Liver Health and You

The liver is the largest organ inside the human body, and one of the most important. Not only is it responsible for filtering all sorts of harmful toxins out of your blood, it also helps you digest your food and store energy.[1] Your liver is also one of the easiest organs to damage, and does require a little TLC to keep it working properly. This guide will give you advice on maintaining optimal liver health by living a healthy, liver-friendly lifestyle, and avoiding exposure to the kinds of harmful substances that can damage your liver. It will also teach you to recognize some of the common signs of liver distress in yourself or others.

 

Where is the liver located in the body?

It’s an important organ that is located right in your abdomen. In an adult, it reaches the size and weighs 1.5 kg.

Self-Regeneration

It’s one of the few organs that can donate at life. It is the only organ that grows back to its full size after partial donation. Although a liver transplantation entails many risks, it is possible to donate a portion of it to another person. The liver is the storage place for your body’s various substances including glycogen, lipids, amino acids, vitamins and even metal. The body releases these substances when required. One and a half litre of blood per minute by the liver. Inside it, there are many blood vessels, which is the main portal vein. Through this vein, the blood flows from the intestines and spleen.

How do I protect my liver?

Watch your alcohol intake-Your liver performs 500 vital functions. Every time it filters alcohol, it has to work a little harder and some of its cells die. Drinking large amounts, even just for a few days, may cause a build-up of fats known as alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can potentially lead to a life-threatening illness. So, give yourself a break. Drink no more than 14 units of alcohol, and have at least two or three booze-free days, each week.

2. Get Moving – Regular exercise will boost your overall health, which in turn has a positive effect on liver function.

3.Eat a healthy diet  – One of the best ways to keep your liver healthy is to eat a balanced diet that is low in trans fats and fructose (as in “high fructose corn syrup”). These substances are found in many processed foods, including chips, soda, fried foods, etc., and have both been shown to contribute negatively to liver function.

Processed foods also include a host of other chemicals to maintain freshness and appearance, which your liver has to work to filter out.
Your best bet for maintaining liver (and overall!) health is to minimize your consumption of prepackaged and processed foods, and prepare food from scratch using fresh ingredients whenever possible.[2]

4.Drink Coffee – A recent study published in Hepatology found that coffee drinkers, including those who drank decaf, were up to 25 percent less likely to have abnormal liver enzyme levels. Researchers do not yet know why this is the case, but drinking coffee may be helping your liver out.[5]

5.Request a Liver Function Test – Due to the gradual and quiet nature of liver symptoms, you might need to be proactive about checking your liver health. If you have reason to suspect that your liver has sustained damage due to alcohol abuse, medication overuse, possible exposure to viral hepatitis, a family history of liver etc., schedule an appointment with your doctor and request a routine liver function test (LFT). It is a simple blood test that could save your life![21] Having a healthy liver can help you have a good immune system.

Dr.Anad Ramamurthy, Liver and Gastro intestinal Surgeon ,Apollo

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