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How you can avoid liver damage at work

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2000 and 2015, the death rate for chronic liver disease and cirrhosis increased by 31% among the 45-64 age bracket. That is a significant increase and something that we should all be worried about. Your liver is an amazing organ that performs so many functions to keep you in good health – removing toxins from the bloodstream, producing bile, choosing what parts of your meal you should excrete, balancing your energy metabolism, helping your immune system and so much more. Don't mistreat it.

Liver disease is often caused by years of body-damaging behaviors, and where do we all spend a huge amount of our waking hours? At work. The workplace is an important area to change how you treat your liver, and there are several ways that you can go about this.

Get yourself tested

If you are worried about your liver, then a good place to start would be to get your blood tested. Blood tells us so much about the state of our health, and an ALT blood test will ensure that you find out quickly – see ALT Blood Test Explained, which tell you all about how the test works and what you can find out. Whatever the outcome of the test, however, these steps will all lead to a generally healthier life.


Say no to alcohol

Alcohol affects the liver by causing it to secrete a toxic enzyme that damages the liver's cells and causes scarring and cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a seriously dangerous condition and not something that you ever want to develop. Additionally, alcohol leads to dehydration, which can also damage your liver. 

Sure, sometimes a few drinks are appropriate – at the Christmas party, or if your team has just made a huge sale – but going for lunchtime or after-work drinks a few times a week is going to have a serious effect on the long-term health of your liver. Saying no to alcohol does not mean that you are saying no to socializing – instead of going to a bar and drinking beer, you could go to a café or juice bar and have something non-alcoholic.

Stop overeating

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is another very common liver problem for Americans. It is basically a buildup of liver fat and is heavily linked to being overweight. Workplace eating habits are often an important factor in being overweight. Make your own lunch the night before and make sure that it's healthy – use lentils, vegetables, pasta and brown rice to make a meal that will keep you full without being unhealthy. Additionally, you can reduce your portion sizes with smaller plates to encourage you to eat less at the office. Also, keep away from the office vending machine.

Cut down on soda and drink more water

Sodas are now known to be a major factor in the US obesity epidemic. A typical 20-ounce soda will contain between 15 and 18 teaspoons of sugar and 240 calories. Just one soda a day will have a negative long-term effect on the health of your liver through the increase of liver fat. Stay away from the drinks vending machine as well as the snacks vending machine and drink water instead.

Water helps your liver flush out toxins, and being dehydrated leads to your blood thickening, making filtration more difficult for the liver. The amount of water that you need to drink a day will depend on how much you weigh – it should be about half your body weight, so if you weigh 200 pounds, then you need to drink about 100 ounces of water.

Increase your vitamin E intake

If you are suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), then getting more vitamin E will have a positive effect. It has been found to reduce inflammation, hepatic fibrosis and cell death. You can find vitamin E in a variety of foodstuffs. Almonds are a fantastic option for vitamin E – have a bag of almonds ready near your desk or use almond milk in your coffee to get the benefits throughout the day. Other foodstuffs include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chard, spinach, kale, hazelnuts, avocado, papaya and olives.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are various ways to help your trusty liver. This organ does so much for you and the consequences of not treating it well are serious health problems and even death, so it's a good idea to show it some love. Work can have a huge impact on our lives, but make sure that an unhealthy liver is not one of those impacts.
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