The liver is considered to be one of the largest organs in the human body. It is responsible for various functions in the body. It plays an important role in the process of digestion, sugar, and metabolism of fat, and also the defense system in the body, the immune system. The liver processes almost everything a person eats breathes or absorbs through the skin. The liver converts the food that we eat into energy and also filters to remove harmful substances from the bloodstream.
Some of the symptoms that indicate that the liver is not healthy include:
- Itchy skin.
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Changes in stool
- Chronic fatigue
- Easy bruise
There are many different types of liver diseases. Although not all types of disease can be prevented, there are many diseases that can be prevented by bringing changes in lifestyle. There are various factors that act as risk factor and contributes to the development of diseases associated by the liver. Here is the list of some of the ways that can help you prevent liver diseases as follows:
1. Limit the consumption of alcohol
Excessive consumption of alcohol is the major risk factor for the development of liver disease. In fact, alcoholic liver disease is a type of liver disease that occur due to excessive intake of alcohol in the blood. Alcoholic liver disease is basically a term that is used to refer to the liver conditions in people who are heavy drinkers. Primarily there are three types of liver disease associated with heavy drinkers:
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease – It is characterized by the build-up of fat in the liver and consumption of alcohol is the main cause of it.
- Alcoholic hepatitis – Is characterized by the inflammation of the liver along with the scarring of the liver.
- Alcoholic cirrhosis – It is a serious disease that occurs when the healthy tissues in the liver are replaced by the scar tissues.
The liver plays a prime role in detoxifying substances that are harmful to the body such as alcohol. When an individual is exposed to high levels of harmful substances or alcohol, the liver can become overwhelmed and the toxins from alcohol are delivered to the liver by the portal vein. Prolonged exposure to alcohol can start to cause damage to the liver and could lead to the development of liver disease.
2. Get vaccinated
Vaccinations are considered to be essential in order to fight against infectious diseases and prevent one from developing some serious disorders. Vaccinations play an important role in the prevention of certain diseases, including liver diseases. There are many liver diseases that can be prevented by getting vaccinated. Liver diseases such as hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and hepatitis C can largely be prevented by being vaccinated. Hepatitis is a medical term that refers to the inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A, B, and C are liver diseases caused by different viruses.
Vaccination protects the individual from direct immunization. Evidence suggests that vaccinations have resulted in a decrease in the prevalence of many infectious diseases throughout the world.
3. Quit smoking
Cigarette smoking has a large number of detrimental effects on the human body. Cigarette smoking exposes the body to thousands of chemicals and many of these chemicals have harmful effects on the body. Smoking induces three major effects on the liver – immunological, oncogenic, and toxin effects.
The chemicals in the smoke induce oxidative stress which is associated with lipid peroxidation and leads to the activation of stellate cells and the development of fibrosis. Fibrosis is a medical term used for the scarring of the liver. Fibrosis is a disease that causes the replacement of healthy tissues in the liver and this build-up of scar tissue significantly affect the functioning of the liver.
Cigarette smoking also increases the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines which involves liver cell injury. Smoking increases the risk of developing many liver diseases including hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatitis C and many more.
4. Exercise regularly
Exercise is medicine for almost every health problem. Doing regular exercise helps to improve the functioning of many organs in the body, including the liver. There are many mechanisms that explain the relationship between exercise and liver disease. One of the mechanisms includes regular exercise helps in weight management. Weight management, in turn, reduces the risk of developing obesity.
Obesity is the accumulation of excessive fat in the body and evidence suggests that obesity is one of the common risk factors for developing liver disease. In fact, obesity widely contributes to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a disorder which occurs due to the accumulation of fat in the liver in those people who do not consume alcohol. Obesity is also associated with many other metabolic diseases that are associated with other liver problems, such as diabetes mellitus.
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