March is Liver Health Month. Raising awareness about this disease is important to us at RLCF, because 1 in 10 Canadians lives with some type of liver disease. We caught up with our friends at the Canadian Liver Foundation to share some important information about the most commonly diagnosed liver disease: fatty liver disease.

Fatty liver disease is only 1 of over 100 different types of liver diseases, but according to Health Canada it is the most diagnosed liver disease among Canadians. This type of liver disease is a result of excess fat in the liver cells and affects adult men, women and children. In Canada, the leading cause of fatty liver disease is obesity. Alarmingly, the number of obese children in Canada has nearly tripled in the last decade. As obesity becomes more prevalent, statistics have shown that approximately 25% of Canadians or as many as 8 million people are affected by fatty liver disease, even children as young as 4 years old.

Rising as one of the most common and fastest growing forms of liver disease, it is expected that in the next 10 years, fatty liver disease will be the number one cause of liver transplant. While other chronic diseases are on the decline, diagnosis of fatty liver disease continues to increase.

The good news is that this is a type of a disease that for most part could be avoided and/or managed by making some changes to their lifestyle choices. The Canadian Liver Foundation provide their 6 top tips that can help prevent fatty liver disease:

  1. Choose to lead a health lifestyle – a healthy diet and exercise are important components of any weight-loss regimen.
  2. If you are overweight, strive for a gradual and sustain weight loss
  3. Eat a well balanced diet that is low in saturated fats and high in fibre
  4. Minimize sugar consumption, reduce the intake of fried foods
  5. Introduce exercise into your routine, at least 4 times a week. Try walking, swimming, gardening or stretching
  6. Avoid alcohol

We wanted to share a story of Mike who was borderline obese and diagnosed with a fatty liver disease at age 12.  Because there are no immediately obvious side effects of the disease Mike and his family didn’t think much of it – they assumed it’s a chronic condition that could be managed. That is until Mike was at 2nd year of University and found himself in a hospital with intestinal bleeding. That was when Mike realized exactly how this disease has affected him. He also learned that there is no medication he could take to make him feel better; instead he had to make some hard lifestyle choices including increased exercise and improvement in his diet. Now, a year and a half into his new lifestyle his liver has rejuvenated, the fat build up is gone and he is free of the fatty liver disease.

To learn more about the work of the Canadian Liver Foundation and how you can support it, visit

Read our charity profile on The Canadian Liver Foundation sharing the work that they do and why they do it, in our blog here.  You can also reach out to us on social media:

Facebook: Robertlconconifoundation

Twitter: @ConconiFndn

LinkedIn: Robert L. Conconi Foundation

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