What is liver disease, why should we be concerned? Plus 12 steps to avoid it

What is liver disease, why should we be concerned? Plus 12 steps to avoid it

What does our liver do and why should we care?

The liver is a very important organ in our body. It is our second largest organ and is responsible for a wide variety of functions, including digesting everything we eat and drink and filtering harmful substances from the blood. The liver helps our body’s metabolism, immunity, digestion and storage of nutrients.

In addition drinking too much alcohol can have serious consequences for your health, especially your liver, which is involved with detoxification of the body after excessive alcohol intake.

According to https://www.nbcnews.com in July 2018 US deaths from liver disease are surging, and drinking is to blame. A study published found a 65 percent increase in deaths from cirrhosis of the liver since 1999.

Depending on our lifestyle choices, our liver may be overworking and may not really be able to keep up with its daily requirements.

Some of the key functions of the liver are:

  1. It converts carbohydrates into glucose for energy to fuel our body.
  2. Amino acids from protein are sent to the liver, which then produces body proteins such as hormones.
  3. Bile is produced in the liver to help break down fats that we eat.
  4. It changes ammonia from metabolism into urea, which is then excreted in urine.
  5. Medication, drugs and alcohol are filtered through the liver.
  6. It fights infections and disease.

Liver disease is a broad term for anything that affects the optimal functioning of our liver. Liver failure usually occurs over time, when large parts of the liver are damaged beyond repair (cirrhosis) and it’s not able to function any longer.

Who is affected by liver disease?

Some liver disease is genetic, but it can also result from damage caused by factors such as alcohol use, infections or exposure to certain drugs, toxins or viruses. Obesity is associated with liver damage.

Who is at risk of liver disease?

Factors that may increase your risk of liver disease include:

  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Injecting drugs using shared needles
  • Tattoos or body piercings
  • A blood transfusion before 1992
  • Exposure to other people's blood and body fluids
  • Unprotected sex
  • Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity1


ESSENTIAL LIVER DETOX COMBO

Liver Cleanse

11 signs and symptoms of liver disease

Common symptoms of liver disease include:

  1. The skin and whites of the eyes appear yellow (jaundice)
  2. Abdominal pain and swelling in the tummy area
  3. Swelling of the legs and ankles
  4. Itchy skin
  5. Dark coloured urine
  6. Pale coloured or bloody stools
  7. Weakness, chronic fatigue, and weight loss
  8. Nausea or vomiting
  9. Appetite loss
  10. Bruising easily
  11. Changes in mental state, including altered sleep patterns, confusion, and drowsiness

There are also a number of liver-induced disorders, including:

  • Fatty liver. This is where fat accumulates inside the liver cells, causing cell enlargement and sometimes cell damage, both of which can cause cirrhosis. A fatty liver becomes enlarged, causing discomfort to the upper right side of the abdomen.
  • Cirrhosis. This can be caused by a number of factors but is commonly due to hepatitis infection or excessive alcohol consumption. Liver cells are replaced over time by scar tissue, which impairs liver function.
  • Hepatitis. This is a general term meaning inflammation of the liver. It also refers to infections of the liver by specific viruses (hepatitis A to E).
  • Haemochromatosis. This is an inherited disease that makes the body absorb and store higher than normal amounts of iron. This damages many organs including the liver, pancreas, and heart.
  • Cancer. Primary cancers can arise in the liver, most often from chronic hepatitis with cirrhosis. Stray cancer cells from a tumour elsewhere in the body may cause a secondary tumour in the liver.2

8 common causes of liver disease

Liver disease can be inherited, or caused by damage from obesity, alcohol misuse, toxic damage or viral infection.

  1. Infection. Viruses and parasites can infect the liver, causing inflammation and reduced liver function. Viruses can be spread through blood or semen, contaminated food or water, or close contact with a person who is infected. Most common liver infections are hepatitis viruses (A, B and C).
  2. Alcohol misuse. Most people who consume alcohol do not suffer damage to the liver, but years of alcohol misuse can increase the chance of getting alcohol-related liver disease.
  3. Obesity or overweight. People who are obese or overweight (with a BMI greater than 30) are more likely to have a build-up of fat in the liver, which can lead to serious liver disease.
  4. Drugs. Liver injury can be caused by the abuse of prescribed medications or recreational or illicit use of drugs or hormones. In particular, injecting drugs using shared needles.
  5. Genetics. An abnormal gene inherited from one or both parents can cause various substances to build up in your liver, resulting in liver damage.
  6. Immune system abnormality. Diseases in which your immune system attacks certain parts of your body (autoimmune) can affect your liver.3
  7. Cancer and other growths, including liver or bile duct cancer and liver adenoma.
  8. Other causes include tattoos or body piercings, unprotected sex with an infected person, a blood transfusion prior to 1992 and exposure to certain chemicals or toxins.

How to tell if you have poor liver function

Liver disease can often initially present as a yellow tinge to the skin and whites of your eyes, accompanied by pain.

Medical diagnosis is confirmed using a number of tests, including a physical examination, where the liver may be found to be enlarged. Your medical history, including medications and lifestyle factors, may also help confirm liver disease. A medical practitioner will often check things such as diet, exposure to viral infections, blood transfusions and family history.

Blood tests may also be done, to check liver enzyme levels and jaundice, as well as an ultrasound, CT or MRI scan of the abdomen. A biopsy may also be done, where a small piece of liver tissue is surgically removed and examined under a microscope.

Other, more unusual, signs and symptoms include itchy skin – caused by bile in the bloodstream due to liver damage – easy bruising and bleeding, bad breath, red palms of your hands and facial blemishes and pigmentation.

Two of the liver’s key functions are to detoxify and energise the body. Fatigue and forgetfulness may result if your blood is overloaded with toxins from poor liver function.

