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Optimal liver function

Optimal liver function

Every adult should have an annual liver function functino test, which Ilver especially important if you have lliver risk factors. Digestive enzyme research can injure liver cells. Saturated fats are found in deep fried foods, red meats and dairy products. It is highly associated with liver and bile duct cancer. Association between dietary raw garlic intake and newly diagnosed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a population-based study.

Optimal liver function -

Obesity, particularly, abdominal or central obesity, is a major risk factor for developing fatty liver disease. Together with a balanced diet and regular exercise, a healthy weight can be achieved and maintained. Aim for the ideal body mass index BMI target. The healthy cut-off values recommended for Singaporeans are between Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, both viral liver infections.

Hepatitis A is contracted from contaminated food and water- avoid raw or contaminated seafood or shellfish. Hepatitis B can be contracted through sexual contact, contaminated blood and needles. If you choose not to get vaccinated against hepatitis B, practice safer sex.

Talk to your family doctor about these vaccinations. Some of these over-the-counter traditional medicines or remedies contain heavy metals or unknown toxins. They can result in liver toxicity or they can stress and affect the regular functioning of your liver.

Over-supplementation of traditional medicine may cause liver inflammation and can lead to irreversible liver damage or even failure. Please consult your liver specialist prior to consumption if in doubt. Over-the-counter weight loss pills which are available without a prescription may contain toxins and ingredients which can be harmful to the liver such as:.

Fad diets that make your weight swing up and down aggressively put excessive stress on your liver. Be careful of any diet that promises large amounts of weight loss in an unrealistically short period. These diets are usually lacking in essential nutrients and are not beneficial but harmful to your liver.

Take care in consuming liver cleansing and detox diets. Contrary to popular belief, no particular diet is proven to be liver cleansing.

Please ask your doctor or dietitian to help you create a healthy diet. Hepatitis C has no vaccine available currently. Hepatitis C can be transmitted sexually or if there is a chance of blood-to-blood contact. Practice safe sex and avoid unnecessary sharing of toothbrushes, razors, needles and other personal care items — these can also transmit hepatitis B or C.

If you are a Hepatitis B or C carrier, consult your doctor for a screening program to detect problems early. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol form a metabolic syndrome with obesity, posing major risks for fatty liver disease.

Please keep regular follow-ups with your family doctor. Some anti-cholesterol medicines can occasionally have a side effect that causes liver problems. Some medicines can hurt your liver if you drink alcohol when you take them, or if you take many drugs in combination. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your medications if in doubt.

There are some studies that link cigarette smoking with the development of liver cancer. Smoking can also enhance the toxic effects that some medications such as paracetamol have on the liver.

Please do not disregard the professional advice of your physician. Font size. News Video. Set font size. Digestive System.

The Department of Hepato-pancreato-biliary and Transplant Surgery at Singapore General Hospital shares more tips for a healthy liver. Total Shares. Continued from previous page. Limit your alcohol intake and drink in moderation Our liver can only process or break down a small amount of alcohol every hour.

A standard drink is equivalent to: one ordinary beer one small glass of wine or a small shot of whiskey Regular exercise and have an active lifestyle Regular exercise is key to a healthy liver. Have a balanced and healthy diet: Less fatty foods and more fibre High levels of fat in the blood hyperlipidaemia and high levels of cholesterol hypercholesterolaemia are common causes of fatty liver disease.

Watch your body weight Obesity, particularly, abdominal or central obesity, is a major risk factor for developing fatty liver disease. Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol®, one of the most popular over-the-counter pain relievers.

It is used in a variety of conditions to relieve headaches, muscle and joint pain, pain during menstruation, and to reduce fever. Many people may not realize that aside from Tylenol® there are more than other products that contain acetaminophen including many over-the-counter cough and cold products, and some muscle relaxants.

All drugs, even over-the-counter ones, have potentially harmful side effects. Since many drugs medications, including acetaminophen, have to be processed by the liver, people with liver disease have to be especially careful about what and how much medication they take.

Accidental acetaminophen overdoses are responsible for many hospital admissions, and overdose can lead to death both in children and adults. It is therefore vital that you take whatever steps possible to reduce this risk. Here is some valuable advice:. It is very important to speak to your doctor about the risks and benefits of all medications before making the decision to take them.

