The Lowdown on Liver Disease

ID-10090284Your liver keeps your body healthy by detoxifying your blood and synthesizing proteins. If your  liver stops functioning properly, the symptoms will palpable: Skin discoloration, abdominal swelling, nausea, dark or bloody urine and fatigue all indicate that something is wrong with the liver—that is, that you are suffering from some type of liver disease. 

Liver disease is an umbrella term for a variety of disorders: Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Cancer, and Gilbert’s syndrome to name just a few. Liver disease can either be hereditary or occur as a result of viral infections or exposure to chemicals over a long period of time. But aside from genetic and environmental factors, there are other habits that can also contribute to the development of liver disease. These include:

  • Smoking: The toxins produced by smoking tobacco poison your liver and cause it to work overtime.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption: Similar to tobacco smoke, alcohol causes your liver to work harder than it should; it must cleanse your blood of high alcohol levels, and over time this can damaging, impeding your body’s overall ability to cleanse toxins.
  • Intravenous drug use: Intravenous drug use both infuses your body with toxins and heightens your risk for contracting liver damaging diseases like hepatitis.
  • Tattoos: Tattoos done with needles that are not properly cleaned can lead to the same problems as intravenous drug use.
  • Unprotected sex: unsafe sex can also lead to contraction of liver diseases like hepatitis.

As you can see, aside from genetic and environmental factors, liver disease can also be caused by other habits related to sex, drugs and alcohol. Staying away from such behaviors will decrease your chances of developing liver disease and increase your quality of life. You can’t control your biological predisposition to contracting liver disease, but you can control the habits that facilitate your consciously putting liver damaging toxins into your body. You only have one liver, and it is important that you treat it well.

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