Sugar and Liver Disease: Taming My Sweet Tooth
Last updated: July 2021
Fighting that little, or should I say, "Big Sweet Tooth," has always been difficult for me. Looking back on my liver disease progression to stage 4 over the years, I notice my sweet tooth has increased and grown into this huge sugar monster.
Sugar and liver disease: The effects of cravings
I crave it every minute of every day. From sippin' on an extra-caramel macchiato to bubble gum or hard candy. I could live on just sugar, I am sure. But my body starts screaming at me: from my bloated stomach caused by excess water retention to my abdomen hurting from severe constipation. My mind then also gets so cloudy and far more than usual, to the extreme fatigue and sluggishness. You see, sugar no longer gives me energy but actually robs me of what little energy I have. It took me experiencing these peaks and valleys in my diet to reach out to my doctor and find out what was going on.
Digging deeper into healthy livers and speaking to several world-renown liver specialists, I discovered that I needed to cut out sugar and salt from my diet, period. I was causing extreme stress on my liver by trying to filter all this garbage of non-nutritious foods into my body. Not only is it hurting my liver but is also putting extra strain on the pancreas and kidneys. Which could then lead to other major issues that at this point of my life, I am not willing to bet on.
It has been a hard thing to do but I have since replaced my cravings of sugary snacks and junk with fruits and vegetables. I have even gone as far as replacing my salt intake with a product called Mrs. Dash. It's amazing and has a variety of flavored seasoning to use for your cooking and grilling chicken and fish (good for liver digestion). Red meats are harsh for the liver to process. I will admit I am not living a total salt-free and sugar-free life. I do continue to have minimal amounts of both but it is a far cry from the earlier days. I now know what makes my body happy and trust me you will too.
One of my quick sweet fixes is to slice up a banana, place it in the microwave for 1 minute, then top it with sliced walnuts or pecans. Something amazing happens to bananas when they are warmed up, they become delicious and sweet. The added nuts give it texture. For a special treat, I will add 1 marshmallow to create a hot banana split.
Making small dietary changes
If your liver is struggling and you are experiencing some of the cravings I have mentioned, try starting with limiting junk intake of your diet. Replace cravings with something more nutritious for you liver. If we can help our livers out now, it will pay off for us later. We no longer will have the peaks and deep valleys of physical wellness. No more sugar crashes and salt attacks. You will become more alert and your liver will be happy, and the lab reports will as well.