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World Liver Day 2022: Dietary recommendations and preventive measures for a healthy liver.

Did you know that herbal medicines like green tea extracts, Aloe Vera, and other similar cures should be used with caution because some of them have been linked to serious liver damage? Check out these doctor-recommended food suggestions, preventive measures, and lifestyle modifications to keep your liver healthy.

The liver has been credited with over 500 functions to date, ranging from the processing of all that we consume, whether it be food, alcohol, drugs, or poisons, to the handling of toxic materials produced in the body and harmful substances absorbed by the intestines, and scientists believe that more will be discovered over time. Here are some preventive steps and lifestyle adjustments to promote optimal liver health as we celebrate World Liver Day on April 19 to raise awareness about liver illnesses.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Tehsin A Petiwala, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Hepatologist, and Endoscopist at Masina Hospital, described development to persistent liver disease, also known as cirrhosis, as the final and irreversible stage. "Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a leading cause of cirrhosis, can be avoided with easy lifestyle changes," he said. Excess liver fat, as well as general body fat, can be reduced through exercise and weight loss. High-calorie foods, saturated fat, refined carbs (such white bread, maida flour products, and pasta), and sweets should all be avoided. These aid in the reduction of fat deposition in the liver. In diabetics, rigorous blood sugar control inhibits fat deposition in the liver."

"Alcohol consumption is known to damage the liver and produce cirrhosis," he continued. As a result, it's recommended to stay away from it. Hepatitis B and C viruses can potentially cause cirrhosis. The key to preventing the progression of liver disease is early detection and treatment. Hepatitis C can be entirely cured, whereas Hepatitis B requires lifetime care. Hepatitis B can also be prevented with vaccination, which is included in the National Immunization Program."

"Herbal therapies like green tea extracts, Aloe Vera, etc. should be taken with caution as some of them have been known to cause substantial liver damage," Dr Tehsin A Petiwala cautioned, adding, "Over-the-counter drugs like painkillers should be avoided as they might cause liver damage." Coffee use of one to two cups per day has been demonstrated to slow the progression of liver damage."

Dr. Sonukumar Puri, MD Physician at Jain Multispecialty Hospital, added to the list by sharing some techniques to keep the liver healthy. These are some of them:

1. Limit your alcohol consumption. It can harm liver cells and cause swelling or scarring, which can develop to cirrhosis, that can be fatal.

2. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. You'll maintain a healthy weight, which will help you avoid nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which can develop to cirrhosis.

3. Some medicines and drugs, such as the pain reliever acetaminophen or sulpha drugs, can have a side effect that causes liver problems.

4. Viral hepatitis is a life-threatening disease that affects the liver. Hepatitis A is caught by eating or drinking water contaminated with the virus that causes the disease. If you're going to a section of the world where there are outbreaks, you can receive a vaccine.

5. Hepatitis B and C are transmitted through the bloodstream and bodily fluids. Don't share toothbrushes, razors, or needles to reduce your risk. Keep your sex partners to a minimum and always use latex condoms.

6. Vaccinate yourself. Hepatitis A and B are both vaccine-preventable diseases.

7. Chemicals in some cleaning products, aerosols, and insecticides can harm your liver. Keep a safe distance from them.

8. Avoid smoking since the additives in cigarettes can harm your liver.

9. Stress is harmful to the liver. So, every 2-3 months, set aside time to relax and unwind to avoid succumbing to stress. You may do whatever that makes you feel good from the inside out, from traveling to joining up for Zumba classes or taking up a part-time hobby. Just make sure you're never in a stressful situation.

10. Limit your intake of high-calorie foods, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, and regular pasta), and sugars.

11. Shellfish should never be eaten uncooked or undercooked. Fiber, which may be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, grains, and cereals, is essential for a well-balanced diet. Eat meat (but not too much red meat), dairy (low-fat milk and modest amounts of cheese), and fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like those found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish).

12. Drink plenty of water because hydration is crucial.


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