Alcohol Consumption. When you have a glass of wine, beer, or other liquor, your liver is responsible for processing this alcohol and detoxifying your blood. Breaking down alcohol is only one of more than vital functions performed by your liver.

This means it can only handle so much alcohol at once. The consequences of this abuse may be the destruction of liver cells, a build-up of fat deposits in your liver fatty liver , or more seriously, liver inflammation alcoholic hepatitis , permanent scarring cirrhosis and even liver cancer.

The following are some tips to consider when deciding whether you should have that first drink or order the next round:. Body Beautification. Body art, piercings, painted nails and toes are all forms of self-expression. They may serve as a memento to mark a special occasion, a way of symbolizing what you value or just a spontaneous self-indulgent splurge.

Whatever the motivation behind them, these body beautification rituals all carry a degree of risk if not done correctly. Inadequately sterilized tools, reused needles or contaminated inks could expose you to hepatitis B or C — two blood-borne viruses that can cause severe and potentially fatal liver disease.

To help ensure that a decorated body is the only thing you walk away with, here are a few simple steps you can take:. Here are some additional points to inquire about before and during your visit to a spa, tattoo shop, or other location that provides body beautification services.

Protecting your liver while travelling can be as easy as taking some preventative steps before you leave home and following a few simple precautions while you are away. Before your trip 3 months prior to departure. Before you get involved in any kind of sexual activity, it is important to know the risks and how to protect both you and your partner.

Hepatitis is a liver disease that can be transmitted sexually. The most common forms are hepatitis A, B and C. Hepatitis A. How can it be transmitted sexually? Hepatitis A is not usually transmitted through sexual activity. How can I protect myself and my partner? Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is significantly more infectious than AIDS and carries a high risk of sexual transmission.

Exposure to blood, semen, vaginal discharge or other bodily fluids during sex can put you at risk of contracting hepatitis B. Hepatitis B vaccines are available and are given in three doses over a period of six months.

Hepatitis C. The risk of contracting hepatitis C through sex is very low. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C so the best approach is to adopt safer sex practices and take precautions to avoid any accidental contact with blood.

Chemicals in the Home. Not only does your liver metabolize what goes in your body, but it also metabolizes what goes on your body. This includes inhaling, ingesting, or simply coming into physical contact with chemical cleaning agents.

Today, it is the key ingredient of many alternative cleaning recipes. Soap biodegrades safely and completely, and is non-toxic. Make sure that you use soap without synthetic scents, colours or other additives.

Washing soda should not be used on aluminum. Want your home to smell clean and fresh? Try the all-natural air purifiers — house plants. Or try these natural solutions to diminish odour and add a fragrant smell to your house:.

References: Basic Ingredients for Green Cleaning. Greenpeace Canada. Greening up your spring cleaning. CBC News, April Breathe Easy with Natural Air Fresheners. Simple Earth Media. Food and Drink. It helps power your body by storing and releasing energy when you need it.

Your liver plays a key role in converting food into the chemicals essential for life and it is therefore important to make food choices that optimize liver health. Your liver cares about everything you eat and drink, every single day.

Too much sugar and saturated fat in your diet can have a similar effect as too much alcohol — fat build-up in the liver.

When it is full of fat, the liver cannot perform all of its functions, and it can become progressively more damaged to the point of developing cirrhosis and even cancer.

If you want a healthy liver, the best strategy is to make healthier choices on a daily basis. This is exciting news for Canadians. Emerging as important concepts within the new food Guidelines are a renewed focus on plant-based foods, lower intakes of processed foods that contain higher levels of sugar, a background on saturated fat intake, and a less direct emphasis on dairy products.

What does this mean for Canadians living with liver disease? Click here to read more. What is sodium? Sodium is a mineral that is required for maintaining blood pressure and a normal fluid balance in the body and transmitting nerve impulses. Is sodium the same as salt?

Table salt sodium chloride is the most common form of sodium. Others include sodium bicarbonate baking soda , sodium benzoate preservative , sodium cyclamate sweetener and sodium nitrate preservative.

