The liver is a significant internal organ responsible for removing harmful toxins from your blood and breaking down fats for absorption. This is why you must ensure that it’s in top shape. However, liver disease is on the rise now, as research shows that almost 13,000 people in the US are awaiting a liver transplant. Additionally, 21,000 men and 8,000 women die from liver cancer each year. Caring for your liver will go a long way in increasing your longevity. Here are some ways to achieve it.
Don’t abuse alcohol
Excessive alcohol intake does a lot of harm to your body, with your liver being damaged the most. Too much of it causes the liver tissues to scar, and as a result, prevents them from functioning properly. This makes it easy for harmful toxins to circulate through your blood, jeopardizing your health. It’ll be best if you abstain from alcohol altogether. However, you can drink sparingly if you can’t completely stop the intake of alcohol. According to the U.S Government guidelines, the recommended number of alcoholic drinks daily is two for men and one drink for women. You should also seek assistance if you feel dependent on alcohol.
Go for regular check-ups
To detect the onset of liver damage as early as possible, you should visit your doctor regularly. The symptoms can take some time to develop and might be too late to treat when visible. Therefore, make regular check-ups a habit. You can decide with your doctor how often you want your liver evaluation to be, either monthly or quarterly. You can also opt for an ultrasound, tissue sampling, or blood tests as your preferred method of diagnosis.
Eat healthy meals
A balanced diet helps to keep your liver healthy. You should ditch high-calorie meals, refined carbohydrates, and sugary foods and instead opt for fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, rice, cereals, fresh fruits, and whole-grain bread. You can also incorporate healthy proteins such as fish, beef, poultry, and beans into your meal plan. Adding nuts, seeds, low fat milk and cheese, and vegetable oils to your diet is also a great way to eat healthy and make your meals appealing. Remember to drink water often as well.
Be careful of certain medications
Medications are meant to prevent or cure diseases but using them excessively can put a lot of stress on your liver. Certain OTC pain relievers like Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, NSAIDs, and Aspirin cause significant damage to your liver when consumed frequently or in large proportions. Prescription drugs such as antibiotics, steroids, and statins are not safe for you either. It’ll help if you reduce your medication intake so that your liver won’t develop health issues. If you have to use them for a long time, you must ensure that your doctor is aware and closely monitors you.
A healthy weight reduces the cholesterol level in your body, which also takes stress off your liver. One way to maintain your weight is to exercise often. You can start small by working out for 30 minutes and increase your tempo until you can go all out. Exercise doesn’t have to be tedious; you can choose several ones you like and have fun at it. You can also work out with friends to boost your motivation.
Your liver plays a major role in keeping you healthy, and taking care of it is a way of ensuring a longer and sickness-free life. Following these tips will help you keep your liver in top shape.