A wide range of health benefits are associated with quitting drinking, but the repair to one’s liver is among the most noticeable of them all. Even among alcoholics who consume large quantities of booze (35 drinks per week for men and 28 drinks per week for women) over long periods of time, less than half will develop serious liver disease. This means that, for most people in recovery, it’s possible to make up for the past trauma and abuse your liver has taken and, even better, keep it healthy going forward. Here are seven simple steps you can take to maintain your liver health after quitting drinking.
Walking for just 30 minutes per day helps boost your immune functions and reduces your risk of liver cancer. The extra physical activity also helps maintain a healthy weight, which can be beneficial since obesity is hard on the liver.
“Walking for just 30 minutes per day helps boost your immune functions and reduces your risk of liver cancer.”
Watch Your Medications
Some over-the-counter medications that contain acetaminophen, which can be damaging to the liver. Combining medications when you’re sick, such as Tylenol and Nyquil, can lead to serious side effects. Certain drugs negatively interact and even spark a potential overdose.
Avoid Hepatitis B and C
These two diseases can also take a major toll on your liver, but are also easy to avoid getting. Regular vaccinations, using condoms during intercourse, and making sure sterile instruments are used during procedures such as piercings and tattoos will all go a long way.
Watch Your Weight
Along with alcohol, obesity is also one of the two leading causes of liver disease. Research has shown that being overweight and abusing alcohol is actually four times more harmful than having just one of these mitigating factors. Since you’re committing to a healthier lifestyle by quitting drinking, it’s only natural that the same attention should be given towards your diet and fitness.
Numerous studies have shown that a healthy diet rich in antioxidants can help protect your liver from alcohol-related damage. Increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, while also minimizing your intake of processed foods, saturated fats and sugars, will do wonders in maintaining your liver.
The toxic addictives in cigarettes are processed in your liver and can create significant damage. The bad habit also accelerates liver scarring for those who already have alcoholic liver disease.
The toxic addictives in cigarettes are processed in your liver and can create significant damage.
This might seem like the most obvious of the bunch, but many people believe that cutting back significantly in their drinking is good enough. However, those who have alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis will still experience further damage with any alcohol consumption, albeit a slower rate. Total abstinence is the only full solution. Learn more about the alcohol and drug addiction recovery process. Photo credit: Google