How To Protect The Liver From Prescription Drug Damage

By Subodh / October 22, 2014

There are so many organs in your body that works in tandem to keep you healthy and fit. The liver is one such internal and digestive organ that plays a crucial role behind your health. It basically filters the blood to help your body get rid of the toxins. It is also responsible for generating proteins required for blood clotting and biles.

The liver can get damaged owing to several reasons, including sticking to an improper diet, drinking less water, alcohol addiction etc. However, a majority of liver damage cases is triggered by long term prescription drug use. There are several types of such drugs that can harm the liver and affect its functioning in an adverse way.

How Liver damage Is Caused By Drug Usage

Drug intake can cause liver damage in several ways. Some drugs are really harmful for the liver. There are some drugs that get converted into chemicals after ingesting and lead to liver damage. An uncommon form of liver toxicity is called drug allergy. In this case, your liver is affected by inflammation caused by the immune system attacking drugs.

Medications That Usually lead to Liver Damage

Below listed are some medications that often lead to liver damage:

  • Acetaminophen (commonly goes by the name Tylenol)
  • Certain antibiotics (nitrofurantoin , augmentin , isoniazid)
  • Heart medications like Amiodarone/ Cordarone
  • Certain Cholesterol medications (generally called stations)
  • Arthritis medications like Methotrexate

Symptoms of Liver Damage Caused By Prescription Drug Intake

There are certain signs and symptoms of liver damage triggered by long term prescription drug usage. They are:

  • Jaundice- the liver eliminates bilirubin from the bloodstream. When it cannot function well, the Excess bilirubin deposit makes the skin and eyes yellowish.
  • Itchy Skin- Liver acts as human body’s major detoxifying organ. When it performs below par, skin irritants remain in the body. The result is skin itching.
  • Nosebleeds- Blood clotting requires certain proteins in the human body. A damaged liver cannot produce enough proteins in the body, resulting in easy bleeding.
  • Fatigue- Liver damage or malfunction can also lead to excessive fatigue.

Treatment For Stopping Drug Related Liver Damage

As a matter of fact, the best treatment for drug caused liver damage is stopping the use of such drugs. However, that may not be possible in some instances. However, Tylenol overdoses require treatment to thwart liver failure. In extreme cases, Liver transplantation may be the only option left. Usage of some drugs may lead to irreversible damage to the organ and lead to cirrhosis of the liver.

Dietary Changes For Preventing Liver Damage

When you cannot stop taking some prescription drugs altogether but also want to stop the damage being caused to the liver, make some dietary changes. By taking certain nutrients and foods in your meals, you can nearly eliminate liver damages caused by drug intake.

Cysteine

Cysteine

This amino acid is found in the form of supplements. It reverses acetaminophen poisoning in the liver.

Fiber

Dietary fiber

Health experts advise including sources of dietary fibre in meals of adult men and women. Truth be told, fibre works as a natural sweeper in your digestive organs. It helps the body kick out the waste and toxins quickly and aids metabolism. Sources of fibre are foods like legumes, black beans, peas, avocados, berries etc.

Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle

Since ages, this plant has been used by various races to treat gallbladder, kidney and liver problems. It has antioxidants that can be good for the liver health. It especially hikes glutathione levels in the blood stream. This helps the liver get rid of various types of toxins. It is also found in vegetables like cabbage, collard greens, radish, turnips and broccoli.

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)

alpha lipoic acid
It is found in every cell of the human body and it works as a robust antioxidant. It is an oil and water soluble component. To supplement it, you can eat brewer’s yeast, spinach, potatoes etc. It also performs a number of restorative and healing functions in the human body.

To make sure that you have a healthy body, it is important to take special care of your liver, especially if you are taking medications prescribed by your doctor. You need to protect it as well as you can to make sure that it always functions as it should.