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Liver Health

I am not an alcohol drinker, but why am I diagnosed with fatty liver?

It is a typical myth that only alcohol drinkers are at risk of having liver issues. Liver issues can be caused by both alcohol and non-alcohol lifestyle. Frequent consumption of high-fat and/or high-sugar food is one of the significant contributors to the development of fatty liver. Other potential modifiable factors include being overweight/obese, lose weight rapidly, and having unfavourable health conditions (e.g. diabetic, high cholesterol).

How do I know my liver status?

Liver diseases typically show no sign and symptom. This is because liver has very limited nerves, so it may not send out any signals even its function has degraded up to 80%. Thus, liver is also named as “the silent organ”. Hence, it is recommended to have regular blood check on Liver Function Test (eg AST, ALT, GGT test). Furthermore, you may also undergo regular imaging scanning (eg abdomen ultrasound) to have clearer image of your liver status. Imaging scanning test able to help identify whether there is any excess fat deposition or abnormal tissue growth (eg cyst, tumor) on your liver.

How does essential phospholipid boost liver health?

Phosphatidylcholine is a type of phospholipid which function as the major component of liver cell membrane. Liver cell membrane is made up of bilayer phospholipid that support cell structure and act as barrier to separate the interior of cells from the outside environments. For liver to regenerate and repair its own liver cell, liver require an adequate supply of essential phospholipid (phosphatidylcholine). Phosphatidylcholine supplementation has been shown to help improve clinical and biochemical data of patients with fatty liver, hepatitis and also cirrhosis through facilitate healthy cell growth and repair of damaged liver cells.

What is fatty liver?

A fatty liver is the result of the excessive fat deposited in the liver cells. Phospholipids together with vitamins B and E are able to provide triple actions in protecting the fatty liver.

Action 1 (Regenerator)
Phospholipids facilitate healthy liver cell growth & repair damaged cells

Action 2 (Detoxifier)
B vitamins improve liver metabolism to facilitate better detoxification processes

Action 3 (Protector)
Vitamin E act as antioxidant to prevent lipid peroxidation on the liver cells

What is the factor that contribute to overburden liver?

Stressful or unhealthy lifestyle, over consumption of high fat/frying foods, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, long term dependence of medication are factors that contribute to overburden liver. Liver do play an important role in digestion and detoxification. Milk thistle is well known for its liver protective properties. Op for high strength milk strength milk thistle for better liver protection.

What is the best way to quit smoking? I have tried to quit smoking several times due to health concerns but my attempts failed. Please give me some suggestions.
Cigarette smoking is addictive and a majority of us find it hard to stop smoking. Quitting smoking requires determination, commitment as well as support from your family and friends. Below are some suggestions that may be helpful:
– Reduce the amount of cigarettes gradually
– Get some exercise every day. It is a great way to reduce stress and improve general well-being which will make you feel more confident.
– Identify and avoid your smoking triggers. Whenever you crave for a cigarette, eat your favorite foods or snacks. It can help reduce cravings by fulfilling the oral desires that you may have.
– Keep reminding yourself the reasons for quitting and think of all the benefits to your health, finances and family. 
 
Smoking causes oxidative stress due to increased cumulative exposure to harmful substances. As such, smokers need antioxidant nutrients to scavenge the free radicals formed, which in turn will help prevent damage to the elements of the bloodstream and protect body tissues. Vitamins C and E as well as minerals, zinc and selenium are potent antioxidants which are essential. 
 
The herbs, milk thistle and dandelion may also help reduce toxic loads by promoting detoxification and cleansing the liver of harmful substances.
A recent visit to my doctor confirmed that I have fatty liver and it is due to excessive consumption of alcohol. Besides abstaining from alcoholic beverages, what else can I do to improve my well-being?
Fatty liver refers to an excessive accumulation of fat in liver cells and it is the most common alcohol-induced liver disorder. A fatty liver disorder produces no symptoms on its own and treatment is often aimed at correcting the underlying condition that causes it and nutritional support. If left untreated, this disorder may progress to more severe disease such as alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis. 
 
In fatty liver caused by alcoholism, it is highly advisable to stop alcohol consumption altogether and eat a well-balanced diet. Increase your fruits and vegetable intake. Manage your weight by doing exercise or physical activity such as brisk walking or cycling daily. 
 
Lecithin is one of the best supplements to support liver functions. The main constituent of lecithin, phosphatidylcholine (PC) increases the solubility of cholesterol and break down the fatty deposits in the bloodstream. Regular intake of high PC-lecithin may reduce liver damage and speeds up liver recovery. 
 
Besides lecithin, herbs like milk thistle are also beneficial for liver health by improving liver detoxification. A milk thistle supplement that is standardized to 80% silybin (most active constituent in milk thistle extract) contains potent liver-protective substances that are known to benefit liver damage due to alcohol abuse.
After the recent blood test, I found that I am a Hepatitis B carrier. How do I go about it? This is really frighten me.

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver and hepatitis B carriers are at an increased risk of liver diseases such as cirrhosis and liver failure. it is caused by the hepatitis B virus and can be spread through blood and body fluids of an infected person. Therefore, as a carrier, you should practice safe lifestyle habits that will prevent the passing of virus on to others. The preventive methods include:

(i) Practice protected sex

(ii) Never share syringes or needles

(iii) Avoid unnecessary blood transfusions

(iv) Cover all cuts, blisters, and open sores with a bandage

(v) Do not share cigarettes, nail clipper, scissors and other personal items such as toothbrush and razor with close contacts

(vi) Reduce the frequency of eating out and at the same time, avoid alcohol and cigarette smoking as it can cause further damage to the liver.

 

The liver is an important organ that plays major functions in the body and milk thistle is believed to have protective effects on the liver. This herb is best combined with dandelion for synergistic effect and acts as a liver tonic that improves liver health. Hepatitis B carriers usually do not feel sick and with proper lifestyle modifications and supplementations, it can help prevent further complication as well as protect your close contacts from being infected.

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