Love your liver this World Liver Day - and every day
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World Liver Day is observed on 19 April to raise awareness of the importance of liver health and its impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
Not only is your liver the largest organ inside your body, but it is also one of the body’s hardest-working organs: filtering good from bad, making and storing vitamins and minerals, and assisting with hormone production which can help regulate our mental health.
The liver manufactures, stores, and processes everything you put in your body, including food, alcohol, medicine, or toxins, which can come from our environment, food, cosmetics and cleaning products.
Think of your liver like an elastic band—it can only stretch so far before showing signs of stress or damage. The leading causes of liver damage include hepatitis viruses, fatty foods, heavy alcohol use and obesity. Over time, this can result in permanent liver damage and increase liver disease and cancer risk.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is a condition where fat builds up in the liver and is the most common type of chronic liver disease in Australia. In 2019, it was estimated that 1 in 5 Australians had Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – that’s 5.5 million of us, yet it’s preventable.
In many cases, lifestyle changes can help reverse or stop the progression of fatty liver disease.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit and limit fat, cholesterol and salt.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise improves your overall wellbeing and helps maintain a healthy body weight.
- Limit alcohol intake. Heavy alcohol use can permanently damage your liver and its ability to function. It is recommended that adults have no more than two standard drinks per day with at least two alcohol-free days per week.
- Ask your GP for a liver health check and hepatitis test. Viral hepatitis often has no symptoms but left untreated, can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
By loving your liver and improving its health this World Liver Day, and every day, you stand to reap a wide range of health and wellbeing benefits. These include improved infection and disease control, increased energy levels and improved mental health.
To learn more about liver health contact Hepatitis Queensland on 1800 437 222 or visit our liver health section.