Let us protect our liver in a healthy way
Poor spongy liver – about 1500 gram weight in a 60 kg person; what are the tasks that he performs everyday? He is silently doing his activities sitting in between lungs and stomach. You will be surprised to know he does 500 activities for our body, that also distinct ones. He produces proteins needed for plasma of our blood, makes hemoglobin efficient to our body activities, extracting toxins from our blood and providing defense, protecting our body from microbial attacks are a few among those important tasks. Many metabolic activities including digestion are under the mercy of this organ. If it keeps silence, all our body activities will lose its balance. To extract food content from fats, certain enzymes are needed by small intestine and those enzymes are produced by liver.
If he fails what will happen?
This magician - doing extraordinary functions if fails, can lead to many dangerous situations.
- Many factors needed for the clotting of blood are produced by liver. So if he stops functioning, blood won’t clot leading to the person’s death.
- Digestion of fat won’t take place.
- Production of proteins and good cholesterol will be lowered.
- Toxins of medicines and alcohol are detoxified by liver. So, liver problems can lead to deposit of harmful substances in our body
Why are we cruel to our liver?
Even if we continue our bad life style, liver won’t show it. Instead he fights and does his activities till he ‘falls’. Liver is an extraordinary person having some magical powers as I told before. Even if we cut and separate 70% of his body, within days he will regain his original size and capability which is not at all possible for any other main organs including heart, brain or kidney. As we are not getting indications that our liver is in trouble, we continue our bad habits till it’s too late.
Extra care while eating something
- Food containing excess fats and sugar are harmful to every organ of our body including liver. Drinks and food materials containing preservatives are harmful to our liver.
- Include vegetable soups, leafy vegetables, vegetable juices, salads and small type fishes to improve your liver health.
- If you can eat vegetables without pesticides, it’s the best thing you can do to your liver. Make a kitchen garden at your home. Also, clean your vegetables bought from markets very well. Dip those vegetables in salt water before cooking or storing in refrigerator for future use.
- Any fruit – an apple, orange, guava, mango, papaya or robusta, include anyone of these fruits in your daily diet.
- Use fish, milk, eggs, maida products, noodles, pizza, burger, cutlet etc in a controlled manner. Make sugarless tea or coffee your habit.
- Dalda, pastry, excess chocolates, candies, cake, fast food, yellow yolk of egg, red meat, liver, dates, cola etc are not good for liver
What conditions can damage your liver
- Alcohol can damage your heart a lot. If you are an addict of alcohol, who has a drinking habit, chances for liver problems are higher in you. Due to excess alcohol, liver swells gradually and this condition is known as fatty liver. If he stops drinking at this stage, liver can retain its original condition. If not, it leads to second stage alcoholic hepatitis. Cirrhosis is the third stage where liver is destroyed completely. So, no treatments except replantation! If a person damages his liver due to excess drinking there are more chances that he will get hepatitis B or C. If so his condition will worsen further.
- Even if you control input calories, if not given proper exercises to your body it can affect liver health. Do any exercise at least 45 minutes 5 days a week.
- Unhygienic food can cause problems to liver.
- Certain medicines can cause liver swellings later leading to jaundice. Medicines for fits, mental problems or TB and certain pain killers can also lead to such situations.
- If you are a diabetic patient, more chances are there that your liver will have excess fat deposits.
- If you have liver problems, it can intensify jaundice and rabies attacks. So, both these diseases can attack alcohol addicts easily leading to fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis.
- Metabolic syndrome is a condition that leads to diabetics, heart diseases, blood pressure or obesity. Blood test can be done after keeping your stomach empty for 12 hours to detect diabetics, triglycerides and HDL levels. Then blood pressure and waist length are taken to know if the person has metabolic syndrome or not. Waist length should never exceed 80cms in women and 90cms in men. If you have a fat tummy, you have most chances to get this disease attack.
It’s a myth that only alcohol addicts get liver problems. Alcohol is just one reason among many. Fatty liver is seen even in persons who never used alcohol. It’s nothing but fat deposits in liver.
Fatty liver even in kids
Some doctors, through their experiences say, fatty liver is seen in 12 year old kid also. When kids give less exercise to body, giving more importance to cartoons and computer games obesity is increasing. Then excess fatty food given by parents, also fast food from outside are leading them to many harmful diseases at an early age including fatty liver. So, a new category has entered in the new generation diseases of diabetics, obesity, cholesterol and high blood pressure – fatty liver!
Non-alcoholic fatty liver – It’s the name given to fatty liver if this condition has occurred not due to drinking alcohol. Fatty liver is most seen in males than females. In ladies, fats are deposited most beneath skin while in man, internal organs. In most cases, the condition worsens step by step. The first stage known as steatosis doesn’t cause much problems because it never affects liver functioning too much. Though fats have already start depositing, since it doesn’t show any symptoms this stage is hardly detected. It’s most detected in cases where a patient consults doctor for any other disease.
Fatty liver can lead to other problems as well. If you are willing to change your life style by giving small exercises to your body, not only fatty liver, you can protect your body from many diseases for sure. You can regain your complete health easily, if such cases are detected in early stages.
Without caring the first stage, still the patient continues the same style of living it leads to second stage known as nash. Here condition of fatty liver is little more intensified and liver may develop swellings. Small ball like structures may also appear in liver. If you are affected with hepatitis or cirrhosis in this condition, liver condition goes weak abnormally. Soft liver may develop abnormal structures resulting in structural damages as well.
Take care of jaundice!
