October is a great month! Of course, we know that it’s the month of getting ready for Halloween, the month that marks the beginning of the holiday season, and the month that Season 5 of the Walking Dead starts (woohoo!). But it’s also the month for awareness.
The month of October has been known for increasing awareness for breast cancer. For those of us that have been personally affected by breast cancer, we know that this month is important. My grandmother was plagued with the deadly disease and battled it for some time before it took her away from me and my family. It was a terrible time, still very hard to deal with. However, I have found it comforting to keep her alive during breast cancer awareness month by wearing pink and participating in awareness events such as walks and donations.
When I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis and began research on my prognosis and how to stay healthy, I came across some interesting information. The month of October is also Liver Awareness Month!
To a lot of people, this information isn’t at all important. Many people don’t even know about it. It hasn’t gotten nearly the same amount of attention as breast cancer has. Don’t get me wrong, breast cancer is a serious, serious disease. But so is liver disease. And people should know!
While breast cancer is a disease the is mostly genetic or happens without any real prevention (except getting regular breast checkups and mammograms to catch it before it gets worse), liver disease CAN be prevented in most cases. In my situation, the liver disease is genetic. However, if you just take care of yourself and don’t abuse your liver, then you’re all good!
The liver is our filtration system, basically. It filters blood coming from our digestion tract and detoxifies chemicals and metabolized drugs. In addition to this and many other functions, it makes important proteins for blood clotting.
So…now that you know what the liver does, you know how important it is. And unlike the kidneys, you only have one. One liver. And you can’t live without it.
There are simple ways to prevent liver disease:
- Eat healthy
- Don’t overdo the alcohol
- Don’t abuse medication
- Get vaccinated
- Practice safe sex
- DON’T DO DRUGS
These are all things we should be doing anyway, right?
I am not trying to lecture. I’m far from it. But, coming from a person who has a liver disease that could one day take me away, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Make no mistake, I am NOT terminally ill or anything. Far from it, and there are people worse off than I am. But it’s the emotional aspect of dealing with a disease that sucks. It’s the not knowing what’s going to happen in the next 10 years.
Awareness is key to many problems. And when it comes to disease, awareness can not only be preventative, but could improve quality of life.
So what did we learn:
Awareness is important. Don’t do drugs. Take care of yourself. The liver is a vital organ in our bodies.
Let’s take care of ourselves people! And let’s become aware and band together for those who are suffering.
If you wish to donate to either the The National Breast Cancer Foundation or The American Liver Foundation, click the links below.