How to Take Care of Your Liver

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How to Take Care of Your Liver

The liver has many functions, that’s why it’s important that we keep it healthy. Here are some tips you can follow to take care of your liver.

Liver Functions

  • Aids in breaking down cholesterol.
  • Converts glucose to glycogen.
  • produces urea which is excreted through urine.
  • Removes harmful substances in the blood circulation.
  • Stores vitamins, like vitamin A, D and B12.
  • Monitors blood sugar levels.

Risks Factors

If you fall in any of this categories or situations, you may be at risk of getting a liver disease.

  • Exposure to body fluids. Health care providers are at risk of getting diseases that  can be transmitted through blood as they’re exposed to body fluids and blood all the time.
  • Body piercings and tattoos done in an unsterile way will expose you to numerous complications like Hepatitis.
  • Obesity. The liver controls blood cholesterol levels. IF you’re overweight, you liver will have to work extra hard to keep keep your cholesterol level within the normal range. If your liver is unable to control the  amount of cholesterol in your body, you’re at risk of various liver diseases.
  • Unsafe sex. unprotected sex can put you at higher risk of developing Hepatitis B and C.
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals without the appropriate protections will also put you at risk of liver diseases.

Liver Diseases

Here are some liver problems you may get if you don’t take care of your liver.

  • Acute liver failure happens when your liver suddenly loses its ability to function.  This happens when your liver cells are damaged too much and your liver is not healthy enough to generate new cells.
  • Hepatitis is the medical term used for inflammation of the liver. There are several types of hepatitis. Hepatitis A occurs due to the ingestion of contaminated foods. Hepatitis B and C are transmitted through blood or other body fluids. Sexual contact with a person with hepatitis can put you at risk of having this condition.
  • Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver. Scars can occur due to repeated and prolonged exposure to harmful substances, like alcohol.
  • Fatty liver is the accumulation of too much fat in the liver. This condition may or may not have any signs and symptoms. If not treated properly, fatty liver may lead to liver failure.

Care for the liver

  • Avoid drinking alcohol. If you can’t avoid it, drink alcohol in moderation. Alcohol is a toxic substance that you liver needs to process so you can get rid of it. Frequent alcohol intake will eventually damage your liver. Some say that you should limit your alcohol intake to no more than 2 glasses a day, that is if you have a healthy liver. If you already have a liver problem, avoiding alcohol is a must.
  • Don’t engage in unprotected sex. Hepatitis B and C can easily be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Make sure you use sexual barriers all the time, like condoms. You also might want to get to know your partner better. Knowing whether or not she has history of or currently has hepatitis would save you from getting the same illness.
  • Vaccination. There are vaccine available to protect you from Hepatitis. Consult your doctor and have yourself vaccinated, especially if you have plans of traveling to a country where there are numerous cases of this condition.
  • Be careful when taking medications. Some medications may cause serious effect on the liver if not taken correctly. An example of this medication is Acetaminophen (Tylenol). This is an over the counter drug that can be used for pain and fever. Take this medication in controlled dosages.
  • Wear protective gears when handling body fluids. This is most applicable to health care providers. Don’t forget to wear gloves and masks when caring for your patients, especially when performing procedures that include blood and other body substances.
  • Have a healthy diet. The keys to a healthy body are exercise and nutritious foods. Make sure that you’re eating the right kinds of food. Limit your fat intake. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables that are rich in anti-oxidants and other nutrients that you need.
  • Monitor your weight. Obesity is one factor that puts you at higher risk of developing liver problems. Exercise regularly to increase your metabolism and keep your weight within the acceptable range.