last couple of years.

Hugs to you sweetie and I bet you go to bed early again tonight. Did you enjoy all the wedding stuff? I sure hope William got more from his Mom than from his Dad. He obviously did in the looks department...oops that wasn't nice.

Mucho love my friend and thanks for the nice words about the thread. I do get tired of the nasty tones and remarks some use just because others do things differently then they do.

Mucho love and have a great weekend!
Lisa

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2396
Joined: Jun 2006

what a thrill for you to have fresh greens.....there is nothing better

we planted...literally scratched away the snow a couple of weeks ago....we have germination...maybe 1/2 inch....

yes the weather in US has been of great concern....so many deaths...I cannot believe how violent it has been....hopes and wishes and prayers to all the tornado areas

Lisa....you have done such a great job....I so admire your resolve...hats off to you my friend....

yes there are a million ways to do this

mags

RickMurtagh's picture
RickMurtagh
Posts: 529
Joined: Feb 2010

I just want to say grrrrr, /$&@!?, crap, bah!

Sorry just stubbed my toe.

Thanks for the info Lisa. I love it when the info swell thought out, easy to understand (I always had problems with the big words) and long enough to be thorough without being boring or losing me.

Have a great day!

Rick

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

Greg, Yes they do both say that there is no difference between the 2 but that's mostly because both are equally bad for you. Below is the actual qoote from the article (my printed out page 3).

"Refined sugar (that is, sucrose) is made up of a molecule of the carbohydrate glucose, bonded to a molecule of the carbohydrate fructose — a 50-50 mixture of the two. The fructose, which is almost twice as sweet as glucose, is what distinguishes sugar from other carbohydrate-rich foods like bread or potatoes that break down upon digestion to glucose alone. The more fructose in a substance, the sweeter it will be. High-fructose corn syrup, as it is most commonly consumed, is 55 percent fructose, and the remaining 45 percent is nearly all glucose."

I have a brother who is a type 1 diabetic (compliments of agent orange from the Vietnam War regretfully) and he says he can definitely tell the difference between sucrose and HFSC and has to use different amounts of insulin for each.

It's nice to know someone else read that article. Sure was an eye opener for me!

Lisa

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Ahh, Lisa I love seeing your posts, thank you. You're a breath of fresh air!!!!

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2269
Joined: Jan 2009

Lisa,
I am so grateful for you and your willingness to continue to share. Thank you!!

Aloha,
Kathleen

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

Thanks so much for your kind words. It does get tough sometimes, especially lately with all the call out threads. But I made a promise to a few buddies, who are upstairs saving me a seat, that I would stay and try to help people so I do.

I think of you and Dick all the time! Please know that I continue to send my bestest healing thoughts your way!

Love Lisa

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1210
Joined: Jul 2005

Nice explanation, Lisa. I appreciate a nice physiology based explanation.

Don't slam me, but it is so much better than the "sugar feed cancer" line based upon how the PET scan works. I too try and avoid sugar, but I don't freak out about it and my liver (so far, knock on wood) seems to fine.

Wish I had your garden, but surrounded by woods here it's just not possible.

Take care,
Betsy

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

Nice photo with your daughter. Was that Turkey day? I wish you lived closer and I would share my lettuces with you. It's all coming in now so my neighbors are reaping the benefits.

I'm not gonna slam you, you're my friend! But there is some fairly recent new research that is pretty compelling on how sugar then insulin affects cancer and cancer metastasis especially in the cancers whose tissues contain or are surrounded by fat: the breast, ovaries, prostate, colon, and lymphatic system. It isn't sugar per se, it's the bodies response to the sugar when the pancreas releases insulin to counteract it. I'll quote the article again from a later paragragh:

"As it was explained to me by Craig Thompson, who has done much of this research and is now president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the cells of many human cancers come to depend on insulin to provide the fuel (blood sugar) and materials they need to grow and multiply. Insulin and insulin-like growth factor (and related growth factors) also provide the signal, in effect, to do it. The more insulin, the better they do. Some cancers develop mutations that serve the purpose of increasing the influence of insulin on the cell; others take advantage of the elevated insulin levels that are common to metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Some do both. Thompson believes that many pre-cancerous cells would never acquire the mutations that turn them into malignant tumors if they weren’t being driven by insulin to take up more and more blood sugar and metabolize it.

What these researchers call elevated insulin (or insulin-like growth factor) signaling appears to be a necessary step in many human cancers, particularly cancers like breast and colon cancer. Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, says that up to 80 percent of all human cancers are driven by either mutations or environmental factors that work to enhance or mimic the effect of insulin on the incipient tumor cells."

I'll find the article and bump it so you can read it. I had to print it out and probably have reread it 5 or 6 times, there is so much good info in it. Let me know what you think of it. The whole blood sugar/insulin release process is really interesting to me because most of the foods on the alkaline side of the alkaline vs acid diet also happen to be the same foods that are on the low end of the gylcemic index that diabetics are supposed to follow. Oh and my first reaction was much like Rick's above, oh SHEET, CRAP, DANGIT!!!!!

