Liver Health Month and Liver Disease

Welcome to the fourth day of March which also happens to be the fourth day of ‘Liver Health Month’, an annual awareness raising campaign.

Liver

The liver is a vital organ that serves many functions including cleaning blood, producing proteins, regulating and balancing hormones, regulating cholesterol, regulating the supply of body fuel, regulating vitamins and minerals, and producing bile which is needed to remove toxins and to help digestion….WOW that’s a lot!! Because the liver acts in so many different ways it’s also more susceptible to disease and injury.

There are more than 100 different liver disease and maybe you’ve heard of some of them…liver cancer, fatty liver disease, Hepatitis A, B,C, cirrhosis etc.

You can test your knowledge about liver disease and learn more by taking this short quiz:

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The leading cause of liver disease in Canada is fatty liver disease.  A person has a fatty liver when fat makes up at least 5-10% of the liver.  Having a fatty liver may be benign however with a build-up of fat, the liver becomes more vulnerable to disease and injury.

Watch the video below to learn more about fatty liver disease

fatty liver

 

princ_rm_photo_of_liver_examplesThere are two types of fatty liver disease: alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.  Alcoholic liver disease can occur after drinking moderate or large amounts of alcohol or after binge drinking.   While alcoholic liver disease is important, the most common cause of fatty liver disease in Canada is obesity.  Up to 23% of obese individuals are at risk of developing fatty liver with inflammation.

 

 

So what should you look at for? ….Well, it’s tricky because people with fatty liver disease often have no symptoms and others experience discomfort in the abdomen, are tired, a experience a general sense of being unwell and vague discomfort.  The best thing to do is speak to your physician or a doctor at the Ryerson Medical Centre.   And if you feel well….well, you can prevent fatty liver disease by choosing a healthy lifestyle by eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and avoiding large amounts of alcohol.

 

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References:

http://www.liver.ca/liver-disease/types/fatty-liver.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/fatty-liver-disease

http://www.liver.ca/liver-health/

http://www.liver.ca/liver-health/how-liver-works.aspx