Protecting your liver

The liver is the largest internal organ in the human body, and sits on the upper right side of the abdomen.

The main role of the liver is to cleanse the body of toxins, process nutrients and aid in regulating metabolism.

With such a central role in the functioning of our bodies it is really important that we take steps to maintain the health of our livers.

Without proper care, there are several problems that can beset your liver.

‘Fatty liver’ is a common liver disorder and it is normally induced by alcohol abuse. With this condition, fat gathers within the liver cells, causing them to become bigger than they should and sometimes get damaged.

Cirrhosis can be caused a number of ways but is often caused by excessive alcohol consumption or a hepatitis infection. What happens is the liver’s cells are replaced with scar tissue and the functioning of the liver drops off over time.

The good news is that with a good approach, you can prevent and protect against liver problems.

The first step is to cut down alcohol consumption or give it up entirely. Heavy drinking will seriously damage your liver; of that there is no doubt.

It is also understood that some over-the-counter and prescription medicines can be harmful to the liver. Add to this recreational drugs, herbal remedies and vitamin supplements. You need to be careful not to overwork your liver by pumping it full of vitamins or herbal remedies.

In terms of diet, as always, you should aim to keep it healthy and well balanced. It is often recommended by doctors to avoid caffeine, chocolate, processed and preserved foods, uncooked shellfish and fruit and vegetables that has been treated with pesticide. In short, your liver can take damage from a number of artificial ingredients. If you keep things simple and natural, your whole body will be better off.

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