With chronic liver disease increasing among the elderly population, preventative measures to protect this vital organ may reduce the risk of developing the condition, which often goes undiagnosed in seniors. Since everything that’s consumed, including medication, eventually makes its way through the liver, it’s important to take steps to maintain liver health. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Drink Alcohol in Moderation
Drinking alcohol in moderation has some notable health benefits for seniors, including lowering the risk of developing gallstones. However, too much alcohol can cause swelling and scarring in the liver that leads to cirrhosis. The general recommendation for consumption is two glasses a day for men and one for women.
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2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can reduce the risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition often affected by excessive weight. A healthy diet for seniors includes a mix of fruits and veggies, grains, and protein.
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3. Be Mindful of Certain Medications
Some painkillers and cholesterol drugs seniors take on a regular basis may adversely affect the liver. In particular, excessive amounts of acetaminophen can cause damage to the liver, and it can be difficult to track, since it’s also an ingredient found in many cold medications.
4. Drink More Water
Drinking eight glasses of water during the day can boost liver health for seniors. Doing so flushes toxins out through the bladder and bowels and prevents recirculation through the bloodstream. Adding lemon juice to a few of those glasses of water can further aid with digestion and help the liver.
5. Choose Chemical-Free Products
The skin is highly absorptive, with everything applied to it eventually making it through the liver. Opting for chemical-free body care products whenever possible can help seniors minimize what’s absorbed into their skin, especially products like shampoo that are used on a regular basis.
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