About Dr. Joe Galati

Dr. Joe Galati is a Liver Specialist practicing in Houston, Texas. His practice, Liver Specialists of Texas is dedicated to the care of patients with all facets of liver disease.
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Dr. Joe Galati’s 31 Day of Wellness: January 1, 2017

Happy 2017 to everyone, and thanks for your support.

As many know, the month of January we like to publish the 31 Days of Wellness, selecting a worthy topic each day of the month to share with our followers. The topics are selected by what is trending in the news, as well as what I see each day within our practice and my patients. Listening to patients is a great source of both what they know, and what they do not fully understand. Our hope is that we can shed light on these lesser known topics, and inspire everyone to take a greater interest in their own health and wellness.

For 2017, I elected to post a video each day, instead of a written entry and important links. Links will still be supplied, but the video may prove to be more informative.

Please share the posts with your friends and family, like the video if you approve, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Continued good health in 2017.

Dr. Joe Galati

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Fatty Liver: What Treatment is Available?

Fatty Liver Disease is one of the more common conditions we treat at Liver Specialists of Texas. New therapies are being investigated, and we are conducting several research protocols specific for fatty liver patients.

If you are interested in a clinical research study, contact our office at 713-794-0700 and select the research department prompt.

The video below gives a general over view of research and fatty liver disease.

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Fitness Recommendations: American Heart Association Makes New Comments-Dr. Joe Galati Discusses

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Liver Specialists of Texas Showcase-Open House Video

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Is There a Special Diet for Liver Disease Patients?

Is There a Special Diet for Liver Disease Patients?

Proper Food for the Liver?

Proper Food for the Liver?

Probably the most common question I am asked, is regarding a special diet to follow if you have liver problems.  Here is an updated answer to these questions.

The simple diet is “no”…nothing special, but this does not mean you eat what you want.

Generally speaking, if you have liver disease, you want to do the following:

  1. Limit daily sodium (salt) intake to 2,000 mg per day or less.
  2. Don’t eat anything in a box, can, or bag.
  3. Don’t eat processed foods.
  4. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
  5. Eat fresh lean meat and fish.
  6. If it doesn’t rot, don’t eat it.
  7. Drink more coffee-2-4 cups of brewed coffee per day.
  8. Avoid alcohol (bonus answer)

View the recent video outlining these suggestions in more detail.

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Research Studies for Fatty Liver Disease Announced: Liver Specialists of Texas-UPDATED

Research Studies for Fatty Liver Disease Announced: Liver Specialists of Texas-UPDATED

Fatty Liver Research

Fatty Liver Research

I am happy to announce that we have three research studies for those suffering from fatty liver disease.

If interested, please call our research staff at the following numbers:

Christina: 713-634-5110
Coby: 713-634-5103
Liver Specialists of Texas Main Number: 713-794-0700
On-Line form: CLICK HERE to send our team at Liver Specialists of Texas a message regarding your interest in the research studies.

Kindly tell them you are interested in the FATTY LIVER RESEARCH STUDIES.

Details of the studies are posted below.

Study 1
A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Phase III Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Elafibranor in Patients with Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) and Fibrosis.

Study 2
A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 2b Clinical Trial Evaluating Emricasan, An Orally-Active Pan-Caspase Inhibitor, in Patients with Biopsy-Confirmed Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).

Study 3
A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, 2-Part, 12 Week Study to Assess Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy of LJN452 , in Patients Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).

Each of the three studies have slightly different inclusion criteria, and this will be determined by our research staff to see which study you would best be selected for.

For all of the three research studies, once accepted in the study, all of your medical care related to the study will be free of charge to you. This will include clinic visits, laboratory tests, specific scans, and liver biopsy if needed. All study medicines will be supplied to you. After the study is completed, you will be followed afterwards for an additional several months. Each study will also provide patients with a stipend for each visit that is required. Specific details will be explained is the study documents you will receive if selected.

