Liver Health Archives - AZ Clinical Trials

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When we think of hearts, we think of Valentine’s Day and the exchange of cards and unique trinkets shared with our family and friends. February is also American Heart Month which creates awareness about heart disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S. Every cell and organ in your body relies on a healthy cardiovascular system. So, while you’re spreading the love this month, make sure some of it’s for yourself. When you love your heart, you love your liver and overall health too.

The Heart and the Liver

The circulatory system and the heart work together to form the cardiovascular system. The heart pushes the blood through the lungs to add oxygen to it. Along with other nutrients, the oxygen-rich blood is pumped through veins and arteries to all the body’s cells and organs, which is necessary for them to function.

The Liver has hundreds of vital functions and is the only organ with two separate blood supplies. One brings blood from the heart; the other brings blood from the intestines to filter it. The liver receives up to 25% of blood from the cardiovascular system.

The liver performs over 500 vital functions

How They Impact Each Other

Heart disease is a term for various conditions affecting heart structure and function. For example, coronary artery disease, the most common condition, causes narrowing or complete blockage of the veins and arteries in your heart from cholesterol or plaque. This makes it difficult for blood to reach the rest of the body and the heart itself. Decreased blood flow can cause liver cells’ death, which makes it harder to function. Eventually, the liver becomes permanently scarred, ultimately leading to cirrhosis.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is where an abnormal amount of fat accumulates in the liver. It is one of the most common liver diseases in America. NAFLD leads to chronic inflammation of the liver that progressively damages and scars the liver, leading to cirrhosis. A compromised liver affects the heart in many ways, including:

  • Narrowing, enlarging, and other damage of the blood vessels from not effectively filtering the toxins from the blood.
  • Increased blood pressure as the liver struggles to keep up with the flow from the heart. High blood pressure can damage and weaken the heart.

The risk factors shared for both conditions include obesity, poor diet, and lack of exercise.

Making Healthier Choices, Starting NOW

While liver and heart diseases have overlapping risk factors, most cases are preventable and respond to healthier lifestyle changes. Focusing on your health has never been more critical. During American Heart Month, we encourage every person to take the first steps towards a healthier life, including

  • Becoming more physically active
  • Eating a healthy, sensible diet low in sodium, sugar, and trans fats.
  • Adopting a good sleep hygiene routine ensures your body is getting enough rest.
  • Looking into smoking cessation programs to stop smoking.
  • Learning what you can do to reduce and manage stress better.

Visit the National Institutes of Health website for more information on weekly self-care ideas and other resources to help you get involved.

Loving your liver doesn't have to be hard

If you have NASH, participating in a research study is a great way to celebrate American Heart Month by prioritizing your health. To learn more about enrolling liver studies here at Arizona Liver Health, call us at (480) 470-4000 or visit our website today!

Sources:

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/education/american-heart-month/about

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002870300825077

https://eurjmedres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2047-783X-14-12-541


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You can start this year on the right foot by taking proactive steps for your health and well-being. If you’ve been diagnosed with liver disease, keeping your liver healthy is essential. It’s a new year, and it’s time to set some new liver health goals.

Fighting Liver Disease Starts with Prevention

Stages of liver disease

The best way to fight liver disease is to avoid it, if possible. However, the same tips that can help reduce your risk of liver disease can also help individuals already living with it reduce complications and promote disease progression (in a good way). These include:

  • Weight loss plays a vital role in helping reduce fat accumulation in the liver. If you’re overweight, you could be in danger of developing a fatty liver that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is one of the fastest-growing forms of liver disease.
  • Eat a sensible, well-balanced diet. Avoid high-calorie meals, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and sugars. Hydration is also essential, so drink plenty of water.

Healthy foods

  • Exercising consistently helps burn triglycerides for fuel and reduces fat accumulation in the liver.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoke and other toxins can injure liver cells.
  • Alcoholic beverages can create many health problems and can damage liver cells and scar your liver Talking to your doctor about what amount of alcohol is right for you can help you drink responsibly.
  • Taking medications incorrectly can harm your liver. Make sure to follow directions on all medications. Never take more than prescribed or mix them with alcohol.

