Liver is the largest internal organ of the body, and it has a prominent role in filtration of toxins and blood. The signs and symptoms of liver diseases and ailments can be confused for other health problems, and therefore, getting screened on time and knowing the risk factors are important steps.
Below are the common risk factors for liver disease.
- Alcohol abuse. By now, you probably know that alcohol is bad for liver. Liver damage caused by alcohol can eventually lead to cirrhosis, which is irreversible. By alcohol abuse, we refer to having alcohol in considerable quantity and frequently. Even wine and beer are bad for your liver, so bear that in mind.
- Obesity is one of the major risk factors for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which also can lead to cirrhosis. Keep your weight in check and ensure that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, which can be running, walking or even gym workouts.
- Family history. Many of the liver diseases are known to be linked with family history of the disease. One of the better examples of the same is Wilson disease. Alagille syndrome and tyrosinemia are other known liver ailments linked to the genes. Experts like Dr. Reddy recommend getting screened for liver conditions for all patients who have more than one person in the family suffering from these conditions.
- Liver processes all medications that we take, including steroids. The toxins present in certain medications and steroids can damage the liver. Some of the regular pain medications, such as Acetaminophen, are known to cause liver failure. Check with your doctor to know more.
- Tattoos. Yes, tattoos have been linked to liver conditions, because unsterilized equipment and contaminated ink can cause infections like Hepatitis B and hepatitis C. If you are absolutely sure of getting a tattoo done, make sure that you select a licensed studio that takes all the necessary precautions.
Both hepatitis B and C viruses do spread through unprotected sex. Exposure to body fluids can cause hepatitis B, which is one of the more infectious diseases known. As for hepatitis C virus, it is usually spread when a person gets in contact with infected blood. One can get Hepatitis A from contaminated food and drinks, so if you are traveling to a new country, be careful of what you eat, and if possible stay away from destinations where Hepatitis A is common.