Seems like the science may have always been there, it just that the scientists are just catching up with it and figuring it all out.

Hope all is good on your front and that your pups are good!

Love, Lisa

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

Those who don't follow the Colon Club may not have seen a comment from a knowledgeable observer, jscho, to the effect that fructose is probably not a worry for those concerned about developing cancer, but is likely a problem for those who already have it: Re: FRUCTOSE:Role in CR cancer causation & met. spread

--Greg

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

hi greg,

the link is great, backups up my naturopath diet perfectly.
its so good to know i am on the right track for me and not alone on these dietary
endevours.

pete

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

I guess you suggesting that we take Jeremy's word over the President of the Cancer Center @ Sloan Kettering and the Director of the Cancer Center @ Harvard Medical School is like me asking folks to believe me instead of their oncologists all these years.

You do have a great sense of humor!

If for some reason you were serious I am willing to bet Jeremy didn't read the article and was just reacting to Luslig and his "talks".

Thanks for the great laugh Greg.

Lisa P.

SisterSledge's picture
SisterSledge
Posts: 342
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi Lisa,

I appreciate the info you've provided so clearly here and I will study further on liver health as it is a top priority for me with liver mets and ongoing chemo. I would like to know more about milk thistle and how it may interact with other drugs, especially chemo efficacy:

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/milk-thistle-000266.htm
Milk Thistle

Milk thistle may interfere with the following medications, because both milk thistle and these medications are broken down by the same liver enzymes:

* Allergy drugs -- such as fexofenadine (Allegra)
* Drugs for high cholesterol -- including statins such as lovastatin (Mevacor, Altocor)
* Anti-anxiety drugs -- including alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan)
* Antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners) -- including clopidogrel (Plavix) and warfarin (Coumadin)
* Some cancer drugs

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

i am glad i did not take milk thistle around chemo days

this is why i would have prefered an intergative oncologist, for these specific interactions.

even my naturopath's did not checkout all my possible onc related meds.
i told them about folfox and that was it.

i really need to find a pharmacological oncologist like scouty had. tried but could not find one. i had an excellent tradiitional onc, so i would not have changed anyway.

never mind, i have made it so far. but i was on ativan. only took about 6 of them over 6 months.

look up liver health or liver doctor , her name is sandra cabot. her book on liver and bowel is my bible and is a good starting point.

pete

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

My oncologist at the Comprehensive Cancer Center contacted him on my behalf. They are the pharmacists that fill all the chemo orders for the hundreds of people getting it (and other IVs) in the Infusion Center where I go. It is a big Cancer Center and hospital and they have a huge regular pharmacy there too.

Not sure that will help those that are interested. I never realized how lucky I was that my oncologist was so helpful in regards to the supplements I took while on chemo. I sent him and my brother, the ENT doc, this article yesterday to get his thoughts on the sugar "stuff" to see what they think.

Janine, I wasn't on any meds when I took the Milk Thistle so I can't help you there. I still take it occasionally especially after the holiday parties!

Lisa P.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

I do not know about the interactions...however, when I had cancer in my liver, I took Milk Thistle once daily through chemo, following the surgery.

My onc said it was ok...the only thing my medical team ever said was ok for me. All my oncologists have not been for any type of cleanes, detoxes, anti-oxidants or any type of supplements while in treatment.

Once I came here, I find that many here have their oncs ok'ing it and letting the patient do it. I suppose each oncologist is different in their approach.

But Milk Thistle helps cleanse the liver, so I did use it while on Folfox. This would seem to be ok, but run it through your onc for approval.

Best!

-Craig

coloCan
Posts: 1835
Joined: Oct 2009

was title of article I had printed 3/30/10 from www.qualityhealth.com (only way I now have to identify source) which stated then:"Currently there is no remedy for treating liver toxicity. However, reseachers have found that the herb Milk thistle may prevent or reduce chemotheraphy-induced liver damage." article then briefly speaks of liver functions and milk thistle studies........

coloCan
Posts: 1835
Joined: Oct 2009

cup"

coloCan
Posts: 1835
Joined: Oct 2009

this would be food.......

slow laptop so repeats

SisterSledge's picture
SisterSledge
Posts: 342
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you all for sharing info on Milk Thistle and other liver cleansing alternatives...this is a very important issue for anyone taking chemo. It's hard for me to make decisions, in that at this time I only have Dr Doom for an Onc and I don't trust his opinions at all :(

I guess my basic premise will have to be something like this:
Chemo intentionally harms/depletes the body to kill the cancer. Helping the body sustain chemo can also help the cancer to sustain the chemo. Therefore, I should only help the body if it seems to be struggling to maintain functions while on chemo. After chemo, I should help the body to heal from the depletion caused by chemo activity.

Does that make sense to you or am I crazy?

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

hi janine

being upside down here i have a different perspective. ie the other side of the planet.

did the vege juicing beetroot celery etc almost daily depending diarrhea
all through chemo.

did milk thistle off chemo days, but again from DX.

the goal to maintain PEAK liver function, to this end stopped eating all processed foods.
cut down on red meat, followed bowel and liver bible.

