Your liver is an important organ that has many functions.
It helps your body process fats, filters out toxins, and produces bile which breaks down food.
But over time, you may damage your liver without realizing it.
So let’s learn some everyday habits that will damage your liver.
1. Drinking too much alcohol
You may think that a few drinks here and there won’t hurt you.
But heavy drinking can lead to inflammation of the liver or even scarring of the liver, which is known as cirrhosis.
According to NHS, when your liver filters alcohol, some cells will die.
But the good thing is that your liver can make new cells each time it does this.
However, if you drink large amounts of alcohol over many years, your liver may no longer be able to create new cells and will be damaged.
Heavy drinking can also lead to cancer of the liver.
Long story short, drinking too much alcohol can seriously damage your liver.
So it is best to avoid alcohol or limit your alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks a day.
2. Drinking too much soda and energy drinks
Are you a fan of soda or energy drinks?
You may want to think twice about your favorite drink.
As per studies review, drinking one or more sugary sodas a day has been linked to an increased risk of fatty liver disease, a condition that’s often caused by obesity.
And as you know, obesity is also one of the risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the most common type of liver cancer.
If you want your liver to stay healthy, cut down on sugary drinks and consume more water or unsweetened tea instead.
3. Taking painkillers on a regular basis
Painkillers are often abused by people who want relief from chronic pain.
But if you take painkillers on a regular basis, it can overload your liver.
In fact, MedlinePlus reported that over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen could lead to liver injury.
“But when it comes to liver injury, diclofenac is the highest risk,” says Dr. Sharon Orrange, MD, MPH.
Also, ibuprofen and naproxen can lead to liver injury if you take them continuously for a long time.
The bottom line here is that if you take painkillers on a regular basis, it will harm your liver.
So you should only take painkillers when you are in severe pain and talk to your doctor first about the appropriate dosage.
You can also use other methods to reduce pain, such as exercise, yoga, and meditation.
This will help you to take fewer painkillers.
In that way, you can help protect your liver from damage.
4. Eating too much fast food
Another common habit that will damage your liver is eating too much fast food.
This includes foods like burgers, fries, and pizza.
These foods are high in trans fats, sodium, and cholesterol which can lead to obesity.
… And obesity can lead to fatty liver disease.
Believe it or not:
There’s a lot of evidence that a fast-food diet, which is high in fat and sugar, can damage your liver and have serious effects on your health, says Brent Tetri, M.D., an internal medicine professor at Saint Louis University.
A study proves that eating fast food may increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Therefore it is best to avoid eating these types of foods as often as you can.
Instead, you should eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources like poultry or fish, and healthy fats such as olive oil.
5. Smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products.
One practice that can harm your liver is smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products.
Generally, smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, including the liver.
It also leads to inflammation of the liver and increases the risk of liver disease.
According to scientists, heavy smoking is a major cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which are two very serious types of liver damage.
Moreover, smoking also increases your risk of liver cancer.
So if you want to protect your liver, it is best to avoid smoking or using tobacco products.
If you can’t quit, try to smoke less.
6. Lack of exercise
When you don’t exercise, your body doesn’t get the chance to burn off excess fat.
Excess weight can cause fatty liver disease, which can lead to liver scarring and a loss of function.
Even if you don’t have weight to lose, regular exercise helps your body process toxins more efficiently.
In addition, exercising stimulates proteins that protect the cells in your liver from damage.
Therefore, if you want a healthy liver, try exercising at least 30 minutes a day for five days a week.
7. Lack of sleep
It’s no secret that the liver processes most toxins when you are sleeping, so it is important to get enough shut-eye.
If your body isn’t getting the sleep that it requires, it can’t function properly.
This includes the liver’s ability to detoxify the body.
Lack of sleep also leads to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which can damage liver cells.
In addition to that, inadequate sleep can slow down your metabolism and cause you to gain weight.
This, in turn, will put more pressure on your liver.
But that’s not all:
Not getting enough sleep also reduces your immune system’s ability to fight off infections which can cause your liver to become inflamed.
To protect your liver, try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
8. Taking too many vitamins and supplements
You might not know it, but abusing vitamins and certain supplements can cause liver damage.
For instance, “taking high doses of vitamin A supplements can cause liver damage,” says Mayo Clinic.
In other instances, for example, Annie Gilberthrope, a guest on tonight’s episode of Insight, said her doctors told her that she had liver failure because of the excessive use of vitamins and supplements.
So, be sure to speak with your doctor before you take any vitamin or supplement.
After all, it is important that you know what types of products are safe for consumption and which ones aren’t.
In doing so, you can protect yourself from ingesting hazardous chemicals that might damage your liver in the process.
9. Consume too much sugar
Did you know that eating too much sugar can harm your liver?
Sugar is converted to fat when it’s not burned off, and the fat then builds up in the cells of the liver.
This condition is known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which has become more common over time because of our increased consumption of high-sugar products.
In addition, too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes which is another factor that causes liver damage.
If you want to protect your liver from harm, pay attention to how many grams of sugar are in the foods and beverages you consume each day.
Limit yourself to no more than 25–30 grams of sugar daily, and don’t forget to check the labels of all products you eat or drink for their levels of sugar.
There you have it, nine bad habits that can damage your liver.
If you have any of these habits, try to break them as soon as possible to protect your liver from harm.
And, as always, be sure to speak with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Keep on reading: 9 foods that are good for the liver.