The liver is unarguably a powerhouse organ. As the second-largest organ in the body, it does a variety of tasks, like synthesizing proteins, breaking down toxins and cleaning the blood, helping digestion, fighting infections and storing sugar in the body for energy. No surprises then why you must make sure the liver is healthy at all times, to protect your overall health and well-being. It is true that this organ can regenerate, but that does not imply that you can afford to be careless about its maintenance.
Tell-Tale Signs & Symptoms To Watch Out For
- There are some easy-to-spot liver disease symptoms that indicate when your liver may be affected. The liver is equipped to handle alcohol consumption in moderation, but in case of heavy alcohol consumption, the liver has to struggle to keep the body functions under control, leading to a condition referred to as fatty liver. Hepatitis occurs because of liver inflammation, and cirrhosis that is brought on by a permanent scarring. So, when you notice discoloration in the skin or eyes, it may be a sign of a liver problem, whether hepatitis B or cirrhosis.
- You need to maintain an optimal body weight since obesity can trigger liver diseases, like liver failure, liver cancer, and cirrhosis.
- Just like sudden weight gain should be seen as a red flag, sudden weight loss may be a sign of liver damage. It can indicate hepatitis C or cirrhosis that causes liver inflammation.
- Super-itchy skin and red palms can indicate liver problems, this may be because of a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease where the person does not even drink alcohol.
- Look for signs of dependency; if you feel that you are indulging in too many drinks at a time, you must get yourself checked for addiction.
6 Essential Tips For A Healthy Liver:
1) Eat A Well-balanced Diet: When you overload the organ with hard-to-digest foods, it can prove to be damaging in the long run. While bad fats should not be part of the diet, you should include good fats like butter or ghee and nuts in your daily diet to provide the good cholesterol that is necessary for the body. It is also recommended that you include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your daily meals to make the diet more alkaline, which works like a deterrent to cancers.
2) Moderate Vitamin Intake: While minerals and vitamins may be beneficial for your body, too much of it is not good. Fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, D and K cannot be excreted from the body like the water-soluble ones; this automatically puts pressure on the liver.
3) Limit Alcohol Intake: Just like the wrong kinds of foods, too much alcohol can also wreak havoc for your liver’s health. Alcohol ends up damaging liver cells and causes permanent scarring of the stomach lining. Binge drinking can be more damaging and may accelerate liver damage.
4) Increase Fiber Intake: Fiber helps to clear the intestine and ensures that fat-soluble toxins get eliminated from the body. Unless this happens, they get deposited in your liver causing a fatty liver. So, your meals should include more of beans and peas, whole-grain bread or pasta, artichokes, broccoli, and dark, green, leafy vegetables.
5) Stay Away From Processed Foods: Processed foods are very rich in saturated fats, like hamburgers and pizzas, deep-fried foods, potato crackers and sweets, and red meat. Fad diets can also make your weight fluctuate, and this stresses the liver, just like detox diets and liver-cleansing diets.
6) Protect Yourself: The liver will detoxify most drugs, vitamins and herbal remedies, but it is also prone to toxic effects when you self-medicate. Pharmaceutical and herbal medicines can undergo chemical changes in the liver and the resultant by-products can be toxic. You must also ensure that you avoid sharing personal hygiene items like toothbrushes or razors, practice safe sex and avoid sharing needles, to protect yourself from diseases like hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
When To Seek Medical Assistance:
- When you have liver problems, you need to inform your doctor about any supplements, over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies you wish to use.
- Alcoholic hepatitis will be marked by symptoms like abdominal pains, jaundice, and nausea; so, you need medical attention right away when you experience these. If you have yellowing skin, sudden and extreme weight loss, acute abdominal pains and jaundice, you have to get checked for cirrhosis.
- When liver function tests reveal compromised functions, you need to talk to your doctor. He can advise you on how to reverse the damage by cutting down on alcohol intake when it is a fatty liver, or prescribe medications and suggest diet options for liver regeneration when it is a nonalcoholic liver problem.