Your liver is one of the most important organs in your body. It plays a crucial role in filtering out toxins, breaking down drugs and alcohol, producing bile to help digestion, and much more. That’s why it’s important to be aware of any habits that could potentially harm your liver health.
Many factors can affect your liver health, such as genetics or pre-existing conditions. But certain lifestyle habits can also have an impact on its functioning. This article outlines six habits that can potentially damage your liver.
1. Cigarette Smoking
Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco contain chemicals that are toxic to the liver. Generally, studies have shown that cigarette smoking can increase the risk of liver cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, liver cancer, and inflammation in the liver. Even if you smoke only occasionally, it is important to stop as soon as possible because the damage caused by cigarettes cannot be reversed.
2. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol can act as a poison to the liver because it contains toxins that can cause irreversible damage. The overconsumption of alcohol is associated with an increased risk of fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
3. Drinking Less Water
Another habit that can potentially damage your liver is not drinking enough water. Drinking adequate amounts of water is essential for the elimination of toxins from the body. When you do not drink enough water, your liver does not get enough support to break down the toxins and flush them out, leading to a build-up and eventual damage of liver cells.
4. Eating Too Much Processed and Junk Food
A diet high in processed foods, deep-fried foods, and sugary drinks can increase the risk of liver disease. The saturated fats & trans fats present in these foods can lead to obesity or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This causes unhealthy fat accumulation within the liver, which in turn leads to inflammation of the organ and further damage.
5. Overuse of Medications
The overuse of certain medications, both prescription and non-prescription types, can damage the liver. This is particularly true for medications such as painkillers, antibiotics, steroids, or supplements that are taken regularly. These drugs require the liver to work harder to process them properly, and extended use can cause strain and long-term damage to the organ. Therefore, it is important to follow the instructions of your doctor and not exceed the recommended dosage.
6. Practising Unsafe Sex
Having unprotected sex increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as hepatitis B, which can cause severe liver damage. People who engage in high-risk sexual behavior should always remember to use protection and get tested regularly for STDs.
These are some of the habits that can potentially damage your liver health. To keep your liver functioning at its best, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by avoiding these damaging habits and making sure to eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and drink plenty of water. If you suspect that your liver health is not what it should be, it is important to seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner.
Take a look at 8 Early Warning Signs of Liver Damage