Junk food saves teen’s life from fatal liver disease

February 13th, 2012 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 13 (IANS) A teenager who gorged on chocolates and junk food is on the road to recovery from a dreaded liver disease that could have killed her, says a report.

The report comes soon after another unrelated report which had ruled out junk food’s link with obesity.

Elle Wilkinson, 16, was told that she had only six months to live at best because of her liver’s deteriorating condition.

The teenager was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, a disease which occurs when the body’s immune system attacks cells of the liver, and her liver was failing.

Wilkinson’s doctors insisted that she find a donor for herself if she wanted to live. But Elle, from Bridlington, East Yorkshire, shocked doctors when her condition rapidly improved as a result of a high-carbohydrate diet, including hefty chunks of chocolate.

After the continued diet, which also included crisps and biscuits as well as set medication, her miraculous recovery now seems complete after doctors officially removed her from the liver transplant list, the Daily Mail reported.

And while she is off the transplant list, she might still need a new liver in the future, doctors have warned.

Elle said: “My friends can’t believe it - eating chocolate and crisps and all sorts of junk food, and not having to worry about the consequences.”

“It is weird having to eat all these foods excessively when we are told to eat them only in moderation or risk becoming fat - but I’m not complaining. The doctor said I could have had the liver problems for three to five years before we even realised,” said Elle.

“But we didn’t know that because every symptom I had was what every teenager would go through, such as coughs and colds. It was all pretty scary,” Elle said.

Elle’s problems began in August last year when she began vomiting heavily and was hospitalised. Tests revealed she was seriously ill and her liver was failing, so doctors quickly added her to the national transplant list.

The radical diet — which included chocolate, biscuits, bread and cheese — has been credited with giving her body extra energy, calories and protein — often lacking in people diagnosed with liver failure.

And amazingly, if Elle doesn’t eat enough she could suffer muscle-wastage — forcing her to continue scoffing the delicious treats high in calories.

The starchy carbohydrates break down into sugar, acting as her body’s main source of energy. Elle’s mother Pam Wilkinson-Brown, 50, said: “She is on a high-carbohydrate diet. Her life is very different to the life of an average teenager. Elle will never be able to drink alcohol because it could kill her.”

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