Columbus, OH,
15:34 PM

Prioritizing Your Liver Health


With 17 years of experience treating liver cancer patients, Arvinder Bhinder, MD, an oncologist with OhioHealth, recently shared with how prioritizing liver health is essential for your overall well-being. And it takes more than just moderating alcohol intake.

“The liver plays an important role in destroying toxins in the body, and it’s important that we are armed with the knowledge to take care of it,” he told reporter Emily Laurence at Parade.

The liver, responsible for metabolism and digestion, often operates silently, making it difficult to notice potential issues. Recognizing warning signs such as fatigue, nausea, appetite changes, weight loss, jaundice and upper right abdominal pain becomes crucial.

“These symptoms can be vague or hard to track down, but anyone consistently experiencing them should contact a liver specialist promptly to check their liver enzymes,” Dr. Bhinder said.

According to Dr. Bhinder, there’s a key way to help maintain liver health — a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) under 25.

“Often when BMI increases, there is a higher change that things will go south. Patients with a higher BMI are more likely to have what we call a fatty liver, which is more susceptible to liver disease,” he said.

A healthy diet, steering clear of excessively fatty or processed foods, and incorporating unsaturated fats from sources like avocados and olive oil are necessary to reduce the risk of liver issues. Coupled with regular exercise, these habits can promote a healthy BMI.

Still, the familiar message of limiting your alcohol consumption is also important.

“If you don’t drink alcohol at all, your odds of getting liver disease are very low,” Dr. Bhinder said.

Advanced liver damage can compromise the immune system, but he reassured that damage is reversible depending on the severity. In the face of early-stage liver damage, lifestyle adjustment can offer hope, but for more severe conditions like cirrhosis, preventing progression becomes the focus.

“Liver cancer is much more likely to happen when there is preexisting liver disease, and we want to prioritize prevention as much as possible,” Dr. Bhinder said.

Liver cancer screenings every six months for those diagnosed with cirrhosis and hepatitis C are an essential preventative measure.

To learn more about OhioHealth’s liver care, click here.

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