With chronic liver disease increasing among the elderly population, preventative measures to protect this vital organ may reduce the risk of developing a condition that often goes undiagnosed among 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, presented by Sonoma County Home Care Assistance.
1. Drink Alcohol in Moderation
Drinking alcohol in moderation has some notable health benefits for seniors, including lowering the risk of developing gallstones. Too much alcohol, however, can cause swelling and scarring in the liver that can lead to cirrhosis. The general recommendation for consumption is two glasses a day for men and one for women.
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.
3. Be Mindful of Certain Medications
Some painkillers and cholesterol drugs seniors take on a regular basis may adversely affect the liver. Acetaminophen, in particular, can cause damage to the liver in excessive amounts, which can be difficult to track since it’s also an ingredient found in many cold medications.
4. Drink More Water
Following the rule of eight, eight ounce glasses of water spread throughout the day can boost liver health for seniors. Doing so flushes toxins that may affect the liver out through the bladder and bowels and prevents re-circulation 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 with products like shampoo that are used on a regular basis.
Ensure your senior loved one maintains health and wellness with help from Home Care Assistance. Our hourly and live-in caregivers in Sonoma County can run errands, cook healthy meals, complete basic housekeeping, and provide companionship. Schedule a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more. Call (707) 843.4368 today.