Ray Charles health: Singer died from liver disease – the condition explained

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Over the years, the blind musician, who had worked with the legends Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin, made a name for himself as a genre-defining musician. Charles shared his incredible talent with the world from the 1940s through to the 2000s until it was reported that the star had passed away aged 73.

Charles overcame many challenges in his life, including blindness and a heroin addiction.

When he grew up, Charles contracted a disease that made him go blind within three years.

According to The Ray Charles Foundation, the disease was glaucoma, a condition where the optic nerve connecting the eye to the brain becomes damaged.

Despite his illness, while he was at school in Florida, Charles’ artistic prowess shined through as he learned to read braille, listen to radios and play the piano, the clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, and organ.

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Cirrhosis is an irreversible condition when the liver has developed major scarring

People who have cirrhosis and don’t stop drinking have less than 50 percent chance of living for five years or over, the NHS explains.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease

Before developing hepatitis and cirrhosis, people may have a reversible condition known as a fatty liver disease – when fats build up in the liver.

Even a few days of consumption can result in the build-up of these fats as alcohol changes the chemical processes in the liver. The different substances produced can combine with fatty acids to create fats that collect in the liver.

Going sober for two weeks can reverse the damage of alcoholic fatty liver disease.



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