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Do You Love Your Liver As Much As You Could?

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Did you manage a Dry January? 

We all know January is the time we cut back after all the overindulgence of Christmas, we try to not drink, cut back on the chocolate and crisps, and we are really, really determined to look after ourselves, right? 

If you did, then well done!  If you didn’t then read on to get some helpful advice that you can use throughout 2017 to get you back on track.  

Back on Track for 2017

The British Liver Trust run an awareness campaign called Love Your Liver. They hold events up and down the country that assess and screen the health of your liver.  If you would like to find out where your local Lover your Liver Event is being held please visit https://loveyourliver.org.uk/map/

Alternatively, why not visit https://loveyourliver.org.uk/love-your-liver-health-screener/ and do an online Love Your Liver test to assess your liver health.  

About Your Liver

Your liver is the largest solid organ in your body, (the largest organ is actually your skin). Your liver is a gland that is made up of 2 main lobes which are further subdivided into approximately 100,000 small lobules. It is located on the right side of your body, just below the diaphragm, tucked under your ribs for protection. On average, it weighs in at about 3Lbs but there can be considerably variation between people.

Your liver has several important functions such as, manufacturing, detoxification, storing and metabolising. 

Manufacturing

Your liver manufactures bile to digest fats and produces the naturally occurring substance heparin, an anticoagulant.  It can produce Vitamin A from carotene, necessary for health and with the help of vitamin K, the liver produces proteins that are important in blood clotting.

Detoxification

Your liver is an amazing detoxing factory and breaks down harmful substances such as alcohol, drugs, and poisons into forms which they can be excreted.  As part of this detoxing process it clears the blood of particles and infections, including bacteria.

Storage

Your liver stores about one pint of your total blood supply at any given time. Carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes and rice are broken down into glucose and then stored mainly in the liver as glycogen.  When energy is required the liver converts its stored glycogen back into glucose, converting it into energy for your body to use.  Fat soluble vitamins A and D as well as iron are also stored in the liver.

Metabolising

Your liver processes digested food from the intestine and metabolises sugars and starches into glycogen, fats are broken down into simple forms until needed. Protein is broken down into amino acids.

According to the British Liver Trust there are 3 ways to love your liver…

3 Steps in Brief

  1. Drink alcohol sensibly.  Have 3 to 4 alcohol free days a week and spread out your drinks, binge drinking is bad for your liver. 
  2. Your diet and exercise choices will have a massive effect on the health of your liver so cram in the veg, fruit and lots of water as well as taking some form of exercise every day.  Keep moving and keep motivated, you’ll be amazed at just how good it will make you feel.
  3. There are several different types of hepatitis but you can take steps to avoid contracting viral hepatitis.  Any needle usage, for whatever reason, must be sterile. Get vaccinated, practise safe sex, and don’t share personal items like toothbrushes.

Seize this opportunity now to take steps towards a healthier and happier you, your liver will love you for it!

For more information on the three steps visit https://loveyourliver.org.uk/3-steps-to-love-your-liver/

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