January is Liver Cancer and Viral Hepatitis Awareness Prevention Month. This annual observance provides an opportunity to promote awareness of liver cancer and hepatitis and the link between them.
The liver is an essential organ of the body that performs over 500 vital functions. Shaped like a cone, it is a dark reddish-brown organ that weighs about 3 pounds. This vital organ regulates most chemical levels in the blood and excretes a product called bile. This helps carry away waste products from the liver. Aside from this very important function, the liver also produces cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body; regulates blood levels of amino acids, which form the building blocks of proteins; clears blood of drugs and other poisonous substances; among others.
The liver is a key player in your body's digestive system, which is why it is of utmost importance to take care of it. Here are a few ways to look after your liver and help avoid the onset of liver disease.
1. Exercise and eat right. Keep your weight under control by reducing the calories, avoiding sugar, increasing fruit and vegetable intake, and being physically active. This will help avoid obesity, hence prevent fatty liver disease.
2. Avoid excessive alcohol intake. Too much alcohol consumption can damage liver cells and lead to cirrhosis – a condition that causes scar tissue to gradually replace your healthy liver cells. Regulate your intake or say no to alcohol as much as possible.
3. Prevent hepatitis A, B and C. Arm yourself with knowledge about hepatitis. Get vaccinated, practice safe sex, make sure your drinking water and food are clean, and talk to your doctor to get tested if you think you’ve had contact with the virus.
4. Don’t touch or breathe in toxins. Constant and prolonged exposure to chemicals can increase your risk of developing liver problems. Some cleaning products, aerosol products, and insecticides have chemicals that can ultimately damage your liver. Use natural alternatives whenever possible.
There may not always be any obvious symptoms of liver damage, so it is important to check your liver health with regular medical visits and lab tests. Get a consultation with one of our Nephrologists today. Call us at 89138380 loc 386, or send us a message @WorldCitiMedicalCenter.