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Pharmacy Your liver is the quiet achiever of all your organs, regulating many processes in your body.

It’s the main organ responsible for detoxification and it works especially hard during the festive season. It cleans your blood from all the nasties you have subjected it to like too much alcohol!

The liver is a really important part of your digestive system and acts as your body’s chemical processing plant. Everything you put in your body from the food you eat, to the fluids you drink and even the medicines or drugs you take pass through your liver.

Often there may be no obvious signs of liver damage but you should see your doctor if you experience the following symptoms: Pain, extreme tiredness, nausea, jaundice, an enlarged liver, dark urine or clay coloured stools.

With such an important role to play, here are 5 ways you can show your liver a little tender loving care.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol consumption can increase your risk of liver disease. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause something called fatty-liver disease where there is a build-up of fat in the liver. When your liver is working efficiently it turns glucose into fat which it sends around the body to store for when your body needs it. Alcohol abuse affects this process and the fat is stored in the liver cells. This can cause your liver to swell and you may feel pain and nausea.

Eat well and keep active

In order for your liver to keep doing its job of processing nutrients, producing hormones and storing vitamins and minerals you need to keep it in tip top condition. Your liver plays an important role in supporting your immunity by capturing bacteria, fungi and parasites. Reducing the amount of processed foods that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar is a good start. Substitute those sausages, chips, bacon and cakes with lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Also make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and exercise regularly. Fruits such as grapes, berries and pomegranates contain something called ellagic acid and reservatrol, which can help regenerate liver cellsi. Coffee has also been shown to lower your risk of preventing liver disease, so drink up!ii 

Review your medicines

Your liver breaks down the substances that we take in orally and that includes medicines, herbs and supplements. Some medicines can have side effects that can harm the liver. Your community pharmacist is a medicines expert and can provide a Home Medicines Review to reduce the chances of harmful side effects or drug interactions. It’s important that you tell your doctor and pharmacist about any herbs or supplements that you are taking as these can also have an impact. 

Aerosols and inhaled toxins

Common household cleaning products and aerosol products can contain toxins harmful to the liver. Similarly, products used in the garden and the garage may be harmful. The additives in cigarettes can also affect the liver. If you need help to quit smoking, speak to your community pharmacist. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to quitting smoking. Different methods work for different people and your pharmacist can suggest strategies that might work for you. 

Prevent viral hepatitis

Viral hepatitis is a serious disease that harms the liver. There are different kinds of hepatitis, such as hepatitis A which is spread from drinking or eating food contaminated with the virus. If you are travelling to parts of the world where there has been an outbreak, you can get a vaccine for hepatitis A. Hepatitis B and C are spread through bodily fluids and blood. If you are concerned that you might have come into contact with the virus, speak to your doctor about a blood test.

Make some changes today and love your liver. 

Speak to the friendly team at Pharmasave Woden Pharmacy, they provide a range of services including: compounding on the premises in a dedicated laboratory, vaccinations, MedsCheck and Diabetes MedsChecks, Ear piercing, Venosan Compression Stockings, Dose Administration Aids, Diabetes Australia Access point, Biometric passport Photos, specialised Sports and Injury needs as well as free delivery to the Woden/Weston/Tuggeranong area. For more information visit