The largest internal organ in our body is the Liver. The liver carries out more than 500 functions in our body of which some of the important functions are:
- Storage of Nutrients
- Elimination of toxins
Given the enormity of functions that the liver is responsible for, the possibility of health issues arising is numerous, thereby giving reasons for liver damage. When we speak of liver damage, the most common damage known even to the layman is damage caused by alcohol. Additionally, there are 9 other reasons why liver damage occurs. They include:
- Alternative Medicine: Inappropriate and overuse of alternative medications (such as herbal remedies), to avoid the side-effects of allopathic medications, can harm the liver.
- Chemotherapy: The side effects of the drugs associated with Chemotherapy can cause liver damage.
- Cigarette Smoking: Though smoking cigarettes do not directly impact the liver, the harmful chemicals present in the cigarette smoke, create oxidative stress in the system, after it reaches the liver, causing irreversible damage to the liver cells.
- Diabetes: The risk of liver disease occurring in diabetic patients is 50%. Due to insulin resistance, high levels of insulin build up in the blood of diabetic patients, triggering abdominal weight gain. In turn, this causes the liver to store fat, which leads to fatty liver disease.
- Excessive intake of Salt: It is well known that high consumptions of salt can cause high blood pressure. High intake of salt causes a buildup of fluids in the liver, causing it to swell and consequently cause fatty liver disease.
- Heavy Metals and Pesticides: Adulterated foods, fruits, and vegetables containing pesticides and heavy metals cause damage to the liver, as the toxins in the chemicals get stored in the liver over a lifetime.
- Alcohol: Excessive consumption of alcohol is the commonest cause of liver damage. The liver diverts its attention from its other functions to convert the alcohol into a less toxic form. When the liver absorbs the alcohol, it causes fatty liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver and inflammation.
- Intestinal Infections: Overproduction of the yeast Candida interferes with the detoxification functions of the liver, consequently causing damage.
- Nutritional Supplements: Dietary or nutritional supplements, such as an overdose of Vitamin A, can cause an increase in the production of liver enzymes, which ultimately cause damage to the liver.
- Obesity: Excess amounts of body fat are present in obese people. This fat tends to accumulate around the liver, causing fatty liver disease. Cirrhosis of the liver and liver failure is also associated with obesity.
- Over the Counter Medications: Overuse of over the counter medications such as painkillers, corticosteroids, mood stabilizers and antidepressants are known to cause damage to the liver cells.
- Tuberculosis: When the bacteria causing tuberculosis enter the liver and colonize there, the liver responds by fighting the colonizing bacteria, which leads to the formation of a tumor, called hepatic tuberculosis.
- Viral Hepatitis and Autoimmune Hepatitis: Autoimmune Hepatitis and Viral Hepatitis A, B, C directly attack the liver cells, causing inflammation. Untreated, this can cause cirrhosis of the liver and gradually end in liver failure.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the answer to maintaining a healthy liver. Visit our website.