Here is a short video explaining fatty liver disease in more detail.

Thank you.

Dr. Joe Galati

 

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Three Complications of Cirrhosis: Dr. Rashid Khan Explains Further

Cirrhosis is a slowly progressing disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue, thereby preventing the liver from functioning properly. This scar tissue blocks the flow of blood through the liver and slows the processing of nutrients, drugs, hormones and naturally produced toxins.

According to the National Institutes of Health, cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death by disease, Fatty liver, Hepatitis C and alcohol abuse are the most common causes of cirrhosis of the liver in the U.S. Patients need to be aware of the complications of cirrhosis. The top three ones are:

  1. Variceal bleeding. Variceal bleeding is caused by portal hypertension. This is an increase in the pressure within the portal vein (the blood vessel that carries blood from the digestive organs to the liver). This increase in pressure is caused by resistance to blood flow through the liver as a result of cirrhosis. Increased pressure in the portal vein causes other veins in the body to enlarge (varices), such as those in the esophagus and stomach, to bypass the blockage. These varices can bleed easily, causing patients to present to hospitals either vomitting blood or dark stools. Portal hypertension also leads to extra fluid buildup in a person’s abdomen ( ascites) and( or) lower legs/feet( pedal edema). Prompt medical attention should be sought from a liver specialist for both variceal bleeding and fluid accumulation.
  1. Hepatic encephalopathy (confused thinking). Toxins produced in our intestines are normally detoxified by the liver, but once cirrhosis occurs, the liver cannot detoxify as well. Toxins get into the bloodstream and can cause confusion, changes in behavior, and even coma. Laxatives such as lactulose are used to speed their removal from the intestines.

  1. Liver cancer. There is about a 5-6% annual incidence of liver cancer in patients with cirrhosis from any cause. Usually it occurs without any symptoms at all. Liver cancer is picked up by periodic surveillance typically using ultrasound. Various modalities can be used to treat these cancers, including evaluation for liver transplantation.

 

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Three Reasons Not To Ignore GERD/Heartburn Symptoms: Dr. Rashid Khan Explains

Three Reasons Not To Ignore GERD/Heartburn Symptoms: Dr. Rashid Khan Explains

Dr. Rashid Khan, in this BLOG entry, discusses the three reasons NOT to ignore heartburn symptoms.

For most Americans, heartburn is an occasional problem. Sixty million people get it at least once a month. But for the 20 million people who have a chronic form of heartburn known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), untreated symptoms can lead to a variety of health complications.

Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t ignore signs of GERD.

Three Questions About Heartburn

Three Questions About Heartburn

In GERD, stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. Over time, this causes irritation of the lining of the esophagus, known as esophagitis.

If esophagitis is longstanding, scar tissue can narrow the esophagus. Called a stricture, this can make it hard or painful to swallow. Large pieces of food can get stuck as well as there being risk for choking.

If left untreated, constant acid reflux can cause precancerous changes in cells, a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. This condition may not have any symptoms, but a doctor can diagnose it by performing an endoscopy. A small group of people with Barrett’s esophagus develop esophageal cancer, which is often deadly.

Finally, a subset of patients with GERD symptoms may actually have underlying heart disease i.e. angina. Women and the elderly, particularly, may not present with the typical crushing chest pain that we all hear about. Prompt evaluation by a cardiologist in certain cases is highly recommended.

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Pop-Tarts Nation: Misery is Optional

Pop-Tarts Nation: Misery is Optional

Pop-Tarts and Milk: Guilt Free Mornings?

Pop-Tarts and Milk: Guilt Free Mornings?

