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  • Love Your Liver with These Tips

    Love Your Liver with These Tips

    Liver is one of the largest organs in our body.  It processes everything that you eat, drink, breathe and absorb. It creates our bodies hormones, proteins and enzymes that can help fight off viruses and diseases.  It also turns nutrients into energy for your body and removes harmful substances from your blood.  Here are some tips that can help maintain a healthy liver function. 

                Eat a balanced diet – Don’t consume foods high in fat, sugar and salt.  Try to stay away from fried foods including fast food restaurants.  Do not eat raw or undercooked shellfish such as oysters and clams.  Eat foods from all of the food groups including grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, beans and milk.  Consume foods that are rich in fiber while also increasing your water intake to help flush out toxins that your liver may build up.

                Exercise regularly – Exercise can help lower the risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Your liver can cause inflammation in which can then lead to the development of fibrosis and cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver is a degenerative inflammatory disease that results in hardening and scarring of the liver cells.  The liver will be unable to function properly due to the scarred tissue which prevents the normal passage of blood through the liver.  

                Use alcohol responsibly – Limit your alcohol consumption to one drink a day.  If cirrhosis of the liver is diagnosed, do not consume alcohol in any form.  Once eliminated from your diet, it may be possible to half the damage to the liver.  The liver processes 95 percent of alcohol ingested.  The more alcohol consumed, the more it inhibits the liver’s production of digestive enzymes which causes the body’s inability to absorb proteins, fats and fat-soluble vitamins.  Alcohol is one of the toxins that the liver cannot handle as well as others, therefore it cannot regenerate itself after being severely damaged by alcohol.  

                Avoid toxins –  Cleaning products such as aerosol sprays, insecticides and other chemicals can be absorbed through inhalation or contact through skin. It is best to use these products in a well-ventilated room to limit how much exposure is consumed through the liver.  You should always wear gloves so that you do not come in contact with potential hazardous toxins.  

                Do not share personal hygiene products –  Hepatitis B is one virus that can severely damage the liver.  It is transmitted through blood to blood contact, unprotected sexual activity with an infected individual.  It is highly recommended that you do not share personal shaving razors or toothbrushes as the virus can be spread through saliva.  

                Get vaccinated –  Getting the hepatitis vaccine is an effective way to protect an individual against contacting the virus.  If a newborn is not vaccinated, developing hepatitis B is high compared to the exposure as an adult may be very low.  The best way to prevent exposure and spreading of hepatitis B is to vaccinate at birth.

                Wash your hands –  Hepatitis A is also a virus that is commonly spread through coming into contact with infected fecal matter.  It is essential that you wash your hands after using the restroom or before working with food.  Hepatitis A can cause acute liver disease however the liver will heal itself within a few months. 

                It is important to treat your liver as healthy as possible. Liver disease is one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States.  By following some of these tips, you can help limit your risk of developing liver disease.  Consult your doctor if you have any additional questions or recommended suggestions to help maintain a healthy liver function.