How much sodium is in table salt? Table salt is about 40 per cent sodium. One teaspoon of salt contains approximately milligrams mg of sodium. Most Canadians consume far more sodium than is needed. The recommended amount per day is between mg considered adequate intake and mg upper amount for people 9 years of age.

For people over 50 years of age, an adequate intake drops to mg per day until 70 and then mg over 70 years of age. However, the average daily intake in the Canadian diet is about mg of sodium, although many Canadians eat well in excess of mg per day.

Can I get too much sodium? The higher your sodium intake, the greater risk you are at for high blood pressure and stroke. If high blood pressure is already present, a high sodium intake may make it worse. High blood pressure is a health risk associated with heart and kidney disease.

It is a good idea to have your blood pressure checked regularly by a health care provider. Often an individual can be unaware of having high blood pressure. How does sodium relate to my liver disease?

As the function of the liver deteriorates, fewer proteins such as albumin are produced, resulting in an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity known as ascites and in the legs and feet, known as edema. Both conditions result from an abnormal accumulation of sodium associated with portal hypertension and liver disease.

Patients with ascites should restrict their sodium intake to no more than mg per day. Do I have to avoid all salty foods? Not necessarily all the time. However, if you want to lower your sodium intake to meet current recommendations, you should avoid eating salty foods on a daily basis.

Your physician will advise you as to whether or not you need to restrict your sodium intake. Learning to read food labels to check the sodium level per serving will help you to compare foods for sodium content and to make food choices with lower sodium content. Always taste before salting!

This usually means you will use less salt. Try this test. Place wax paper or foil over a plate and pretend you are salting a meal. Measure the salt. One teaspoon contains about mg of sodium. Add less salt when you prepare and cook food! Try adding less salt to your food for example, when cooking vegetables, pasta, soups and stews.

Reduce the salt in recipes! Your taste for salt is a learned taste that can be unlearned. Gradually reduce the salt in recipes so your taste for salt can adjust more easily. The salt in most recipes can be halved with no effect on the product.

Experiment with other flavourings! Lemon and vinegar are natural flavour enhancers that are low in sodium. Plan ahead to reduce your reliance on high sodium convenience foods! The same food made from scratch has less sodium added and tends to be less expensive.

Be aware of the sodium content of the food you eat! Read the list of ingredients on labels for other sodium-containing compounds in addition to salt such as: monosodium glutamate MSG , sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate and sodium bicarbonate.

Should pregnant women cut down on salt? Sodium used to be restricted in pregnancy because it was thought this would help reduce fluid retention. However, it is now known that a certain amount of fluid retention is part of having a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Therefore sodium restriction is NOT recommended in pregnancy. If you think you use a lot of salt, it would be a good idea to discuss this with your physician.

Choose your food wisely The following table shows some interesting differences in the sodium content of some foods. Try to get in the habit of considering the sodium content of the meal as a whole. Ask yourself if there is a lower-sodium alternative. For example, if you use canned instead of fresh tomatoes in a recipe, you could add less salt than called for by the recipe.

Fresh or frozen corn would be a lower-sodium alternative to canned or creamed corn and would thus be a better accompaniment to high-sodium meat such as ham. Does the sodium content of the water supply vary? The sodium content of the water supply varies from one area to another.

Some bottled water has sodium compounds added as well. Check the ingredients on the bottle. However, the level of sodium may not be listed. What about softened water? Hard water contains a lot of calcium and magnesium.

A water softener replaces these minerals with sodium. Softened water, therefore, contains more sodium. If you have a softened water supply in your home, the taps from which you take your drinking water should not be hooked up to the softener.

Some quick tips to help reduce the sodium in your diet:. Resources: www. com , www. Diet is an important part of managing fatty liver and other liver diseases.

Maitreyi Raman, Angela Sirounis and Jennifer Shroubsole. Country Lentil Soup Thai Turkey Stir-Fry Teriyaki Halibut Vegetarian Chili Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Cheese Filling. Check out this helpful resource for additional information about liver-healthy food and drink: Choose This, Not That also available in French and Chinese.

Maitreyi Raman, Jennifer Shrubsole, Angela Sirounis © Robert Rose Inc. May not be reprinted without publisher permission. Liver disease can often be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can be vague and easily confused with other health problems.

