Are you taking care of ALL your vital organs?

Image: Are you taking care of ALL your vital organs?

If you took your car to a mechanic for a tune-up and he/she only checked the tires would you be satisfied?

Many of us wouldn't, but ironically we often treat our bodies in this manner. We pick and choose what body parts we want to devote attention to forgetting that our bodies are similar to cars, if one of our vital organs is in bad shape it affects how our whole body operates. Does your current lifestyle take into account the health of your liver? Ask yourself these 10 questions and find out:

1. Do you avoid eating lots of dark leafy greens and rich coloured fruits?
Healthy Liver Tip: The healthier your diet, the healthier your liver.

2. Do you consume a lot of sugar?
Healthy Liver Tip: Stop drinking pop, reduce (or eliminate) sugar from your coffee or tea. Sugar can have a similar effect on the liver as alcohol. Too much can lead to a build up of fat in the liver cells and eventually lead to fatty liver disease.

3. Do you use chemical cleaning products as opposed to organic or environmentally friendly products?
Healthy Liver Tip: It's the liver's job to rid your body of toxins so reducing the amount of chemicals you are exposed to means the liver won't have to work as hard.

4. Do you use your car more than you walk?
Healthy Liver Tip: Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight which in turn can reduce the risk of fatty liver disease.

5. Have you asked your doctor for a liver test?
Healthy Liver Tip: Many liver diseases will have no symptoms until the liver is severely damaged. Early diagnosis offers better odds for successful treatment.

6. Have you received immunization against hepatitis A and B?
Healthy Liver Tip: These are the only two liver diseases that can be prevented by vaccine.

7. Do you read labels carefully?
Healthy Liver Tip: ask your doctor or pharmacist before combining herbal remedies, vitamins, over the counter and prescription medications. Medications and supplements meet in the liver and can sometimes trigger dangerous interactions.

8. Do you pamper yourself in a safe manner?
Healthy Liver Tip: Ensure tattoos, piercings, manicures and pedicures are performed by licensed practitioners with single-use or sterilized equipment. contaminated equipment or inks could expose you to hepatitis B or C.

9. Do you consume alcohol in moderation or not at all?
Healthy Liver Tip: Excessive drinking can lead to fat buildup and scarring in the liver. If you're pregnant, on medication or have liver disease, avoid alcohol completely. If you are healthy, aim for less than 10 drinks per week for women and 15 drinks per week for men – and never on a daily basis.

10. Have you quit smoking?
Healthy Liver Tip: Smoking can contribute to the development of liver cancer, if you already have liver disease.

If you answered YES to questions 1-4 and NO to questions 5 -10, then your lifestyle may be putting your liver in danger. Help your liver help you by incorporating these 10 healthy liver tips into your lifestyle.

SHC Weekly Liver Challenge:

The Canadian Liver Foundation's (CLF) second call to action is to change your lifestyle to help prevent liver disease. CLF created the "10 steps to a healthier and happier life." We challenge you to pick 2 things that you can do this week to take better care of your liver!

Think that challenge is too easy? How about taking it one step further, each week for the next 5 weeks incorporate 2 new things on the list into your lifestyle, you might already be doing some of these things which means you're off to a good start!