Treatment of liver disease

It is important to see your medical professional if you have persistent signs or symptoms that are worrying you. Get immediate medical help if you have severe abdominal pain.

Treatment depends on the cause of the liver disease and damage. A key treatment is rest and eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet. This includes avoiding alcohol and any drugs that may damage the liver further.

In the case of liver cancer, chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy are common. If these don’t produce the desired results and liver failure is inevitable, a liver transplant may be considered.

ESSENTIAL LIVER DETOX COMBO

Liver Cleanse

12 ways to help prevent liver disease

Not all types of liver disease are preventable, including genetic causes, or immune system abnormalities. However, you can help protect your liver from factors caused by poor lifestyle choices, in particular.

Alcohol moderation. Avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol is an important first step in looking after your liver. Current recommendations are for no more than two standard drinks per day for women and three for men, with at least 2 alcohol-free days each week.

Maintain a healthy weight. Approximately 75 percent of obese people have a fatty liver. If you are overweight or obese, gradual weight loss and increasing exercise can reduce your risk of developing a fatty liver. Avoid rapid weight loss of more than one kilogramme per week, as this can make liver disease worse. 

Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking may worsen some liver diseases and may increase your risk of developing liver cancer. Smoking impairs the liver’s ability to process medications, alcohol and other toxins and remove them from the body.

Get vaccinated. If you're at increased risk of contracting hepatitis, or if you've already been infected with any form of the hepatitis virus, talk to your doctor about getting the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.

Practice safe sex. It’s not just HIV and other sexually transmitted infections you need to worry about with unsafe sex. Hepatitis B and C can both be contracted through unprotected vaginal or anal sex. The risk is increased during menstruation and with multiple sex partners.

Avoid risky behaviour. Intravenous drug use is a common way of contracting Hepatitis B and C, especially if needle sharing is involved. Sharing personal items like a toothbrush or razor with others can also transmit Hepatitis B and C.3

Avoid toxins. Toxins can injure liver cells. Limit direct contact with toxins from cleaning and aerosol products, insecticides, chemicals, and additives. When you do use aerosols, make sure the room is ventilated, and wear a mask.

Avoid the use of illicit drugs and contaminated needles. Dirty needles aren’t only associated with intravenous drug use. You ought to follow up with a medical practitioner and seek testing following any type of skin penetration involving sharp instruments or needles. 

Get medical care if you’re exposed to blood. If for any reason you come into contact with someone else’s blood, immediately follow up with your doctor. If you’re very concerned, go to your nearest hospital’s emergency room.

Don’t share personal hygiene items. For example, razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers can carry microscopic levels of blood or other body fluids that may be contaminated.4

Follow a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet and avoid high-calorie meals, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates (such as white bread, white rice and regular pasta) and sugars. This will help keep your weight under control, which helps prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that leads to cirrhosis. Also exercise regularly, which helps reduce liver fat. 

Consider a natural detox, like the Essential Liver Cleanse Combo. Our liver is increasingly stressed by our modern environment and lifestyle and it works hard to detoxify and protect our body from things such as fatty foods, alcohol, medications and pollution. When liver function is not optimal, we cannot digest our food properly, especially fats.

How Herbal can help

Essential Liver Cleanse Combo is a combination of over-the-counter dietary supplement taken daily to detoxify your liver, improve liver health and improve your sense of wellbeing. It also boosts sex drive and lifts energy levels. 

Our liver makes a big contribution to our overall health. Cleanse your liver of toxins and help restore it to top health with a daily liver cleanse and liver detox routine.

The Essential Liver Cleanse Combo contains three key ingredients:

Herbal Ignite for Him boosts testosterone levels and increases muscle mass. Testosterone deficiency, which becomes more common with age, is linked not only to decreased libido but also to a number of medical problems, including metabolic syndrome. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, also called ‘fatty liver’, commonly occurs with metabolic syndrome and may aggravate problems. The ingredients in Herbal Ignite help counter this.5,6,7

Intense Detox Tonic encourages liver balance and cleanses the liver, especially after alcohol consumption. It also helps keeps bowels regular and reduces bloating by alkalising the body. It helps keep bowels regular, prevents bloating and alkalises the body for healthy digestion. It also removes contaminants from the body.

Turmeric is a herb that has been used for medicinal purposes for over 4,000 years in countries such as India and China. It has been shown to support liver function and repair damage from fatty liver disease. It also improves liver detoxification, protects against free radical damage and stimulates the liver enzymes that flush out toxins.8,9

Herbal Ignite has been used successfully by thousands of men and women in New Zealand and Australia to help beat stress and fatigue, boost libido and sexual satisfaction. It is 100% natural and free of unpleasant side effects. It is made in New Zealand to the highest standards, with thorough testing and guarantees of no adulteration or undeclared ingredients.

 

Disclaimer. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and does not substitute for the advice provided by your medical professional. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.

 

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1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/liver-problems/symptoms-causes/syc-20374502

2. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/liver

3. https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/l/liver-disease/

4. https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/health-wellness/

5. https://www.renalandurologynews.com/reproductive-medicine/testosterone-treatment-may-have-non-sexual-benefits/article/149224/

6. https://www.journal-of-hepatology.eu/article/S0168-8278(16)30269-0/abstract

7. https://www.healio.com/hepatology/cirrhosis-liver-failure/news/online/%7B9591edd8-168c-4ed1-b774-ad1422f3bac3%7D/testosterone-therapy-increases-muscle-mass-in-men-with-cirrhosis

8. https://www.medicaldaily.com/turmeric-can-treat-liver-disease-233928

9. https://www.livestrong.com/article/442134-how-does-turmeric-damage-the-liver/

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