Liver disease affects over 100 million Americans and quickly is on the rise.
Your liver is a vital organ that performs many essential functions. It is the largest solid organ in the body, and it’s located under your rib cage on the upper right side. It processes everything you eat, drink, breathe, and absorb through your skin. It builds the hormones, proteins, and enzymes your body uses to function and fight disease. Your liver also turns nutrients into energy your body can use and removes harmful substances from your blood.
Your liver is the only organ in the body that can repair itself, so maintaining good liver health is vital to your overall well-being. Below are some recommendations to maintaining good liver health:
- Limit the consumption of junk food. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products instead.
- Add some form of exercise into your daily routine. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends American adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. High concentrations can trigger inflammation and injury to your liver.
- Properly manage medications and supplements by reading the labels and only taking the recommended dose. Acetaminophen overdoses are the most common cause of acute liver failure in America.
- Get tested, vaccinated, or treated for viral hepatitis. Vaccinations for Hep A and B are highly effective, and there is now a cure for Hep C.
- Avoid toxins by limiting direct contact with household cleaning and aerosol products, insecticides, paint, etc. Look for cosmetics, lotions, and other products made with safe ingredients.
A well-balanced diet and active lifestyle can help prevent or even reverse some liver diseases like fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which currently affects between 80-100 million American adults and children.
In addition, it is important to visit your doctors regularly. Early diagnosis can prevent further damage from happening and potentially save you from causing irreversible damage, which can lead to the need for a liver transplant.
For more information about your liver and maintaining good liver health, visit liverfoundation.org.