12 Ways to a Healthy Liver

The liver 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. 
Here are 12 tips to help you achieve liver wellness.

Maintain Healthy Weight​
If you’re obese or even somewhat overweight, you’re in danger of having a fatty liver that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), one of the fastest growing forms of liver disease. 
Weight loss can play an important part in helping to reduce liver fat.

Balanced Diet
For a well-balanced diet, eat fiber, which you can obtain from fresh fruits, vegetables, multigrain chapati & bread, rice, pulses and lentils. 
Also eat lean protein like chicken, eggs, dairy (low-fat milk and small amounts of cheese) and good fats like nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils.
Hydration is essential, so drink a lot of water.

Exercise regularly Exercise can help keep your BMI at the right level, which could protect against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
But even if your BMI doesn’t change, exercise is likely to help. How? 
When you exercise consistently, it helps to burn triglycerides for fuel and can also reduce liver fat.

Use alcohol responsibly
When you drink, your liver stops doing other things so it can break down the alcohol and remove it from your blood. 
If you overdo it — more than a drink a day for women, two a day for men — it’s hard on the organ and could hurt it. 
Over time, this often leads to “fatty liver,” an early sign of disease.

Practice safe sex
Unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners increases your risk of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. 
Most people don’t notice they have it until many years later when much of the damage has been done. 

Side view of ill woman choosing medicines for disease treatment. Female customer standing in drugstore, frowning, holding pills bottle, reading. Woman holding hand on neck, having sore throat, flu.

Follow directions on all medications
When medicines are taken incorrectly by taking too much or the wrong type, your liver can be harmed. 
Never mix alcohol with other drugs and medications even if they’re not taken at the same time. 
Tell your doctor about any over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and natural or herbal remedies that you use.

Don’t Overdo Acetaminophen
Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is present in many drugs, including cold and flu drugs. 
Common Indian drugs that contain acetaminophen are Dolo, Crocin, Calpol, etc. 
Incorrect overdosing of these drugs could hurt your liver. 
Never take more than what the package instructions recommend.

Wash hands
It’s a simple, easy way to keep germs away that could infect your liver. 
Use soap and warm water immediately after using the bathroom, when you have changed a diaper, and before preparing or eating food. 
You can spread hepatitis A when you touch food or water with contaminated hands.

Drink coffee
People who drink a few cups of coffee a day may be less likely to get liver diseases including cancer and scarring (fibrosis, cirrhosis). 
Regularly drinking moderate amounts of coffee may prevent liver cancer – the World Health Organization has recently confirmed this reduced risk after reviewing more than 1,000 studies in humans.

Get Vaccinated
There are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. 
Unfortunately, there’s no vaccine against the hepatitis C virus. 
Talk to your doctor about whether you need it. 
It might be especially important if your immune system is weak, or your liver already shows some damage.

Watch out for contaminated needles
If you or someone you know has ever injected illegal drugs, you should consult a doctor and get tested for hepatitis B, C etc. which can spread through blood. 
The same is true if you’ve had an accidental needle prick.
Also, use only clean needles for tattoos and body piercings.

Don’t share personal hygiene items
Avoid sharing of personal hygiene items like  razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers can carry microscopic levels of blood or other body fluids that may be contaminated.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440772/

Disclaimer: The advice provided is intended for informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice.  Consult with your doctor if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.​

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Rithika Rajgopal

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