The liver is an organ that helps with digestion and removing toxins from the body. It is found in the right side of the abdomen just below the rib cage. Sometimes the liver becomes damaged and can’t do its job well. When that happens, the damage can progress into liver failure, requiring a liver transplant. There are many different things that can harm the liver. Some of them you may not even be aware of. Below are 4 things you should know about that could be damaging your elderly parent’s liver.
#1: Eating Too Much Sugar
People often associate sugar with diabetes, but it can also be bad for the liver. The liver uses fructose to create fat. When your parent eats too much refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, it can cause fat to build up in the liver, which can lead to liver disease. Even in people who are not overweight, sugar can be damaging to the liver. In fact, experts say it can be as harmful to the liver as drinking too much alcohol.
#2: Misusing Medications
Medications, both prescription and nonprescription, should be taken only according to directions and only when they are really needed. It’s not uncommon for people to take more than the recommended dose of pain relievers, but that can damage the liver. Also, older adults should not use herbal supplements with other medications unless the doctor has approved them since they can interact with the medications. Some herbal supplements interfere with the liver’s ability to work properly and can lead to liver failure.
#3: Being Overweight
When people are overweight, the fat can build up in their liver. This can cause a disease called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The disease causes the liver to swell. As the disease progresses, the liver becomes harder and scar tissue develops.
#4: Drinking Too Much Alcohol
The Mayo Clinic recommends that men have no more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day and that women have just one. However, even when older people stick to that general guideline, they may still be drinking too much. That’s because it can be hard to know how much alcohol constitutes a drink since glass sizes vary as do the serving sizes of different kinds of alcoholic beverages. A serving of wine is just 5 ounces, which is slightly more than a half cup. A serving of beer is 12 ounces. A serving of liquor is only 1.5 ounces.
Senior care can help your elderly parent to avoid behaviors that can harm their liver. Senior care providers can prepare healthy meals and snacks for the older adult, helping them to avoid excess sugar and promoting weight loss. Senior care providers can also help with weight loss by encouraging your parent to be more physically active. And, senior care providers can monitor older adults while they take their medications to ensure they do not take too much.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Parkers Prairie, MN, please contact the caring staff at Alternative Senior Care today. Providing Home Care in Central Minnesota and Surrounding Communities. Call us Today (320) 352-3350.