May 2013 – Another Year of Raising Hepatitis Awareness

29 May

It’s that time, again.  Time to raise a little hepatitis awareness, particularly autoimmune hepatitis awareness.  Like many patients dealing with chronic illness, I’m hesitant to post about my personal autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) journey.  But, I feel that I’m doing a good public service for others struggling with a new AIH diagnosis or learning to live with AIH.  That’s the reason for keeping my blog in the public blogosphere.  I’ve been job-searching since my December 2012 graduation.  Like others living with chronic illness, I worry if my chances of employment will diminish if I’m linked to AIH, a rare liver disease, and chronic hepatitis.

Hepatitis research and treatment has been making news’ headlines.  Here’s some recent liver news that I found interesting and heart-warming:

New Mechanism for Estrogen Suppression of Liver Lipid Synthesis (retrieved from Science Daily on 5/29/13, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523143729.htm#.UaYDHmCPhzQ and tweeted by the American Liver Foundation on 5/28/13).  “May 23, 2013 — By discovering the new mechanism by which estrogen suppresses lipid synthesis in the liver, UC Irvine endocrinologists have revealed a potential new approach toward treating certain liver diseases.  With this finding, Dr. Ellis Levin and colleagues believe they are changing long-held views in the field. Study results appear in the May 21 issue of the journal Science Signaling.”    As noted in the article, this research is good news for patients living with chronic hepatitis.  “Estrogen plays a role in liver functions, and may be a deterrent to liver cancer, as men get this type of cancer at a rate of four-to-six times more than women and animals models of this cancer show clear suppression by estrogen. The hormone also helps suppress the development of fatty liver, which can lead to liver damage and failure, and inflammatory liver disease that result from chronic hepatitis.”  Thanks, American Liver Foundation for tweeting this good news, this week :).

When I was newly diagnosed with AIH, I asked my GI physician if I would have to stop drinking coffee.  Fortunately for me, I can still enjoy my morning coffee.  Here’s some good news for us coffee-consumers:  Coffee Drinking Tied to Lower Risk for Rare Liver PSC 

This was another great tweet from ALF, this week.  “New research from the US shows that regular consumption of coffee is linked to a reduced risk of a rare autoimmune liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).  Study investigator Craig Lammert, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is presenting the findings at the Digestive Disease Week 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida this week.”  (Retrieved from the Medical News Today website on 5/29/13, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/260742.php).

Here’s the story that tugged at my heart-strings, this week, courtesy of ALF.  Hang in there, Lindsey!  You have a bunch of new fans to cheer you on and send you good healing karma, prayers and best wishes:

LIVEr Champion: Lindsey Boynton (retrieved from the American Liver Foundation website on 5/29/13, http://www.liverfoundation.org/about/news/479).

Hepatitis 101 – to learn more about hepatitis, download this free pdf from the American Liver Foundation and share it withyour friends, family and coworkers.  (Retrieved from the American Liver Foundation website on 5/29/13, http://www.liverfoundation.org/downloads/alf_download_1055.pdf).

Thank you, American Liver Foundation, for keeping us informed about new developments in the world of AIH, hepatitis and liver research.  Take the time to raise a little hepatitis awareness in your corner of the world.  Check out the great ALF resources and “Spread the word about liver wellness, and pledge to treat your liver well through the month of May and beyond.” (Retrieved from the American Liver Foundation website on 5/29/13, http://www.liverfoundation.org/chapters/ham/).

Namaste,

Mags

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