SAN ANTONIO -- Fatty liver disease still has so many questions surrounding it, with mysteries to uncover.
One man found out he had the disease five years ago, but didn't start taking it seriously until recently.
"I had severe nausea and vomiting up to 10 times a day and most of the doctors thought it was my gallbladder," said 43-year-old Eric Snyder.
However, it wasn't his gallbladder. He had a fatty liver.
"The way they described it to me I really wasn't worried about it because it was kind of nonchalant,” Snyder said.
Three years later he saw a different doctor and got the same result. But again Snyder said the doctor didn't seem too concerned.
"People with fatty liver, even if they haven't progressed to cirrhosis, may be at a higher risk to develop liver cancer," he said.
Some of the symptoms of fatty liver disease include loss of weight or appetite, feeling tired and weak, nausea, and confusion, poor judgment, and trouble concentrating.
"Part of it is genetics and part of it is diet," said Dr. Fred Poordad, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Hepatology at University Transplant Center.
Snyder's wakeup call came from someone he didn't even know.
"A stranger walked up to me out of the blue and he said, sir, I don't know if you know this or not but you are very yellow you are very jaundice."
Snyder's fatty liver could have come from a surgery decades before.
"I did have a gastric bypass back in 1991. Surgeries back in those days hurt your liver more than help your body by losing the weight," Snyder said.
Because there's no FDA-approved therapies for the disease exercise and a healthy diet is the best way to combat it. But Snyder said all men should do one more thing.
"They should go to the doctor and ask questions."
For more men's health information call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories. Just go to www.wearthegown.com.
(© 2017 KENS)