There are multiple factors that can damage our livers. Accumulated toxins, alcohol intake and an inappropriate diet are just a few of them.
The liver has, among other roles, the task of processing all the drugs that enter the body. Many times, the organ may suffer because of a toxic drug combination or an overdose. For example, overdose with acetaminophen (paracetamol) is a common cause of liver failure that many people don’t even know exists.
It is important that you stay informed about drugs that are given without a prescription, and ask your doctor or pharmacist about the maximum dose you can safely take. Certain meds can irritate blood vessels in the liver, causing them to become narrowed, or the appearance of blood clots (thrombosis). Oral contraceptives can cause hepatic venous thrombosis, especially among female smokers.
In addition to alcohol, smoking can cause important lesions in the liver and contribute to the development of liver cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking can dramatically increase the risk of getting liver cancer. Also, almost half of the cases of liver cancer are associated with smoking.
People who frequently consume animal origin fats may experience fatty liver disease or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This is caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver, which causes inflammation. Sometimes the disease can progress to a more severe stage, and cause serious liver damage.
In some cases, exposure to various toxic chemicals can damage the liver by irritating its cells. This results in inflammation (hepatitis), reducing the secretion of bile flow through the liver (cholestasis) and accumulation of triglycerides (steatosis). Certain chemicals such as anabolic steroids, vinyl chloride and carbon tetrachloride may even cause liver cancer.
Excessive alcohol consumption over long periods causes alcoholic liver disease (“alcoholic liver disease”). When the liver is trying to break down alcohol, the resulting chemical reaction can damage the liver cells. This damage can lead to inflammation and injuries as the liver attempts to repair itself.
Hepatitis B and C viruses can spread through contaminated medical devices or inappropriately sterilized tattoos. However, licensed tattoo artists often take strict measures to provide customers with protection against viruses of this type.
The viruses that cause hepatitis B and hepatitis C can also be transmitted during sexual intercourse. The hepatitis B virus is more infectious than the HIV virus and can also be spread through body fluids. The hepatitis C virus is transmitted by direct contact with the infected blood.