Can a Damaged Liver Repair Itself?

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According to the American Liver Foundation, a liver can heal itself if the source of damage is halted and immediate lifestyle changes are made. If severe liver damage has been present for quite a while, or a person’s liver takes a sudden acute injury, transplantation may be required.

The liver can sustain damage from causes that include physical injury, disease, toxins and autoimmune disorders. In order to allow a damaged liver to heal, one must take measures to reduce any stress upon the liver. LiverCare 101 recommends eliminating toxins that stress the liver including (but not limited to) alcohol, tobacco and many medications (such as acetaminophen or statin drugs) that are processed by the liver. The patient should re-evaluate all medications with a physician. Exercise is important, as it reduces fat deposits in the liver. The patient should avoid diets heavy in protein, which can stress the liver. The patient should also increase intake of fruits and vegetables that have antioxidant properties to help remove toxins from the body. Some over-the-counter dietary supplements can be very effective in healing damage, especially milk thistle, turmeric, artichoke, linen, ginger and dandelion. Since dietary supplements are not moderated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is important to consult with a doctor or dietician to procure properly formulated supplements.