The liver is the central organ. It performs a number of important tasks, going from production of proteins, cholesterol, and bile to the storage of vitamins, minerals, and even carbohydrates. The liver also aids in the breakdown of toxins such as alcohols, drugs and natural by-products of metabolism. Keeping the liver in good condition is important to maintain your health.
This article discusses how to maintain a healthy liver
- Do not drink much of alcohol: Taking a lot of alcohol can damage the liver cells and cause swelling or scarring which later results in cirrhosis, which can be fatal and can also, be deadly. For this reason, men should reduce the consumption of alcohol to two standard drinks daily, whereas women should only go for one.
The equivalent of a standard drink is listed below
- one ordinary beer
- one small glass of wine or
- a small shot of whiskey
- Daily exercise and living an active lifestyle: one of the most important keys to a healthy liver is regular exercise. Exercise helps in reducing stress on the liver, enhances the level of energy and prevents obesity – a risk factor for liver disease. Your daily target should be a total of 150 minutes of exercise for example fast walking or swim a week. This will help you maintain your weight and keep the weight under control, helping to prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition which results to cirrhosis.
- Take a balanced and healthy diet: Reduce your fat intake and increase the rate at which you take fiber. The common causes of fatty liver disease are attributed to high levels of fat in the blood (known as hyperlipidemia) and high cholesterol levels (also called hypercholesterolemia). You should also decrease the amount of saturated fat, transfat and hydrogenated fat in your diet. Fried foods, red meat and dairy products all contain saturated fat. Trans and hydrogenated fat are present in process food. The liver stores excess amounts of dietary fat and accumulation of fat in the body can lead to fatty liver disease. Take enough of high fiber foods for example fruits and vegetables and whole grains. For protein, opt for more fish, white meat, beans and nuts and reduce the intake of red meat.
- Pay attention to some drugs: Some cholesterol medications can sometimes have side effects which result to liver problems. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) which is a painkiller can harm your liver if it is taken in excess. You may take more acetaminophen than you think. It is present in hundreds of drugs, for example, cold medicines and prescription pain drugs. Some medicines can damage your liver if you consume alcohol when you are taking them. And some are harmful when using in combination with other drugs. Contact your doctor or pharmacist so that you can be guided to take your drugs in the way that it will not affect your health.
- Beware of weight: Obesity, especially abdominal or central obesity, is a major risk factor for the development of liver disease. Balanced nutrition and regular exercise can help you to achieve a healthy weight. The goal is to achieve the ideal goal of body mass index (BMI).
- Go for vaccination: Get vaccinated against viral liver infections such as hepatitis A and B. There are so many things which are responsible for the causes of Hepatitis. Among those things are contaminated food and water and also you needed to avoid raw or contaminated seafood or shellfish; Hepatitis B on the other hands can be contracted by engaging in unprotected sexual activities. In addition, it can also be transmitted through the use of contaminated blood and needles of an infected person. If you decide not to vaccinate against hepatitis B, practice safe sex. Discuss with your family doctor about these vaccines.
- Be careful with homegrown medicine and medicines: Majority of these over-the-counter traditional medicines or remedies have heavy metals or unknown toxins. They can cause liver toxicity or may stress and alter the regular function of the liver. Inflammation of the liver can occur as a result of taking an overdose of traditional medicine and can also lead to irreversible liver damage or even failure. In case you have a doubting mind towards the use of traditional medicines kindly contact your doctor.
- Reduce smoking or quit smoking: Smoking of cigarette has been linked with the development of liver cancer according to some studies. Smoking can also increase the toxic effects that some drugs (such as paracetamol) have on the liver.