In some cases, a person may have no symptoms at all yet his or her liver may already have suffered significant damage. The good news is that many liver diseases can be prevented, managed or in some cases even cured, but early identification is critical so it is important that you ask your doctor for a liver test.

Liver tests are blood tests used to help determine the health of your liver and your bile ducts. Liver tests are used to guide your healthcare provider, along with your history and physical examination, in the diagnosis and management of your liver disease. These tests measure the levels of certain enzymes and proteins in your blood, how well the liver is performing its functions, or measure enzymes that liver cells release in response to damage or disease.

Your healthcare provider will be able explain your results and what they mean. Alanine Aminotransferase ALT and Aspartate Aminotransferase AST These are liver enzymes normally found in liver cells that leak out of these cells and make their way to the blood when liver cells are injured.

The ALT is considered to be a more specific indicator of liver inflammation as AST is also found in other organs such as the heart and muscles. In acute injury to the liver, as in viral hepatitis, the level of the ALT and AST may be used as a general measure of the degree of liver inflammation or damage.

In chronic liver disease, this is not the case, for these enzymes may be entirely within the normal range even in the presence of cirrhosis liver scarring. Alkaline Phosphatase This is the most frequently used test to detect blockage obstruction in the biliary system.

Elevation of this enzyme may be found in a large number of disorders such as gallstone disease, alcohol-related liver disease, drug-induced inflammation of the liver, primary biliary cholangitis PBC , and biliary tumors.

Although this enzyme is found both in the liver and bile, and leaks into the bloodstream in a manner similar to that described for the ALT and AST, alkaline phosphatase is also found in other organs such as bone, placenta, and intestine. Bilirubin Test Bilirubin is a pigment formed primarily from the breakdown of a substance called heme found in red blood cells.

It is taken up from the blood, processed, and then secreted into the bile by the liver. A damaged liver cannot process bilirubin properly which leads to high level of this pigment in the blood.

Albumin Test Albumin is the main protein which is made by the liver. Although there are many factors which can affect the level of albumin circulating in the blood, chronic liver disease causes a decrease in the amount of albumin produced, and therefore the level of albumin in the blood is reduced.

Blood clotting factors are proteins made by the liver. When the liver is injured, these proteins are not produced normally.

Highly specialized tests may be used to indicate more specifically the presence of certain liver diseases. For example:. To learn more about disease-specific tests, please visit our Liver Diseases section.

Liver biopsy is a diagnostic procedure used to obtain a small amount of liver tissue, which can be examined under a microscope to determine what is causing the liver disease and the degree of fibrosis scarring of the liver.

Read more:. The most common way a liver sample is obtained is by inserting a needle into the liver for a fraction of a second. This can be done in the hospital, and the patient may be sent home within two to three hours if there are no complications.

The physician determines the best site, depth, and angle of the needle puncture by physical examination or by having an ultrasound mark the appropriate spot. The skin and area under the skin are anesthetized, and a needle is passed quickly into and out of the liver.

Approximately half of individuals have no pain afterwards, while another half will experience brief localized pain that may spread to the right shoulder. Another common technique used for liver biopsy is guiding the needle into the liver through the abdomen under direct guidance by imaging techniques.

After this procedure, the patient is usually allowed to go home the same day. Liver biopsies performed under direct radiologic guidance depend on availability and pattern of practice at the local hospital.

Less commonly used biopsy techniques include those that are performed during laparoscopy usually when laparoscopy is performed for other reasons , transvenous or transjugular liver biopsies, and during open surgical procedures performed for other reasons. With laparoscopy , a lighted, narrow tubular instrument is inserted through a small incision in the abdominal wall.

The internal organs are moved away from the abdominal wall by gas that is introduced into the abdomen. Instruments may be passed through this lighted instrument or through separate puncture sites to obtain tissue samples from several different areas of the liver.

Patients who undergo this procedure may be discharged several hours later. Transvenous or transjugular liver biopsy may be performed by an interventional radiologist in special circumstances, usually when the patient has a significant problem with blood clotting coagulopathy. With this procedure, a small tube is inserted into the internal jugular vein in the neck and radiologically guided into the hepatic vein, which drains the liver.

A small biopsy needle is then inserted through the tube and directly into the liver to obtain a sample of tissue.

