Every day, your liver helps your body by providing it with energy, fighting off infections and toxins, helping clot the blood, regulating hormones and much, much more. The liver is among the most important organ. You can’t live without it.
our liver is your body’s second-largest organ (after the skin). It sits just under your ribcage on the right side and is about the size of a football. The liver separates nutrients and waste as they move through your digestive system. It also produces bile, a substance that carries toxins out of your body and aids in digestion.
Liver diseases in numbers
- A recent report by Public Health England highlighted that liver diseases increased by almost 21% in 2020 due to alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Overall, about 1 in 10 Americans (30 million in total) have some type of liver disease. About 5.5 million people in the U.S. have chronic liver disease or cirrhosis.
- Some types of liver disease are becoming more common in the U.S. because they are related to rising rates of obesity. An estimated 20% to 30% of adults have excess fat in their liver, a condition called non-alcohol rekated fatty liver disease (NAFD).
This may be renamed metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) to reflect its relationship to metabolic syndrome and conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.
5 tips to keep it healthy
#1 Intake Healthy Fats
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, or NAFLD, is one of the most common liver disorders people suffer from. This is caused by an excess of fatty meals, which is very damaging to general health. To acquire energy while still keeping the liver healthy, consider healthy fats like Omega-3 fatty acids.
#2 Limit Alcohol Intake
Alcohol damages the liver in many ways. Because alcohol contains complicated components, the liver has difficulty breaking it down into smaller pieces. Alcohol also has inflammatory properties that cause liver cell destruction. To protect liver health, you should limit your alcohol intake.
#3 Intake Anti-Inflammatory Foods
If you want to keep your liver healthy, consider include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. Garlic, leafy vegetables, green tea, berries, mushrooms, etc. are some examples of foods with advantageous anti-inflammatory qualities. The following are these foods’ advantages for the liver.
#4 Daily exercise
A healthy and active body needs exercise. It aids in calorie burning and prepares your body for any difficult circumstances. As a result, you need set aside a lot of time each day for exercise if you want to be in excellent physical shape.
#5 Avoid smoking
The liver’s role is to keep dangerous poisons out of our bodies, but smoking weakens the liver and diminishes this function. As a result, you may face serious liver issues frequently, resulting in a more adverse situation.
Common liver diseases
#1 Autoimmune Liver Disease
The liver is vulnerable to autoimmune illnesses, which develop when the body’s immune system becomes confused and targets healthy cells. These disorders include autoimmune hepatitis, in which the immune system attacks the liver, causing inflammation and damage; primary biliary cholangitis, which inflames and destroys the bile ducts; and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease that recently claimed the life of James Redford, the 58-year-old son of actor Robert Redford.
#2 Viral infections: Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are diseases caused by a viral infection.
#3 Problems with your immune system: When your immune system mistakenly attacks your liver, it can cause autoimmune liver diseases. These include primary biliary cholangitis and autoimmune hepatitis.
#4 Inherited diseases: Some liver problems develop because of a genetic condition (one you inherit from your parents). Inherited liver diseases include Wilson disease and hemochromatosis.
#5 Cancer: When abnormal cells multiply in your liver, you may develop tumors. These tumors may be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (liver cancer).
Liver disease can be a potential risk for all of us, but you may reduce that risk by learning how to keep your liver healthy, being aware of the typical signs of liver disease, and getting early medical attention.