Jaundice may appear as the symptom of liver diseases – from cirrhosis to liver cancer! Jaundice is caused by hepatitis virus. Though hepatitis virus A to G have been found, A is most common. It mainly infects human body through contaminated water. Hepatitis B spread through infected syringes and during blood donation. A, D and E groups are less dangerous comparing others. Through proper rest and diet, these infections are curable.
Hepatitis B and C should be given special care. Through blood tests identify the intensity of infection and give special medicines to protect your liver. Hepatitis D captures hepatitis B patients easily and can be transmitted through intercourse. To prevent, hepatitis B vaccine can be used.
In addition to viral attack, infections and defects of liver can also lead to jaundice. So, if someone is infected by jaundice treatment should be started only after knowing its root cause. Kidney stones, cysts in liver, wounds, pancreas diseases and genetic disorders are a few other reasons. If liver swells it may lead to jaundice. Deep rest is needed. So, never intake overdose medicines to give less work to liver. Jaundice patients should be given high nutritious diet. If salt content decreases it may even lead to coma stage. But those persons who have swelling in their body should control salt.
Liver transplant – it is 80% success
Let me now clear a few common doubts related to liver problems
Is liver problem genetic? What are the common liver diseases?
Obesity, diabetics and metabolic syndrome are the most common factors that lead us to liver problems. For these conditions to occur, genetics also play an important part.
If copper content in your body is excess it may lead to Wilson’s disease which is a genetic transmitted one. If it’s not treated it may lead problems to become pregnancy. Such ladies should reduce copper content in their body before thinking about a baby.
Other common liver diseases are caused due to the excess use of alcohol, virus infection, toxic content in food, obesity, excess use of medicines etc. Jaundice is common in every liver disease.
Symptoms of liver diseases detected earlier or late? What are the most common methods used?
Yes, liver diseases are detected late as we often misjudge our problems as something else. To know the change in shape and structure of liver, CT scan and MRI scans are used. Through liver function test also it is possible know about liver diseases. This test is conducted taking a sample of blood. To know the intensity of damages, liver bioscopy is conducted. For diseases like liver cancer, endoscopy tests are also given. A healthy person can check his liver conditions when he reaches 35+.
Can alcohol-based medicines affect liver?
Yes, of course. Such medicines cause more troubles to persons having cirrhosis. That’s why it’s written in many alcohol content medicines, ‘excess usage can damage your liver’.
For health of liver, how can we arrange our life style?
For healthy liver, normal health measures are sufficient. Give preference to fresh vegetables and fruits. Leafy vegetables, legumes, sprouted beans, small type fishes and fruits can be included in daily diet. Give a little time to any physical exercise. Yoga, walk, swimming, shuttle etc are good physical exercises.
How rabies and jaundice affect liver?
Rabies can be treated effectively. Only in 10-15% persons, it causes problems to liver, kidneys, heart and lungs. Rabies may be severe in those persons who already have liver problems. In drink addicts who have fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis etc infection may be worse.
Can pregnant ladies be affected by liver diseases?
During the last months of pregnancy, in some cases, toxemia also known as pre-ecclesia is seen. Swelling of legs, excess water content in body, high blood pressure, and kidney problems – these are the common symptoms. If it’s a mild attack her liver functions as usual though the disease is detected through tests. If disease is in severe stage, she may show signs of viral hepatitis. In 10% of such pregnant ladies, a disease known as help syndrome is seen. If help syndrome is mild, the patient will be cured after delivery and within days, her liver retains its previous capabilities. But if it go intense, it may lead excess bleeding.
In which conditions liver is transplanted?
If liver losses its 70-80% power, transplant is the only remedy. If liver swelling is severe, medicines may not be effective. During such conditions liver transplant should be done. In two cases, liver transplant may be necessary. If liver is damaged by diseases like jaundice due to the excess use of alcohol and drugs or if a kid is born with liver problems, a transplant may be necessary. Some kids are born without bile duct or some persons have defects in producing enzymes. In both these cases, a liver transplant may be the only remedy.
Who is the liver donor?
It can be done in two ways – either from a ‘brain dead’ person or from a living person. All factors considered while accepting kidney, blood and heart are considered in this donation as well. Sugar and blood pressure should be under control. O positives can give liver to anyone and AB groups can accept from any donor.
If liver is taken from a brain dead person, almost the entire percentage will be used. If it’s a living person, fatty liver should never excess 30%. Liver has two lobes – left and right. For a 60 kg person, right lobe will be only 550gram while for a 100 kg person, it may be up to 700 grams. If 60 kg person has more than 30% fatty liver, he may not be benefited by a liver transplant.
What’s the success of a liver transplant surgery?
Now it’s more than 80% in our country.
What special care must be taken by those who have undergone this surgery?
First 6 months is very crucial. Take care of infections. After that he can live like a normal person. But he should maintain a healthy life style to avoid problems in future. Some rare cases have been reported where the body didn’t accept donor’s liver. Yet such cases have reduced considerably. Though such possibilities exist, it can be overcome with the help of medicines.
Let’s love our liver
The first thing we can do is to reduce our body weight. Good food and good exercise can reduce the situations of fatty liver. No revolution is needed to reduce excess weight. Just control your calories according to Body Mass Index (BMI). Instead of depending on snacks and artificial colouring foods, choose homely food. Instead of using fruit drinks, eat fruits as whole and make available of those valuable fibers. If you drink juices, avoid sugar. Control diabetics and keep away from alcohol drinks.
Yes, let’s love our body parts first. Then we can love delicious food and tasty drinks. Always keep in mind, if we loss our healthy, we are losing many important things of our life – a joyful mind to enjoy happiness around and a strong body and health free of all pains to do everything we desire actively!
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