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Be Good To Your Liver

Be Good To Your Liver

Your liver is one of the hardest working organs in your body.  Think of it as your own personal filtering system as it cleans your blood and helps you digest food.

Everything you eat or drink passes through your liver.  It’s the liver’s job to help breakdown the nutrients in food and spread the nutrients throughout the body via the bloodstream and eliminate the toxic waste that’s left.  

Taking care of your liver is a critical part of maintaining overall good health. Exercising and eating right are important.  Some liver-friendly foods are also quite tasty:

  • v Garlic
  • v Grapefruit
  • v Avocado
  • v Beets
  • v Apples… to name a few.   

Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in the number of people with liver disease and according to the American Liver Foundation about 1 in 10 people have some form of liver disease.

Some liver disease may be inherited. And some problems arise when certain viruses or harmful chemicals infect your body.  Too much alcohol can lead to Cirrhosis, and some medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol)  can create issues if you take too much.  Mistreating your liver can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, chronic fatigue, headaches and digestive problems. 

Dr. Bhatti is one of the few Gastroenterologists in Minnesota who specializes in treating liver disease.  Some of the liver conditions that we commonly treat include:

Hepatitis

Cirrhosis

Jaundice

Liver Tumors

Your liver is an amazing organ that helps your immune system fight infections, removes bacteria from the blood and makes bile, which is essential for digestion.

Please be good to your liver so your liver is good to you.   And call us if you have any questions or concerns about your liver.  952-368-3800

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Exercise to Promote Good Digestion

Exercise to Promote Good Digestion

You probably know that eating fruits, vegetable and foods that are high in fiber can help your digestion.   But exercise can also help optimize your digestive process.  Exercise improves blood flow throughout the body –including your digestive tract.  

A consistent exercise routine will help keep your digestive process moving and can alleviate constipation, gas, and bloating.    Different types of exercise have different effects on the body. For example, riding a bike or breathing exercises can help reduce heartburn.  Certain yoga poses like gentle twists can stimulate your abdominal organs.   But the best kind of exercise is the exercise you enjoy because you will be more motivated to get moving.  National recommendations for physical activity say that adults should exercise about 150 minutes per week.  That is less than ½ hour per day – and enough for your digestive health.

Alternatively, some types of extreme exercise can have negative effects on digestion. Endurance athletes often report gastrointestinal issues such as is nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea. It’s important to talk with a doctor before implementing a new exercise regimen, especially if you have health issues.  

Eating right, exercising and staying hydrated are all important parts of general health that impact your digestion.  Please contact us anytime you have questions or concerns about your digestive health: 952-368-3800

 

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Your Digestive System And How It Works

Every time we eat or drink something, our digestive system goes to work to help our bodies absorb the nutrients we need
to stay strong and healthy.

It all starts in our mouth.  As we chew our food, saliva is produced and our food starts to break down. Once swallowed,
food moves down our esophagus and into our stomach.

The stomach is a curved organ that stretches when we eat or drink and it connects the esophagus to the small intestine.  Muscles at the top of our stomach relax to let food enter while muscles at the bottom of our stomach go to work to mix the contents of our stomach with digestive juices or acids that primarily break down proteins. 

Next, the contents of the stomach, which is now called chyme, enters the small intestine.  Digestive juices created by the small intestine, along with bile from the liver (which is stored in the gall bladder) and enzymes from the pancreas all go
to work to further break down the food into carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The walls of the small intestine absorb these nutrients and – via the bloodstream - deliver these nutrients to cells throughout the body.  Meanwhile, the remaining chyme passes into the large intestine.

Once in the large intestine (also called the colon), there are very few nutrients left in the chyme.  Water and electrolytes are removed and microbes go to work to continue the digestive process.   What’s left now is waste, which passes through the final part of the large intestine, called the rectum and exits through the anus.

This vital and amazing process takes place every time we eat or drink. And the nutrients absorbed into our bodies through digestion help all parts of our body - from our organs to our hormones.

You can help keep your digestive system working well by drinking lots of water and eating a healthy diet that has lots of fiber-rich foods like fruit and vegetables.

As a gastroenterology clinic, we specialize in caring for people who have digestive issues.  Please contact us if you have concerns about your digestive health.  

 

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