October is National Liver Awareness Month: What’s the Best Way for Seniors to Improve Liver Health?

Posted: 10/13/2017 5:29 PM by Interim HealthCare
In a normal day, people aren’t likely to think much about their liver, if they think about it at all. That may be unfortunate since the liver is extremely important to good health. The liver is important to metabolic functions because it transforms the nutrients in the foods we eat into substances the body can use, storing them until they are needed. The liver is also responsible for removing toxins from the body. It’s an important organ, yet most people don’t think about ways to keep it healthy. That’s why October is a month set aside to remind people about the importance of a healthy liver. Good liver health is essential regardless of age, so it’s as important for seniors to try to improve their liver health as it is for everyone else. Below are some tips for improving liver health.
Drink Only Moderate Amounts of Alcohol
People over the age of 65 should have no more than one alcoholic drink per day. Alcohol harms liver cells and too much can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, a disease that can be fatal.
Get Tested for Hepatitis C
Seniors in the Baby Boomer generation should be tested for hepatitis C, a liver disease. The transmission of hep C was at its peak between the 1960s and 1980s. The virus was spread through contact with infected blood. During that time, the precautions taken in medical procedures were different than they are today. As a result, hep C was passed from person to person via medical equipment and unscreened blood products. Hep C is treatable, so knowing they have it can help seniors to get treatment and prevent complications. There are also vaccinations for hepatitis A and hepatitis B, which a senior’s doctor may recommend.
Avoid Toxins
Certain cleaning products and aerosols contain toxins that can affect the liver. Smoking can also damage liver cells. Seniors should avoid getting toxins on their skin and wear a mask when working with aerosols or potentially hazardous cleaning products.
Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Eating right and exercising are also essential to protecting liver health. Being obese can cause a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Enjoy a Cup of Coffee or Tea
Research has indicated that drinking coffee or tea reduces the risk of liver disease. Studies showed that people who frequently drank coffee or herbal tea were at a much lower risk for liver disease.
If you’re concerned about the health of your aging family member’s liver, a home care provider can help them to work toward improving liver health. Home care providers can prepare healthy meals and encourage your parent to exercise, or drive your parent to exercise classes. If your loved one has already been diagnosed with liver disease, a home care provider can remind them to take medications prescribed by their doctor. They can also drive them to medical appointments.

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