The liver is responsible for quite a number of bodily functions. It helps aid in digestion because whatever we eat and drink has to pass through our liver before being digested. The fact that needs to be understood is that unhealthy habits can help ruin the liver and once it starts to decline there is simply no looking back. It is therefore essential to eat healthy and live an active lifestyle to keep the liver working at its optimum best.
The following are the few functions of the liver
- It can help filter the harmful chemicals in medications and alcohol
- Its responsible for regulating the hormones in the body
- It regulates blood sugar levels as well
- Stores all the energy from the various nutrients which we eat
- Helps make proteins
- It also produces bile and other enzymes present in the body.
According to Dr Ray Chung, MD, ckeeping the liver healthy means avoiding certain harmful substances which might be bad for the liver.
Caring For Your Liver
- Stay away from alcohol, alcohol is known to cause liver scarring and damaging it. It is advisable to limit yourself to no more than 1 or 2 glasses a day.
- Often people who don’t drink might also suffer from non alcoholic liver disease. The main reason for this is a fatty liver which might lead to liver cirrhosis. In fact this can be avoided completely by losing weight and following a healthier lifestyle.
- Certain pain killers like acetaminophen like Tylenol can cause damage to the liver. Children under 18 years of age should avoid taking it as well. Instead try taking medicines with water instead of taking them with alcohol. This combination is pretty potent and can harm the liver.
- Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A, B and C. hepatitis can be fatal and is known to damage the liver completely. Similarly hepatitis can cause the liver to become inflamed. Hepatitis B and C can also be sexually transmitted. So it’s better to have safe sex and a complete know how of how different hepatitis can attack your body. Stay alert and stay vaccinated.
- Certain herbal medications can lead to scarring of the liver. Herbs like cascara, comfrey and ephedra are known to be potentially harmful to the liver. Though there are certain herbs available in the market, which claim to help restore the liver functions like milk thistle etc, but there is not enough research to back these claims and can present a risk in itself.
- Research has proved that drinking coffee can help lower the risk of liver disease. Though the exact reason for this hasn’t been found yet but it’s thought that the chemicals present in coffee can ward off the harmful substances which may be bad for the liver.
Be aware that the liver can take years of abuse but once it starts degenerating it can cause a great deal of sickness and can be fatal.