Liver disease is an umbrella term for the wide-ranging number of disorders that can affect the liver. Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Cancer, and Gilbert’s syndrome are just a few of the diseases that can hinder your liver’s ability to properly process and regulate the toxins in your body. Liver problems are often hereditary, but they can also occur as a result of viruses and chemicals over a long period of time. Liver problems can be temporary or permanent depending on the ailment.
The liver’s main function is detoxification of the blood and protein synthesis. It is a vital organ as it is responsible for cleansing toxins. Skin discoloration, abdominal swelling, nausea, dark or bloody urine, and fatigue are all signs that something is wrong with the liver and indicate that it is not processing the toxins in your body as it should. Here are some of the risk factors that contribute to the development of these symptoms and the liver diseases that they indicate:
· Smoking: The toxins produced by smoking tobacco make your liver work overtime.
· Excessive alcohol consumption: Similar to tobacco smoke, the liver must cleanse your blood form high alcohol contents, and over time this can damage your liver and impede your body’s 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 that are done with needles that are not properly cleaned can lead to the same problems as intravenous drug use.
· Unprotected sex: not practicing safe sex can also lead to contracting hepatitis.
· Exposure to chemicals and toxins: Chemicals and toxins can invade your body over time, especially if you work in the mining industry or used to work with products that contained led.
As you can see, aside from regular health problems, liver disease risk factors run the gamut of unhealthy habits related to sex, drugs and alcohol. Staying away from addictive behaviors and unhealthy habits will decrease your chances of developing liver disease and help you to keep your body’s system of regulating and cleansing toxins in order so that you can enjoy a higher quality of life. You can’t control your biological predisposition to contracting liver disease, but you can control the habits that facilitate you consciously putting liver damaging toxins into your body. You only have one liver, and it is important that you treat it well.