4 Liver-Healthy Lifestyle Practices to Consider

Healthy Lifestyle — Monticello, MN — Stellis Health

The human liver performs hundreds of essential functions that keep your body processes operating as they should, from producing bile for the digestive system to filtering toxins that might otherwise damage your body. If you want to stay healthy, take steps to keep your liver healthy as well.

A wide range of everyday substances, habits, and practices can either help or hurt your liver, so understand these influences and create a lifestyle that supports the former instead of the latter. Consider incorporating the following four liver-healthy strategies into your lifestyle to keep this critical organ in optimal working condition.

1. Take Care With Alcohol and Acetaminophen

Although the liver does an amazingly effective job of clearing harmful chemicals out of the bloodstream, it can also suffer its share of damage from the substances you ingest. Even with its extraordinary ability to regenerate itself, extensive harm may cause irreversible damage that limits its ability to operate.

Excessive alcohol consumption poses a major threat to liver health. If you drink more than the recommended amounts, cut down your intake or stop drinking altogether, enlisting professional help if necessary.

The over-the-counter painkiller called acetaminophen can also cause serious liver damage if you take it too frequently, in larger dosages than recommended, or with excessive alcohol. Always follow the instructions on the label. Stop using the medication and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as jaundice.

  1. Get Plenty of Exercise

Both drinkers and non-drinkers can develop a condition known as fatty liver. As more and more fat collects in the liver, the organ may enlarge and develop inflammation. Over time, fatty liver can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure. Fortunately, you can help protect your liver against this condition through regular exercise.

Medical studies have found that a regular exercise routine can reduce markers for serious liver diseases such as fibrosis (a form of early-stage scarring) and liver cell degeneration. Subjects who participated in a 12-week exercise program reduced these markers for disease between 58 and 67 percent.

  1. Consume Foods That Support the Liver

If your diet consists mostly of sugary, fatty, or starchy foods with alcohol, you will likely want to make some changes if you want to avoid liver disease. Many other foods and beverages can not only serve as replacements for these menu items but also convey important benefits that support liver health and wellness.

Liver-healthy foods include nuts, fatty fish, olive oil, grapes, berries, garlic, and grapefruit. You will also aid your liver by consuming brown rice, broccoli, leafy greens, beets, carrots, avocados, and bananas. If you like coffee, you will love the fact that it appears to protect the liver.

  1. Steer Clear of Viral Hepatitis

Certain infectious diseases collectively known as viral hepatitis can cause serious, progressive damage to the liver. The three most common forms of viral hepatitis include hepatitis A, B, and C. You can get hepatitis A by consuming contaminated water or food, while contaminated body fluids can transmit hepatitis B or C.

Thankfully, smart preventative practices can help you protect your liver against hepatitis. Vaccinations offer protection against hepatitis A and B. To avoid hepatitis B and C, avoid sharing needles, razor blades, or toothbrushes. Safe sex practices such as condom use can prevent sexual transmission of hepatitis B or C.

If you need expert care and advice to help you keep all your physical systems as functional as possible, talk to the staff at Stellis Health today. Contact us at any of our locations to schedule an exam or discuss preventative care strategies with our skilled team.