Your Vital Liver


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1. Get off the couch

Your liver also helps the body to get rid of waste.

Liver: Anatomy and Functions | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Waste products which are not excreted by your kidneys are removed from the blood by the liver. Some of them pass into the duodenum and then into the bowel via the bile ducts. People with liver damage may sometimes lose the ability to control glucose concentration in the blood and need a regular supply of sugar. If the liver is damaged in any way its ability to fight infections is impaired. Symptoms of liver damage can be difficult to spot as they are not always obvious - they can include tiredness, nausea and itching.

6 easy steps to take charge of your liver health

NHS choices website has information about the signs, symptoms and causes of liver disease. A biopsy of a liver cancer has a small but real risk of having some cancer cells follow the pathway of the needle and spread outside of the liver. In most circumstances, a liver biopsy is only performed once to confirm a suspected diagnosis of chronic liver disease.

Occasionally, liver biopsy is repeated if the clinical condition changes or to assess the results of medical therapy, such as drug treatment of chronic viral hepatitis or autoimmune hepatitis. Patients who have undergone liver transplantation often require numerous liver biopsies in the early weeks to months following the surgery to allow accurate diagnosis of whether the new liver is being rejected or whether other problems have developed.

If you do not have a family physician, try going to a walk-in clinic to see if they are able to take you on as a patient. You can also talk to friends, family and neighbours in your community to see if they can recommend any doctors in the area so you can contact them to see if they are taking new patients. They may also be able to direct you to an established physician who is taking on new patients. Another source of information and guidance on finding a physician is your provincial medical association.

In most provinces and territories, the Ministry of Health or a provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons offers an online directory of physicians, often sorted by location and specialty. Click the here to find a directory in your area. Find a location near you , and don't forget to tell us who is your inspiration to Stroll! You may never stop to think about it, but your liver is essential to your life.

If your liver stops working, so do you. About the Liver. Find a Doctor. About the Liver Used with permission from Mayo Clinic. All rights reserved Weighing in at a little over one kilogram, your liver is a complex chemical factory that works 24 hours a day. Regulates your supply of body fuel: Producing, storing and supplying quick energy glucose to keep your mind alert and your body active. It produces, stores and exports fat. Manufactures many of your essential body proteins involved in : Transporting substances in your blood, clotting of your blood, and providing resistance to infections.

Your liver. A vital organ that's durable but not indestructible.

Regulates the balance of hormones: Including sex hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisone and other adrenal hormones. Regulates your supply of essential vitamins and minerals: Including iron and copper. Produces bile: Eliminating toxic substances from your body and aiding with your digestion. Your liver is… Your power source. Your liver is… Your pharmacist. Back to top. I can only get liver disease if I drink alcohol excessively or use drugs. This is a myth. Even young children can get liver disease. This is a fact.


  1. Your liver is essential to your life. The Canadian Liver Foundation.
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I would have noticed something was wrong if I had liver disease. I would feel sick. Yellowing of the skin and of the whites of the eyes jaundice in babies is very common and should not be a cause for concern. I can get Cirrhosis of the liver even if I don't drink. Liver cancer is very common in Canada. A liver cleanse is all I need to get my liver back in shape. A liver transplant is not a cure for liver disease. If I have regular annual check-ups, my doctor would tell me if I have or am at risk for developing liver disease. The following are some tips to help safeguard your liver health and ensure the medications and remedies you need to take to achieve their desired effect: To avoid potentially life-threatening complications, you should talk to your doctor about all medications or supplements — pharmaceutical and herbal — that you are taking or thinking of taking If your doctor prescribes a long-term medication, ask for a liver test before you start the medication and after the first few weeks of taking the drug to determine how your liver is tolerating it.

Follow up with regular liver tests throughout the duration of your treatment. Read more Always read and follow the dosing instructions as dictated by your doctor or the medication label. Never take more than the recommended dose and be sure to take into consideration other medications that you may be taking at the same time that may have similar ingredients. Never mix medication with alcohol. Alcohol increases the risk of possible liver damage. Acetaminophen can be especially toxic when combined with alcohol. By taking more than one pain reliever or cold remedy at a time, you may accidentally take more acetaminophen than is safe.

