Liver disease is damage caused to the liver by varying factors. In Nigeria, the leading cause is related to hepatitis B infection. Other causes are often related to excess alcohol use and obesity. Liver disease can be quite fatal when advanced. As with most things health related, its prevention is better than cure. Adopt the following lifestyle recommendations to leave your liver living long.
1. Avoid alcohol
Avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol directly damages the liver especially in large quantities. If you must drink, limit your intake to the recommended amounts.
- Men should drink no more than 21 units of alcohol per week, no more than four units in any one day, and have at least two alcohol-free days a week.
- Women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, no more than three units in any one day, and have at least two alcohol-free days a week.
Note – A unit of alcohol roughly equates to: 1/2 a pint of beer, one standard shot glass or one standard wine glass.
2. Eat a healthy diet Eating a good healthy diet is important in taking care of your liver. Avoid excess fats and oils and keep your weight in check to reduce your risk of fatty liver disease. If you already have liver disease, talk to your health care professional about specific diet recommendations that may include limiting proteins and salt.
Hepatitis B and C are leading causes of liver disease. They are often contracted through risky behaviors such as unprotected sex and sharing of used needles. Always protect yourself with new partners and get yourselves tested and vaccinated for hepatitis. Seek help with overcoming drug addictions if this is a problem. If needles are used for tattooing or drugs, ensure they are not shared between people.
4. Exercise regularly Regular exercise has been shown to be beneficial for your liver and general well being. Exercise helps you burn fat and reduces the risk and effects of fatty liver disease. It also elevates your mood and gives you more energy. If you have liver disease, consult with your health professional before undertaking an exercise programme. Please share this article with friends and family. Read our other article on what to track to detect liver cancer in hepatitis B. If you have hepatitis, become a member of Wella Health to get help tracking important liver functions.