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Being overly stressed or frustrated

Being overly stressed or frustrated
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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.

Learn how to meditate to beat stress.

Not getting enough exercise

Not getting enough exercise
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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!

Find out how to overcome exercise excuses.

Relying too heavily on OTC medications

Relying too heavily on OTC medications
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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.

Skipping liver function tests

Skipping liver function tests
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Most people recognise the importance of having their cholesterol and heart rate tested during regular check-ups, but many don’t think about getting their liver function checked, particularly if they don’t drink excessive alcohol. “This is dangerous because some liver conditions have nothing to do with alcohol consumption, and have little or no symptoms until the disease has advanced,” says Dr. Brown. “While a liver biopsy may be needed for definitive diagnosis of any liver disease, most liver diseases including both PBC (primary biliary cholangitis) and NASH, are serious liver diseases that may be initially discovered through simple liver blood tests during routine physical exams.” Ask your doctor if he or she thinks you are a candidate for liver function tests.

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Source: RD.com

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