About the size of a football and located right under your ribcage, your liver works to cleanse the blood, break down the fats in the foods you eat, and store glucose for a quick sugar boost when your body needs it. For all it does, the liver is not an organ that bounces back well. The worse you treat it, the less likely it will work well for you in the coming years. Once it is trashed, it is gone forever. So start protecting your liver from now on.
How to Protect Your Liver
Knowing how to protect liver can help you live a long, healthy life. Here are some tips.
1. Watch Your Weight
The more you weigh, the more likely you are to have fat deposits in the liver. Those fat deposits could eventually lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a serious condition that can impair how well your liver works for you.
2. Eat Well
Be sure to get all the food groups, including meat, dairy and plenty of fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. Drink a great deal of water and avoid refined carbohydrates, saturated fat and meals with a big calorie count. Avoid eating raw shellfish.
Regular exercise can reduce your triglycerides, as the body needs it for fuel. This in turn can lead to less fat in your liver. Besides that, exercise can help prevent obesity, reduce stress and improve energy levels.
4. Avoid Toxins
Any sort of chemicals, additives, cleaning products, aerosols and the like can have a detrimental effect on your liver. Avoid all toxins, including cigarette smoke. If you have to use aerosols, make sure the room is fully ventilated.
5. Limit Alcohol Intake
Wonder how to protect your liver? Watch for alcohol first. Alcohol can lead to serious liver problems. It destroys liver cells, creates fat deposits and leads to liver inflammation or permanent scarring. Drinking alcohol to excess can lead to liver failure, which can lead to an early death.
6. Avoid Blood Contamination
If you are in a situation where you have been exposed to blood, immediately wash the area. You might need to get booster vaccinations to help fight off some potential infections.
7. Watch Out For Needles
Contaminated needles, such as those shared by drug users, can lead to serious liver problems if diseases are passed from one person to another. Ensure that any needle that comes near your body in a tattoo parlor, hospital setting, or anywhere else is perfectly sterile and clean.
8. Keep Personal Health
Never share personal hygiene items such as razors and toothbrushes with others, as this might lead to spread of infection and bacteria. Always practice safe sex to help avoid the risk of sexually transmitted infections, wash your hands regularly, and otherwise keep your body clean.
9. Get Vaccinations
This is one of the essential methods about how to protect your liver. Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine for Hepatitis C which attacks the liver. Hepatitis A and B, however, can be prevented by vaccines. Remember that Hepatitis A is spread through food and water, while Hepatitis B is spread through sexual contact, needles and blood.
10. Have Some Coffee
Did you know that coffee increases the flow of bile? It might be due to the polyphenolic compounds in the drink or the caffeine found in most coffees. Regardless of the reason, increased bile efficiency means your liver doesn’t have to work as hard.
11. Get Regular Blood Tests
Your blood test results can tell the doctor if you have high triglycerides, fatty liver problems, too high glucose readings, and where your cholesterol is – all of which can contribute to liver problems.
12. Never Use Illicit Drugs
Though some drugs are not toxic to the liver, such as heroin and morphine, those are often mixed with other substances that could be terrible for your liver. Intravenous drug use is especially bad, as it has been known to spread hepatitis C and B infections. Hallucinogenic mushrooms, amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy have been known to cause liver toxicity and liver failure.
13. Watch Out For Prescription Medications
Your liver is a toxic-cleansing powerhouse. It processes the medications that go through your body, but some are more difficult to handle than others. Learn how to protect your liver by trying not to take prescription drugs that are known to be tough for the liver to handle.
14. Supplements Can Be Scary
High-dose supplements can overwhelm your liver. These should only be taken under the advice of a medical practitioner. Remember that even low-dose supplements might have added ingredients and possible side effects that can damage your liver. Always make a list of what you are taking, no matter how little, and let your doctor know.
15. Herbal Medicines Can Hurt
Some herbal remedies in particular are toxic to liver. These include barberry, black cohosh, Chinese ginseng, comfrey, germander, greasewood, false pennyroyal, Jamaican bush tea, squawmint oil, sassafras, valerian, skullcap, senna and others. These herbal toxins should be avoided, especially if you have had liver problems in the past.