Thursday, October 20, 2011

Liver Awareness Month

By Diane Forrest, RN

When my brother got his driver’s license at the age of 15, he got a job delivering flowers for my aunt's florist. The shop was located in downtown Jackson, MS, and not too far was a soul food cafe' that sold the best fried chicken livers ever.  Occasionally he would stop and bring some home for us to enjoy.  Today is liver awareness month; however I am pretty sure they don’t want you to be aware of fried chicken livers.

The liver is a vital organ in the body.  The liver is necessary for life, and one cannot survive without it.  It performs many functions in the body including:

Glycogen storage
  • Decomposition of red blood cells
  •  Plasma protein synthesis
  •  Hormone production
  • Detoxification
  • Production of bile

Ways to Love your liver:

  • Avoid taking unnecessary medications (too many chemicals harm your liver)
  • Don’t mix medicines without the advice of a doctor (you could create something poisonous that could damage your liver badly)
  • Street drugs cause serious damage and scar your liver permanently
  • Don’t drown your liver in beer, liquor or wine (if you drink alcohol, have two or fewer drinks per day)
  • Never mix alcohol with other drugs & medicines
  • Be careful when using aerosol cleaners. Your liver has to detoxify what you breathe in, so when you go on a cleaning binge, make sure the room is well ventilated or wear a mask.
  • Bug sprays, paint sprays and all those other chemical sprays you use can harm your liver too. Be careful what you breathe.
  • Watch what gets on your skin (those insecticides you put on trees and shrubs to kill bugs can get to your liver right through your skin and destroy some cells)! Remember, they’re serious chemicals.

Trouble signs to look for:
  • Yellow discoloration of the skin or eyes
  • Abdominal swelling or severe abdominal pain.
  • Prolonged itching of the skin.
  • Very dark urine or pale stools, or the passage of bloody or tar-like stools.
  • Chronic fatigue, nausea or loss of appetite.

For More information about your liver click here:

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