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Apr 26, 2018

Healthy Living: Be Good to Your Liver

It’s an organ that we don’t typically think about. In fact, we only know something is wrong with it when it is severely damaged and usually it’s at its last bit of capacity to function you may begin to experience symptoms. This is why we must know which habits and practices may be affecting its health. Tonight in Healthy Living we find out more about the hardworking liver.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

The liver is a vital organ located in the right abdomen behind the rib-cage. This three pound meaty organ completes as many as five hundred jobs in the body and yet we take for granted very easily. Internist Doctor Fernando Cuellar talks about the major roles of the liver.


Fernando Cuellar

Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Internist

“It’s biggest responsibility is to clean the blood; it’s a filter so to speak. It removes the blood of toxins and of byproducts of different processes that happen in your body. The other function, which is important is to make certain proteins and certain substances that is crucial for your body to function. For example, it is important in making blood clotting factors in order for us to be able to stop bleeding and form clots. We need these substances that play a role there and are manufactured in the liver. It plays a big role in a protein called albumen which is a protein that helps to transport other things. So when we start having liver dysfunction or when your liver starts to malfunction, that’s when you have problems with not being able to make these clotting factors, not making albumen and of course not being able to rid the body of toxins.”


The liver is fairly resilient and typically shows signs of malfunction when it’s about severely damaged.


Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“You start to bruise because of the lack of the clotting factors, you start to retain fluids because of that protein that I spoke about; general malaise because one of the function of the liver is to help produce energy so you’ll find that people who are having liver issues would start to get tired and fatigue easily and just generally don’t feel well. I think that’s a great clue: that general malaise that general fatigue that unexplained tiredness.”


So what would cause damage to the liver? There are a wide range of causes; from S.T.D.s to bad habits and even medication we regularly use.


Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“I think what still tops the list in Belize is alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is one of those that will damage the liver over time. The alcohol molecules actually go into the liver cell and damage some of the processes that the liver cell uses for it to work properly. And as it causes inflammation, then causes scarring and that’s when you start that famous cirrhosis of the liver. We have certain infections; the famous hepatitis Cs, the viral hepatitis, because the word hepatitis just means inflammation of the liver. You have different causes that would do that. Alcohol gives you wah type of hepatitis. The viruses; the famous hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, F and so forth, but the main ones are the A, B, C.  But the main one that goes unrecognized is medical; you have certain medications that can damage yo liver. And one of them I will call our attention to is that simple Tylenol, acetaminophen. Acetaminophen dah wah medication that is practically gotten over the counter, but when abused can eventually lead to liver problems. We always knew that Tylenol, acetaminophen, taking more than ten grams or more is dangerous. That means that you would have to have taken twenty Tylenol for the day. But that has been changed to four grams. So if you di take more than eight Tylenol for the day, look out because you are running the risk of damaging your liver.”


While there are many juice and food cleanses that promise to clean toxins from the liver. There still is not scientific proof that detoxes will work. Instead, it’s just the usual recommendation of a healthy lifestyle.


Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“It’s never too late to advice healthy eating, to eliminate alcohol, to be careful with the medications them, have more protein, but protein from plants and vegetables as oppose to animal proteins and many times that delay the progression of the liver problem.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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