A MAN who almost died from liver damage turned his life around by going vegan.

Seven years ago Aaron Calder was rushed to hospital as he was vomiting blood.

The 40-year-old said: “At the time I was binge drinking a lot, and I’d been ill for a year.

“I’d been hiding it and was in denial, but it caught up with me.”

Aaron, who lives in Craignair Avenue in Brighton, said he spent two weeks in hospital and was treated for a number of conditions including a kidney infection, malnutrition, gout and liver damage.

“They told me I was very lucky to be alive and said if I drank again I would die.

“For most of my life I have struggled with addiction to alcohol, but I have not touched it since then – not a drop.”

Aaron had to carry on having regular check-ups on his liver, and said that improvements were slow to begin with.

He said: “I had to have fibroscans, which measure the inflammation of your liver.

“They give you a score between one and 75, and to begin with my score was 75.

“When I went back a year later it was still at 75.

“When I had my first tests after deciding to go vegan, the doctor could not believe it, as my score had gone down dramatically to 44.

“Liver cirrhosis is permanent damage, so for them to say it was improving was amazing.”

Aaron said he does not follow a strict low-fat diet, but eats healthily and tries to avoid processed foods.

He is now a full-time food blogger,and he writes about vegan recipes and products on his website.

He said: “If I was making a chocolate cake, I would use wholemeal flour and coconut sugar or maple syrup, rather than sugar.

“It’s a whole food, plant-based diet.

“I feel strongly that making these changes has really helped me.”

Aaron said making the switch to veganism is not as hard as people often think it is.

He said: “People always say to me, ‘I could never give up this or that’, but I always tell them it’s not really about giving stuff up –you replace things with new foods.”

Aaron posted about his health problems on Instagram recently , and said it was the first time he had really opened up about what happened.

He said: “I posted about it because I thought ‘I have all this experience of how I rebuilt my life, and maybe I can help others by sharing it’.

“I had kept my problems even from my family for a long time, partly because of the shame of being in that mess.

“A lot of people go out and binge drink at weekends and for me it was just that repetitive thing.

“One evening out quickly became two, and I would create situations where I knew I would be drinking, but I wasn’t eating properly or sleeping properly.

“But now I live a normal life and I don’t have any cravings. It’s about diverting your energy to something positive.”

To read more about Aaron’s story and his recipes, go to aaroncaldervegan.com.