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Good Liver Health Tips: Take Care Of Your Small 'Superhero'

Written by Reshma Pathare on Wed, 16 November 2022

Key Highlights

  • Liver health is important to keep essential body processes such as digestive and metabolic ones, running smoothly.
  • The liver conducts essential functions like flushing out toxins, regulating blood sugar levels, and helping blood clot properly.
  • Telltale signs of an unhealthy liver include yellowing of nails and eye whites, unexplained itching and rashes, swollen ankles/feet, and abdominal twinges of pain.
  • Habits and things that can cause liver-related problems include consuming foods with excessive salts, excessive sugar, trans-fats; being chronically stressed; being obese; smoking cigarettes; practicing unsafe sex; and consuming contaminated food/water.
  • Taking vaccines on schedule is essential for preventing liver problems arising out of hepatitis viruses.
  • A healthy liver can boost overall immunity, regulate metabolic processes, give good skin and hair, reduce aches and pains, and lessen digestive issues.
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Learning about how to maintain a healthy liver through good liver health tips, and then incorporating healthy liver habits (e.g. eating clean, fresh food and drinking enough water) into your daily routine are two of the best things you can do for your overall health and longevity.

At the same time, you need to eliminate habits that damage the liver (e.g. smoking and eating too much junk food) from your everyday activities.

Other ways to take care of your liver include proper hand-washing after using the toilet or before preparing food and doing some exercise regularly. Also, perhaps you haven't thought of this, but practicing unsafe sex is one of the worst liver-damaging habits you can have because that can lead to hepatitis infections.

Just as the liver performs a broad range of functions, there is a range of things that affect the liver, and it's essential to know what they are.

Liver health tips

Rightly named the 'small superhero' of the human body, the liver works 24/7 to keep our body processes running smoothly. Of its 500-odd functions, the most important ones are related to digestion and metabolism.

When your liver is doing well, your body utilizes food and excretes waste efficiently, and your metabolism remains quick and steady. When your liver starts getting damaged and can't repair itself enough, the digestion system falters and the metabolism becomes sluggish.

The top two aspects of liver health tips are: pick the right foods and shun the wrong ones to prevent fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer; and ensure that you avoid situations that could give your viral hepatitis.

A clean and active lifestyle forms the cornerstone of a 'how to maintain liver health' strategy.

Some of the top liver functions are as follows:

  • Ensuring proper metabolism of the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates we consume
  • Producing bile to excrete the waste products efficiently
  • Clearing the bloodstream of toxins
  • Regulating the balance of blood sugar
  • Processing hemoglobin to help use the stored iron in a judicious way
  • Producing certain proteins for blood plasma
  • Ensuring the proper working of the blood-clotting mechanism

As we see, this organ keeps us going, literally. Even the brain and the heart depend on the liver. As the liver filters the blood and cleanses it of toxins, any deficiency in its functioning could send those toxins to the brain via the bloodstream, causing a disease named hepatic encephalopathy.

And as the liver also regularly removes cholesterol, preventing its build-up in the body, any failure to do so would clog the arteries that supply blood to the heart, causing coronary heart disease.

With so much at stake, there's no time like now to start learning about the liver and figure out how to make your liver healthy. This is a resilient and unique organ, whose cells regenerate constantly, and you can help it along by putting good liver health tips to work.

What can go wrong with the liver?

For such a hard-working organ, so alert to the body's needs, the liver is surprisingly slow to manifest the symptoms of its problems. Therefore, many people may fail to notice warning signs of the liver getting stressed or scarred until the disease reaches a serious level.

But keep in mind that the following signs could indicate liver trouble:

  • Unusual swelling in the ankles or feet
  • Whites of your eyes/nails getting a yellowish tinge
  • Frequent feeling of nausea
  • Twinges of pain in the abdomen
  • Unexplained itching or rashes

These signs call for a liver health check-up done by the doctor. If such symptoms of weakened liver health are left undiagnosed, they may first lead to swelling of the liver, followed by liver scarring (known as a fibrosis).

Causes of liver health problems

While early detection can arrest liver problems with minimal intervention and easy-to-make lifestyle changes, factors like genetics, visceral adiposity, and chronic stress can cause more serious, long-lasting, and potentially fatal diseases.

Stress on the liver can lead to inflammation, which in turn can lead to inflammation-induced ailments ranging from cirrhosis to liver cancer, or autoimmune liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis.

The most life-threatening consequence that can creep up in just a few days or weeks is acute liver failure.

Liver-damaging habits and diet

If you're wondering how to keep your liver healthy so that it doesn't fall prey to the above-mentioned problems, it's best to stay away from habits that damage the liver and the kind of food and drink that can damage the liver.

 

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Reshma Pathare

Reshma Kulkarni-Pathare has been a self-employed media professional since 1999. Starting off as a Freelance Journalist for Times of India Thane Plus, Reshma went onto write for more than 45 national and international publications including Times of India, New Woman, Femina, Indian Express, The Hindu, BBC Good Homes and many more. While her forte has been lifestyle writing, she is equally proficient in writing health articles. Her health articles have been published in Health International (Dubai), New Woman, Femina, and Mother & Baby.

Apart from being a journalist, Reshma also works as a copy-editor for self-publishing houses and academic journals.

She is an award-winning bi-lingual translator with more than 12 books published in her name.

She has been a Visiting Faculty Member for post-graduate department of mass media at MET College (Mumbai) and Welingkar WeSchool (Mumbai).

She has worked as a Consumer Marketing Insights Researcher for global organizations like CEB Iconoculture (USA) and Gartner (USA).

Consolidating her multifarious skills in the media, in 2021, Reshma launched her own boutique media agency called Talking Turkey Communications, which specializes in content writing, editing, and translation.

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