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There are countless benefits that can be gained from a healthy, balanced lifestyle. And when it comes to maintaining liver health, positive life habits are essential for keeping this organ in top condition. The following tips from Santa Clarita senior care providers will help seniors keep this vital organ in tip-top shape.
Alcohol consumption is a particular concern among the senior population given the frequent use of prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Combined, alcohol and certain medications can be extremely taxing on this organ. As a vital part of digestive processes, the liver is subjected to everything that enters the body including food, beverages, and medications. If seniors need help in moderating their alcohol consumption, they should talk with their doctors about the benefits of joining local support programs. This could be key to minimizing the risk of cirrhosis.
Many elderly people are in the habit of eating fast food or frozen meals in order to sidestep the challenge and inconvenience of cooking for themselves. Too much fat, particularly saturated fat, can open the door to fatty liver disease. Trans fats should be avoided entirely and saturated fat should be limited. The best senior diet is comprised of lean protein, ample servings of fruit and vegetables and daily, moderate portions of whole grains. When saturated fats are consumed, these should come from natural sources that are easy for the liver to process such as olives, olive oil, nuts, nut butters, fatty fish and coconut oil.
Routine exercise is vital for weight control at this stage of life. As people grow older, their metabolisms slow down and the likelihood of weight gain significantly increases. Taking a daily walk, joining a water aerobics or dance class or participating in yoga or tai chi are all easy, low-impact ways for aging adults to get fit and stay that way. Obese people have higher levels of visceral fat or fat that surrounds the internal organs. The storage of excess, visceral fat is one of the most common precursors to fatty liver disease.
Doctors can give seniors tips for improving their liver health that are specific to their individual needs. Making changes before minor problems spiral out of control will limit their long-term impact. This is only possible, however, when aging adults are diligent in their efforts to receive regular check-ups.
Certain medications can also increase a senior’s risk of liver disease. Some cholesterol medications and OTC medications like acetaminophen can place this organ under undue stress. When liver health is a concern, seniors should talk with their doctors about alternative treatments or natural pain management solutions.
If your senior loved one could use help maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle, don’t hesitate to reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our friendly and experienced part-time and live-in caregivers in Santa Clarita can run errands, grocery shop, provide transportation to appointments, offer mobility support, and much more. Give us a call at 661.259.9914 to learn more.