The liver- the second largest organ in the body, is responsible for our overall health. We often take out liver health for granted and for many people, liver health is only thought about when there is a problem with it.
Why is liver health crucial?
The liver performs nearly 500 different jobs in our body and keeps us going. The dark coloured organ is nearly 3 pounds in weight. Some of the common liver roles and responsibilities are;
- Bile production plays role in fat digestion
- Production of blood plasma proteins
- Storage of excess glucose in the body
- Haemoglobin processing for iron storage
- Detoxifications of harmful toxins in the blood
Other than these, there is a long list of the jobs a healthy liver is capable of doing. However, the disrupted liver functions take its ability to perform many of its jobs resulting in poor body health. Common liver health problems are many and can range from mild liver damage to severe diseases like liver cancer.
Liver Damaging Habits
Many liver diseases are caused by our self-arming lifestyle habits, said a renowned liver specialist in Islamabad when I visited him because I was accidentally diagnosed with a fatty liver. The vital organ of our body suffers from a lot only because we are not able to properly take care of its health.
Common lifestyle habits that must be damage our liver, include;
Many diseases can be treated with over-the-counter available medicines. However, just because a medicine is available for treatment, it doesn’t prepare your liver to do the extra job. Your liver performs the job of breaking down substances you are taking in via the mouth.
When you excessively consume the medicines, your liver has to convert them adding to its burden. The overuse of medicines and supplements for years can do irreversible damage to your liver affecting its function in the long run.
No matter how many studies are there to support the health benefits of alcohol to prevent diseases. Remember excess of everything is bad and consumption of alcohol is no exception to this. People who consume alcohol in huge amounts put their liver under pressure which ultimately compromises the liver ability to get rid of toxins from the body. Moreover, alcohol consumption increases a person’s risk of developing a fatty liver.
Our body becomes what we eat and this also takes in our organ health. We can classify all our foods into liver healthy and liver unhealthy foods. While certain foods promote our liver health such as organ meat, beetroot, broccoli, and carrot juice, many others are damaging for our liver.
Eating a diet rich in fats and refined carbs not only causes direct damage to the liver but is also a predominant cause of obesity which itself is a risk factor of many common liver problems.
Side effects of smoking are not unknown to us and liver damage is prominently one of them. Cigarette smoke is an indirect cause of organ damage. Toxic chemicals present in cigarette smoke can increase the oxidative stress in the body producing free radicals that are damaging to the liver causing long-term damage.
5- Too much salt, too much sugar!
Both white salt and sugar are referred to as white poison due to their harmful effects. Sugar is harmful as alcohol to our body and large quantities of sugar can affect liver functions, elaborated by my physician at Rawal general and dental hospital when I visited him for the treatment of fatty liver.
Excessive sugar is converted to the fats in the body by the liver. In the case of salt, the excess consumption leads to an increase in the blood pressure of liver vessels that could be a cause of liver disease.
6- Drinking less water
Another common liver-damaging habits are less intake of water. Water is very important when we talk about the removal of toxins from the body and it can aid the liver function in getting rid of harmful toxins from the body. In the absence of water, the liver has to put more effort to remove toxins while conserving water.
The liver is an important organ of our body that is crucial for our overall health. Avoiding all liver-harming habits can ensure a healthy liver and keep liver diseases at bay.