The liver is one of the main and the second-largest internal organs of the body. It performs more than 500 functions in the body, Like – breaking down fats, removal of toxins and harmful chemicals from the blood, Liver helps to fight infections, etc. It is found on the right side of the belly. The liver possesses the power to repair itself and regrow. But the long-term and consistent damage may cause damage, which can not be repaired. Thus taking care of your liver is key to lead a healthy and disease-free life.
Stages of Liver Disease.
- Inflammation– It is the early stage during which the liver gets inflamed and gets enlarged.
- Fibrosis– The healthy tissues of the inflamed liver get replaced by scar tissues.
- Cirrhosis– Severe scarring of the tissues takes place. And the liver can not function properly. For more details about – How liver cirrhosis is caused? Please click on the link – https://maansisurvivalaidfoundation.com/how-liver-cirrhosis-is-caused/
- End-stage liver disease– The liver is damaged to an extent, that it can not be repaired. Liver functions get impaired.
- Liver cancer– It can occur at any stage of the liver disease. But patients with the cirrhotic liver are more at risk.
Causes of Liver disease.
The main causes of Liver disease are:-
- – Obesity
- – Excessive alcohol consumption
- – Viral hepatitis
- – Long term use of medications
How to care for your Liver?
Taking care of the liver includes, avoiding causes like- obesity, alcohol consumption, viral hepatitis, and long-term or self-use of medications. And adopting a healthy lifestyle. The following few suggestions can help in taking care of the liver.
Obesity:- Obesity is the leading cause of many diseases like heart disease, arthritis, type-2 diabetes, sleep apnea, some forms of cancer, and liver disease. Healthy BMI (Body mass index) can be maintained by avoiding sugar-added beverages, fast foods, etc. And adding in diet, fiber-rich food, seasonal vegetables, and fruits, etc. Leading an active life, adopting regular eating, sleeping, and exercising schedules also helps in achieving a healthy BMI. As per a study published by the national center for biotechnology information, it was found that 65% of obese people with a BMI above 30 had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Whereas in people with BMI above 40, it was app. 85%.
Limiting alcohol consumption: Alcohol like other chemicals and toxins is sent to the liver to break down and eliminate the blood. Too much alcohol consumption may cause damage to the cells of the liver. Which can lead to fatty liver, scarring of tissues of the liver, and later on may cause cirrhosis of the liver, which can impact the functioning of the liver and may lead to other associated health problems, like ascites, swelling of limbs, etc. Liver cirrhosis may lead to liver cancer.
As per a study, it was found that people who drank alcohol in excessive amounts and for the long term. When they stopped alcohol consumption for a month, their blood sugar and cholesterol levels improved. Their liver stiffness reduced. The fat in the liver dropped by 15% app. They reduced their body weight. and their insulin resistance improved by 28%.
Regular Excercise:- Including daily exercise in the daily routine helps to maintain liver health. Exercise decreases stress on the liver and increases energy levels. It also helps to prevent obesity- a risk factor for liver disease and other health problems like diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, etc. Adopting exercise like- walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, playing sports, etc. can help a lot in caring for and keeping the liver healthy.
Making small changes in lifestyle like- using stairs in place of lifts, parking your vehicle away from your office or shopping areas, using cycle in place of the vehicle for procuring items for daily needs from nearby shops, walking after taking dinner in place of watching electronic screens also adds to liver health and helps in reducing obesity.
Drinking Coffee:- As per studies, it was found that coffee helps to maintain the liver in a healthy state. As per the report published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, “Coffee and liver health” it was stated that consuming coffee on regular basis tends to reduce fat levels in the liver, helps in improving fibrosis, and cirrhosis. It was also found to reduce the risk of liver cancer in some cases. Coffee drinking was also found to be associated with reducing the risk of getting heart disease, diabetes, and some neurodegenerative diseases. It was also found that components like polyphenols are responsible for the benefits of drinking coffee. Thus drinking coffee ( preferably black coffee without sugar ) helps to care for the liver.
Judicial use of medicines:- Few medicines may be harmful to the liver, as they pass through the liver after consumption ( every drug has to pass through the liver, where liver cells tend to break it down). Some over the counter (OTC) medicines, alternative medicines, antitubercular medicines, or self-use of medicines, without consulting healthcare providers may cause damage to the liver. Even large doses of vitamins can cause damage to the liver.
Some prescribed medicines like- statins, niacin, isoniazid may also cause damage to the liver. therefore they must be taken under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Further, it is not advisable to consume alcohol during the medication intake period.
The study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology states, “Complementary and alternative medication (72%) were the commonest cause followed by combination antituberculosis therapy drugs(27%) and other medications(1%)”.
A new study suggests unregulated drug intake is responsible for 10% of acute cases of liver failure.
Avoiding the risk of Hepatitis infection:- Hepatitis is a serious viral infection, that may remain present in the body without any major symptoms. The five types of hepatitis are – A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis- B and C may lead to chronic liver disease. And are the main cause of cirrhosis of the liver. which may lead to liver cancer. Hepatitis A and E are caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Whereas hepatitis- B, C, and D are caused by parenteral contact with infected body fluids. The mode of transmission of infection may be through contact with the infected person’s blood, surgical equipment, or tattoo equipment.
For more details about- What is Hepatitis-C? Please click on https://maansisurvivalaidfoundation.com/what-is-hepatitis-c/
Hepatitis infection risks can be prevented by avoiding the use of contaminated food, water, sharing needles, toothbrushes, and other personal items with others, and practicing safe sex.
Avoiding the use of toxic chemicals:- Liver eliminates toxins present in the food, in the form of pesticides or insecticides. The glyphosate widely used in food crops may cause liver damage. Thus for healthy liver, toxic chemicals should be avoided.
Taking care of the liver helps our entire body to function at its optimum capacity. It is important to take preventive steps to enable the normal functioning of our liver. Adopting healthy lifestyle changes like- consuming a diet rich in seasonal fruits and vegetables, Reducing obesity, drinking in moderation, regular exercising and remaining active, avoiding toxic chemicals, judicial use of medicines under consultation with the health care provider, avoiding the risk of getting hepatitis may help to take care of the liver and lead a healthy and happy life.
(For awareness purpose only).
Blogger with 40+ years of experience in the healthcare industry. Modern medicine and Ayurveda.
Please share your thoughts. For discussion please log in to our form – Health and fitness.