October is Liver Awareness Week: Are you protecting your liver?
The American Liver Foundation reminds us this month to take measures to protect our the health of our liver. Liver disease affects one out of every ten US citizens - 30 million people. A healthy liver is essential to a healthy life because our liver is busy quietly detoxifying our body - performing 5,000 functions per minute to maintain health. Everything we eat, drink and breathe gets filtered through our liver. Toxic fumes from paints, aerosol cleaners, pesticides all get filtered through the liver. Our livers process the medications, vitamins and herbal supplements we take.
Hepatitis A, B and C are the most common causes of liver disease in the US and are caused by viruses. Protecting yourself from Hepatitis A and B can be as accomplished by getting a vaccine. Consult your primary care provider or, if you work in a high risk environment, your employer about getting vaccinated against these diseases. Ten million people worldwide contract Hepatitis A each year - if you travel, if you eat seafood, if you are gay - it is worth your while to get the Hepatitis A vaccine.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advocating vaccinating incarcerated persons with chronic hepatitis C against hepatitis A and B. CDC has recommended a comprehensive program for preventing and control of viral hepatitis in the incarcerated population. Wonder if that will include providing condoms? Didn't see that in the policy...
Limit alcohol intake as alcohol is toxic to the liver - especially in combination with other medications like acetaminophen.
Thank you AJC1 for use of image of Hepatitis C virus...way cool.