Down on Liver Health

You probably know a lot about the heart and brain, but you might be surprised by these facts about another equally crucial organ.

Your liver performs 500 vital functions to keep us alive.

It processes what we eat, drink, breathe and put on our skin. It cleans our blood, keeps our glucose, hormones, cholesterol, vitamins and minerals at the right levels, and produces bile to rid the body of toxins and aid in digestion.

The liver also helps fight infections and gives us energy. Impressive, huh?

Liver disease is on the rise.

Compared to other major illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer, deaths from liver disease have soared, rising 400% since 1970. Most cases are preventable, according to the British Liver Trust.

Liver disease isn’t just caused by drinking.

The fact that many people associate liver disease with alcoholism has led to stigma. But, in fact, one in five people drink in a way that could harm them.

In fact, in addition to regularly drinking too much alcohol, the main causes are obesity and viral hepatitis.

There are at least 100 forms of liver disease in the UK.

Some of the most common are alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (caused by being significantly overweight, which can lead to fatty buildup around the liver), hepatitis (there are several different types) and hepatic steatosis. Cancer.

Most cases of liver cancer occur in people who already have liver disease.

Whatever the initial cause of the disease, inflammation leading to scar tissue is the end result.

This buildup of scar tissue is called cirrhosis. Liver cancer is more common in people with cirrhosis.

What is good for the heart is good for the liver.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help prevent liver disease, including following recommended guidelines. There is evidence that losing ten percent of your body weight can improve liver function in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Vaccines are available against hepatitis A, which is often contracted through contaminated food or drink, or against hepatitis B, which can be transmitted through unprotected sex or injection drug use.

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