3 Lifestyle Choices that can Impact Your Liver Health
Modern busy schedules make it difficult to cope with a perfect lifestyle that is key to keeping us healthy and steering clear of various illnesses. Lifestyle factors are closely associated with increasing the incidence of chronic health conditions like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and liver and kidney diseases. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly 60% of an individual’s health is determined by the lifestyle choices one makes. A healthy way of living determines the physical, mental, and overall well-being that helps you avoid illnesses.
Aiming at healthier lifestyle choices should be the prime goal of an individual which is crucial to maintaining personal wellness. There are many temptations and distractions that can make you slip into choosing unhealthy food choices and behaviors. Setting achievable goals with strict instructions to yourself can make it easier for you to develop healthy habits that diminish illness and alternatively prevents you from developing a new disease or health concern that can impact your overall health. Today, there are numerous changes that have replaced people’s lifestyles like – unhealthy diets, smoking, alcohol consumption, excessive stress, drug abuse, etc. These lifestyle choices can increase the risk of liver problems and gradually impact overall health. Read on to know the three lifestyle choices you can avoid in order to stay healthy.
Liver: Function and Conditions
The liver performs an array of vital functions in our body that helps regulate metabolism. Liver is the only organ in the human body that has the ability to regenerate. It is considered to be the most critical organ in the human body that filters and breaks down poisonous substances, such as alcohol and drugs. One of the main functions of the liver is to assist in the detoxification of chemicals and also secrete bile, a substance that helps in digesting fats and carrying out the wastes present in our system.
Some of the important functions of the liver are:
1) Protein synthesis: The liver produces a protein called albumin that prevents the leakage of fluids into the bloodstream. It also carries vitamins, hormones, and enzymes throughout the body.
2) Production of bile: Bile is the most essential fluid synthesized by the liver that helps carry out waste and break down fats in the small intestine.
3) Regulates blood clotting: Vitamin K is necessary for making blood clotting coagulants, which can only be absorbed through bile, a fluid synthesized by the liver.
4) Filters blood: The liver removes toxins, byproducts, and other harmful substances from the blood that leaves the stomach and intestines.
5) Regulates Amino Acids: The liver ensures that the amino acid levels are well regulated in the bloodstream. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
Along with the above-mentioned functions of the liver, it also helps remove toxins in the bloodstream, stores vitamins, and minerals, and also helps removes excess glucose in the bloodstream and stores it in the form of glycogen, which is converted to glucose when it is needed by the body.
There are numerous types of liver diseases and infections that affect the liver. Delayed diagnosis and treatment for liver diseases can lead to scarring and also develop life-threatening complications. A number of liver diseases are prevalent, including viral hepatitis infections, autoimmune hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis, biliary atresia, liver cancer, and conditions caused by inherited factors, such as hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.
3 Lifestyle choices that can affect Liver health
1) Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol is one of the major risk factors that can affect liver health. Inflammation of the liver, fat buildup, and scarring of the liver tissue can eventually lead to fatty liver disease. In excess of a certain level of alcohol, the liver produces an enzyme known as acetaldehyde, which destroys liver cells. This over time can lead to permanent scarring of the liver. In severe cases, the liver damage associated with liver cirrhosis can even be irreversible. People with alcoholic liver cirrhosis should completely avoid alcohol consumption to protect the liver. Also, alcoholic hepatitis is another serious condition that is caused by excessive alcohol consumption for a longer period.
2) Unhealthy food choices: The liver produces cholesterol which is essential to digest food and making specific hormones. Any amount of cholesterol consumed through various food sources adds up as ‘extra’ cholesterol in the body. High-fat, high-sugar diets are associated with fatty liver disease. Excessive cholesterol in the body can increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease is one of the fastest-growing health concerns across the globe that has seen an alarming increase over the past few years. Accumulation of high amounts of lipids can trigger inflammation, and cirrhosis can severely damage the liver. Consumption of moderate amounts of fats, sugar, and salt intake can significantly be beneficial to liver health.
3) Smoking: Smoking can have toxic, immunological, and oncogenic effects on various organs of the body. Cigarette smoking is a host to numerous life-threatening diseases, such as lung diseases, liver diseases, and heart problems.
Smoking triggers the production of cytokines, a chemical that increases inflammation and damages the liver cells.
Smoking induces various adverse effects on the liver.
Smoking increases the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines that are involved in liver injury.
Toxins produced by heavy smoking induce necroinflammation and worsen hepatic lesions when associated with hepatitis C (HCV) or hepatitis B (HBV) infections. Also, smoking can increase the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among chronic liver disease patients. Did you know, Smoking also raises your risk for diverticulitis? In fact, in one the recent studies of patients with severe diverticulitis, 49% were smokers! If you would like to acquire more information about the Management of Acute Diverticulitis in a real life case, then, join The Assimilate Case Discussion here.
Role of Healthcare Practitioners in Reducing the Disease Burden:
With a significant rise in the number of people falling prey to liver diseases, it is that time of the hour when healthcare practitioners should keep themselves up-to-date with the latest technologies, and treatment modalities employed in addressing various liver disorders. To reduce the burden of liver disease on healthcare systems, it is critical to have detailed knowledge of advanced technologies and treatments. Healthcare practitioners with expertise in treating liver diseases can provide their services at the best healthcare brands and build lucrative careers.
A Fellowship in Gastroenterology from Medvarsity is a blended learning program that helps healthcare professionals like you understand liver disorders in a much more elaborate way. The course enables you to acquire knowledge and skills essential to addressing various liver disorders by providing a clear understanding of the liver, its functions, diagnosis, and treatment modalities. Discover how you can impact healthcare through education with a fellowship.