10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Liver Healthy
Dr. Gaurav Kumar, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Gastroenterologist
April 19, 2021
The liver is the major organ for the metabolism of three essential nutrients – proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It is a powerhouse of our body that performs a variety of tasks, ranging from producing proteins, cholesterol and bile to storing vitamins, minerals and even carbohydrates. It also breaks down toxins like alcohol, medications and natural bi-products.
Keeping your liver healthy is an essential key to maintain your overall health.
Things to consider –
1) Avoid Being Overweight
Weight loss plays an important role in reducing liver fat. Being overweight can increase the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus etc.
Regular exercise and lifestyle modifications are the easiest way to increase the health of your liver.
2) Limit your alcohol intake
An excess amount of alcohol can damage your liver cells and can cause scarring. The best way to overcome this is to drink alcohol in a moderate amount or to quit completely.
3) Healthy and Balanced Diet
Hyperlipidemia and Hypercholesterolemia are the most common cause of fatty liver disease. Reduce the number of processed carbohydrates, saturated fats, high calorie in your diet. Restrict the salt intake, eat more high fibre diet eg green leafy vegetables, fruits. Hydration is essential, so drink a lot of water.
4) Avoid Toxins
Toxins can cause direct injury to the liver cells. Avoid direct contact with toxins producing agents eg chemicals, insecticides and aerosols. When you use aerosols, make sure the room is well ventilated, avoid smoking, and wear a face mask.
5) Practice Safer Sex
Unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners increases the risk of hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections.
If you are Hepatitis B or C carrier, consult your doctor for screening. If you are not sure whether your family members are a carrier, get a family screening.
6) Get Vaccinated
Hepatitis A is transmitted from contaminated food. Hepatitis B/C can be transmitted through sex, contaminated blood, needles. Talk to your doctor to get proper vaccination.
7) Avoid Sharing personal items
Personal belongings such as toothbrush, razors can carry microscopic levels of body fluids which may be contaminated.
Follow up with medical practitioners in case of any skin penetration, needle pricks. Also, use clean needles for tattoos, body piercing.
8) Avoid Hepatotoxic Drugs
Over supplementation of traditional medicines may cause hepatic inflammation or scarring or even liver failure. Avoid taking medications that have harmful effects on your liver. Always consult your gastroenterologist prior to consultation of any medications.
9) Maintain Proper Hygiene
Use soap and Lukewarm water before and after meals. In this season of COVID-19, it has been advised to follow the govt. guidelines, use a face mask, hand sanitiser and practice social distancing.
10) Follow up with your Doctor
When medicines are taken inappropriately without knowing the proper dosage, the wrong types or by mixing medicines, your liver can be harmed.
Follow up regularly with your doctor to avoid any complications.