The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. It is reddish-brown in colour and feels rubbery to the touch.
It has two large sections, called the right and the left lobes. The gallbladder sits under the liver, along with parts of the pancreas and intestines. The liver and these organs work together to digest, absorb, and process food
Tips to keep your liver healthy
1. Watch your alcohol intake
Drinking large amounts, even just for a few days, may cause a build-up of fats known as alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can potentially lead to a life-threatening illness.
For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Heavy or high-risk drinking is defined as more than eight drinks a week for women and more than 15 drinks a week for men.
2. Drink plenty of water
Water plays a crucial role in helping the liver flush toxins out of your system. Not drinking enough will cause the blood to thicken, making it more difficult to filter.
3. Avoid risky behaviour
Get help if you use illicit intravenous drugs, and don’t share needles used to inject drugs. Practice safe sex- always use a condom during sex and avoid multiple partners. If you choose to have tattoos or body piercings, be picky about cleanliness and safety when selecting a shop.
4. 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.
5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Reduce your food portions, intake of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, avoid smoking and exercise on a regular basis.
Regular exercise will boost your overall health, which in turn has a positive effect on liver function. Obesity can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
6. Use medications wisely
Take prescription and nonprescription drugs only when needed and only in recommended doses.
Don’t mix medications and alcohol. Talk to your doctor before mixing herbal supplements or prescription or nonprescription drugs.
7. Avoid contact with other people’s blood and body fluids
Hepatitis viruses can be spread by accidental needle sticks or improper cleanup of blood or body fluids.
8. Protect yourself from harmful chemicals
Toxic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by chemicals. Many chemicals that are intentionally or unintentionally inhaled or consumed can have toxic effects on the liver.
Among these chemicals are drugs, industrial solvents and pollutants. Put on protective wear when spraying insecticides, fungicides, paint and other toxic chemicals. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
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