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9 Ways You May Be Damaging Your Liver Unknowingly

According to the Mayo Clinic, your liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of your belly, protected by the rib cage. Its major role is to filter the blood coming from your digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. Apart from this, it also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs, as well as makes proteins that are important for blood clotting and other functions.

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When the liver becomes incapacitated due to one factor or the other, or simply becomes damaged, the consequences could be deadly. Unfortunately, there are many things, including lifestyle and dietary factors that can lead to progressive or gradual damage to your liver. Knowing some of those things can help you avoid them and protect your liver against damage.

Ten ways you could be unknowingly damaging your liver, according to Minesh Khatri of WebMD, include the following:

1. High sugar intake

Too much sugar intake can harm many body organs, including your liver. This is because your organ uses fructose, a type of sugar, to make fat. Thus, when you eat foods high in refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup, there could be a buildup of fat in your liver, which could lead to liver disease. What's more, some studies have shown that sugar can be as damaging to the liver as alcohol. You should therefore limit foods such as soft drinks, pastries, and candy.

2. Taking herbal supplements

Certain herbs, including supplements that are tagged natural herbal supplements, can be counterproductive to the well-being of your liver. Some of them can keep your liver from working properly and may lead to hepatitis and liver failure. It is recommended that you should always consult your doctor before taking any herbs to prevent harming your liver.

3. Being overweight

Being overweight can cause extra fat to build up in your liver cells, thus leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). As a result of this, your liver may swell and over time, can become hardened, thus scarring your liver tissue (cirrhosis). Your risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is increased greatly if you are overweight, middle-aged, or have diabetes. However, regular physical activities, as well as your diet can stop the disease.

4. Consuming a lot of vitamin A from supplements

Your body requires vitamin A for several roles, but you mustn't take supplements with high levels of vitamin A, as they can constitute huge problems for your liver. Instead of meeting your body's vitamin A requirement from supplements, you can instead get it from natural sources such as fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those that are red, orange, and yellow.

5. Drinking soft drinks

Drinking soft drinks, including sugar-sweetened beverages, have been linked to many health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Studies have also shown that people who drink a lot of soft drinks have an increased risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Thus, it may not be a bad idea to cut back on your consumption of soft drinks or avoid them altogether.

6. Use of certain pain relievers

Sometimes, it may be near impossible to avoid taking pain relievers. However, it is recommended you take the right dosage and avoid taking too much of any pain medication that has acetaminophen as it can harm your liver, and make you vulnerable to liver damage.

7. Eating foods high in trans fats content

A diet high in trans fats is known to increase your risk of heart disease. However, one other important body organ that trans fats can damage is your liver. Trans fats, according to WebMD, are man-made fats present in some packaged foods and baked goods. A high intake of such foods can increase your risk of obesity, which, in turn, can harm your liver.

8. Sharing objects

Rather inevitably, mistakes are a part of life, and sometimes, mistakes could happen that can greatly impact your liver and its wellbeing. For instance, if you are a doctor or nurse, you may be nicked by a needle you have already used on a patient. Such a needle may have been infected with hepatitis C, which is spread through blood and capable of damaging your liver. You should therefore get tested for hepatitis C at least once after you clock 18.

9. Drinking too much alcohol

A high intake of alcohol is sadly another way you may damage your liver. You don't necessarily have to be a heavy drinker or an alcoholic before you drink too much alcohol, as it is simple to drink more than you think. To Avoid this, it is recommended that your daily alcohol intake does not exceed one (1) drink per day if you are a woman and two (2) drinks per day if you are a man.

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Content created and supplied by: Jakeson (via Opera News )

Mayo Clinic

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