The liver is one of the most vital organs of the body. It plays a crucial role in numerous physiological processes including digestion, metabolism and blood detoxification.
The liver is located in the upper right-hand portion of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm, and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines. Shaped like a cone, the liver is a dark reddish-brown organ that weighs about 3 pounds.
Since the liver plays a role in detoxifying your body, anything that reaches inside your body will have an effect on liver health. Generally liver damage will not be presented all of a sudden.
It will proceed gradually and the symptoms will be presented only in the later stages of the damage. Usually, it will become too late by the time you diagnose a liver disease.
There are some ways to keep your liver healthy. Always follow a healthy and balanced diet and get regular exercise. Keep an eye on your body weight. Excess alcohol consumption can damage your liver cells, leading to a condition called liver cirrhosis. Some medicines and toxins can also hurt your liver. Avoid cigarette smoking and try to get sound sleep daily.
According to Dr. Anthony Nwaoney, an epidemiologist and Medical Director of Richie Hospital, habits can affect the ability of the liver to repair itself. Losses of appetite, nausea, vomiting, etc. are the common symptoms of liver damage.
Here are 10 Dangerous habits that can damage your liver:
1. Alcoholism: Excess alcohol intake reduces the ability of the liver to remove toxins from the body. It will make the liver to focus mainly on converting alcohol to a less toxic form and will lead to inflammation and fatty liver disease.
2. Over medication: Consumption of drugs in excess can gradually harm your liver and will lead to severe liver failure. High doses of acetaminophen, which is commonly available without prescription, can cause liver damage when taken continuously for several days.
3. Smoking: The chemicals present in cigarette reach the liver and cause oxidative stress producing free radicals that damage liver cells. It will also cause fibrosis, a process in which the liver develops excess scar-like tissues.
4. Unhealthy diet: Avoid fatty foods and include fruits and vegetables in your diet. They are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium, which keep your liver healthy. Processed foods contain additives and artificial sweeteners.
5. Sleeplessness: Our body usually goes into a repair and detoxification mode when we are sleeping. Lack of sleep can cause oxidative stress to the liver. So, try to get sound sleep of minimum eight hours a day.
6. Obesity and poor nutrition: Your eating habits can affect your liver health directly. Eating too many wrong foods causes fats to build up in the liver. Accumulation of fats can lead to inflammation and liver damage.
7. Overdose of nutritional supplements: Even nutritional supplements and certain herbs are harmful for the liver in excess amount. An overdose of vitamin A can lead to liver damage.
8. Engaging in Unprotected Sex:
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that could result in complications such as higher risks for liver failure, liver damage, and death. It is the primary cause of liver cancer, the second leading cancer-related death around the globe.
In a report by the Hepatitis B Foundation, nearly 2.4 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B in the US. The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is transmitted via sexual intercourse, needle sharing, birth, and direct exposure to the blood.
One way to prevent hepatitis B infection is to ensure safe sex.
Wearing a condom has been proven to reduce the risk of hepatitis B virus. It also lowers the risks of transferring HBV. Likewise, you should avoid using someone else’s personal items like toothbrushes, towels, and toiletry articles.
9. Irregular Eating Schedules:
The strong association between fatty liver disease and obesity means that irregular eating patterns can destroy your liver if interventions are not taken.
Eating too late at night, skipping breakfast, and eating too fast are some of the dietary habits that can lead to obesity; and, by extension, liver damage.
Nighttime eating, which typically occurs right before bedtime, can have adverse effects on your health. One example is Night Eating Syndrome (NES), characterized by excessive caloric intake when eating after dinnertime
10. Staying Indoors Often:
Getting fresh air and enough sunlight has plenty of benefits. For one, it protects your liver from severe damage. Sufficient sunlight exposure triggers the production of vitamin D.
Studies found that Vitamin D deficiency contributes to hepatic disease. However, research is still going to firmly establish whether the link between vitamin d and liver disease is either causation or correlation.
Although there has been evidence on how low vitamin D levels lead to NAFLD, more data is required to create a strong case.
Nonetheless, in the case of non-cholesteric liver disease, vitamin D deficiency contributes to the low production of bile.
If you cannot go outside for your daily dose of sunlight, it is best to consult your doctor about alternative ways of stimulating vitamin D production. Some of the common options include taking dietary supplements and eating vitamin-d rich foods.
These are the dangerous habits that can damage your liver.