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Living Healthy With Liver Disease

We’re kicking things off with
our story of inspiration. Today we’re meeting a
Chicago man who hopes that his story will inspire you to take up a healthy lifestyle
that will benefit your liver. Tony Bonavolanta and his wife
have been happily married for more than twenty years. – I’m incredibly blessed
with a wonderful wife. We have a very deep bond. I am passionately in
love with my wife. (chuckles) – [Jane] But during
their marriage, Tony struggled to stay
at a healthy weight. – [Tony] My weight’s
always frustrated me. All my life I’ve
been up and down. We talked about it and she’s,
“You gotta do something”. – [Jane] A routine
physical followed and led to the discovery
of another health concern. Tony was diagnosed with
fatty liver disease. – [Tony] I was really scared. The thought of
this taking our time away, it bothered me a lot. – The proper name is
nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD, but it’s also referred
to as fatty liver disease and it’s a disease
where fat accumulates in the liver, not
related to alcohol. It’s most commonly associated
with excess abdominal weight. Most people have no
symptoms, unfortunately. So it really comes
down to having abnormal liver chemistry tests. Fatty liver disease in general,
or NAFLD, is very common. It’s about 30% of the
U.S. adult population, but only about 25%
of those people will go on to get advanced or
more significant liver damage. – [Jane] Unfortunately, Tony
fell into the second category. His disease progressed
to cirrhosis. – So cirrhosis basically
is excessive accumulation of scar tissue that leads
to not just distortion of the liver architecture
itself, but also leads to impairment in liver function. The most important thing is to
lose a little bit of weight. Weight loss can be beneficial
to reduce fat inflammation and even scarring to
some extent in the liver. – [Jane] With his
wife’s encouragement, Tony decided to make a change. (inspiring music) – My wife, she says,
“You really need to do something
about your weight.” I made a firm commitment to
myself that I would do it. – [Jane] First,
Tony began focusing on eating more fruits
and vegetables. – Cooking things
that, as always, that are more healthy
for me to eat. – So even if the liver disease
can’t improve substantially, improving your diet,
less saturated fat, less carbohydrate
intake, overall trend
towards weight loss and increased exercise
will decrease your cardiovascular risk and that’s
really the most important cause of death in people
with fatty liver disease. – [Jane] Tony also made exercise a regular part of his routine. – [Tony] I’ll ride my
bike to the health club, it feels fantastic. It’s a perfect activity
because it just gives me that time to feel good about it that I’ve done
something for myself. – [Jane] Tony’s
hard work paid off. – Through diet and
through exercise, I lost a substantial
amount of weight. My liver hasn’t gotten
worse, it kept it in check. And I think that’s
what exercising and losing the weight has
all helped me accomplish. – [Mary] I think what’s
remarkable about Tony is that his disease
has been totally stable for over ten years. He really has not had any
significant complications. Since then, I think a
lot of this is attributed to the fact that he’s
been extremely diligent about changing his lifestyle. – [Jane] With his disease
in check, Tony is focused on enjoying quality
time with his wife. – [Tony] It feels
incredibly great and she’s continuously
supportive, as well. We both have the same goals. We’ve got a goal alignment there that we both need to
have a healthy lifestyle. – [Jane] He now hopes that
his story will inspire others to make healthier food choices and to get up and
get moving more. – [Tony] If you are in that
same category that I was in, please, please, please
take care of yourself, have a healthy lifestyle.


  1. Shyam Lal
    Shyam Lal December 21, 2018


  2. A J
    A J June 3, 2019

    Thank you for giving us hope ❤️

  3. SaintSeener
    SaintSeener August 10, 2019

    Back in 2015, i was diagnosed with tubercolosis and ascites. During the TB medication, my liver was damaged due to the strong meds. I got cirrhosis and later on I acquired drug-induced hepatitis. Doctors told me that they had to flush out the toxins in my body with IV fluids for 8 days at the hospital. Thanks to the doctors decisions, I got cleared and living almost healthy today. Cleared of TB and the ascites went away on it's own while I was on IV.

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