The goal PEAK liver function all the way through, and I almost made it. bloods were great almost all the way.

Why well if you keep your live PEAK, it copes with chemo easily and bounces back fast. BETWEEN cycles. get it. when it starts to be hammered it cannot bounce back between cycles.

This is based on what my PHD blood bank researcher firend explained and I have adopted it to my treatment. I did whatever I could to get my liver firing as well as possible.

we never know what is around the corner. our livers have to last a life time. whatever that is.

hugs,
pete

SisterSledge's picture
SisterSledge
Posts: 342
Joined: Feb 2011

I am juicing fruit/carrots once per day, my blood numbers are pretty good and I take a few supplements too. I'll look into milk thistle more, probably just some of the days between chemo treatments.

~hugs~
Janine

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

hi janine,

from the healthy liver and bowel book by sandra cabot page 169 liver purifier juice
2 large spinach leaves
3 broccoli flowerets
1-2 gloves garlic
1 green pepper
1 cup parsley top, chopped
1 read apple, seeded
pass all through a juicer, you can add liver tonic to this, hiugh in vitamin C and sulphur compouinds to cleanse the liver.

Ps I add spirulina to the juice to boost interferon as "it regulates immune cells and their defensive capability" page 141

Thanks for asking your post, as its made me read my liver bible, its like the real bible the more you read it, the more you learn.

also for page 98 "the reason why all or some of these enzymes become elevated in cases of liver disease is that they are normally contained inside the liver cells ( hepatocytes ). They only leak into the blood sream when the liver cells are damaged. Thus measuring liver enzymes is only able to detect liver damage and does not measure liver function in a sensitive way."

Also falling serum albumins shows a deteriorating liver function.

so I am in the process of ordering a functional test of my liver.

hugs,
Pete

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Janine,

While Juicing is great, carrot juice has very high GI (Glycemic Index) so while carrots in raw whole form are fine in any quantity, you may wish to vary the veges you juice and limit Carrot juice to smaller amount or 2-3 time a week. Adding bright colored veges, parsley, bitter melon and wheatgrass are just a few good additions.

The Silymarin is very good stuff as the data shows. Not known to actually be too effective with Cancer of the liver but for is excellent for reparing damaged livers.

As for detox, not sure how CR people go (I had Throat C) but after 2 week in hospital with surgery and all the pain meds (incl Morphine), anesthetic and other drugs I was a mess and totally toxic. I could feel I was toxic. I was badly constipated. I kept asking the doctors and nurses about getting a colonic flush/irrigation. They all hissed and spat at the suggestion and said I could die. I mean 4 Doctors and half a dozen nurses.

I eventually got discharged from hospital (approx 10 days in) in vey bad shape. My 2 brothers carried me out, one on each shoulder. The day before I had tracked down a colonics clinic (in HK) checked it was bonafide etc and we went straight from the hospital to the clinic. I had a 45 minute open colonic irrigation.

When it was over, I walked out upright, very weak and light headed but felt a new clearness and lightness. After a light meal and 2 hours I was a jumping bean. The result was remarkable to say the least. Remember I was carried in to the clinic, and walked out.

We trap toxins in the colon and just reabsorb them so it is a vicious cycle. Please note this procedure does carry risks (Perforations) and must be done by professional people. It's not for everyone but worth consideration post Chemo / Surgery depending of course the location of your surgery and this maybe isn't the best board to post this information on but some may be able to benefit to someone here.

The more we know, the better.

Best to all
Scambuster

SisterSledge's picture
SisterSledge
Posts: 342
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you for the info, I'll vary my juice more...but so far I haven't found any other veggies I can stand the taste of :(

And I'm convinced on the milk thistle. I'll get some next week :)

Thanks again,
Janine

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2269
Joined: Jan 2009

Ok,
This is pretty funny. I wanted to find the article by Dr. Lenz about Milk Thistle and I googled, "Dr. Lenz c3 milk thistle" and my post from January 1, 2010 pops up. LOL!!

Here is a copy of my post.

Hi,
I was just on Dr. Lenz's (USC) site C3 and saw this article on milk thistle protecting the liver. I know that there are folks in our community who are battling cancer in their livers or whose livers have taken quite a hit from chemo.
Here's a link, hope it can help. (You may have to cut and paste the address)

http://fightcolorectalcancer.org/dr_lenz/2009/12/milk_thistle_a_way_to_protect_against_liver_damage

Aloha,
Kathleen

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

kathleen you were a liver guru and you did not even know it!!!
how funny is that and lucky for us.
its a really good article and even the comment about vitamin b6 and 5fu.

all these treatment tips sitting in the treasure basket, locked away. gee we almost lost the ke as well.

thanks for sharing, thanks for making the post originally, thanks for finding again and posting it.

We need to write a book the csn colorectal guide to beating cancer tips and traps. Now that would be fun, any takers ?

pete

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010
Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2269
Joined: Jan 2009

Thanks Buckwirth!

Kathleen

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3387
Joined: Apr 2010

Well, I might actually ask my onc if I can take something like milk thistle.
Winter Marie

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