Letting go… healthwise… is it age?

  • September 10, 2007
  • Japan

Well, back in the end of July I recieved a Health Check which is included as part of the deal with working with the City Office (City Hall). During my first year here on the JET programme, I was offered it but neglected it simply because I figured that I was still young and also because I was actually busy with work.

In anycase, I got the basic works checked out. No prodding from the behind as of yet,… I’ve still have another decade or so before I start worrying about that. Anyways… a few weeks ago, I got my results back, and it simply stated that I got a “D” (A – pass, B – so-so, C – get checked within 6 months) grade… which means that I need to get to a hospital ASAP for a re-examination. Great! Totally freaks me out.

From the form, I found that my ALT (Alanine transaminase) and AST (Aspartate transaminase) levels were off the chart. For a normal person both ALT and AST levels should be approximately less than 35 IU/L in your blood. But mine came out as 78 IU/l for my AST (GOT) and 164 IU/l for ALT (GPT), not a very good marker. Over 5 times the limit… Now here’s the wonder of the internet. Plenty of information for you to look up, but also a wonderful place for hypochondriacs. Especially for people with time to kill, and everybody knows that self-diagnosis is prety bad, especially if you’re not qualified to do so. In anycase, here’s what I found on the good ‘ol internet on high ALT/AST levels in the blood. First off, everybody spoke of liver damage, and then viral hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, paracetamol overdose, congestive heart failure, biliary duct problems, infectious mononucleosis, myopathy, and worst… liver cancer or possibly just a response to strenuous physical exercise. But… I didn’t exercise that morning. Great…

Well, as luck has it. I got my results on a Friday just before Obon. The annual Japanese Buddhist holiday which is used to honour passed ancestors. Examinations at hospitals were not possible, and the more I spend time on the internet, the more I’m freak’n myself out. Finally got an appointment, gave my blood and had to wait a few more days for my results.

And what do you know… apparently I have “fatty liver disease“. And it was something that didn’t come up on my previous research. It pretty much means that I’m obese, and could lose a few kilos. Great! I don’t like greasy food, don’t eat much meat, don’t drink alcohol but I get stuck with this lovely sounding disease. Well, there are more medical terms for this, such as “steatorrhoeic hepatosis” or “steatosis hepatis”. Hmmm, may be I’ll go with that. In anycase, up until now I’ve been keeping a 1800-2200kCal diet as I’m quite active. But according to the doctor, that’s waaay to much for a person of my stature. I’m to try and stick to a 1495-1800kCal daily diet. I don’t know how he came up with the 1495kCal figure… but anyways. So, it’s pretty much a 1500kCal daily diet for me now.

Last month, my weight was hovering around the 66kg mark… once in a while going over 67kgs as you would after a large meal. Yeah, that’s pretty darn heavy for my height. But I was still running 5kms under 30mins on the treadmill with wee-hills. Was never completely out of breath, and still cycling close to an hour and doing weights. is it simply a sign of age?

Well, fatty liver disease also has ties to metabolic syndrome. Diabetes is quite prevalent with males in my family so I guess my genes are finally catching up to me. I’m no longer young. So it’s time to lose weight or else my NAFLD (Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) could turn into something else. A slight insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome and if it gets worse, probably diabetes mellitus type 2 which is a step towards more headaches. So, it’s less sugar, sweet food for me, and lower daily calories… As for more exercise? I’m already at the gym 2-3 times a week, and I need the other nights for work (at home) and a bit of play.

Man, I hate getting old. My body is no longer keeping up with my heart and soul.

Well, anyways for other 30plus out there. As Hal Johnson would always say on BodyBreak… “Keep fit and have fun!”