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Be Kind To Your Liver: Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Liver

Written by Blessing Ifunanya Maduelosi on Wed, 16 November 2022

Key Highlights

  • The liver is one of the most vital organs in the human body.
  • Digestion, metabolism of nutrients, immunity, and excretion of waste products are some of the responsibilities it carries out.
  • A poor lifestyle can lead to significant damage to your liver, and this damage progresses in three stages, the last of which is very serious.
  • More water, less alcohol; more whole foods and less junk food; more sleep and less stimulants are some of the ways in which you can help the liver.
  • Regular check-ups can help you detect the beginning of liver trouble long before the symptoms show up.
  • A family history of liver diseases most likely puts you at risk, which is why a medical consultation and screening is essential.
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If you had a best friend taking care of your every need, wouldn't you pray that your friend always remained in good health and ready to be by your side?

You do have that friend — not by your side, but within you. The friend is your liver, and you can master how to maintain a healthy liver by developing healthy living habits and constantly utilizing tips for a healthy liver until they become second nature.

The liver usually doesn't get as much attention as the heart or the lungs or even the kidneys, but it performs around 500 functions in the body, primarily controlling the body's filtration system.

It also has one of the most important roles to play in homeostasis, the changes taking place inside the body in response to external stimuli.

If you can maintain a healthy liver, alongside keeping your weight under control, you have a much higher chance of staying fit and disease-free compared to those who don't prioritize liver health.

Major liver functions

 

1. Metabolism

The liver helps convert the nutrients you eat into energy. It also stores carbohydrates and maintains blood sugar levels. The ingested carbs are broken down and stored in the liver. In case your blood sugar level is low, the liver releases this sugar in the blood. If your sugar levels are high, then it does the exact opposite.

The liver also converts amino acids into energy and uses them for the production of other nutrients like carbs and fats. Moreover, the liver utilizes micronutrients like Vitamin K for the production of proteins that are essential for the blood-clotting process.

2. Immunity

The liver houses a large number of immune cells. This means that the liver can activate the immune system via these cells very quickly. At the same time, the liver has various mechanisms in place that prevent the unwanted activation of your immune system.

3. Excretion

The liver helps in the conversion of amino acids to energy. During this conversion, a byproduct called ammonia is produced. Ammonia is highly toxic and can damage the body if allowed to accumulate. The liver detoxifies this ammonia into a safer compound called urea, which is excreted from the body by the kidneys. In addition, the liver filters and removes toxins from your body.

With the liver being involved in so many different bodily functions, any harm to it will disrupt your well-being. It's time to start being kind to your liver.

How to maintain good liver health

1. Keep that water bottle handy!

When thinking of staying healthy, most people think about liver food choices — consuming adequate amounts of good carbohydrates, proteins, unsaturated fats, and micronutrients — and timely meals. But they may not stop to think if they're drinking enough water. Drinking the correct volume of water daily is necessary to maintain liver health.

As mentioned before, your liver plays a pivotal role in filtering out toxins and converting harmful substances into safe waste products. Being in constant contact with these toxins and metabolites can take a toll on your liver. Drinking the recommended 2 liters of water a day enables the liver to flush out these toxins more easily; the hydration encourages the secretion of bile, which is key to liver functions.

2. Put that wine glass aside

Pouring yourself a glass of wine or mixing yourself some rum or whisky once in a while won't harm your liver. But constantly dumping alcohol into your system will damage your liver, and perhaps damage it permanently. Therefore, say "no" to alcohol more often than you say "yes", for good liver health.

Processing the alcohol in your drinks causes some damage to the liver tissue. Since this unique organ can regenerate its tissues, it can recover from the temporary damage caused by occasional drinking or minimal daily drinking, especially if the liver is helped along by the intake of water in between alcoholic drinks. Excessive and regular alcohol drinking, however, may lead to liver cirrhosis.

Liver cirrhosis doesn't occur overnight. It progresses in stages and can be divided into 3 stages.

 

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Blessing Ifunanya Maduelosi

Blessing Ifunanya Maduelosi is a pharmacist by profession; her health credentials include a BPharm (Bachelor of Pharmacy). Blessing is a resident of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

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