Dedicated to Liver Health

A happy liver for a better you

If you are at risk or have been diagnosed with liver disease, Arizona Liver Health has resources to help. To learn more about our FREE liver scans or our enrolling liver health research studies, call us today at (480) 470-4000 or visit our website.

Sources:

https://www.hepmag.com/blog/10-proactive-steps-help-liver

https://liverfoundation.org/13-ways-to-a-healthy-liver/


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When it comes to detecting and identifying the severity of liver disease, the gold standard is typically a liver biopsy. Newer technological advances have paved the way for other non-invasive options such as the fibroscan. It comes without any risks. It’s also cheaper, quicker, and more accurate. If you are at risk for or already have liver disease, your overall health depends on early detection and regular monitoring. Both are just some of the reasons your liver can benefit from fibroscan technology.

Time-Tested, Trusted Technology.

For decades, ultrasound technology has enabled us to see a growing baby in the womb and many other medical uses. Fibroscan technology harnesses this technology to measure the stiffness of the liver. As the sound waves pass through the liver, the device measures how fast they go. The faster they move, through it, the greater the degree of fibrosis or stiffness. There are over 100 types of liver disease. However, most will follow the same path of progressive damage.

Don't treat your liver like chopped liver

Chronic inflammation as the body repeatedly attempts to heal the liver ironically ends up doing the exact opposite. In a healthy liver, the body produces and transports collagen to repair the damage. It does this by surrounding healthy tissue and strengthening it. With liver disease, more collagen is sent than needed. It builds up between liver cells, binding with other proteins forming scar tissue or fibrosis. The scarring can reduce or stop blood flow, starving and killing healthy cells. More scarring occurs, eventually replacing more and more healthy cells with non-function performing scar tissue.

Early Detection, Progression Monitoring, Lifesaving. 

The liver is a regenerative organ and can heal itself even well into the later stages of liver disease. Ideally, those at risk of developing liver disease would work with their doctor to proactively monitor their liver health. By measuring the degree of stiffness, fibroscan technology can detect the presence of liver issues. Similarly, it is an essential monitoring tool for managing disease progression, stagnation, and regression.

There isn’t a limit to the number of times your provider can perform a fibroscan. In turn, this allows for real-time results measuring how well lifestyle modifications and other therapies are working. The best part is that along with typical lab tests, fibroscan technology continues reducing the need for liver biopsies. Ultimately, it is improving, prolonging, and easing the management of the lives of liver disease patients. Your liver really can benefit from a fibroscan!

Free fibroscan for adults at risk

Arizona Liver Health offers FREE fibroscans for adults at risk of developing liver disease. Based on the exam results, you may be eligible to participate in currently enrolling research studies evaluating potential new options for liver diseases like NASH. Take control of your liver health today! Schedule your free screen by calling (480) 470-4000 or requesting an appointment online.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3594956/

https://hemaware.org/bleeding-disorders-z/do-wave

https://www.hje.org.uk/benefits-fibroscan-liver-health/


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Regular physical activity is the cornerstone of a healthier body and quality of life. It also has been proven to reduce your risk of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. Physical activity and liver disease go hand in hand. It could even save your life.

Exercise and the Effect on the Liver

Exercises focusing on your cardiovascular system have a positive influence on blood oxygenation. These activities increase your heart rate and change your breathing pattern. In turn, this increases the amount of oxygen you take in and quickly delivers oxygen to your vital body organs, such as your liver. Exercise also reduces stress on the liver, raises energy levels, and helps prevent obesity, a risk factor for liver disease. Other benefits include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight helps prevent developing conditions that can lead to liver damage. Examples are fatty liver, elevated blood glucose, diabetes, and elevated blood insulin.
  • Regular exercise helps ease the depressive effects by triggering the release of endorphins. Exercise also helps balance out neurotransmitter levels. Together, these promote a sense of well-being and strength.
  • In addition to improving the delivery of oxygen to vital organs, regular exercise improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system. The outcome helps greatly improve energy levels.