Finally, liver biopsy may be done at the time a patient undergoes an open abdominal operation, enabling the surgeon to inspect the liver and take one or more biopsy samples as needed. Liver biopsy is often used to diagnose the cause of chronic liver disease that results in elevated liver tests or an enlarged liver.

If the diagnosis is known, such as hepatitis C, then the main reason for a liver biopsy is to determine whether the patient has a progressive disease. In many cases, the specific cause of the chronic liver disease can be established on the basis of blood tests, but a liver biopsy is used to confirm the diagnosis and to determine the amount of damage to the liver.

Liver biopsy is also used after liver transplantation to determine the cause of elevated liver tests and determine if rejection is present. The primary risk of liver biopsy is bleeding from the site of needle entry into the liver, although this occurs in less than one per cent of patients.

Other possible complications include the puncture of other organs, such as the kidney, lung or colon. A liver biopsy procedure that damages the gallbladder by mistake may lead to leakage of bile into the abdominal cavity, causing peritonitis.

Fortunately, the risk of death from liver biopsy is extremely low, with a mortality of 1 in 5, In order to reduce the risk of bleeding, the coagulation status is assessed in all patients prior to a biopsy. If the prothrombin coagulating time is too slow or the platelet count is low, a standard biopsy is not recommended.

Vitamin K or fresh frozen plasma may be used to correct clotting abnormalities in such patients. Another alternative in this situation would be a transjugular biopsy.

The primary alternative to liver biopsy is to make the diagnosis of a liver disease based on the physical examination of the patient, medical history, and blood testing. In some cases, blood testing is quite accurate in giving the doctor the information to diagnose chronic liver disease, while in other circumstances a liver biopsy is needed to assure an accurate diagnosis.

FibroScan FS is a completely non-invasive diagnostic instrument to measure fibrosis scarring of the liver of the liver. FS is based on the premise that as the liver becomes more fibrotic, the tissue density increases and the liver becomes less elastic.

FS is easier to perform, safer and less expensive in comparison to a liver biopsy. Measurements with the FS can be taken at multiple locations of the liver whereas a liver biopsy tissue sample is taken from one location in the liver. Liver biopsies are usually not recommended to diagnose liver cancer except on rare occasions when a diagnosis is not clear.

Typically, liver cancer is diagnosed by using a CT scan or an MRI. A biopsy of a liver cancer has a small but real risk of having some cancer cells follow the pathway of the needle and spread outside of the liver. In most circumstances, a liver biopsy is only performed once to confirm a suspected diagnosis of chronic liver disease.

Occasionally, liver biopsy is repeated if the clinical condition changes or to assess the results of medical therapy, such as drug treatment of chronic viral hepatitis or autoimmune hepatitis. Patients who have undergone liver transplantation often require numerous liver biopsies in the early weeks to months following the surgery to allow accurate diagnosis of whether the new liver is being rejected or whether other problems have developed.

If you do not have a family physician, try going to a walk-in clinic to see if they are able to take you on as a patient. You can also talk to friends, family and neighbours in your community to see if they can recommend any doctors in the area so you can contact them to see if they are taking new patients.

They may also be able to direct you to an established physician who is taking on new patients. Another source of information and guidance on finding a physician is your provincial medical association.

In most provinces and territories, the Ministry of Health or a provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons offers an online directory of physicians, often sorted by location and specialty.

Your liver is more Exercise for bones to your health than you might Digestive enzyme research. Livef you know Liverr issues Optimal liver function nearly one in three Americans? This organ does a funnction, like getting rid of toxins and helping with digestion. But today's lifestyle and eating habits can put it under stress. If you're looking for natural ways to keep your liver healthy, functional medicine could be the answer. This approach goes beyond just treating symptoms; it aims to find and fix the root causes of health issues. Your liver does a Optimal liver function for you. It's the largest internal organ in your body Optimal liver function Otpimal out more than essential tasks Foods with rapid glucose absorption keep you lvier. It not funcion plays a central role in your metabolism, it also supports your immune system, stores vitamins and minerals, filters your blood, and produces proteins that help your blood clot. But while your liver is doing all this to take care of you, what are you doing to take care of it? How do you keep your liver healthy? Optimal liver function

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