Take Care of Your Liver

September 29, 2009

Let me tell you a quick story as a preface to my article.

A friend of mine went for a blood donation camp and forgot to inform his family about it. His wife got a call from the hospital where this blood was donated saying that his blood reacted to the antibodies of Hepatitis C. Whatever information the internet provided on hepatitis was scary. It talked about Hepatitis A, B and C as three different viral diseases which infect the liver and how they can be treated in the initial stages. The only thought that consoled her was that early detection and treatment can reduce the intensity of liver damage. Her husband went for a serology test (an expensive one) at the suggestion of the doctor. When the serology test came back non-reactive they were both happy and relieved. But his wife forbade him to even spell the words “blood donation” thereafter!

The human liver hardly needs an introduction as a very important organ in our system. It has a huge range of functions from digestion to maintaining a proper level of glucose in the blood. Liver is also vital for the detoxification of the body. A problem with liver is that in spite of doing a hard work it never complains. So until you have severe liver damage you won’t get to know about it. Having a good immunity, safe sexual practice, avoiding harmful medications, reduced alcohol consumption and a healthy diet are relevant in liver care.

  • Drink plenty of purified water.
  • Say “no” to alcohol.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Never hesitate to ask your doctor about the medications you are taking.
  • Avoid spicy and oily foods.
  • If you have a liver disease stay away from raw shellfish. You don’t want any infection from the bacteria in the fish.
  • Exercise regularly. ist2_5293157-exercise-bike
  • Get plenty of fresh air. Environmental pollutants are absorbed by your lungs and sent to liver to be discharged through bile. Clean your skin immediately if you come in contact with any chemicals to reduce the risk of liver damage.
  • Practice yoga or meditation.

Though lack of nutrition cannot be a cause of liver damage, good nutrition can help liver repair itself and get back to shape. Liver is possibly the only organ that can repair and re-grow itself from any damage. Think of some foods which can aid liver health.

  • Eat herbs. Milk thistle and dandelion are herbs associated with excellent liver health. A potent antioxidant, milk thistle helps to increase the levels of glutathione which the liver uses to detoxify harmful substances. Add milk thistle in to your daily meals like soup or cereals for best results. Dandelion roots can be boiled to make a dandelion tea. Honey with bringaraj (trailing eclipta) is an excellent concoction for liver care. In Europe, artichoke is considered as a medicinal herb for liver complaints.Take licorice to reduce the toxicity. Ask for Tamalaki, an Indian herb beneficial for liver health.
  • Eating a protein rich diet is good.
  • Vegetables especially green vegetables can enhance liver health. ist2_5203941-isolated-colorful-vegetable-arrangement
  • Do not gorge in your food and trouble your liver. Eat small meals for easy liver functioning.
  • Reduce your calorie intake.
  • Though you need plenty of vitamin A for your eyes it can he harmful to your liver. Eat vitamin A and D foods moderately if you have a liver complaint.

-AparnA K V

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