Scar tissues form in the liver because of the progressive damage. Ultimately, fibrous scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue leading to chronic damage (cirrhosis). Cirrhosis is often accompanied by loss of muscle mass and strength. Therefore, for those already with liver disease, physical activity may not only be beneficial but interventional too.

Life-Saving Benefits Discovered Thanks to Research Studies

The fact that exercising comes with many benefits is not some new revolutionary concept. Most of us know it’s good for you and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. A recent clinical research study proved a ground-breaking theory in the correlation of physical activity and cirrhosis-related deaths. It showed a 73% reduction in mortality risk when patients regularly walked during the week. When strength training was combined with walking, the risk was even less.

Liver disease research

As we continue learning more about liver disease and what causes it to develop, we increase community awareness and improve the lives of those living with this condition. A greater understanding of the disease also equips scientists and researchers with the tools necessary to improve management options. Arizona Liver Health is seeking participants to join enrolling studies for individuals diagnosed with NASH. NASH is a more severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and a growing epidemic in America. Learn more about how you can get involved by calling us at (480) 470-4000 or stopping by our website.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/physical-activity.htm#:~:text=Regular%20physical%20activity%20helps%20improve,depression%20and%20anxiety%2C%20and%20dementia.

https://www.liversupport.com/exercise-for-chronic-liver-disease/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/287774-the-effect-of-exercise-on-liver-function/


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Indeed, the liver is a resilient, amazing organ. However, it isn’t indestructible, and its health is vital to your body’s overall wellness. Anyone can develop liver disease, so Arizona Liver Health has 10 tips to keep your liver happy and healthy.

10 Tips for Overall Liver Health

Take good care of your liver and your liver will take good care of you

1. Maintain a healthy weight.

Even those somewhat overweight are in danger of having a fatty liver that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Losing weight can play a vital role in helping to reduce liver fat.

2. Eat healthily.

Avoid foods high in calories, sugars, and saturated fats. A well-adjusted diet includes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, rice, and cereals. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good fats. They are found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish are “good” fats. Hepatitis A is contracted from contaminated food and water. Avoid raw or contaminated seafood or shellfish to be safe.

3. Exercise regularly.

Exercising consistently (30 minutes per day, 5 days a week) helps burn triglycerides for fuel. It can also reduce liver fat.

4. Keep chronic conditions managed.

Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are major risk factors for fatty liver disease. Keeping them under reasonable control with diet can help limit and prevent liver damage.

5. Limit alcohol use.

Overindulging in alcohol can damage or destroy liver cells and scar your liver. Talk to your doctor about what the right amount of alcohol is for you.

6. Cut down smoking or stop smoking. 

Smoking has been linked to liver cancer and can also enhance the toxic effects that some medications have on the liver.

7. Practice safe sex.

Having unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners increases your risk of developing hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

8. Wash your hands.

Use soap and warm water immediately after using the bathroom or changing a diaper. Also before preparing or eating food.

9. Follow given directions on all medications.

You can harm your liver when you take medications incorrectly or by taking too much. Always let your doctor know about any over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and natural remedies that you use.

10. Get available hepatitis vaccinations.

Currently, there are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. There is not a vaccine for hepatitis C.

Arizona Liver Health is committed to advancing options for liver disease patients through the research studies we conduct. Volunteers participating in clinical research make these advancements possible. When you have liver disease, and you join a study, you prioritize your health by learning more about your condition and potentially gaining access to new therapies not publicly available.

Don't leave your liver to fend for itself

To see how you can get involved in one of our enrolling liver studies, call (480) 470-4000, or visit our website.

References:

https://www.healthxchange.sg/digestive-system/liver/tips-healthy-liver

https://liverfoundation.org/13-ways-to-a-healthy-liver/

 



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