You know the old adage that says, ‘we are what we eat’? Well, there is one body part that takes that adage to heart – and no, it’s not your heart. It’s actually your liver. The liver has the multi-faceted job of filtering out waste products from our bodies, storing vitamins and minerals and aiding in digestion and growth, amongst 500 other important functions of the body.
It is therefore critical for us to take care of this important organ!
According to data from the World Health Organization, liver disease may affect one in 5 Indians. Further, the data also shows that around 1 million patients of liver cirrhosis are newly diagnosed every year in India. Liver disease is the tenth most common cause of death in India.
Knowing the right nutrition for your liver is important. Its always better to be careful and take preventive measures. Here are a few things to keep in mind for a healthy liver.
Liver Nutrition and Why It’s Important –
A sedentary lifestyle coupled with preference for processed/fast food, puts a huge amount of pressure on the liver to keep doing its job. In essence, we’re overworking our livers to continually remove toxic materials from your body. Overworking is harmful in the long run. Hence, proper nutrition is critical to the management of various gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, to keep the liver in good shape.
Symptoms and Care for Liver Patients –
Symptoms of liver disease tend to vary. Some of the most classic symptoms of liver disease include nausea, vomiting, right upper quadrant abdominal pain, and jaundice along with fatigue, itching, weakness, and weight loss.
When liver disease has reached a late stage, it generally results in what is known as the cirrhosis of the liver. One may not experience any symptoms at the start of the disease but as disease worsens, one may experience fatigue, itchy skin, confusion and lethargy.
To ensure a healthy liver, a balanced diet and exercises are known to be helpful specifically weight bearing/training exercises that help in regaining lost muscle mass. Since the muscle building capacity decreases as liver disease progresses, so it is important to diagnose and take action as early as possible. (4)
Also, keeping food and lifestyle habits in check and abstaining from alcohol and smoking is Advisable.
Tips for Healthy Liver –
The recommended way to avoid liver disease is to take active steps toward a healthy life.
You need regular exercise, an active lifestyle, moderation in drinking and preferably cutting back on smoking. Your food should have more fiber and less fat. (3)
You should also aim to achieve the right body-mass index based on your age and gender. Hence, maintaining an optimal weight is recommended. It is also important that one prevents liver-associated illness such as hepatitis or viral infections. Finally, make sure you keep your diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol under control with diet, exercise and/or medications, which can help limit and prevent liver damage.
- GE Port J Gastroenterol. 2015;22(6):268—276
- Bemeur C, et al. J Nutr Metab. 2010;2010:1-12
- J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 1065
- Plauth M, et al. Clin Nutr. 2019;38(2):485-521 (ESPEN/international guidelines for nutritional recommendation)
- EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines on nutrition in chronic liver disease. J Hepatol. 2019;70(1):172-193. (EASL/international guidelines for nutritional recommendation)
- Gottschlich MM, et al. The A.S.P.E.N. NUTRITION SUPPORT CORE CURRICULUM: A CASE-BASED APPROACH—THE ADULT PATIENT. United States of America. ASPEN. 2007 (ASPEN/international guidelines for nutritional recommendation))
The information provided in this article is meant for the awareness only and this article should not be considered as a substitute for doctor’s advice. Please consult your doctor for more details. Abbott India Limited shall not be liable in any manner whatsoever for any action based on the information provided in this article and does not hold itself liable for any consequences, legal or otherwise, arising out of information in this article. This article has been produced on behalf of Abbott India’s #ULivStrong initiative, by Network18 team.
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