Liver Disease: It’s not only linked to alcohol consumption!
When most people think of liver disease, they often think of damage done to the liver as a result of excessive alcohol consumption. However, the most common form of liver disease in Canada is Fatty Liver Disease, which is linked to poor nutrition, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Many Canadians may not realize that their everyday eating habits and physical activity levels could be putting them at risk of developing liver disease- even if they rarely or never drink alcohol!
Is physical inactivity putting you at risk of Fatty Liver Disease?
According to the Canadian Liver Foundation, researchers say that physical inactivity is the primary cause of chronic diseases, such as obesity and Fatty Liver Disease, among others.
A sedentary lifestyle due to low physical activity levels can lead to unnecessary weight gain. The Canadian Liver Foundation warns that people who are overweight run a higher risk of developing Fatty Liver Disease. This is because obesity can lead to fatty infiltration of the liver, and in some cases, this process is accompanied by inflammation and scarring of the liver that may lead to cirrhosis.
What can I do to reduce my risk of Fatty Liver Disease?
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It helps give your body the energy it needs to work well, can boost your immune system, and keep your liver healthy. Exercise is especially important in maintaining an ideal weight for your age, gender, and body type.
Health Canada recommends that everyone should try to take at least 10,000 steps a day. This may sound like a lot, especially for those who spend a large part of their day sitting in a vehicle or at a desk. However, here are a few ideas you can try to increase the number of steps you take each day:
- Take the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator whenever possible
- Walk instead of drive. Or, if you need to drive, try parking your vehicle at the far end of the parking lot and walking the remainder of the distance
- Walk or jog on the spot while watching television
- Go window shopping
- Use a step counter to track your steps and keep you motivated
- Visit your coworkers in person by walking to their desks instead of using email or telephone
Always remember that while there have been major advances in treating liver diseases, there are no cures. That is why it is important to take the precautions necessary for preventing liver disease. March is Help Fight Liver Disease Month, and we would like to remind our readers to make smart lifestyle choices in order to maintain a healthy liver! This month we would like to challenge you to keep track of your steps and see if you can achieve 10,000 a day!
For more information on Fatty Liver Disease and tips for prevention, please contact The Canadian Liver Foundation or visit www.liver.ca