Many of us aren’t aware of how vital our liver is to our overall health. Well, let me break it down for you. The liver performs over 500 vital jobs for us daily without a break. This includes discarding waste, maintaining blood sugar levels, regulating blood clotting, and more. In short, you can’t live without your liver, so it’s important to protect it in whatever ways you can. For some of us, this may involve paying close attention to our daily habits, which may be causing liver damage.
Soda, soda, and more soda!
While this sugary drink is good for when you want to indulge in a tasty beverage, it isn’t good for much else. The average American drinks an astounding 45 gallons of soda every year or just shy of 400 pounds of soda annually. If you are like the average American, you are at greater risk of developing inflammation, fibrosis, and even cirrhosis.
“…If you are consuming soft drinks on a daily basis, or even worse, multiple times a day, it would be best to cut that down to limited quantities, as moderation is the best approach,” Dr. Anthony Puopolo, the Chief Medical Officer at RexMD and a board-certified physician tells Eat This, Not That!
Too many supplements
We get it, “health is wealth”, but sometimes taking unnecessary supplements may be causing us more harm than good. In fact, “large amounts of unnecessary supplements can place the liver in undue stress,” according to Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD.
“…I recommend only taking those vitamins and supplements that have been deemed necessary by your healthcare provider. This is primarily due to the strain that herbal supplements and remedies can place on the liver and kidneys,” Best shares.
Overusing over-the-counter medications
When you’re in pain, the only thing that is on your mind is getting the pain to stop. And while over-the-counter medications may be good for stopping the pain in the moment, they may be causing you long-term damage.
“Consuming too much of the liver-damaging drug acetaminophen a.k.a. Tylenol, in particular, is one of the fastest ways to permanently inflict liver failure on yourself. The danger here is that people often think that the lack of prescription instructions is an invitation to just take any OTC medication as much as they want when, in truth, the liver can be damaged regardless of what drugs are overconsumed. If taking medications is necessary, be sure to consult your physician and read the medicine’s package insert about the dosage and frequency at all times,” Christine Kingsley, a US Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and the Health and Wellness Director of Lung Institute, advises.
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Are you getting your nutrients? According to Kingsley, “medical health professionals [push healthy eating habits] for a reason, and it’s because the liver can only take on so much.”
So what exactly happens when we eat unhealthy? Our liver ends up in a never-ending position of