Woman Almost Dies after Taking Daily Supplements?


(audience clapping) – Could taking the wrong daily supplement be life threatening? In a “Doctors” exclusive, a Texas woman says she suffered dire consequences that could’ve cost her life. (upbeat music) – I have struggled with acne for years whenever one of my friends
suggested a supplement, I’m excited to be able to try it out. My life seemed pretty normal
for the next two months and then around Thanksgiving I had abdominal pain and
I felt super fatigued and then the following
week my eyes turned yellow. That’s when I knew something
serious was going on. (air whooshing)
(nervous music) My primary care physician decided to refer me to a specialist. He wanted me to get an
ultrasound of my liver and then get admitted to the ER. Once I was there, the
specialist wanted to airlift me to Dallas for the possibility
of a liver transplant. They are watching my blood and my liver enzymes very closely. They would tell me that
I’m a very, very sick girl on the inside. After a few nights, I was diagnosed with acute liver failure. (slamming) After being placed on the
liver transplant list, I received a potential donor
match within eight hours. On Christmas Eve, I went into surgery and I come out on Christmas
day with a new liver and a new life.
(uplifting music) (audience clapping) – Emily is joining us via Skype and Emily, I am just so
very sorry for everything that you’ve been through and yet I’m looking at you smiling. How are you doing today? – I’m doing so good. I’m just happy to be alive and I’m so thankful to be on the show. (audience clapping) – So how did the doctors determine what they believed to be the cause of your acute liver failure? – I went to my primary care physician and he took roughly 28 vials of blood and we were testing for jaundice cause my yellow eyes, autoimmune, hepatitis, and the doctors
ruled all of that out and it was drug induced. – And did they ever
figure out what they think maybe the ingredient was that
led to your liver failure? – So currently the doctors
are unaware what ingredient in the supplement but we
do have an outside party that is actually testing the bottle that I had to try and figure out what exact ingredient in
the supplement it was. – If there is a mixed blessing
here it’s that you had such acute fulminate liver failure
that you were able to move towards the top of the transplant list. Joining us to discuss
what acute liver failure exactly is, how it can affect you, via Skype, board-certified
gastroenterologist and hepatologist, Dr. Su Sachar. When we say acute liver failure, can you explain that to our viewers? – Acute liver failure is a
life threatening condition. This is something where
people have a normal liver. They’re completely healthy and what ends up happening
is they had some sort of injury to the liver. Something that affects
the liver that causes massive liver cell death and can be often fatal if not treated. – How often you see cases
like this and maybe not always from supplements, but
people just being unaware? Because some folks are just incredibly susceptible to liver injury. – Yeah, they are. And in fact, there’s up to 40%, even more, I think that’s an underestimated number of Americans who take these supplements and they live by them. Sometime they’ll take
them more than they take their prescription
medications and often times I’ll get people who come in for consults for elevated liver enzymes. They’re healthy, they’re not
on any other medications, and we can assume that
it might be from this and we basically have them
stop it and recheck it. Now, I think an important message is not all supplements are bad. I’m not all about prescription medication. I’m into a very natural
way of treating patients, but some people have a
genetic susceptibility. Some people have problems
with their enzymes in their liver that can cause problems the way they metabolize
these supplements too. So I wanna make sure people
talk to their doctors about what supplements
they’re on cause supplements can interact with each other. Supplements can interact
with other medications, so it’s so important they
have that open discussion. – That’s so important
that getting the history, we always ask what medications you’re on and patients have the tendency
not to list supplements. They don’t think of them as drugs, where in fact they are, and
when I do primarily elective surgery there’s so many supplements that have an adverse
effect on blood clotting, fail to tell the doctor
before elective surgery and it’s potentially a
life threatening thing. So you have to take supplements seriously.

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