Liver and heart may be situated at a distance in the body but they are still very closely related. These both also account for some most important organs in the body without which it is not possible for any human to survive. In order to have a healthy heart, you must have a good liver function as well. Liver dysfunction can cause many health problems — one of which is heart concerns. It is estimated that about one in four adults worldwide has a liver condition that may put them at risk for heart disease. Today, let us understand and know about the effects of liver problems that could affect your heart.
How Does Your Liver Affect Heart?
We spoke with Dr. Pankaj Puri, Director, Gastroenterology and Hepatobiliary Sciences, Fortis Hospital, to understand the link between liver dysfunctions and heart problems. He told that when the liver is not functioning properly, it may affect different functions of your heart, it can include the following-
- Causes high blood pressure
- Blood clotting issues
- Impeding the metabolization of fats and causing systemic inflammation
- Oxidative stress
Both heart and liver diseases are regarded as a serious burden on the health system and could be a leading cause of deterioration of quality of life. It might even shorten your life expectancy. A common liver ailment fatty liver could also cause complications if not treated and diagnosed within time. Hence it can be said that liver dysfunctions can affect your heart in multiple ways and you need to take relevant precautions in order to prevent adversities.
Prevention Tips For Liver Ailments To Reduce Heart Risks
In most of the conditions, it has been observed that diet plays a major role in increasing liver problems resulting in heart complications. Eating a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol, Not getting enough physical activity, Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure levels and the risk for heart disease. Here are some tips advised by the doctor that you must follow in order to lower the risk.
1. Limit fried fast food and processed foods.
2. Replace energy from saturated fats such as butter, coconut oil and cream, with healthy unsaturated fats. It should include seeds and plants like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, sunflower, canola, safflower, peanut, soybean and sesame. You should also have foods such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olives and soy.
3. Increase the amount and variety of plant foods – eat more vegetables, fruits and wholegrain cereals.
4. Reduce intake of refined sources of carbohydrates with higher glycaemic indices including foods with added sugars.
5. Limit unprocessed red meats (such as beef, veal, mutton, lamb, pork, kangaroo, rabbit, and other game meats) to a maximum of 350 g (cooked weight) per week.
6. Avoid processed meat (such as sausages, ham, salami and prosciutto) in most conditions. It can really have a negative impact on your heart health.
7. Trim all visible fat from meat and remove skin from poultry.
8. Eat legumes regularly– like baked beans (reduced salt), soybeans, lentils and tofu.
9. Snack on a handful of raw, unsalted nuts on most days of the week, especially walnuts and almonds.
10. Eat oily fish at least once per week.
11. Reduce your salt intake – avoid packaged and processed foods, limit fast foods and salty foods. Replace salt at the table and in cooking, with herbs and spices for flavor.
12. Check the sodium content of foods and choose the lowest sodium products.
13. If you have elevated cholesterol levels, switch to low-fat or non-fat dairy products and have no more than 7 eggs per week.
14. If you drink alcohol, have no more than 2 standard drinks on any one day. A high alcohol intake increases blood pressure and can increase triglycerides in the blood.
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