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This Month In Health
  • Where’s Your Fat?
    You know you need to lose weight for improved health, but did you know that where you carry fat affects your health in different ways? That’s right. Some overweight people are at a greater risk for disease than others who weigh the same amount. Read >>
  • Healthy Living for Your Liver
    The liver is not only your largest internal organ, but it’s also one of the most vital organs for life that is responsible for more than 500 different bodily functions. Lose the function of your liver and you won’t survive a single day. Read >>
  • Are Filtered Cigarettes Safer?
    Many people believe they’re at a lower risk of lung cancer because they smoke filtered cigarettes. Unfortunately for smokers, studies now show that’s not true. Read >>
  • What’s That Rash?
    There are dozens of different types of rashes, but one of the most common is called eczema. Affecting 10 to 20 percent of kids and roughly three percent of adults, eczema includes a broad range of conditions that cause the skin to become reddened and irritated. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Healthy Living for Your Liver

What you can do to keep your liver healthy

The liver is not only your largest internal organ, but it’s also one of the most vital organs for life. Responsible for more than 500 different bodily functions, the liver helps break down food for digestion, releases stored energy, fights off infection, controls blood sugar, produces hormones and proteins, creates blood, stores nutrients, detoxifies your body, and much, much more. Lose the function of your liver and you won’t survive a single day.

Though you may not give much thought to the health of your liver, you should. And chances are pretty high that you’re doing things that threaten its well-being.

Everything you come in contact with, whether by eating, drinking, touching, or simply breathing passes through your liver, so a big part of protecting your liver is avoiding exposure to harmful substances.
Here are six ways to make your liver happy.

Limit Alcohol

Yes, drinking alcohol in moderation has been shown to protect your heart from disease, but too much can quickly lead to problems with your liver. Downing more than the current guidelines of no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men can cause liver damage and scarring. Over time this damage can lead to cirrhosis, a deadly liver disease. So drink up, but drink smartly.

Avoid Harmful Chemicals

Your liver is responsible for clearing your body of toxins. Repeated exposure to harmful substances can damage liver cells, as you force your liver to work overtime. Keep your liver healthy by not touching or breathing toxins found in cleaning products, insecticides, aerosols, and additives in cigarettes. Avoid smoking altogether, and anytime you have to use dangerous chemicals, do so in a well-ventilated area and wear a facemask for added protection.

Watch Your Weight

Need another reason to lose weight? Carrying around too much weight doesn’t just hurt your joints and heart. It also puts your liver at risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that sets you on the fast track to liver disease. Make the lifestyle changes necessary for reducing the amount of fat your liver lives with by getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and lean protein.

Take Medications as Directed

Each medication you take passes through your liver. Taking too much of any given medication or mixing medications can harm liver cells. Drink alcohol while on certain medications and you’ll worsen the liver damage exponentially. And it’s not just prescription medication to be wary of. Too much over-the-counter pain medication acetaminophen (Tylenol) can harm the liver, so be careful. Always tell your doctor about all the medications, supplements, and herbal remedies you take to avoid any harmful combinations.

Prevent Hepatitis

There are three types of viral hepatitis and they’re all bad for your liver. Hepatitis A is contracted through contaminated food or water. B and C are diseases spread through bodily fluids. Protect your liver from these viruses by getting the hepatitis A and B vaccines. Never share personal items such as razors, toothbrushes, or needles. Multiple sex partners greatly increase your risk for the disease, so be cautious with your sex life.

Eat a Healthy Diet

A diet that promotes liver health includes fiber-rich foods, good fats, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and plenty of water. Some specific foods are known to actually make your liver happy. Coffee reduces your risk of liver disease; garlic and turmeric cleanse the liver; leafy greens work to protect the liver; and grapefruit, avocados, and lemons aid the liver in removing toxins from the body. So eat well and give your liver a better life!