Take Care of Your Liver!

about-liver-and-bile

In a single word, the liver is VITAL!  The liver weighs about 3 pounds, is shaped like a football that’s got a flat, and is located on your right side under your rib cage.  The liver is the first line of defense against chemicals and toxins we ingest every day and it’s #TheSecondLargestOrganInYourBody.  A person can’t survive without a functioning liver.

The liver:

  • Filters blood coming from the digestive tract
  • Filters toxins out of the bloodstream
  • Digests and processes carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, & minerals
  • Recycles red blood cells
  • Helps the blood to clot
  • Stores energy for future use

The liver is highly susceptible to:

  • Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:  Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and pain in the right upper abdomen.  Liver enzymes may be elevated but liver function tests are often normal.  Many heavy drinkers have fatty liver disease.  Alcoholic fatty liver disease may be reversed if drinking of alcohol is stopped.
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis:  Liver swelling due to chronic alcoholism.
  • Cirrhosis:  Scarring of the liver caused mostly by chronic alcoholism, Hepatitis B & C , bile duct disease or iron overload resulting in liver failure.
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:  Occurs as a result of fat metabolism problems in the liver – symptoms are high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. #NAFLD is a risk for people who are overweight or obese or who have diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides. Rapid weight loss and poor eating habits also may lead to NAFLD.
  • Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (#NASH):  The more severe form of NAFLD where people (more commonly women than men) between the ages of 40 and 60 who are overweight or obese, or who have diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides, end up developing cirrhosis as a result of the swelling and scarring of the liver that occurs in response.
  • Viral Hepatitis: Strains A and E are caused by eating food contaminated with the virus, while B,C, and D are caused by contact with blood, body fluids or unprotected sexual contact with an infected person.
  • Cancer

NAFLD affects up to 25% of people in the United States.  Let that statistic sink in.

The great news about the liver is that it is one of the few organs in the body that has the ability to heal with something as simple as changing a behavior or two.

  • Hepatitis B has a vaccination available – GET IT!
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Control sodium intake (no more than 2,000-2,400 milligrams of salt daily). Excess sodium can cause abdominal water retention/inflammation and can overwork the liver
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid #UnhealthyFats like potato chips, large amounts of animal proteins, fast food, sugary drinks
  • Add Vitamins D, E and healthy fats like those found in fish, olive oil, nuts, and avocados
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Only take medicines that you need and follow dosing recommendations
  • Drink coffee!  Coffee has been shown to keep liver enzymes low.  Coffee drinkers with hepatitis C had a better response to treatment, a lower risk of liver cancer, and slower progression to cirrhosis. #HMMM

Take care of your liver, you can’t live without it.  #ThingsThatMakeMeGoHmmm

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Hair. There. Everywhere.

IMG_1764It’s a fact of life when you own pets:  your pets will shed and their hair is EVERYWHERE!  #ThingsThatMakeMeGoHmmm

Try as you might to avoid it, in a house with English Labs & a Selkirk Rex kitty, the #FurIsFlying.  It’s on you, your furniture, your clothes, your floors, in your car, and it’s even on your friends…you get the picture.  The good news is there are many ways to combat the hair that leaves your pet(s) and deposits all around you.

removedoghair

For my money, the two #iRobot Roombas that I have roaming my hardwood floors on #FurPatrol have more than earned their keep! #ExtremeBlondeMoments

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me orIMG_1503 something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the more than 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

They Won’t Forget The Gift You Bought

That season is quickly approaching.  The dreaded Summer Wedding Season.  But before it arrives, there will be the obligatory bridal showers, couples showers and bachelor & bachelorette parties to attend.

Of course, you’ll be obligated to bring gifts to some of those gatherings, but have no fear, once you’ve purchased the mandatory registry item for the couple’s wedding, I’ve come across some gift ideas that will come as a very welcome change of pace when showering the bride and groom separately or together.

campfireironsFor the couple that’s always at the River, would rather be camping, loves bonfires at the beach, or spends nearly every weekend by their fireplace/fire pit in the backyard:  Courtesy of Etsy, give them this stainless steel couple with wood handles that are perfect for roasting a pair of fluffy marshmallows or a nice firm frank over the fire.  If you’re really splurging, throw in a package of jet-puffed marshmallows.

seensayrestaurantsFor the couple that rarely eats at home, has lots of choices, but can never decide where to eat, give them this genius idea that I saw on Pinterest:  Buy a See-And-Say type children’s talking toy.  Using stickers, write the name of area restaurant choices and apply the stickers over the (in this case) farm animals the arrow can land on.  Now your friends can stop arguing over where to eat. 😉

buttbeardpillowcasesAnother fun find from Etsy for that couple that never seems to leave the bedroom:  A pair of coordinating pillowcases – choices include:  I Love Her Butt / I Love His Beard;  Little Spoon/Big Spoon;  I’m Crazy/I Like Crazy;  I’m Weird/ I Like Weird

corkandbeercapsIf your friends are part of the drinking class, like to throw a few back and otherwise have a good time will having a beer or few and some wine:  This set of His and Her shadowbox frames for collecting corks and bottle caps should suit them just fine!

beachchairIf you’re showering your favorite river, lake or beach loving bride to be, bachelorette, or even birthday girl:  This ultimate beach chair is more than calling her name!  If the two of you share that passion then you better get one for yourself too!

doorhangerorganizerWould your favorite bride forget her head if it weren’t attached?  Poke a little good-natured fun at your forgetful Bridezilla if you dare with this door hanger organizer that reminds her not to forget things like her glasses, keys, phone, important papers, etc.

Some other things to consider giving a highly stressed bride-to-be would be a day of pampering of any kind: A massage at somewhere local like a Massage Envy; if you know where she gets her mani-pedis done, treat her;  has she been complaining about something she hasn’t been able to get done, like a pet grooming?  Get referrals for a local mobile groomer and buy her a gift card for her pampered pooch to get a treatment that she doesn’t have to leave the house for.  The key is to be creative.

These kind of gifts really work for any occasion and beat the routine gift card for dinner any day!

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments