As New Years Eve fast approaches, this is your reminder to LOOK AFTER YOUR LIVER!
The liver is an organ you cannot live without therefore maintaining liver health is an important health issue for all Australians.
It is the largest internal organ of the human body and weighs around 1.5kg in the average adult.
Your liver plays an important role in keeping your body functioning – in fact, it performs more than 500 functions that involve processing everything you eat and drink.
The three big jobs of the Liver:
- cleans your blood.
- produces an important digestive liquid called
- stores energy in the form of a sugar called
If 75% of your liver were removed and 25% left, that 25% could regenerate a full-size liver in 8 to 15 days. Your new liver would reorganise itself over the course of a few months but it would be functional as it regenerates.
It takes as little as 20 grams of alcohol daily (only two standard drinks) for women to develop liver problems.
As we enter the holiday season, be sure to remember this vital organ. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation.
Moderation? What is that?
For both men and women, the guidelines recommend drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day to reduce your risk of harm from alcohol-related disease, or injury over a lifetime.
Drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion. Drinking more than four standard drinks on any one occasion is regarded as binge drinking.
Keep in mind that alcohol can have varying effects on you depending on; age, gender, mental health, drug use and medical conditions, so balance a glass of your preferred alcoholic beverage with some thought about the associated risks.
ALCOHOL & YOUR LIVER!
The truth is, alcohol and your liver don’t mix. For some people, consuming as little as one glass of wine or beer a day can cause liver problems to develop.
the liver can only handle a certain amount of alcohol at any given time, so if you drink more than the liver can deal with by drinking too quickly, or drinking too much, your liver cells struggle to process it.
When alcohol reaches the liver, it produces a toxic enzyme which can damage liver cells and cause permanent scarring, as well as harm to the brain and stomach lining
Your liver also requires water to do its job effectively. When alcohol enters the body, it acts as a diuretic and as such dehydrates you and forces the liver to find water from other sources. The severe dehydration is part of the reason why, after a big night of drinking you can wake up nursing a whopping headache.
Regular and heavy drinking over time can strain or upset the way alcohol is metabolised within the body, which can lead to alcoholic liver disease.
Sensible consumption of alcohol is critical to your health. While alcoholism is more common among men, women are more susceptible to the adverse effects of alcohol on the liver.
LOOK AFTER YOUR LIVER!
Top tips to help you limit your alcohol intake:
- Switch to low-alcohol or alternate an alcohol-free drink with an alcoholic one
- Mix your favourite wine with plain mineral water
- Mix beer or stout with lemonade
- Avoid situations where there is peer pressure to drink in rounds
If you’re having difficulty cutting back, talk to your doctor about getting professional help to reduce your alcohol intake.