Consult your doctor about acetaminophen if you have liver disease. Avoid certain herbal supplements see list below as well as certain vitamins in high doses as they have the potential to cause damage to the liver. For example, high doses of vitamins E, K — and especially vitamins A and D — may be harmful. The chemicals in grapefruit both rind and pulp can interfere with the liver enzymes that break down drugs. A variety of different medications — including some anti-depressants, blood pressure medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs and tranquilizers — have been shown to have potentially serious interactions with grapefruit products.

For more information, consult your doctor or pharmacist or visit the Health Canada website. If you have a chronic liver disease or other liver condition, consult your doctor before taking any form of prescription or non-prescription medication or herbal remedy. If you do use drugs, make sure you use sterile drug-use equipment e. Here is some valuable advice: Always read and follow the dosing instructions as dictated by your doctor or the medication label.

The combination of acetaminophen and alcohol, for example, can lead to liver failure. If you take other medications, consult your doctor or pharmacist about possible drug interactions. Consult with your doctor about taking acetaminophen if you have liver disease. Alcohol Consumption When you have a glass of wine, beer, or other liquor, your liver is responsible for processing this alcohol and detoxifying your blood.

The following are some tips to consider when deciding whether you should have that first drink or order the next round: Never mix alcohol and medication. Women absorb more alcohol than men and therefore are more susceptible to alcohol-related liver disease even if they consume less alcohol. The amount of alcohol — not the type — is what matters. Each has the same effect on the liver whether taken alone or diluted. If you have hepatitis or any other form of liver disease, avoid alcohol completely.

Top foods and drinks for liver health

Alcohol can compound ongoing damage to the liver. Limit your alcohol consumption to one or two drinks, but never on a daily basis. As far as your liver is concerned, the safest amount of alcohol is no alcohol at all. Body Beautification Body art, piercings, painted nails and toes are all forms of self-expression. Clean all surfaces with a solution of bleach and water PLUS all points listed previously. Travel Protecting your liver while travelling can be as easy as taking some preventative steps before you leave home and following a few simple precautions while you are away.

Many vaccinations require time to become effective. Get a medical check-up and tell your doctor about the countries to be visited, length of stay in each country, time of the year in each country season , type of accommodation major hotel, rustic tent, etc , and type of travel bus tour, backpacking, etc.

During your trip Take precautions to ensure water is safe use bottled, purified or boiled water for drinking, making ice cubes, brushing teeth, washing food, etc. Practise good hand-washing techniques and keep hand sanitizers nearby. Understand how it is accessed while abroad.

Keep track of current travel health notices. Pack list of travel medical clinics in the region you are visiting. Pack some safe sex supplies before you go if you might be sexually active while away as they are not always as readily available abroad and quality can differ between countries. Pack a water purifier ex: SteriPen etc to sterilize water.

Pack insect repellent the most effective ones contain DEET. More Tips During Travel: Find out the local emergency number and address of the nearest hospital when you arrive. Practise safe sex. Avoid food from street vendors. Sex Before you get involved in any kind of sexual activity, it is important to know the risks and how to protect both you and your partner.

Practice safer sex by using a condom during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Wash your hands carefully after sex and before making food, eating, drinking or smoking. If you suspect that you or your partner may have been exposed to hepatitis A, B or C, contact your health provider right away. Hepatitis A How can it be transmitted sexually?


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Hepatitis B How can it be transmitted sexually? Hepatitis C How can it be transmitted sexually? Chemicals in the Home Not only does your liver metabolize what goes in your body, but it also metabolizes what goes on your body. Since the liver has to detoxify everything you breathe in, exposure to airborne chemicals can damage your liver. Take precautions to avoid exposure when using weed-control chemicals or spraying for bugs. Investigate more organic methods for maintaining your lawn and gardens, as well as for the cleaning of indoor surfaces.


