Although the liver can replace damaged cells, if enough cells are lost, the liver may not be able to function properly.bad liver
There are several common bad habits that are a part of our everyday routine which may increase the risk of liver damage and liver pain. We may not even realize it, as the damage can be gradual and initially without obvious symptoms. But over time these bad habits can severely harm your liver. This is very dangerous, as your body cannot function well without a properly working liver.
So lets have a look at some of the common habits that damage your liver:
1. Excessive Alcohol
Heavy alcohol consumption is the most common cause of liver damage. Excess amount of alcohol decreases the liver’s ability of removing toxins from the body.
This is because the liver gets diverted from its other functions and focuses mainly on converting alcohol to a less toxic form, and this causes fatty liver disease and inflammation.
When the liver tries to break down the alcohol, the resulting chemical reaction can damage the liver cells, and after a long time of consuming excess amount of alcohol, the damage can become permanent and cause cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) which leads to loss of liver function.
2. Overuse of Medications
As the liver role is to break down substances we consume, including medications, herbs and supplements, consuming too much of certain medications can gradually harm the liver.
The damage can range from mild to a complete liver failure. This is true not just for conventional medicines, but also for natural supplements and herbs, as they, too, can be harmful to the liver in excess amounts.
One of the best known medication that can cause liver damage is acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol) which is commonly available without prescription and can be found in many of the cold and flu remedies as well as prescription pain medications.
Smoking is one of the habits you must stop right now if you want to be healthy. Cigarette smoke affect the liver indirectly. The toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke eventually reach to the liver and cause oxidative stress to the liver that produces free radicals that damage the liver cells.
4. Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation has some surprising dangers which you can read in my previous article about 23 dangers of sleep deprivation.
5. Obesity and Poor Nutrition
Obesity is linked to poor eating habits and can harm your liver over time, just as drinking too much alcohol does. The reason for that is that too much of the wrong foods cause excess fat build-up in the liver, known as NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).
Foods to eat or avoid
- Consuming high amount of processed foods, which are often loaded with preservatives, additives, artificial sweeteners and flavorings exposes the liver to damage because they are very hard to break down as they are full of chemicals. Read my article about the top 10 worst ingredients in food, and you’ll realize that some of the common ingredients found in processed foods can be harmful for your health. Also see this shocking video that shows what happens inside your stomach when you eat instant ramen noodles.
- Processed foods are also high in salt, which is not only known to increase blood pressure, but can also cause fatty liver disease by building up fluid in the liver (water retention) and swelling.
- Not eating enough fruits, leafy greens and other vegetables which are all great sources of antioxidants, will not give the body enough beta-carotene, vitamin C and E, zinc and selenium which all help keep the liver healthy.
- Vitamin B12, mainly available in meat, is used by the liver to help with the flow of bile, so make sure you don’t have vitamin b12 deficiency. Other B vitamins aid in the liver’s detoxification roles, and they can be found in dried fruits and nuts, egg yolks, poultry, fish, legumes and brown rice.
- Other important nutrients that help the liver include lecithin and sulphur. Lecithin helps the liver get rid of excess fat. Good sources of lecithin include egg yolks, legumes, wheatgerm and fish. Sulphur, which helps to detoxify the liver, is found in fish and lean meat, eggs, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, turnips, onions, leeks, garlic and dried legumes.