Your lifestyle and diet largely dictates your state of health and the liver is one of the many organs that is directly affected by lifestyle and dietary choices that you make. The liver is the largest and one of the vital organs of the body that is responsible for above 500 important bodily functions including cleansing the body of harmful toxins, purifying blood, converting nutrients into energy and serving as a storage unit for vitamins and minerals. With an understanding of the importance of the liver must come an understanding of lifestyle and dietary choices that negatively impact the liver. Listed below are 10 ways you are possibly wrecking your liver.
10 Things That Can Wreck Your Liver
Alcohol Consumption Wrecks Your Liver
Alcohol consumption is the number one and most well known cause of liver damage; however, most people are of the understanding that liver damage due to alcohol consumption is the result of alcoholism. However, this is far from the truth. Studies have shown that overuse of alcohol varies on the basis of different factors including race, sex and age. It’s difficult to set a standard measure for too much consumption of liquor and the best option is to avoid alcohol or drink it on rare occasions. Individuals with a family history of alcoholism and liver cirrhosis caused by alcohol consumption are at a higher risk for wrecking their liver and stand to gain by avoiding alcohol altogether.
Insufficient Water Intake Wrecks Your Liver
Insufficient water intake can wreck your liver and leads to a damaged liver. There are multiple reasons that plenty of water is recommended by every doctor and protection for the liver is one of those primary reasons. Your body is composed of 65% water and your liver is dependent on these fluid reserves to carry out its functions without which it is under served. Drinking water with contaminants can also damage the liver as this organ is responsible for removing toxins from the body and incoming toxins in your water source can overtax the liver; forcing it to work beyond its normal capacity and ultimately wrecking the liver.
The effects of cigarettes and nicotine on the lungs are well known; however, public knowledge is very little in regards to the effects of smoking on the liver. A study conducted in 2011 concluded that smoking caused almost half of all cancers of the liver. Smoking releases harmful chemicals, toxins and oxidative stress in the body that leaves no organ unaffected including the liver.
It might not have occurred to you that few extra pounds you carry around could have adverse consequences for your liver. Accumulation of fat around the liver is the reason for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). You can choose to eat right and lose weight before developing these conditions or be compelled to do so once your liver is damaged.
Too Much Sugar Wrecks Your Liver
Your sweet tooth just might get your liver in trouble; studies have shown that too much sugar in your diet can lead to liver damage. The primary concern here is fructose corn syrup, which is a cheaper substitute for actual sugar that is found in plenty in sugary treats and beverages. The liver is the only organ responsible for processing fructose and too much of it can tax the liver to a degree that leads to breakdown and disease. Store bought sugary snacks, treats and beverages are best avoided if you wish to protect your liver.
Overeating Before Bedtime
To keep your liver protected; it’s best to opt for small meals before bedtime. The liver functions mostly at nighttime and when you indulge in large meals before retiring to bed, you are effectively overworking your liver. High glycemic foods that contain margarine, canola oil or shortening are also best avoided before bedtime for the better health of your liver.
Excess Trans Fats Consumption
Most baked goods and store bought snacks are loaded with trans-fats, which come from human made hydrogenated oil with the ability to preserve oily snacks. These fats are difficult for the liver to process and increase the LDL or bad cholesterol levels which in turn wrecks your liver and overall health.
Sex with multiple partners without protective measures like condoms can also damage your liver. Hepatitis is a sexually transmitted disease that has a direct and drastic impact on the liver. Hepatitis B is the only form of hepatitis spread by sexual intercourse and the exchange of bodily fluids. However, cases of sexually contracted Hepatitis B is widespread and a cause for concern in medical circles.
Excess Consumption of Herbal & Vitamin Supplements
It is a common contemporary practice for people to choose and pick which vitamins and nutrients they want more of and ingest them in the form of store bought supplements. However, it is imperative to be aware that certain herbal supplements and vitamins in excess can cause liver damage. Talk to your primary health care provider before taking up herbal supplements or vitamins in pill or powder form.
Stress is known to cause digestion problems, but recent studies also suggest that stress can result in liver disease. Your psychological well-being is closely connected to your physiological well-being. So, it is important to keep stress at bay to not only keep your liver healthy, but also your mental and physical health.
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