|Maintains proper digestion|
|Processes fats with bile|
|Resists infection and removes bacteria|
|Eliminates wastes or toxins|
|Regulates blood clotting|
Despite the importance of this organ, damage and stress to the liver is often caused due to our negligence.
Most of us either lack sleep or have poor sleep quality.
We eat out frequently and consume a high-fat diet.
Snacks are readily available along with sugar-laden food and alcohol.
When we fall sick, we resort to medicines in an attempt to recover.
What most of you do not know is that the modern lifestyle, as depicted above, has a detrimental impact on your liver, one of the most important organs in your body.
Chronic fatigue, or the feeling of being tired all the time.
Loss of appetite
Skin and eyes that appear
These symptoms are often dismissed as 'flu' or temporary sickness when jaundice is not visible. This is especially apparent amongst the youth who are unsuspecting of liver damage as the cause of their symptoms.
What you do not know is that youths are also susceptible to liver diseases!
Fatty liver is a disease that impairs the liver's functions.
Now, there is a rise of youths falling victim to this potentially life-endangering disease.
Fatty liver was largely a result of excessive alcohol consumption or old age. Hence, it was called Alcoholic fatty liver disease (ALD).
The current rise of fatty liver disease is due to the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as sleeping late and a high-fat diet. These habits eventually lead to the development of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
ALD forms when the body has excess fats or is unable to metabolise fats fast enough due to the harmful properties of alcohol, which hinders the processing of fats.
NAFLD forms when there are excessive fats deposited in the liver, regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed.
When not taken care of, both ALD and NAFLD can cause liver inflammation, liver cirrhosis, or the irreversible scarring of your liver.
Did you know that the global prevalence of NAFLD is about 24.4%?
In Asian countries influenced by Western cultures like Singapore, the prevalence of NAFLD can be as high as 40%.
Read on to find out if you are at risk of developing fatty liver disease.
If you have ticked two or more of the above, you could be at risk of damaging your liver and developing fatty liver disease! Here is why!
EATING OUT FREQUENTLY
Eating out usually means more oil, more fats, less vegetables – resulting in an imbalanced portion.
REGULAR HIGH ALCOHOL INTAKE
Alcohol is toxic to your body and adds stress to your liver. It is difficult to process and hinders your liver from performing its basic functions. It can destroy liver cells and cause fatty liver, hepatitis, or cirrhosis.
Detoxification is one of your liver’s functions, and it occurs only when you are in deep sleep. You may risk damaging your liver when you stay up past 11pm daily.
Processed food often contains artificial food additives and preservatives which are harmful to your liver.
FREQUENT SUGAR INTAKE
High sugar intake increases the chance of getting fatty liver as your liver is burdened to convert excess sugar into fats for storage.
STRESS, PROLONGED SADNESS, OR EMOTIONAL STIMULATION
A 10-year study by scientists at the University of Edinburgh found that those who had scored high for signs of depression and stress were far more likely to suffer fatal liver disease.
BORDERLINE HIGH CHOLESTEROL
Your liver processes body fats and turns glucose into fatty acid for long-term storage. Excess fats produced and stored by the liver may lead to fatty liver.
HEAVY MEDICATION OR DRUGS
Your liver breaks down many of the substances you consume, including medicine like oral contraceptives, anti- inflammatory drugs, or excessive Vitamin A. When taken in large amounts, this can cause damage to your liver.
When you wake up, your energy reserves of glucose are very low. This prevents your liver from getting energy to perform its essential functions. Don’t skip breakfast and neglect your liver health; it needs sufficient energy to start the day!
U.S. government dietary guideline states that men and women should drink no more than two drinks and one drink a day respectively.
Coffee drinking has been shown to protect the liver by optimizing the flow of bile.
LARGEST GLANDULAR ORGAN
The liver is the largest glandular organ of the human body; its weight is around 1.36 kilograms!
Without the liver, medicine would be useless. Our liver converts medicine into a form accepted by our bodies.
COLOUR OF STOOL
The liver produces bile, which is responsible for giving stool its characteristic brown colour. If the colour of the stool is not brown, something is wrong with the liver.
The liver is the only organ that grows back, thus making it possible to donate part of it to another person.
STRONG AND MIGHTY
The liver performs over 500 different functions including fighting off infection, neutralizing toxins and helping to clot blood.
Alcohol, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Viral Hepatitis are the most common causes of liver cirrhosis.