6 Habits That Damage Your Liver

6 Habits That Damage Your Liver

Last update: 26 May, 2015

The liver is a vital organ in the body that filters toxins, produces bile, works during digestion and transforms carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals into other substances. For these reasons, it is crucial that we take care of our livers. There are many lifestyle habits that damage the liver and cause problems in the long term. This article will discuss the ways in which we can damage our livers and the lifestyle changes we can make to protect this important organ.

The liver can accumulate toxins and fats from a bad lifestyle. This can lead to fatty liver disease. However, there are things we can do to repair the liver and protect it from future harm. Here is a list of lifestyle habits to avoid if you want to care for your liver:

Eating high cholesterol foods


Foods that are high in cholesterol should be limited in order to protect the liver. This means we should reduce our consumption of red meat, egg yolk, salty snacks and junk food. The liver synthesises cholesterol and the body before it is used as energy. Cholesterol that is not used can harm the liver as it tries to deal with the excess. Fatty liver can be the result of too much cholesterol in the body. Instead of high fat foods we should be eating vegetables, high fibre foods and whole grains.

Being a night owl


Like the old saying goes, ‘early to bed and early to rise’ is the best way to live for a healthy liver. Going to bed early can often be a difficult habit to get into due to our various work, family and social obligations, but the body really does benefit from this lifestyle change. The reason that your liver prefers an early to bed routine is that the body is designed to carry out certain detoxification processes at certain times of the day.

The lymphatic system performs its detoxification process first when you go to sleep and then, at between midnight and 2am, the liver carries out its own processes. Your body should be in a deep sleep in order for the liver to properly detoxify. Breaking this natural cycle means you cannot detoxify your body properly.

Not urinating when you get up


It is important that you do not hold in the urge to urinate. The best way to make sure you remove the build-up of waste in the body is by going to the toilet first thing in the morning. This might come as a surprise but hurrying off to work before going to the toilet can stress the liver and kidneys. It is always best to eliminate everything that wants to come out in the morning to help remove toxins from the bladder and bowel.

Skipping breakfast


In the morning your blood sugar levels are very low. This low glucose state means your liver does not have enough energy to work well. We should never skip breakfast because it is important to kick start the body into performing its functions. Dieters often skip breakfast, but it has been shown that people who eat breakfast actually lose more weight than those who skip it. Eating food and drinking water in the morning helps the liver, kidneys and brain function properly.

Eating a bad diet


To a strong extent, the old adage is true: you are what you eat. It is easy to eat badly due to time constraints, which is why fast food and convenience food is so popular. However your body will suffer for this habit in the long run. By eating junk food the high levels of sodium, sugar and salt accumulate to increase blood pressure and cholesterol, and it is almost certain that you will experience fatty liver. Disorders of the liver are common in those with a bad diet, so stick to wholesome foods.

Drinking alcohol


Possibly the most harmful poison for the liver is alcohol. Alcohol destroys liver cells, breaking its chemical balance and causing fatty liver, which may eventually lead to cirrhosis. Small amounts of alcohol are fine and drinking a glass of red wine each day is sometimes even recommended but never drink to excess or your liver and overall health will suffer.