The liver is one of the main and largest ( internal ) organs of the body. It has over 500 functions in the body, including fat breakdown, removal of toxins and harmful chemicals from the blood, aiding in the fight against infections, and so on. It is found on the right side of the belly. The liver possesses the power to repair itself and regrow. But long-term and consistent damage may cause harm to your Liver: that can not be repaired. Thus, taking care of your liver is key to leading a healthy and disease-free life.
Liver disease progression stages:
- Inflammation is the early stage during which the liver gets inflamed and 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 can not be repaired. Liver functions get impaired.
- Liver cancer – It can occur at any stage of liver disease. But patients with the cirrhotic liver are more at risk.
Causes of liver disease.
The leading 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 fiber-rich foods, seasonal vegetables, fruits, etc. to the diet. Leading an active life, and adopting regular eating, sleeping, and exercising schedules also help 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 it from the blood. Too much alcohol consumption may cause damage to the liver’s cells. which can lead to a fatty liver, scarring of the 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 in the long term. When they stopped alcohol consumption for a month, their blood sugar and cholesterol levels improved. Their liver stiffness was reduced. The fat in the liver dropped by 15% app. They reduced their body weight. and their insulin resistance improved by 28%.
Regular Exercise:- Including 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 exercises 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 a 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: According to studies, coffee aids in the maintenance of a healthy liver. As per the report published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, “Coffee and Liver Health,” it was stated that consuming coffee on a regular basis tends to reduce fat levels in the liver and 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 it 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, and 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 medications (72%) were the commonest cause, followed by combination antituberculosis therapy drugs (27%), and other medications (1%).”
According to a recent study, 10% of acute liver failure cases are thought to be caused by unchecked drug use.
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/
By avoiding contaminated food and water, not sharing toothbrushes, needles, and other personal items with others, and engaging in safe sexual behavior, hepatitis infection risks can be reduced.
Avoiding the use of toxic chemicals: Toxins present in food, in the form of pesticides or insecticides, are removed by the liver. The widely used herbicide glyphosate may harm the liver. As a result, toxic chemicals should be avoided for a healthy liver.
Taking care of the liver helps our entire body 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, regularly exercising and remaining active, avoiding toxic chemicals, judicious use of medicines under consultation with the health care provider, and avoiding the risk of getting hepatitis may help to take care of the liver and lead a healthy and happy life.
(Only for awareness purposes.)
Blogger with 40+ years of experience in the healthcare industry. Modern medicine and Ayurveda.
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