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Our liver plays a vital role in our body’s digestive system. Whatever we eat or drink, including medicines, almost all of it passes through the liver. Therefore, we need to treat our Liver right, so that it can stay healthy and do its job effectively. Amid the hectic schedule, it is quite easy for most of us to forget to pay our liver the attention that it rightly deserves.

The liver, situated under the lower ribcage on our right side, is responsible for getting rid of harmful chemicals to cleanse the body, producing liquid called bile which is required for breaking down all the fat from our food. Most importantly it stores glucose which gives us energy to carry out our daily activities. The liver is the only organ in our body that can regenerate itself; a person can donate a part of their liver to another person.  This article will provide you with insights that can help lower the risk of liver problems and eventually other vital organs as well.

Major Liver problems include infectious conditions like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and liver damage caused due to excessive alcohol consumption, like fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. Liver failure and liver cancer are fatal diseases that can be caused due to multiple causes, with most cases associated with liver damage and scarring of the liver. All such problems can adversely affect the normal and healthy functioning of the liver, thus proper care and caution is essential when it comes to keeping the liver in good health

6 ways to keep the liver problems at bay:

  • Limit your alcohol intake

Our liver and body can usually cope up with consuming only a certain amount of alcohol.As per the guidelines, men should not go for drinking more than 2 drinks a day and women should limit themselves to just one drink a day. One “standard” drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol. For example, around 12 ounces of regular beer. But if you continue to drink more than what your liver can take, it will affect the liver cells; they will not be able to process it and this can lead to liver damage, leading to permanent scarring of the liver. If you continue with excessive drinking, it might cause liver failure too.

  • Get a Liver Function Test regularly

Liver function tests aka Liver Panel, is a simple blood test that can be taken to measure different enzymes, proteins and all other substances that our Liver produces. This simple blood test can reveal much information about your liver health and may be an early indication of liver disease. This allows you to take action in time.

  • Exercise regularly

Though this is something which is important for preventing most lifestyle diseases, we never tend to take this seriously. This helps keep our weight under control, and prevent excess fats from getting stored in our body. Regular exercise can help keep non alcoholic fatty liver disease at bay, a severe condition that can lead to cirrhosis if not taken care of. If currently you are not doing any physical workout, start by doing some daily exercises and slowly and gradually move up towards increasing it to half an hour or an hour daily.

  • Don’t go for fad diets

Following trends, a lot of people go for random diet plans, weight loss pills or protein pills, without understanding the after-effects it can have. Fad diets and pills available without prescription that promise quick weight loss or weight gain might end up harming the Liver in the long run. If in any doubt what can be the perfect diet or tablets to keep the health in check, always ask a doctor or a dietician.

One simply cannot stress over the fact enough that having a balanced diet is important for anyone. Try and avoid saturated fats, trans fats and hydrogenated fats as much as possible. Our culture these days is to simply have leftovers or packaged / processed foods, keep a check on that. High levels of cholesterol are identified as common causes leading to fatty liver disease. Therefore it is suggested to eat more fibrous food, like fruits and vegetables and dairy produce for a healthy liver functioning.

Want to check how your diet might have harmed your cholesterol levels. Book a lab test right away.

  • Be careful with medication

We often tend to self diagnose ourselves when it comes to common cold or cough, doing so we take medicines that can affect the liver badly. By not consulting a doctor or a physician, we tend to put our health at risk. Of all the organs present in our body, the liver is most vulnerable to the harmful effects of self-medication. It acts as the main organ that detoxifies whatever medicines go inside our body. Over dose of any medicine, not consulting a doctor, taking herbal supplements can all have irreversible side effects on the liver. Thereby always check with a specialist and avoid compromising your liver health.

  • Get vaccinated

Vaccinations protect yourselves against Hepatitis A, B & C. Always consult your family doctor or physician before getting these shots. Hepatitis A can be caused due to contaminated food or water and Hepatitis B can be because of sexual contact or contaminated blood and needles. Remember prevention is better than cure

The liver is wonderfully created to perform countless functions for our body. It protects and nurtures our body every day, from getting rid of toxins, giving the body the desired energy, fighting viruses and other infections to maintaining mineral and vitamin supply in our body. All of these are not possible without a healthy liver. It is a complex yet resilient organ of our body that needs to be taken care of day in and day out.

Schedule that long-pending liver health test now. Book here.

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Your liver is one of the most vital organs of your body. The major role of liver is removal of toxins from the body. Anything and everything you put in the body is processed and taken care of by the liver that later is excreted. In fact, your liver can automatically replace the damaged cells thereby repairing and restoring itself.

However, after a certain point of time the liver loses its ability to repair itself if one constantly indulges in habits that could be secretly damaging the liver. Here are habits that could damage the liver beyond repair.

Habits which you need to give up if you want to keep your liver healthy –

1. Alcoholism – Anything that is consumed in moderation and is not regular may not harm the liver. However, excessive consumption of alcohol can damage the liver beyond repair. It leads to a condition known as Alcoholic Liver Disease. Alcoholic liver disease damages the liver, leading to a buildup of fats, inflammation, and scarring. In short, the detoxification mechanism is bound to go kaput if consumption of alcohol is not restricted or controlled in the long run.

2. Smoking – It is written on the pack of cigarettes that ‘’Smoking is Injurious to Health’. However, many of us still choose to smoke because we find it cool or to fit in with peers or have got addicted and now, it has become too hard to quit. Cigarette smoking can have numerous side effects and liver damage is one of them. While cigarette smoking does not affect the liver directly, but excessive use of nicotine-filled rolls can lead to oxidative stress, which in turn produces free radicals ultimately damaging the liver.

3. Overuse of Drugs – So you immediately pop a pill whenever you are not feeling well. Isn’t it? Excessive use of any medicine or drug can again damage your liver eventually and can lead to liver failure. The liver breaks down majority of the medicines before they are distributed to other parts of the body. Hence, if you continue to abuse it with overuse of drugs – medicinal drugs or recreational drugs, believe me it is bound to affect health.

4. Sleeplessness – So you work all day and party hard in the night by sacrificing your sleep? Or you are multi-tasking person juggling multiple responsibilities, some days at the cost of your sleep. Hold on! This might damage your liver in the long run. Studies indicate that not sleeping enough can cause oxidative stress to the liver.

5. Poor nutrition and obesity – We all love eating out at restaurants, cafes. Don’t we?  Bear in mind that poor eating habits and consumption of processed and frozen foods on regular basis could be damaging your liver slowly. Poor eating habits, erratic schedules and consumption of processed/packaged/outside/fried foods can damage the liver as it leads to build up of fat and toxins, which the liver cannot get rid of easily.

Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy Life. Take care.

Contributed by – Huda Shaikh, a leading nutritionist, clinical dietitian and health blogger.

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