According to the Mayo Clinic, Liver disease can be inherited (genetic), but Liver problems can also be caused by a variety of factors that damage the liver, such as viruses, alcohol use and obesity.
Controllable factors that may increase your risk of liver disease include:
• Heavy alcohol use
• Type 2 diabetes
• Exposure to other people’s blood and body fluids
• Unprotected sex
• Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins
According to the National Health Service, there are many different types of liver disease. You can help prevent some of them by maintaining a healthy weight and staying within the recommended alcohol limits, if you drink.
Some of the most common types of non-genetic liver disease include:
(Condition – Possible causes):
• Alcohol-related liver disease – regularly drinking too much alcohol
• Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – being very overweight (obese)
• Hepatitis – catching a viral infection, regularly drinking too much alcohol
• Primary biliary cirrhosis – may be caused by a problem with the immune system
How to reduce the risk of Liver Disease
According to the Mayo Clinic, to prevent liver disease (abbreviated):
• Drink alcohol in moderation.
• Get vaccinated for hepatitis, if you’re at increased risk of contracting it
• Use medications wisely. Take prescription and nonprescription drugs only when needed and only in recommended doses.
• Avoid contact with other people’s blood and body fluids.
• Keep your food safe. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating or preparing foods. If travelling in a developing country, use bottled water to drink, wash your hands and brush your teeth.
• Take care with aerosol sprays. Use them in a well-ventilated area, and wear a mask when spraying insecticides, fungicides, paint and other toxic chemicals.
• Protect your skin, when using insecticides and other toxic chemicals.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
In “How Not to Die”, Doctor Greger notes these aspects of liver disease:
• Excessive alcohol can lead to accumulation of fat in the liver, but the most common cause of a fatty liver is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The main causes of NAFLD are: fizzy drinks and meat. It can also be caused by cholesterol overload from eggs, meat and dairy. Eventually fatty liver can turn into hepatitis.
• So: Avoid excess calories, cholesterol, saturated fat, alcohol and sugar.
But on the positive side:
• Berries, grapes, plums, red cabbage, and red onions are protective of the liver. Their red/blue/purple pigments (Anthocyanins) help prevent fat accumulation in the liver.
• Coffee consumption is associated with less liver inflammation. Also, it seems to halve the rate of liver cancer.
Link to my post on “How Not to Die”
Link to my post on “Alcohol”