The liver is one of the most vital organs in our bodies. It is impossible to survive without the life-sustaining functions it provides. Understandably, how well we take care of our liver impacts its ability to function properly. National Liver Awareness Month is an annual designation occurring in October to create awareness around liver health. By giving it the attention it deserves, we can stay healthy for as long as possible.
Why the Liver is Important
The liver is the second largest organ in your body and is located right under your rib cage on your right side. Your liver processes what you consume and breaks it down into nutrients your body uses. It also:
- Cleans your blood of toxins
- Gives you energy
- Produces bile for digestion
Causes of Liver Disease
There are over 100 different diseases that can damage the liver. Nevertheless, most damage the liver in similar ways and follow the same progression. The common causes of liver disease include:
- Autoimmune disease
- Excessive abuse of alcohol
- Unhealthy diet and obesity
- Medication side effects, illegal drugs, or toxic chemicals
National Liver Awareness Month
Liver disease affects from 50 million to 100 million individuals globally. Numerous diseases pose an increasing concern, such as liver cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and hepatitis. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America. Despite the growing prevalence, there is hope. With early detection and treatment, the progression can be stopped or reversed. Those at risk of developing liver disease can also potentially prevent its onset.
Start taking care of your liver today. You can celebrate National Liver Awareness Month by taking some simple steps towards liver health, such as:
- Work towards achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Eat healthier by avoiding high-calorie meals, refined carbohydrates like white bread/enriched flour, and eat a good amount of fiber.
- Exercise regularly up to 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Use alcohol responsibly.
- Avoid using drugs.
- Follow prescribed directions on all your medications.
- Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B.
Are you concerned about your risk of liver disease? Arizona Liver Health can help! We offer FREE liver scans using fibroscan technology for adults at risk of developing liver disease. A fibroscan is a quick, painless way to determine liver health. Individuals whose results indicate the presence of liver disease will also have an option to learn more about our enrolling liver research studies. Schedule your appointment today! Call us at (480) 470-4000, or visit our website for more details and online request form.