Rick Wakeman’s Health: A Musician’s Battle With Cirrhosis After “The Ultimate Rock’n’roll Life”
The rock legend describes many of the health problems that have plagued him for decades as having been caused by risky behavior in his youth. He told Mirror.co.uk: “In my 20s, I lived the ultimate life. I was a heavy drinker and smoker at the time. I’m a very extreme character because I don’t do things by halves. But when I drank, I drank like a fish. If I tried the drug element, I would end up being all the pig and not be alive today. “
The music legend has continued with various medical problems until the present day.
In 1999, he was plunged into an artificial coma while suffering from double pneumonia and pleurisy.
A diet high in meat caused him to become overweight, develop type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Despite his status as a “perpetual weight loss failure”, he remains healthier and continues to both produce music and fight for animal rights, work to save the bears from the bile farms.
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, caused either by a viral infection or damage from alcohol.
The durability of the liver as an organ can sometimes mean that symptoms do not develop until liver failure develops, but it can be discovered before that through blood tests.
When symptoms do occur, they can often overlap with cirrhosis, the appearance of scarring on the liver that impairs its function.
Both are best known for the symptom of jaundice, a yellowing of the skin when the liver loses the ability to remove bile from the blood.
Milder symptoms can include nausea, weight loss, and swelling of the legs and bowels.
If you think you have liver disease, your GP may arrange for blood tests, ultrasounds, or biopsies while looking at your medical history for other signs of the disease.
When identified early, it can be treated with improvements in lifestyle and general health.
There are also vaccines against common strains of the hepatitis virus, which are recommended when traveling to areas where it is prevalent.
Alcoholic hepatitis is the most common type in the UK, although the absence of symptoms often leaves it undiagnosed.
It can progress to cirrhosis, liver failure or cancer depending on the extent of liver damage.
You can reduce the risk of this happening by controlling your alcohol intake and avoiding binge drinking.
Periods of not drinking will allow your liver to recover.
Fortunately, the liver is the organ in the human body best able to recover from abuse.
Experiments have shown that after injuries or surgeries, up to half of the liver has been removed it retains the ability to push back all the missing part.
Rodent tests have shown that their liver can recover from severe damage in less than a week.
If the damage from hepatitis or cirrhosis exceeds the liver’s ability to repair, a transplant is often the only treatment option.