Liver wellness

The best way to fight liver disease is to avoid it, if at all possible or;

Maintain a healthy weight. Fad diets that make your weight yo-yo can put excessive stress on your liver. Avoid any products that promise large amounts of weight loss in an unrealistically short period of time. Liver cleansing and detox diets should also be avoided. If you’re obese or even somewhat overweight, you’re in danger of having a fatty liver that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, one of the fastest growing forms of liver disease. Weight loss can play an important part in helping to reduce liver fat.

Eat a balanced diet. Avoid high calorie-meals, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and sugars. Don’t eat raw or undercooked shellfish. For a well-adjusted diet, eat fiber, which you can obtain from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, rice and cereals. Also eat meat (but limit the amount of red meat), dairy (low-fat milk and small amounts of cheese) and fats (the “good” fats that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish). Hydration is essential, so drink a lot of water. Contrary to popular belief, no particular diet is liver cleansing, but a healthy diet improves well-being.

Regular aerobic exercise helps burn carbohydrates, fats and proteins and that leads to the liver processing them more efficiently. When you exercise consistently, it helps to burn triglycerides for fuel and can also reduce liver fat.

Avoid toxins. Toxins can injure liver cells. Limit direct contact with toxins from cleaning and aerosol products, insecticides, chemicals, and additives. When you do use aerosols, make sure the room is ventilated, and wear a mask. Don’t smoke.

Use alcohol responsibly. We are often told that too much alcohol is bad for us, and you may have wondered when sipping a glass of wine or beer how alcohol affects your liver.

Your liver can cope with drinking a small amount of alcohol. However the liver can only handle a certain amount of alcohol at any given time, so if you drink more than the liver can deal with by drinking too quickly, or drinking too much over a short period of time, the liver cells (hepatocytes) struggle to process it. When alcohol reaches the liver, it produces a toxic compound called acetaldehyde which can damage liver cells and cause permanent scarring.

Avoid self-medication. With easy access to health information via the internet, you may be tempted to self-diagnose and treat your own health problems. But by not consulting a doctor, you may be putting yourself at risk for potentially hazardous side effects that can result when certain medications and/or supplements are combined.

Follow directions on all medications. When medicines are taken incorrectly by taking too much, the wrong type or by mixing medicines, your liver can be harmed. Never mix alcohol with other drugs and medications even if they’re not taken at the same time. Tell your doctor about any over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and natural or herbal remedies that you use.

Ensure personal hygiene, safety and protection. Body art, piercings, and tattoos are all forms of self-expression. However, inadequately sterilized tools, reused needles or contaminated inks could expose you to hepatitis B or C infections. Because piercing and tattoo equipment can come into contact with blood, it is important to ensure your service provider takes the proper infection control precautions between clients. For example, razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers can carry microscopic levels of blood or other body fluids that may be contaminated.

Practice safe sex. Practice safer sex to protect yourself from hepatitis B. Unlike hepatitis B, hepatitis C is not classified as a sexually transmissible infection, but if there is a chance of blood to blood contact, you should practice safer sex and also sex with multiple partners is better avoided.

Get vaccinated. There are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Unfortunately, there’s no vaccine against the hepatitis C virus.

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