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Liver health alcohol beer
Alcohol use is one risk factor for liver damage.

About the liver

Your liver is one of the largest organs in your body and is part of the digestive system. A healthy liver breaks down the components of foods, drinks and medications that make their way into the bloodstream from the gut. Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) from your diet are converted into energy or new cellular structures, and other compounds, good or bad, can be converted into chemicals that are safer to pass through your body.

Check out this video for a quick rundown on how our livers work:

Caring for your liver

Your liver works hard to detoxify harmful compounds in the bloodstream, but it is susceptible to some of these toxic compounds that get introduced into the body. Exposure to high amounts of toxic substances, such as alcohol misuse, can cause damage to the liver.

Liver damage can develop silently, with no early signs or symptoms. Fortunately, the most common causes of liver diseases are preventable, and these lifestyle factors can impact the health of your liver:

Alcohol: Alcohol misuse, considered consuming greater than an average of 2 alcohol units a day, can contribute to long-term liver damage.
Obesity: A high BMI is correlated to liver disease.
Drugs: Recreational drugs, herbal supplements, hormones, painkillers and prescription medications are all substances that are processed by our livers. Overdosing, bad combinations or unique reactions to these drugs might contribute to liver damage.

You can live a lifestyle optimal for liver health by minimising the consumption of alcohol, discussing medications or supplements with a doctor, and keeping a healthy diet and body weight. Other causes of liver damage, independent of lifestyle factors, include viral infection (Hepatitis), cancer, and metabolic or genetic disorders.

About testing liver biomarkers

The liver biomarkers tested in Lykon test kits will provide you with some information about the current health of your liver. However, these results will only paint part of the picture regarding your liver health. These biomarkers are not specific to the cause of liver damage, nor can liver biomarker testing exclude the possibility of liver disease.

That means it’s up to you and your doctor to understand what is the cause of liver damage and how to prevent further damage. It is always important to discuss these results with your doctor, and you should do so immediately if you have any signs or symptoms of liver disease, or if your liver biomarker results are high.

Check out our myLiver Health test kit to examine the health of your liver with 5 liver biomarkers.

myLiver Health

 

References

How does the liver work? InformedHealth.org. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-.

A review on laboratory liver function tests. Pan Afr Med J. 2009; 3: 17.

Guidelines on the management of abnormal liver blood tests. Gut. 2018 Jan;67(1):6-19.

Liver enzyme alteration: a guide for clinicians. CMAJ. 2005 Feb 1; 172(3): 367–379.

Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: combined analysis of individual-participant data for 599 912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies. Lancet. 2018 Apr 14; 391(10129): 1513–1523.

Thresholds for safer alcohol use might need lowering. Lancet. 2018 Apr 14;391(10129):1460-1461.

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