While walking through my local supermarket this weekend, I strolled by the Pop-Tarts aisle to see what was happening in this section. Over the years, I’ve made fun of Pop-Tarts, not only because of their total lack of nutritional value, but because of the important place they have taken on the breakfast tables across America since 1964. So many individuals, especially parents, in an effort to get their kids up out of bed, hair combed, and dressed for school or other morning activities in a timely fashion, slap down a Pop-Tarts, as a quick and easy breakfast. This requires absolutely minimal thought our planning for this activity. For many, it is mission accomplished; Little Johnny and Mary have had breakfast, and are scooted out the door.

What parents should be saying to themselves, as well as anyone else who’s eating a Pop-Tarts, is basically that they’ve eaten a sugar-filled breakfast, with effectively no nutritional value, setting these kids up (and yourself) for hunger soon afterwards, and further bad eating habits for rest of the day, and possibly rest of their lives.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and sadly, Pop-Tarts are doing nothing to help this along. With the ever-growing problem of childhood obesity, we have to stop for a minute and take stock of what we’re feeding kids for breakfast. This has been a passion of mine for over 20 years.

What struck me during this stroll down the Pop-Tarts aisle was a rather eye-catching advertisement that was out in plain sight. It caught my attention, and I photographed it here. Essentially, the message is that a combination of a Pop-Tarts with a glass of fat free milk is the perfect way to start a breakfast off, and none of us should feel guilty feeding our kids such a crappy meal. This is marketing 101 at its finest. Any parent or consumer walking down the aisle, looking at this sign, is granted license to buy Pop-Tarts, and serve them to their kids and family. This subliminal message tells you, “hey it’s OK to feed little Johnny and Mary Pop-Tarts”. Adding a little bit of milk makes whatever reservations you have about Pop-Tarts vanish.

Unfortunately, falling into this advertising trap does nothing for us as individuals, or collectively as an obese nation. I swung back through the fresh produce section, and saw no such advertisement helping to steer consumers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, or other unprocessed forms of proteins to be served at breakfast table across America. It just isn’t any fun to eat a scrambled egg, a small bowl of fresh blueberries, with a quarter of an avocado. A small cup of unsweetened yogurt would also be an excellent addition to this power breakfast for your 10-year-old.

So before everyone e-mails me back saying that I am out of line, please take personal stock of how much time and effort you invest personally in crafting meals for yourselves and your families. Cooking real food, which is unprocessed, and thus nutritious for you, takes time. Time to plan the meals, shop, and cook them. And yes, cooking fresh meals at home is messy. In all of my years of practicing medicine, it is far more messy, and far much more of a pain in the butt to suffer the consequences of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

You make the choice. Pop-Tarts in the morning, or hemodialysis? Misery is optional.

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Three Questions About Fatty Liver: Dr. Rashid Khan Explains

Three Questions About Fatty Liver: Dr. Rashid Khan Explains

Fatty Liver DiseaseDr. Rashid Khan adds additional information to better understanding fatty liver disease.

As a follow up to my last blog entry on fatty liver disease a few months ago, I thought I would highlight three common questions patients with this condition ask.

1. “Doctor, I don’t drink any alcohol, how can I get fatty liver, I thought that was something you get if you drink?”

A common misconception amongst patients I frequently encounter. It used to be thought that fatty liver disease was usually caused by excessive alcohol intake. However, it now recognized that obesity and diabetes could cause fatty liver. As obesity and diabetes have become more common, so has fatty liver disease.

2. “Does it cause any complications?”

Never ceases to amaze me that most if not all patients with fatty liver in my office do not seem to know the risk of progression to cirrhosis. They seemed genuinely surprised when I mention this fact. Further ,fatty liver disease may add to the already high risk of heart disease if you are obese or have diabetes.

3. “What is the treatment?”

The best treatment is weight loss. Weight loss has a very direct effect: As people lose weight, the fatty liver becomes less fatty.There’s been some research into using diabetes drugs and vitamin E to treat fatty liver disease But there’s not enough evidence yet to recommend them in every patient.

For an appointment, and further information on fatty liver disease, call us at 713-794-0700 and visit our website www.texasliver.com.

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