How To Maintain A Healthy Liver

The liver The liver is the largest internal organ of the body, weighing about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds). An interesting fact about this organ is that it possesses a remarkable ability to regenerate after significant tissue loss. It is an essential organ that plays a key role in the digestive and metabolic functions of the body and also performs a host of important functions in the body. But a lot of people today don't know how vital their liver is to them and they tend to abuse it.

First, here are vital functions the liver performs in our body:
The liver filters and stores blood in the body.
- It is responsible for the storage of vitamins and iron.
- It is responsible for the formation of bile (a liquid that is discharged to the duodenum, and helps in digestion).
- It is the body's detoxifier. It detoxifies harmful things we take in like alcohol and drugs.
- It metabolizes carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- It is involved in the formation of coagulation factors which help in blood clotting.
- It converts medicines to the form that our body will accept. Without this function, taking drugs would be utterly useless.

I'm sure you now know how essential your liver is to you. But due to negligence, many people come down with different liver related diseases. Here are some of the common disease that affects the liver and what causes them:
1. Liver cirrhosis: This is a liver disease that involves loss of liver cells, along with scarring of liver tissues. It is mainly caused by alcohol and viral hepatitis.

2. Liver cancer: This is the malignant growth of cancerous cells in the liver. It is mainly caused by cirrhosis due to hepatitis.

3. Fatty liver: This is the abnormal condition whereby fats or triglycerides accumulate in the vacuoles of liver. It is said to be caused by being overweight.

4. Hepatitis: This is the inflammation of the liver. They are commonly caused by hepatitis viruses, A, B, C, D, and E.

5. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): This  is one of the common causes of fatty liver. It occurs when abnormal amounts of fat are deposited in the liver not necessarily as a result of excessive use of alcohol.


Now you know the common diseases that can affect your liver and what causes it, you might want to know how to keep your liver safe and healthy. Taking care of your liver involves certain things that are very easy to implement. Basically it entails living a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some tips that can help keep your liver healthy: 

1. Lose weight: Obesity is a major risk factor for developing a liver disease called, fatty liver. Fatty liver reduces the digestion of fat in the liver. Losing weight will help you avoid this disease and maintain a healthy liver function. Try cutting down on foods that gives you extra unnecessary weight and always take your exercises serious.

2. Avoid or drink alcohol moderately: Avoid or reduce intake of alcohol if you want to maintain a healthy liver. This is because the liver can only process or break down a small amount of alcohol every hour. Regularly drinking excessive alcohol will damage your liver and lead to swelling and scarring. It is recommended to drink just two bottles of alcohol a day for men and just one for a woman.

3. Avoid smoking: Smokers are liable to die young because, smoking highly increases the risk of liver cancer. Also, harmful chemicals from cigarettes can indirectly damage liver cells.

4. Eat foods that help your liver: Consuming certain foods will boost your liver function. These foods include coconut oil, green tea, raw honey and leafy green vegetables. They increase levels of glutathione - an essential component in the destruction of free radicals within the body. They also nourish the liver with important minerals.

5. Avoid foods that decrease liver function: There are also certain foods which affects the liver adversely. Foods with excessive sugar, refined foods, non-organic foods and factory farmed products should be avoided or taken very moderately.

6. Avoid over the counter drugs that aren't prescribed: If you want your liver to be healthy you need to stop taking over the counter drugs that are not prescribed by a health specialist. These drugs that are taken without prescription from a doctor or pharmacist can harm to your liver especially when taken wrongly. For instance, acetaminophen, which is a pain reliever can also cause damage to the liver if taken in excess amounts over a short period of time. It is better to avoid illicit drug use to have a healthy liver.

7. Get vaccinated to prevent Hepatitis: Hepatitis A and B are two common diseases of the liver, however there are safe and effective vaccines that can prevent you from getting hepatitis A or B, or even both. It is recommended by the Center of Disease Control (CDC) that infants between the ages 12-23 months get their first dose of the vaccine. They'll need a booster shot 6 to 18 months after taking the first dose. Adults can also take this vaccine too, especially if you stay at or you are visiting an area where hepatitis A or B is very common.

8. Practice safe intercourse with one partner: To avoid liver damage caused by hepatitis B and C, you should avoid having multiple partners because it increases the risk of getting the diseases.

9. Avoid using unsterilized or contaminated needles: Avoid using contaminated needles for tattoos or piercings. They increase the risk of getting hepatitis. Make sure all needles that are used on your body are new or properly sterilized.

10. Avoid inhaling toxins: You also should avoid inhaling toxins from aerosols, insecticides and pesticides. The toxins from these products can greatly damage your liver cells. Wear a nose mask when making use of such products.

Trust me, your liver is a very vital organ in the body and keeping it healthy is prerogative to living a healthy life! 


Why not share your thoughts about this post here......