The liver is an organ powerhouse and a primary player in the body’s digestive structure – and that’s why we must take the necessary precautions to ensure its good health. How can I keep my liver healthy? Learn the tips and more here.
What Does the Liver Do?
It is the body’s most intricate and metabolically active organ because it performs more than 500 vital functions, including the following:
- It produces bile that aids in breaking down fat from everything you eat.
- The liver stores glucose, which provides you a quick boost of energy once needed.
- It helps in cleansing the blood by removing toxic chemicals that your body makes.
- The liver provides immunity to infection. Therefore, infections are more probable if the liver is damaged.
What is a Fatty Liver?
Hepatic steatosis, or commonly known as a fatty liver, happens when the body has excessive fat or fails to metabolize fat effectively enough. Excessive fat is built up in the cells of your liver, collecting and inducing fatty liver disease. A little amount of fat in your liver is common, but too much can be a health issue.
As of now, treating fatty liver disease is quite complicated as there are still no approved methods or medications.
Taking Care of Your Liver Health
Now the question is, “How can I effectively keep my liver healthy?” Here are eight tried and effective ways to achieve it:
Avoid drinking too much alcohol
When you drink alcohol, your liver works to remove it from your blood through a mechanism called oxidation. When it has completed the process, alcohol becomes carbon dioxide and water. If alcohol accumulates in your system, the cells and organs can be damaged.
Consuming too much alcohol will make it difficult for your liver to process it in a timely manner. Hence, the harmful substance will start to affect your body, starting with your liver.
For alcoholic liver disease prevention, remember the following.
- Women can have one drink a day
- Men can have two a day
- One drink is equal to 12 ounces (oz) of beer per 5 percent alcohol, 5 oz. of wine per 12 percent alcohol, or 1,5 oz. of spirits per 40 percent alcohol.
Eat a healthy diet
Choose a natural diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. You can also limit your intake of refined carbohydrates, which include sweets, white rice, white bread, and other refined grain items. Taking too many saturated fats from animal products should also be limited.
If you love coffee, this could protect you from liver disease. According to the World Health Organization, frequently drinking reasonable amounts of coffee may lessen the chance of liver cancer. This reduced risk has recently been verified after a study of over a thousand human studies. Another study has shown that people with chronic liver disease can decrease their risk of cirrhosis or permanent liver damage by drinking coffee.
Establish an active lifestyle
Regular exercise works wonders for your mind and body. Maintaining a normal weight appears to have an overall beneficial effect on liver health.
When you have too much fat, fat molecules accumulate in the liver cells. This causes inflammation around the tissue.
The more weight you lose, the healthier your liver is. With the aid of daily exercise, you can keep healthy body weight and support the health of your liver.
Watch out for certain medicines
Take prescription and non-prescription medications only when required and at prescribed doses. There are specific drugs that can damage the liver. And some of them are toxic when mixed with other medications. Consult your doctor first before combining herbal supplements, prescription, or non-prescription medicines.
Get tested for viral hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is an infection that triggers inflammation and ruins the liver. Inflammation is swelling that happens when the body’s tissue is weakened or infected, and can damage the organs.
Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E usually spread when you touch water or food that is infected by someone’s stool. A person can also contract Hepatitis E by eating uncooked meat.
On the contrary, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis D can be spread through the blood of a person that is infected. Hepatitis B and D can also spread by contact with other body fluids, which can occur in many ways like having unprotected sex or even sharing needles. It is advised to practice safe sex in general.
Having regular checkups with your doctor can help determine if you need to be tested for hepatitis if you are at high risk for it. Tests for hepatitis are not routinely done unless there is a high index of suspicion for it.
Avoid touching or breathing in toxins
Toxins can cause damage to liver cells. Be careful when you have direct contact with cleaning and aerosol toxins, insecticides, chemicals, and additives. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
When using aerosols, keep the room well-ventilated and always wear a mask. It is also important to wear gloves, long sleeves, and caps so that these harmful chemicals are not absorbed into the skin.
Smoking raises the risk of both liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. Based on a study, smoking puts you at higher risk of developing the aforementioned types of cancer.
When you smoke tobacco, cirrhosis, and inflammation can be caused by its toxic chemicals. Smoking also strengthens cytokines production, which are the chemicals that damage liver cells.
Due to a toxic diet and lifestyle, most people may struggle with overburdened livers. All that you drink and eat, like food and medicine, goes through your liver. Once the liver is damaged, there is no way to treat it medically except for a liver transplant. Prevent the development of disease by taking better care of your liver health.
Learn more about Digestive Health here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.