13 Crucial Tips to Prevent Liver Disease

Abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin and eyes, and fatigue! Ring any bells? If you can relate, you are looking at the initial symptoms of liver disease.  
Your liver is a vital organ; its job is to cleanse your body of all toxins, produce bile to aid digestion, make fresh blood, and purify it. If there’s something wrong with the liver, it cannot function optimally. 
Understanding different types of liver diseases and their signs, symptoms, and causes is necessary. Moreover, let’s discuss some care tips and prevention plans to ensure your liver stays healthy for a long time. 

9 Different Types of Liver Disease
Liver damage comes in many forms. Let’s look at some of the more prevalent diseases that damage the liver: 
Alcoholic Liver Disease
It is a condition caused by excessive alcohol consumption over a prolonged period, leading to liver damage. Symptoms may include jaundice, abdominal pain, and swelling. 
The liver’s ability to function is compromised, impacting its crucial roles in metabolism and detoxification.
Fatty Liver Disease
In this disease, fat accumulates in liver cells. It can occur due to obesity, diabetes, or excessive alcohol intake. Fatty liver symptoms include fatigue, abdominal discomfort, and potential liver inflammation. 
It is usually asymptomatic and progresses to more severe conditions. 
Autoimmune Liver Disease
This disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks liver cells, leading to inflammation and damage. 
This category includes diseases like autoimmune hepatitis, where symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, and jaundice may manifest.
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
It is a chronic liver disease where the bile ducts become inflamed and damaged, affecting bile flow. 
Symptoms include fatigue, itching, and, eventually, complications like liver cirrhosis.
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
It is another chronic disease affecting the bile ducts, causing inflammation and scarring. Over time, it may lead to liver damage and symptoms such as fatigue, itching, and abdominal pain.
Hepatitis
It is a viral infection causing liver inflammation. There are various types (A, B, C), each with distinct transmission methods. Symptoms may include jaundice, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Hemochromatosis
It is a genetic disorder where the body absorbs too much iron. It leads to excessive iron accumulation in organs like the liver. Symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, and, eventually, liver cirrhosis. 
Wilson’s Disease
It is a rare genetic disorder where copper accumulates in the liver and other organs. Symptoms may include jaundice, neurological issues, and psychiatric disturbances.
Cirrhosis 
It is a late-stage scarring of the liver occurring due to different diseases. It ultimately results in loss of liver function.
Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and fluid retention. It can result from conditions like alcohol-related liver damage, chronic hepatitis, or fatty liver disease.
Symptoms of Liver Disease
Different diseases of the liver may present differently. However, the common symptoms of liver damage are almost the same. You can detect liver damage by following signs and symptoms: 

Fatigue
Jaundice
Vomiting, nausea
Weight loss
Changed urine colour
Clay-colored stools
Abdominal pain
Loss of appetite 

5 Major Causes of Liver Disease
Liver damage occurs due to many factors. Some of the most common reasons include the following: 
Alcohol Abuse
Do you know our liver plays a crucial role in metabolizing alcohol? 
However, chronic alcohol abuse can overwhelm the liver’s capacity and lead to inflammation, fatty liver, hepatitis, and, ultimately, cirrhosis. 
Obesity 
Obesity and fatty liver disease go hand in hand. It is a condition where excessive fat accumulates in liver cells. 
Studies suggest insulin resistance associated with obesity leads to liver fat buildup. Over time, this can progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and eventually lead to cirrhosis.
Exposure to Toxins
The liver filters and detoxifies harmful substances from the blood. 
Prolonged exposure to environmental toxins, such as pollutants, pesticides, and industrial chemicals, can overwhelm the liver’s detoxification capabilities. It can result in liver damage and inflammation. 
Harmful Supplements 
Supplements are beneficial for health, significantly if deficient in a particular nutrient. 
However, your liver can bear the brunt of taking excess specific vitamins, minerals, or herbal products. 
High doses of individual vitamins, such as vitamin A or herbal supplements like kava or comfrey, can damage the liver. 
Certain Medications
Some medications can damage the liver, especially when taken inappropriately or for a long time. 
Certain pain relievers, antibiotics, antifungal drugs, and statins are examples of medications that may pose a risk to the liver. 
13 Tips to Prevent Liver Disease 
You can easily prevent liver damage with some lifestyle changes and healthy habits. Dr. Muhammad Ayub Naich, a renowned gastroenterologist with 21 years of experience, suggests the following tips to avoid liver damage: 
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Consuming a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for liver health. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. 
Avoid excessive intake of processed foods, fried foods, and sugary beverages, as they can contribute to fatty liver disease.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage. To prevent liver damage, limit your alcohol intake. 
It’s generally recommended for men to have no more than two drinks per day, and for women, it’s one drink per day.
Stay Hydrated
Drinking adequate water helps flush toxins from the body, promoting a healthy liver. Aim to drink at least eight glasses (64 ounces) of water daily and more if you’re physically active.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing fatty liver disease. 
Adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. It can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Exercise Regularly.
Physical activity is beneficial for overall health, including the liver. Regular exercise helps reduce liver fat, control weight, and improve insulin sensitivity. 
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
Practice Safe Intercourse and Hygiene
Some liver diseases, like hepatitis, can be transmitted through unprotected sex or contact with infected blood. 
Practice safe intercourse and avoid sharing personal items like razors or toothbrushes. It will reduce the risk of infection. 
Getting Vaccinated
Vaccination against hepatitis A and B can prevent these viral infections, the significant contributors to liver disease. 
Consult your doctor to ensure you’re up-to-date on your vaccinations.
Avoid Overuse of Medications
Excessive use of certain medications, especially over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, can harm the liver. Follow dosage recommendations, and consult your doctor if you need long-term medication.
Manage Chronic Conditions
Conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can contribute to liver damage. Manage these conditions through medication, lifestyle changes, and regular medical check-ups to protect your liver.
Limit Exposure to Harmful Chemicals
Minimise exposure to toxic substances like pesticides and household chemicals. 
Use protective gear when working with such substances, and ensure proper ventilation in your living and working spaces.
Practice Food Safety
Contaminated food and water can lead to liver infections. Practice good food hygiene by washing hands, cooking meat thoroughly, and avoiding raw or undercooked seafood.
Undergo Regular Health Check-ups
Regular medical check-ups can help detect liver diseases in their early stages. Routine blood tests and screenings can identify potential issues before they become serious.
Quit Smoking
Smoking has been linked to liver disease and can exacerbate existing liver conditions. Quitting smoking not only benefits your liver but also improves your overall health.
When Should You Consult a Gastroenterologist? 
You should consult a doctor if you experience symptoms associated with liver disease, such as unexplained fatigue, abdominal pain or swelling, jaundice, dark urine, and pale-coloured stools. 
Reach out to the best gastroenterologists anywhere near you using Healthwire’s platform. You can either book an appointment online or call 042-32500989.