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Lifestyle Tips for Managing Liver Health

Return to liver articles

If you have just been diagnosed with a liver condition, you’re probably not sure what to do first. Always follow the instructions and recommendations of your doctor and check with him/her to see if any of these liver wellness practices are the right ones for you. In addition, talk to your doctor before incorporating any changes into your diet and exercise schedule if you already have, or may possibly have, a pre-existing liver condition.

Avoid high protein diets if you have severe liver or kidney disease
While healthy adults are normally not negatively impacted by high protein diets, those with kidney or liver disease can be since it is typically harder to eliminate the waste products left by protein. Also, many times when you overload on protein, you may cut out other important nutritional food items like veggies and fruits.

Since everything that you take in to your body filters through the liver, once it becomes overloaded with toxins (like those found in drugs and alcohol), it can lead to irreversible damage. Acetaminophen in particular can cause damage when taken consistently with alcohol.

Never use herbal remedies, megavitamins or other nutritional products without talking to your doctor first
While not all herbal remedies and vitamins will cause liver damage, there are some that have been known to cause a significant amount of damage, even in people with otherwise healthy liver function. In particular, any herbs containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids can be toxic to the liver. Before starting on any nutritional products, even those that claim to promote healthy liver function, it is best to check with you doctor first.

Maintain a well-balanced diet and healthy weight
Try to incorporate plenty of anti-oxidant rich foods (like broccoli, cauliflower and soy products) into your diet and cutback on your salt and sugar intake. Keeping your body at a healthy weight lowers your risk of developing a fatty liver which can make you more susceptible to developing cirrhosis or liver cancer.

If you have liver disease or other related problems, do not eat raw shellfish
Consuming raw or undercooked shellfish has potential dangers for otherwise healthy people , but those with a known liver disease, diabetes or weak immune system are even more likely to become seriously ill. The main reason for this is the bacteria Vibrio Vulnificus which is often found in shellfish. This bacterium was linked by the FDA to 341 serious illnesses associated with raw oysters and clams between 1989 and 2002. Raw oysters made up 98% of the illnesses while claims only accounted for 2%.

Get plenty of rest and fluids
When your body is well rested and hydrated it is able to work at its peak, so take good care of yourself by listening to the needs of your body.