Dangerous habits that can damage your liver
Liver fitness is something that we often overlook when we have to compromise with our lifestyle and food habits.
The liver is one of the most vital organs of the body. It plays a crucial role in numerous physiological processes including digestion, metabolism and blood detoxification.
Since the liver plays a role in detoxifying your body, anything that reaches inside your body will have an effect on liver health. Generally liver damage will not be presented all of a sudden.
It will proceed gradually and the symptoms will be presented only in the later stages of the damage. Usually, it will become too late by the time you diagnose a liver disease.
There are some ways to keep your liver healthy. Always follow a healthy and balanced diet and get regular exercise. Keep an eye on your body weight. Excess alcohol consumption can damage your liver cells, leading to a condition called liver cirrhosis. Some medicines and toxins can also hurt your liver. Avoid cigarette smoking and try to get sound sleep daily.
Bad habits can affect the ability of the liver to repair itself. Losses of appetite, nausea, vomiting, etc. are the common symptoms of liver damage.
Dangerous habits that can damage your liver are:
1. Alcoholism: Excess alcohol intake reduces the ability of the liver to remove toxins from the body. It will make the liver to focus mainly on converting alcohol to a less toxic form and will lead to inflammation and fatty liver disease.
2. Over medication: Consumption of drugs in excess can gradually harm your liver and will lead to severe liver failure. High doses of acetaminophen, which is commonly available without prescription, can cause liver damage when taken continuously for several days.
3. Smoking: The chemicals present in cigarette reach the liver and cause oxidative stress producing free radicals that damage liver cells. It will also cause fibrosis, a process in which the liver develops excess scar-like tissues.
4. Unhealthy diet: Avoid fatty foods and include fruits and vegetables in your diet. They are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium, which keep your liver healthy. Processed foods contain additives and artificial sweeteners.
5. Sleeplessness: Our body usually goes into a repair and detoxification mode when we are sleeping. Lack of sleep can cause oxidative stress to the liver. So, try to get sound sleep of minimum eight hours a day.
6. Obesity and poor nutrition: Your eating habits can affect your liver health directly. Eating too many wrong foods causes fats to build up in the liver. Accumulation of fats can lead to inflammation and liver damage.
7. Overdose of nutritional supplements: Even nutritional supplements and certain herbs are harmful for the liver in excess amount. An overdose of vitamin A can lead to liver damage.
8. Not taking vaccination: Hepatitis is one of the major diseases that affect the liver. If you are not taking vaccination for Hepatitis, you are risking your liver health.
These are the dangerous habits that can damage your liver.
Dr. Nwaoney is an epidemiologist and Medical Director of Richie Hospital and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of El- Shaddai Group.