Steps Can Be Taken To Help Improve Liver Health
The liver is the largest internal organ in the human body. The liver is involved in numerous digestive and synthetic functions, without which life is impossible.
It is found on the right side, just below the ribcage. The liver produces proteins, bile, cholesterol and stores carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. A wrecked liver is difficult to fix and, in many cases, requires a transplant.
Whereas liver health is not the top priority in most people's minds, a malfunctioned liver is set to be a huge issue. Liver cirrhosis is a disease condition in which healthy liver cells (hepatocytes) are replaced by scar tissue. The scar tissue invasion prevents the liver from functioning optimally. There is also nonalcoholic fatty liver disease among the obese. The best way to fight off liver disease is to prevent it. So what steps can be taken?
1 - Having a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight is a weight that lies between the correct body mass index BMI. Obesity is defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30. Being overweight or obese puts people at risk of suffering from fatty liver disease. Consequently, a fatty liver may lead to nonalcoholic liver disease. To maintain a healthy weight, people should consider eating right and exercise. Limiting the intake of foods rich in dangerous trans fats and added sugar is one way of eating right. People should also try and take regular balanced meals with all the food groups to get all the required nutrients. Exercise does not have to be highly intensive, but simple daily activities are an excellent place to start.
2 - Avoiding Toxins
One of the liver's primary functions is detoxification. Whereas the liver is efficient in its job, constant repetitive injury can injure the hepatocytes. Toxins are in many forms, such as aerosols, insecticides, certain food additives, and chemicals. As a rule of thumb, only use aerosols in a well-ventilated room. Avoid smoking since it is not only dangerous for the lungs but the liver too.
3 - Avoid Binge Drinking
Alcoholic drinks are a source of numerous liver ailments. The liver cells produce alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol to non-toxic products. Excessive alcohol intake runs the risk of overwhelming this metabolic system and thus damaging the hepatocytes. Always consult a medical professional on the correct alcohol intake and, where possible, drink moderately or avoid alcohol altogether.
4 - Do not use Drugs, Contaminated Needles, and Sharps
A study conducted by the CDC showed that approximately 24 million Americans over 12 years or older had used illicit drugs. Illicit drugs are not only problematic because of their metabolism. Many illicit drugs are usually impure, and these impurities increase the risk for liver disease beyond the standard damage they can cause. Contaminated needles may be from a tattoo parlor or illicit drug use. Contaminated needles may contain contaminated blood, which is a severe risk for hepatitis. Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Items such as razors, toothbrushes, and other sharps may also carry contaminated body fluids.
5 - Get Vaccinated
Some liver ailments are viral. Viral liver ailments include hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Vaccines exist for these conditions, and it is advisable to get the shots. People who work in high-risk areas such as hospitals or tattoo parlors should insist on getting these vaccines. Other ways of staying clear of hepatitis A, B, and C viruses include practicing safe sex and washing hands using soap and water. It is also wise for individuals in high-risk professions to consider regular screening to ensure that hepatitis is treated before the liver is wrecked.
6 - Be Aware Of Your Genetics and Other Possible Risk Factors
Some liver diseases are hereditary. Hereditary conditions can be transferred from a parent to the offspring. As such, persons with hereditary liver diseases should always get regular testing done.
Other than illicit drugs, long-term use of certain prescription medicines or herbal supplements can cause liver damage. Medical prescribers should be able to advise patients on the correct medicines and doses to prevent liver damage.
Some autoimmune conditions like lupus can also increase the risk of liver disease. Patients who suffer from autoimmune diseases should ask about their risk for liver disease. A healthy liver equates to a healthy life. People should also take foods rich in antioxidants to lower their risk of developing malignancies. People should also factor regular liver function tests in their routine medical examination to ascertain liver health.