Your liver is a tenacious, hard working organ. It’s responsible for vital functions that are essential to a healthy life, like making bile, filtering toxins from the body, building protein, and producing all of the biochemicals needed for digestion. And it doesn’t even take a day off! Your liver is quite the trooper.
But as tough as the organ is, it’s not immune to damage and disease. Liver damage occurs fairly gradually over the years. Some of the most common causes of damage are:
- Excess drinking
- Exposure to chemicals
- Overuse of medication
- Iron and copper disorders
- Liver cancer
I don’t recommend trying to self diagnose problems, which is why you should always consult a physician. if you suspect you have a problem with your liver, don’t hesitate. Here are some of the signs to look for:
- General abdominal pain where the liver is located; upper right of the belly under the ribs.
- Fatigue and confusion.
- Blood in the stool, diarrhea or constipation.
- Unusually itchy skin.
- Jaundice, or a yellowing of the eyes.
- Dark yellow urine.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Swollen abdomen or legs
- Bleeding and bruising more easily than normal
- Sex hormone imbalances
Seek medical attention if you feel fatigued or weak and have lost weight suddenly or if you have jaundice, a persistent fever, abdominal pain and vomiting. Don’t mess around with liver disease.
Meanwhile, what can we do to make sure our livers stay healthy? A lot, as it turns out.
- Cut back on your drinking to start with. Limit your alcohol intake.
- Limit your caffeine intake as well
- Quit smoking if you do smoke.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush toxins from the body.
- Drink herbal teas and fruit smoothies. Green tea is especially helpful.
- Eat berries.
- Avoid fatty, processed and junk foods.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Eat more garlic.
- Don’t abuse over the counter or prescription medication! Follow the instructions for dosing.