Concerned about Unhealthy Liver? Know the Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

Liver plays a vital role in various body processes such as digestion, detoxification, protein synthesis, storage & filtration of certain substances and other metabolic activities. Malfunctioning of the liver could lead to dangerous health conditions. Hence, it is crucial to take proper care of our liver. Poor dietary habits like eating oily foods, consumption of alcohol, self-medication and an unhealthy/sedentary lifestyle can affect the liver, and lead to fatal conditions. 

Concerned about Unhealthy Liver? Know the Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

In India, around 10 lakh patients are diagnosed with liver cirrhosis, every year. Liver cirrhosis is incurable and reduces life expectancy.

Causes of an unhealthy liver:

  1. Infections

Several viruses cause an infection that leads to liver inflammation and reduces its functionality. Viruses can spread through blood, contaminated food, etc. The most common virus that affects our liver is the hepatitis virus.

  1. Genetics

Genetics can also be the reason behind an unhealthy liver. The abnormal genes inherited from your parents can lead to liver disorders.

  1. Alcohol

Excess intake of alcohol is one of the most common reasons behind liver problems. Alcohol consumption is toxic to the liver and causes inflammation. In the case of chronic alcohol abuse, the accumulated fat near the liver reduces its functional capability.

Symptoms of poorly functioning liver may include:

  • The yellowish appearance of eyes and skin
  • Swelling of ankles and legs
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark colored urine
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Pale stool color
  • Positive SGPT test: SGPT, i.e., serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase is an enzyme found in the heart and liver. When the heart or liver is damaged, the blood SGPT level is increased. SGPT blood test is a marker that indicates this damage, ensures that your regular preventive checkup package includes this test.

Though these symptoms sound disturbing, liver disease prevention is the key to achieving a healthy life. It can be prevented by reducing/stopping alcohol consumption; the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can also be prevented by making easy lifestyle modifications; while Hepatitis B can be prevented with vaccination.

  1. Control of Alcohol Consumption
  2. The human liver has to perform around 500 functions every day. A significant amount of alcohol consumption builds fats around the liver known as the alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can be life-threatening. Quitting alcohol consumption or cutting it down as much as one can is the only solution.
  3. Drink Plenty of Water
  4. Drinking water is always beneficial. It helps to flush the toxins out of your body and prevents thickening of the blood, thus helps its easy filtering through the liver.
  5. Exercise Regularly
  6. One essential part is to start exercising. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with being obese or overweight. Regular exercise will help in preventing liver disease by maintaining a healthy weight.
  7. Eat Healthily
  8. A healthy diet is vital to keep the liver healthy. Cut down on the carbs and eat more nuts. Low carb diet helps in maintaining a healthy liver by controlling the calorie intake.
  9. Cut down on Fizzy Drinks
  10. Cold drinks available in the market contain added sugars that lead to obesity. Cut down on the consumption of such beverages.
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