When you have an alcohol addiction, one of the most effected organs in your boy is your liver. Many recovering alcoholics find themselves trying to live a life that promotes a healthy liver. While drinking heavily for a long period of time does significant damage to the liver, there are ways to maintain and protect this vital organ.
Three Common Liver Issues
There are three main stages of liver disease that are related to alcoholism: fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. A fatty liver develops when excessive fat deposits build up in the liver after excessive alcohol consumption. Hepatitis, which causes inflammation of the liver, develops over a longer period of time and can be deadly on its own. In cirrhosis, scar tissue that has built up after prolonged alcohol use and liver inflammation compromises the function of the liver eventually causing it to shut down. Both fatty liver and hepatitis can be cured by complete alcohol abstinence while cirrhosis cannot be cured. It can be slowed and treated with complete alcohol abstinence, but will never completely go away.
If you have made the courageous decision to quit drinking, you should be looking into ways to secure the health of your liver. Talk to your doctor about some options and keep in mind theses five steps that will promote a healthy liver.
1. Avoid the other kinds of Hepatitis.
It really will not help you if you contract Hepatitis B and C while you are working on getting yourself healthier. It is fairly common for people who have engaged in risky behaviors such as excessive alcohol use to contract Hepatitis B or C which are transmitted through blood and other body fluids. Since your system is already impaired, it will be less likely to fight off infection. The help yourself avoid the other kinds of Hepatitis, get vaccinated against them, use condoms for all sexual encounters, and make sure that all beauty treatments, doctor’s treatments, and tattoos or piercings are done with sterile instruments.
2. Get regular exercise.
Getting regular exercise is great for all of the systems and organs in the body. It can help your liver by helping you maintain a healthy body weight which is ideal for proper liver function. It boosts the functioning potential of your immune system. Regular exercise also helps to reduce your risk of getting liver cancer. Some research studies support the idea that getting regular exercise can reduce the risks of liver cancer in people who already have a high risk of getting liver cancer such as those with a history of alcohol abuse.
3. Avoid exposure to other kinds of toxins.
It is hard to say that you must keep away from all toxins all the time because they are everywhere. But you can take calculated precautions against exposing yourself to excessive toxins. All toxins, whether they are breathed in or absorbed through the skin will eventually pass through the liver. The less the liver has to work, the more time it will have to heal properly. You can avoid chemicals by wearing a mask and gloves when you will be handling things like aerosol sprays, insecticides, fungicides, or other sprayed chemicals.
4. Make good food choices.
When the liver metabolizes alcohol, it produces free radicals. The oxidization of these free radicals is one of the major sources of damage to the liver. Foods that are high in antioxidants can help protect your liver from some of these oxidization. Fruits and vegetables help cleanse the body of all kinds of toxins and help the liver with that process as well. Fruits, veggies, and high fiber foods are some of the best things you could be incorporating into your diet. They come with very little risk to your liver and provide you with lots of health benefits.
5. Do not drink. Ever.
While this may seem fairly obvious, it always bears repeating. Remember that completely quitting is the only way to reverse much of the damage that has been done by excess and prolonged alcohol abuse. If you start with cutting down rather than cutting alcohol out completely, you are taking a step in the right direction, but it is not going to be enough to make great strides in improving your health. Only by completely abstaining from alcohol use are you going to be able to increase your liver function. Cutting down with slow the degradation of your liver, but its function will continue to get worse.