3 Popular Myths About the Liver – One of Them Is True

We have to thank our liver for working hard. The liver has an amazing ability to heal, but it must be taken care of. Let's take a look at the common beliefs about the liver: two are myths and one is true.

Dr. Lana


Only alcoholics suffer from cirrhosis

This is not entirely true. Similarly, you can still have an unhealthy liver as a non-drinker. Liver cirrhosis is a slowly developing disease that occurs when healthy liver cells are damaged and replaced by dense scar tissue. Scar tissue blocks blood flow through the liver and reduces its ability to process nutrients, drugs, and natural toxins. Alcohol is one of the most common causes of cirrhosis. However, other factors that can cause cirrhosis include smoking, viral hepatitis, bile duct diseases, venous blood stasis, autoimmune and metabolic disorders, and toxic substances.

Another disease that is becoming more and more common is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which occurs when too much fat is stored in the liver. Due to the "epidemic" of obesity, we are seeing more and more cases of people with diabetes or other symptoms of metabolic syndrome who develop fat in their liver. This looks the same as the liver fat of people who drink. Moderation is the key to maintaining liver health—this applies to both alcohol and food. To break down heavy foods, the liver needs to produce more bile. As a result, the load increases. In addition to alcohol, foods such as fatty meats—especially pork and lamb—fried foods such as French fries, sugar and salt, spices, smoked meats, pastries, and citrus fruits are also harmful to the liver.

Detox removes toxins from the liver

This is just not true. There are a large number of supplements and medications as well as "traditional recipes" that claim to help "cleanse" the liver. A healthy liver cleanses itself. Liver detox cannot replace treatment: when a person detoxes instead of seeing a doctor, they might be overlooking serious health problems. It is much better to stick to a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and limit alcohol intake to keep your liver healthy.

People don’t experience liver pain

This is true, as most people with liver disease are not even aware of it. In fact, liver diseases occur suddenly as the result of prolonged inflammation and damage that builds up over time. Many liver diseases are asymptomatic and can only be identified by medical examinations. For example, liver cancer is often referred to as a "silent" disease. In the early stages, most people have no symptoms.

Symptoms are not obvious until the disease reaches an advanced stage. Since the liver filters everything we eat, it is important to pay attention to it even if you are not experiencing pain and/or other breakdown symptoms. That is why it is important to do a check-up once a year to control the most important organs: liver, kidneys, pancreas, hematopoietic and cardiovascular systems. You should take general and biochemical blood tests and discuss the results with your doctor.

23 March 2021

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