Why you need to keep your liver healthy as you age

The liver does so much in our body, and there is much we can do to keep it working at its best.
A healthy liver is important for so many reasons

 

It is the largest solid organ in the human body, but the main purpose of our liver is to detox.

It removes toxins, such as drugs and alcohol, purifying the blood as it goes.

Do you know what else it does?

It actually has a  number of functions in our body including regulating our hormone levels.

Hormones regulate our moods and metabolism, just to name a few, so it is essential to keep them on the right balance.

Walking up stairs or even a small hill will be harder if your liver is not at peak health.

Digestion and immunity are also assisted by our liver. Yes, your liver can help prevent you getting sick.

However, infection or disease can prevent the liver from performing its vital functions.

Chemicals such as paint thinners and bug sprays can also potentially cause damage so good ventilation and skin protection is important when using these products. 

If any liver damage becomes serious enough a transplant may be required.

A record number of Australian’s lives were saved last year thanks to transplants and a surge in organ donation

The worst part of liver problems is there are no niggling aches and pains that will indicate your liver is suffering until the damage is done.

Preventing liver disease starts with a healthy diet.
Preventing liver disease starts with a healthy diet.

The first symptoms are likely to be fatigue, but can also include decreased appetite, nausea and vomiting, jaundice, dark coloured urine and the white of your eyes turning yellow.

Maintaining a healthy body weight is a great start in helping your liver.

Excess weight leads to an increased risk in fatty liver disease, liver failure or liver cancer.

Fad diets might seem like a great idea, and there are plenty that claim to be liver cleansing diets, but short term results can actually lead to long term risks.

The best diet for your liver is plant based foods; so lots of beans, legumes, lentils and chemical free fruit and vegetables.

Fats from avocado, nuts and pumpkin seeds are best, rather than trans-fats.

Other suggestions include garlic, fresh squeezed lemon in filtered water, parsley, turmeric and seaweed.

Less is more when it comes to alcohol, as the most common cause of liver disease is excessive alcohol consumption. 

Smoking is also not good for your liver, as it can enhance the toxic effects of some medications on the liver but has also been linked to causing liver cancer.

It really is easy to look after your liver so it can keep looking after you.

 

Have you had to deal with liver disease? Share your story with our readers.

  1. Maureen  

    I would like to know who wrote this article. It is rather vague and seems cobbled together, but does raise some good points.
    As a medical practitioner, I would like to add: make sure you’re immunised against Hepatitis A and B. if you have had any risky behaviour in the past such as IV drug use, get tested for Hepatitis C, which is now > 95% curable. Obesity, raised blood cholesterol and triglycerides and and type 2 diabetes contribute to fatty liver disease and we are going to see may cases of cirrhosis, which can progress to liver cancer, in the next few years. Of course alcohol is probably the most abused substance affecting the liver.
    The widely promoted liver detox programmes do nothing. if you are concerned about your liver, go to your GP and get a check up.

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