The liver is one of the body’s vital organs and is absolutely essential for life. Located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, it has many functions (around 500 different processes according to textbooks!), including detoxification, protein synthesis, and the production of various biochemicals. The liver supports almost every other organ in the body and so the health of the liver is critical to the health of the entire body and there is currently no artificial organ or device capable of emulating all the functions of the liver.
The liver can be damaged by bad habits and the consequences of this can be so serious as to be fatal. However one thing that’s interesting about the liver is that it has the power to regenerate. Get a clean lifestyle and over time it can rebuild and restore. Here are 5 of the most important bad habits that can harm your liver.
1. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
This is one of the most common direct causes of liver damage. Disorders caused by excessive alcohol consumption include alcoholic hepatitis, fatty liver, and cirrhosis. Alcohol is a poison and the excessive load on the liver takes a heavy toll.
2. Poor Diet And Obesity
Poor diet can harm the liver gradually over time as it has to work harder to process the toxins. Also, buildup of fats on the liver can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. For a great start, check out our post How To Make A Liver Cleansing Detox Juice.
3. Overuse Of Medications
Certain medications are notorious for liver damage – particularly paracetamol and drugs used to treat cancer. However many artificial substances are toxic to the liver. In rare cases, acute liver failure and death have been attributed to ibuprofen.
4. Smoking (Tobacco)
Smoking not only harms the lungs but also harms the liver. The numerous toxic substances inhaled in cigarette smoke find their way to the liver and add to the overall toxic load placed on the organ.
5. Not Getting Enough Sleep
A little more surprising – but scientific studies have shown that sleep deprivation predisposes the liver to oxidative stress, which can play an important role in the formation or progression of total sleep deprivation-induced metabolic diseases. Sleep deprivation has also been implicated in numerous other conditions including neurobehavioral, cardiovascular and metabolic morbidity, hypertension, atherosclerosis and insulin resistance.