The liver is the second largest and the most complex organ in the body, with the exception of the brain. It is a key player in your body’s digestive system. Everything you eat or drink, including medicine, passes through the liver.
You cannot survive without liver. It is an organ which can be easily damaged if you don’t take good care of it.
Liver works hard, performing hundreds of complex functions, including
• Fighting infections and illness
• Regulating blood sugar
• Removing toxic substances from the body
• Controlling cholesterol levels
• Helping blood to clot (thicken)
• Releasing bile(A liquid that breaks down fats and aids in digestion)
Liver disease doesn't usually cause any obvious signs or symptoms until it is fairly advanced and the liver is damaged. At this stage, possible symptoms are loss of appetite, weight loss and jaundice.
Alcohol is the major cause of alcoholic liver disease. Overconsumption of alcohol leads to fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and chronic hepatitis with liver cirrhosis in many. The early signs and symptoms are negligible and not easily identifiable. Unfortunately most of the patients seeks expert opinion when it’s too late. Even moderate amount of alcohol is not good for liver. Best to step away from the sparkling glass of alcohol.
Story doesn’t end here, there are viruses like Hepatitis who are silent for many years and suddenly attack the liver. Hepatitis A to E are as dangerous as any life threatening disease. They spread through feco-oral route i.e. unhygienic food and water. Unfortunately we only have vaccine for hepatitis A and B, sadly not for all the other form of hepatitis virus. Food, water and blood are easily contaminated by the virus and the virus gets transfused into others body. The affected person may not even know that he is suffering from the deadly virus.
The only way for cure is to get vaccinated against hepatitis. There are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.Once in a life everyone has taken self-medication. Self-medication is as bad as alcohol. Once you take the medicine it first gets into stomach and then observed in systemic circulation. Assume, you haven’t consulate a doctor, hence you will never get to know that the medicine you have taken will affect your liver or kidney.
And slowly, you will be damaging your own body part. Likewise smoking and drugs can damage or destroy liver cells in longer run. Even passive smoking is as bad as smoking. Consult your doctor before starting any medication.
Chemicals such as aerosol and cleaning products and insecticides, produces toxic substances that can injure liver cells.
According to World Health Organization (2010) reports – as we grow to smokes more, love to eat junk food and drives more, liver disease will continue to become the biggest killer over the next 20 yrs. The uncontrolled weight i.e. obesity is the leading cause of non alcoholic fatty liver disease. The easiest way to control your weight is to say no to all those things that you love to eat and eat in moderation.
Fried, oily and spicy food must be away from your dining table. More balanced diets with all the important nutrients will help your liver to be healthy. It is not necessary that when you are sick or acquired liver disease than only you should eat healthy. Remember, healthy diet eaten at every stage of life will help to fight all the odds of disease.
• Eat garlic, grapefruit, carrot, green leafy vegetables, apple and walnuts
• Use olive oil
• Take lemon and lime juice and green tea
• Prefer alternative grains (Quinoa, Millet and Buckwheat)
• Add cruciferous vegetables (Cabbage, Broccoli and Cauliflower)
• Use turmeric in food
To keep your liver healthy, follow a healthy lifestyle
Eat healthy and balanced diet and exercise regularly to keep your liver healthy.
Eat foods from all the food groups: grains, protein, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and fats.
Eat foods that have lot of fibres such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, rice and cereals.
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