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Why Liver is so important?
Liver is the largest and busiest internal organ that does more than 500 vital functions. It is a key player in your body’s digestive system. Everything you eat or drink, including medicine, passes through it. You need to treat it right so it can stay healthy and do its job.
The liver is an organ about the size of a football. It sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. It has several important functions. It helps clean your blood by getting rid of harmful chemicals, drugs and alcohol. It produces a liquid called bile, which helps you break down fat from food and aids digestion. It also stores sugar called glucose, which gives you a quick energy boost when you need it. It also stores iron, vitamins and other essential nutrients. A healthy liver will directly relate to a good immunity system. Especially during COVID pandemic, strengthening your immunity is still the best defence weapon.
Liver disease can be inherited (genetic). Liver problems can also be caused by a variety of factors that damage the liver, such as viruses, alcohol use, obesity and overload with prolonged consumption of drugs.
Over time, conditions that damage the liver can lead to scarring (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver failure, a life-threatening condition. However, early treatment may give the liver time to heal.
What are the signs and symptoms for Liver disease?
Signs and symptoms vary and may have underlying cause.
General symptoms of liver disease include:
- yellow skin and eyes, known as jaundice
- dark urine
- pale, bloody, or black stool
- swollen ankles, legs, or right upper abdomen pain
- decreased appetite or indigestion or constipation
- ongoing fatigue and unusual sleep issue
- itchy skin
- easy bruising
Many people around the world live with conditions that affect the liver, including cirrhosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), alcoholic liver disease, liver cancer, liver failure, and hepatitis (1).
Every year, liver disease accounts for nearly 2 million deaths worldwide.
There are two major types of fatty liver disease — alcohol-induced and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease affects nearly one-third of American adults and is one of the leading contributors to liver failure. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is most commonly diagnosed in those who are obese or sedentary and those who eat a highly processed diet and overloading on liver due to insufficient rest. Non-alcoholic fatty liver is surging in western countries and statistics have shown a rising trend in Asia too. One of the reasons is due to the modern digitalisation, world transformation and lifestyle. In 5-8 years, Asia will have 80% population having non-alcoholic fatty liver; and the age group is getting younger; which is alarming. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is tied to obesity, insulin resistance and heart diseases, and can lead to cirrhosis.
Fatty Liver: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis (healthline.com)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Symptoms, Causes, and More (healthline.com)
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease | Johns Hopkins Medicine
8 Simple tips to upkeep a healthy liver:
1) Take more leafy green; limit the fat in your diet
One of the main ways to treat fatty liver disease is immediately to adopt some change in your diet. As the name suggests, fatty liver disease means you have too much fat in your liver. In a healthy body, the liver helps to remove toxins and produces bile, the digestive protein. Fatty liver disease damages the liver and prevents it from working as well as it should.
Eating a diet heavy in fried foods, sweets, and fast foods leads to weight gain. Being obese or overweight increases the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
A low-fat, reduced-calorie diet can help you lose weight and reduce the risk of fatty liver disease. Ideally, if you’re overweight, you would aim to lose at least 10 percent of your body weight.
Keeping your diet healthy will result in a leaner, healthier liver. Simple steps like replacing processed sugar with pure honey, cutting carbohydrates; take whole-grain, use olive oil and start with a fresh fruit / vegetable juice daily.
2) Stay away from toxins
The chemicals in some insecticides, cleaning products, and aerosols can damage your liver as it processes them. If you have to use these products, make sure the room is well-ventilated. Don’t smoke. Smoking is harmful to the liver.
3) Use caution when drinking alcohol
Large quantities of beer, wine, or liquor damages liver cells and can lead to cirrhosis. Drink alcohol in moderation — no more than one to two glasses a day.
4) Avoid or minimise chronic use of drugs
Every drug you are taking must be broken down and removed by your liver. Chronic use or misuse of drugs like steroids and inhalants can permanently damage this organ. Use of harmful or illicit drugs such as heroin can also damage the liver. They should be avoided.
5) Exercise regularly
Keep your BMI in normal range by staying physically active. Studies suggest that losing at least 9 percent of your weight over the course of several months can reverse the effects of fatty liver.
6) Sufficient sleep; Liver need time to detox and re-generate
Liver needs sleeping time to detox and regenerate cells. Thus, it is very important to have an average of 6 to 8 hours of quality sleep daily.
Many suffer from sleep problems including excessive stress, depression or anxiety or liver damage.
When it comes to your sleep pattern, many different hormones can have an effect but let’s look at the two main hormones that govern your sleep-wake cycle – cortisol and melatonin. A healthy liver prevents hormonal imbalance from occurring.
A good habitual practice is to stop using your mobile or laptop half an hour before sleep. You can listen to relaxing music or read books and prepare for sleep.
7) Keep your emotional balanced
Our bad emotions will affect our liver. From an emotional standpoint, the liver is associated with the emotions anger, frustration and resentment. Have I been angry lately? Feeling some resentment? I retraced my life in the last month and found some places where emotions may be lingering. Start tuning your liver if you have observed such mood swings. Sometimes, it is also due to poor sleep quality,
8) Use Milk thistle (scientific proven over centuries) for liver protection
Choose a correct supplement to compliment daily and reverse fatty liver condition. Thereafter, upkeep daily dose to protect and strengthen liver detox function. Choose a good absorption of pure Silymarin.
Can Liver Damage Be Reversed? Here’s How to Undo Some of the Harm – Thrillist
How to reverse fatty liver naturally – Top 20 Remedies ! Home Remedies for Anything How to
NASH Diet Tips to Help Reverse Fatty Liver Disease in 2020. (nashfacts.com)
Milk thistle has been used to treat liver disorders for more than 2,000 years. It’s the herbal ingredient most often usedTrusted Source for liver complaints in the United States and all over the world.
The active substance in milk thistle known as Silymarin, present inside the seed of the plant with many medical publications showing its benefit to liver, gallbladder and kidney.
Lab studiesTrusted Source suggest that silymarin helps regenerate liver tissue, bring down inflammation, and protect liver cells from damage by acting as an antioxidant. Human studies have been mixedTrusted Source on its benefits, though.
Why is this so?
Clinical studies though proven Silymarin is the right ingredient that can benefit liver. However, It’s bottleneck issue is its bio-availability. Thus, it is extremely crucial to look for what offer on shelves than blindly take supplement that does not benefit your liver. Sometimes, a poor absorption rate may overload your liver instead.
How to Protect Your Liver: 13 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow
7 Science-Based Benefits of Milk Thistle (healthline.com)
The 10 Best Herbs for Liver Health: Benefits and Precautions (healthline.com)
Foods that can helps your Liver
- Cruciferous vegetables; high-fiber plants like legumes and whole grains
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts may help increase the liver’s natural detoxification enzymes, protect it from damage, and improve blood levels of liver enzymes.
- Coffee to lower abnormal liver enzymes
New research presented earlier this month at the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting in Boston suggests that coffee lovers might have a lower risk of liver disease compared to those who forego drinking
Coffee and Liver Health (healthline.com)
Your liver is extremely an important organ with many essential functions.
Therefore, it is recommended and a daily routine to do what you can to protect your liver, and the foods listed above have demonstrated beneficial effects on the liver.
- lowering the risk of liver disease and cancer
- raising antioxidant and detoxification enzyme levels
- offering protection from harmful toxins
Incorporating these foods into your diet is a natural and healthy way to help keep your liver functioning at its best.