Being overly stressed or frustrated
Excessive, prolonged stress can be unhealthy for a variety of reasons, and potentially for your liver. Research out of the University of Edinburgh published in the journal Gastroenterology, showed evidence of a possible link between high levels of psychological distress (symptoms of anxiety and depression) and deaths resulting from a variety of liver diseases. While these findings require further scientific evaluation, many in the medical community recognise there are links between the mind and body. Traditional Chinese medicine has been preaching this for thousands of years – that most organs are connected to an emotion. “Most people don’t realise that the liver is affiliated with anger, as it’s believed that anger blocks the liver’s energy flow,” says Dr. Neil-Sherwood.
Not getting enough exercise
Even if you’re not overweight, exercise should be a strict part of your weekly routine – at least for your liver’s sake. “During exercise, pores are opened and perspiration is increased, which leads to improved detoxification,” says Dr. Neil-Sherwood. “This not only helps the liver but works in tandem with the liver, whose full-time job is to detoxify the body.” At least 150 minutes of moderate level activity is recommended a week, which could be as simple as going for three 50-minute brisk walks!
Relying too heavily on OTC medications
It’s amazing that you can relieve a headache, fever or muscle aches with something you can easily buy at your local chemist. But the reality is that these medications can be toxic when used too frequently or in large amounts. “Just like anything else we digest, these medications pass through the liver and carry a level of toxicity that can cause long-term damage to the organ,” explains Dr. Brown. “While acetaminophen (paracetamol), for example, is extremely safe when taken in the correct dosage (4000 mg/day), taking too much could cause liver damage, ranging from abnormalities in liver function blood tests, to acute liver failure and even death.” And since acetaminophen is in many combination pills for pain, headaches, liquid medicine for colds, etc., you may be taking too much without realising it.
And watch out for When medicines do more harm than good.