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Can You Reverse Liver Damage with Diet? We Interviewed Aaron Calder to Find Out

Can you reverse liver damage? Is there a diet to reverse liver damage naturally? We interviewed Aaron Calder Vegan to find out how he went from the hospital bed to being healthy on a fully plant-based diet.

And you're going to love his recipes.

"Aaron thank you so much for doing this interview with us. Can you tell the reader a little about yourself?"

Aaron Calder Vegan in his kitchen

I live in Brighton (UK) with my partner and two dogs. I went vegan almost 5 years ago for health reasons as I had damaged my body through excessive drinking. I was in a bad state and thought I'd give a plant based diet a go after all the hype in the media and on documentaries like "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead".

I genuinely thought it would be a sacrifice and difficult to maintain but it's been the complete opposite. After sharing my meals on Instagram to show friends and family how amazing vegan food is I developed a following and started developing recipes, videos, joined Youtube and made my own website.

Liver Damage, the Hospital Visit, and Road to Recovery

Aaron hit rock bottom about 7 years ago after developing an alcohol addiction. He found himself throwing up blood one morning and was rushed to the hospital. The details were scary: jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis, pneumonia, pancreatitis, dehydration, malnutrition, gout, and damage to his throat, spleen, and gallbladder.

The doctors helped stablize Aaron to the point where his liver function came back again and was healthy enough to be released from the hospital. A biopsy confirmed that he had cirrhosis of the liver. A fibroscan of his liver revealed the worst score possible, a 75 kPa. His liver was so damaged that the doctors said if he ever drank again, he would die.

He attended addiction counseling, joined a rehab group, and tried to take care of his body better. But he was still overweight, suffering from fatigue, and not seeing the results he was hoping for. Aaron had been vegetarian for many years before and during this time, but didn't know what else to do to improve his health...

Watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Forks Over Knives opened Aaron to the idea of eating 100% plant-based and eating mostly whole foods. Two weeks later, he was feeling better. Two years after being on the diet, his fibroscan score went from 75 to 39. Today, his score is 30 and the doctors say he has no sign of fatty liver disease.

"Do you follow a strict vegan diet?"

My diet is 100% vegan and so is my lifestyle. No products tested on animals or leather goods, etc. I had been vegetarian since age 11 as I couldn't bare the thought of eating animals. I had no idea the cruelty involved in eggs and dairy until I educated myself. Social media has played a huge role in showing people where their food comes from and the cruelty behind it.

"Watching Forks Over Knives had a real impact on us too. What moment in that movie really stuck out to you and why?"

I think it was hearing normal people talk about how a plant based diet had improved their health. I was really sceptical as I'd been brainwashed into thinking we needed animal products to get protein, calcium and b12. I've always believed diet plays a huge role in our health.

"You've chosen to focus your work on discussing alcoholism and liver health. Can you take a moment to tell us what inspired you to help others dealing with similar problems you've experienced?"

I'd kept my alcoholism very private for over 7 years and felt a lot of shame when I thought about my past. I met a lovely lady, Gilly Smith for a coffee to talk about my blogging and told her all about my past. She convinced me to use something that I viewed as a negative experience to help others. She helped me realise that I could use my past to help others going through what I gone through. It took a few days for me to find the courage but I posted about it on my platforms and the response was positively overwhelming. Not only did my story go worldwide on websites and a national paper but I had people contact me for advice and to wish me well.

"Do you think people tend to trade one addiction for another? What advice would you give to someone who is having this issue?"

Yes, before I became alcohol dependent I would always give 100% and was a perfectionist. If I bought something and it was part of a set I'd have to buy the lot or I'd feel I was missing out. When I went clubbing I'd binge drink and would have to be the last one standing. The trouble with addiction is it can take over your life. When I took breaks from drinking I would go to the gym and eat very healthy. I had to get a six pack and have the perfect body to feel happy in myself. No matter how much I worked out I was never happy with my body. Now, looking back at old pics I can see I looked pretty amazing. I took things to an unhealthy extreme with most things I enjoyed.

Try to turn a negative addiction into a positive one. I focus my time on eating good meals and reading self help books. Find something you like that brings you happiness, health and helps others and turn that into your addiction.

"For someone reading this now who might think they have a health issue or addiction issue, what advice would you give to them?"

The main thing is to accept you might have a problem and talk to a professional about it. Before I was admitted to hospital I'd been to an AA meeting, read books about addiction and had hypnotherapy. All helped in their own way but I hadn't admitted I needed help. There's no shame in being an addict. You will find the more you're open about it the more people will tell you of their own issues. People say I'm brave and a good role model but I'm just a normal person. If I can turn my life around then anyone can.

What is a Plant-Based Diet and Tips for Success

Aaron's Advice & Foods for Liver Repair

  1. Avoid alcohol, smoking and drugs.
  2. Drink lots of water.
  3. Go plant based and eat fresh, unprocessed foods. I avoid added sugar, white flours and go for wholegrains.
  4. Avoid sugary drinks and foods.
  5. Avoid high sodium foods.
  6. Eat good fats from things like avocados, nuts, seeds, grains and avoid hydrogenated fats.
  7. Take time to relax and keep your stress levels low.
  8. Coffee is full of antioxidants and has been shown to protect the liver.
  9. Stay away from strong chemicals in paints, cleaning products and toiletries. Breathing in harmful chemicals can put strain on your liver.
  10. Take a milk thistle supplement. Although controversial over whether it works or not I've taken it every day since I was in hospital.

Want to Follow Aaron's Work?

Follow him on: Instagram | Youtube | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 
 
 
 
 

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Disclaimer: Please consult a medical physician for medical assistance. This page is not intended to provide medical advice.