Does the liver need protecting?

The liver is a powerhouse, refining and detoxifying all substances that enter the body. 

This miraculous organ does these chemical conversions 24/7 and is relatively low maintenance. 

 

However, that does not mean it cannot be damaged.

Liver-Related Diseases

The liver can be damaged by excess fats, drugs, alcohol, toxins, and hepatitis viruses. 

All of these factors can contribute to cirrhosis, or liver cell death. This causes tough scarring to build up in the liver and impairs functioning. 

How does liver damage occur?

 
 

Atherosclerosis

A disease in which plaque builds up inside arteries, the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries, leading to serious

problems, including heart attack, stroke, or even death. Fats are processed by the liver. Cholesterol is produced and excreted by the liver. Atherosclerosis begins on Day One with the selection and amount of sugar, carbohydrates, and fats that babies and children ingest.

Viral Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C virus was discovered in 1989. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence of viral hepatitis continues to increase in spite of enormous efforts to identify and test infected individuals by identifying risks behaviors and sharing modes of transmission. Of all the innumerable recommendations aimed at bringing this disease under control, none of them has included promoting identification of the impact these diseases have on the body's internal chemical refinery and detoxifier, the miraculous liver.  Without providing the rationale for avoiding liver damaging activities, individuals continue to participate in risky behaviors that can cause additional damage to their infected liver.

Obesity 

One in three adults, as well as children, are overweight or obese according to CDC. Obesity is higher among non-Hispanic/American Indian and Alaska Native and non-Hispanic black women. Babies who are obese during the first few years of their lives have difficulties shedding off that excess weight in adulthood.

 

Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars. A high daily intake of sugar (6 tsp for an adult and 2-6 tsp for children) contributes to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Other obesity-related conditions, including cirrhosis, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer,

are some of the leading causes of preventable death.

Drug Misuse & Abuse 

Between 2001 – 2014, there was a 7-fold increase in the total number of overdose deaths. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 91,799 drug-involved overdose deaths were reported in the U.S. in 2020. This alarming increase in drug deaths points to a number of failures. For example, we have failed to provide children with information about why and how to protect their one and only liver, which keeps them alive and functioning 24/7. All drugs are chemicals that must be processed through the liver. Liver cells can be damaged (resulting in cirrhosis) when several drugs are ingested more frequently than prescribed.

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How to Protect Yourself

 

Again, the liver does not need much help. By just practicing healthy lifestyles and avoiding risky behaviors that can lead to liver cell damage and disease, you can easily take care of your silent partner.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle! 

 

  • Eat fruits, vegetables, and good carbohydrates.

  • Limit alcoholic beverages to 1 drink/day for women, and 2 drinks/day for men

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  • Lead an active lifestyle. Find a way to get moving every day    

 

Avoid Risky Behaviors

 

  •  Do not overindulge on fatty foods and sugary drinks. Keep it light.

 

  • Practice safe sex to avoid hepatitis infections.

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  • Avoid tattoos and piercings, which can cause breaks in the skin and leave you vulnerable to hepatitis viruses.