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Take every opportunity to get outside and enjoy some exercise. Exercise helps keep your body — and especially your liver — strong and better able to defend itself against pollutants. Do not skip meals or over-eat. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids preferably water a day. Regularly choose a variety of whole foods including fruits and vegetables, protein sources legumes, lean meats , whole grains quinoa, wild rice , dairy low-fat yogurt, milk and cheese and sources of healthy fat nuts, avocado, fatty fish. Increase your intake of fresh of fruits and vegetables, especially brightly coloured ones with deep bright pigments such as oranges, yellows, reds and greens.

Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, which are vital for overall liver health. Maximize consumption of raw vegetables with high sulphur content i. Wash fruit and vegetables right before use to remove pesticides. Avoid washing too far ahead to reduce sweating or spoilage.

When cooking vegetables and fruits, steam or bake them. This retains more nutrients than boiling. Moderate your consumption of saturated fat and simple sugar, as high intakes of sugar fructose sweetened beverages and fatty foods high in saturated fat have been associated with an increased risk for developing a fatty liver. Consume vitamin D fortified dairy products, and vitamin D fortified plant-based foods to ensure your vitamin D needs are met. This is important to promote liver health and a healthy body weight. More Information: Sodium Intake.

How much sodium do I need? Recipes Diet is an important part of managing fatty liver and other liver diseases.

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Tests Liver disease can often be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can be vague and easily confused with other health problems. What are liver tests LTs? What are the most common LTs? Other Liver Tests Highly specialized tests may be used to indicate more specifically the presence of certain liver diseases.

Elevations in the serum iron, transferrin saturation and ferritin may indicate the presence of hemochromatosis. A deficiency of ceruloplasmin is usually seen in patients with a copper metabolism disorder called Wilson disease. Immunologic tests such as the antimitochondrial antibody may suggest the presence of primary biliary cholangitis PBC.

Liver Biopsy Liver biopsy is a diagnostic procedure used to obtain a small amount of liver tissue, which can be examined under a microscope to determine what is causing the liver disease and the degree of fibrosis scarring of the liver. What are the different ways a liver biopsy can be performed? When is a liver biopsy needed? Do liver supplements work? And does the organ that detoxifies your body really need its own detox? Although some studies have found benefits from certain supplement ingredients — like milk thistle and artichoke leaf — they were mainly in people with liver disease.

Whether these supplements can improve liver function in otherwise healthy people has yet to be proven. Manufacturers of these natural remedies promise that their supplements will regenerate your liver and restore it to its peak function. They also claim their products will give you more energy, strengthen your immune system, help you lose weight, and even improve your mood. Your liver eventually processes everything you eat. After your stomach and intestines finish digesting food, it travels through your bloodstream to your liver for filtering.

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The liver breaks down fat to release energy. It produces a yellow-green substance called bile to help your body break down and absorb fat. This organ is also involved in sugar metabolism. It pulls glucose from your blood and stores it in the form of glycogen. Anytime your blood sugar level dips, the liver releases glycogen to keep your levels steady. Then your liver either cleans up these substances, or removes them into your urine or stool.

Milk thistle has been used to treat liver disorders for more than 2, years. The active substance in milk thistle is silymarin, which is made up of several natural plant chemicals. Lab studies suggest that silymarin helps regenerate liver tissue, bring down inflammation, and protect liver cells from damage by acting as an antioxidant.

Human studies have been mixed on its benefits, though. One study looked at children who were being treated with chemotherapy for leukemia. After 28 days, kids who received milk thistle supplements had slightly fewer signs of damage to their liver. Many of the studies on silymarin have involved people with cirrhosis, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. A Cochrane review evaluated 18 milk thistle studies including people with these conditions. Many of the studies included in the review were of poor quality. A analysis of studies found that silymarin slightly reduced certain liver enzymes, markers of liver damage, in people with liver disease.

More research is still needed to know how well milk thistle might work. Milk thistle seems to be safe. Yet, some people have reported GI symptoms or allergic reactions after taking it.

Your Vital Liver Your Vital Liver
Your Vital Liver Your Vital Liver
Your Vital Liver Your Vital Liver
Your Vital Liver Your Vital Liver
Your Vital Liver Your Vital Liver
Your Vital Liver Your Vital Liver
Your Vital Liver Your Vital Liver
Your Vital Liver Your Vital Liver
Your Vital Liver

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