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How Can We Help Promote Our Clients Take Better Care of Their Liver?

Apr 30, 2018

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About the Author:

Guest blogger Timika Chambers is a Holistic Health Coach, Certified Diabetes Educator, and has over 18 years of experience in the nursing profession. She has served in community and hospital settings, as well as academia. Timika helps her clients design a lifestyle that is full of energy and focus, by helping them to create and eat nutritious meals, to develop a consistent physical activity regime that works for them, and by helping them to achieve balance in critical areas of their lives. Timika offers one-on-one counseling, group coaching, and presentations and training on diabetes management to lay persons and healthcare professionals. She is currently completing online healthy living programs to help others around the globe to focus on health management instead of disease management. Visit her website, Facebook, or Twitter to find out more about her services.


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), millions of people have died from excessive alcohol intake. We are well aware that excessive drinking negatively affects families, communities, and states. It is no wonder that we dedicate a month to raising awareness about the consequences of excessive alcohol use.  

However, individuals who have diabetes are at an increased risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Over half of the individuals diagnosed with diabetes are affected by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (Hazlehurst, Woods, Marjot, Cobbold, & Tomlinson, 2016). Both forms of liver disease can prevent the liver from doing its job to maintain homeostasis. The liver is an amazing organ that accomplishes great things such as filtering the blood, making proteins that are essential to blood clotting, and storing extra glucose for times when the body needs it. The body attempts to maintain balance throughout the day. If the liver is too busy handling toxins we ingest, how can it continue to do the job it was created to do?


Diabetes educators have the opportunity to encourage individuals to adopt activities that will promote liver function.


We must encourage individuals with diabetes to focus on maintaining a healthy liver. In a world of overeating and undernourished, sedentary lifestyles, diabetes educators have the opportunity to encourage individuals to adopt activities that will promote liver function. If we focus on the positive aspect of healthy living, we hope that our clients take on the positive attitudes themselves. Many people know what they should be doing; sometimes, I believe they forget the reasoning behind the action.  

It is essential that we help individuals with diabetes link their behaviors to how they are promoting balance or imbalance in the body. We can provide clip charts or visuals to help individuals diagnosed with diabetes understand the function and role of each organ. Reinforce teachings periodically.  Repetition is the key to adopting healthy behaviors.

Here are some key topics to discuss with individuals diagnosed with diabetes.

  1. Include whole fruits and vegetables: We must discuss the importance of nutrients obtained from fruits and vegetables, such as antioxidants and phytonutrients and how they help purify the blood. Instead of adding sugar, choose foods that have natural sugar.
  2. Encourage a weekly meat-free dish: Give the body a rest from breaking down meats including those high in saturated fats
  3. Encourage adding fruits and vegetable juice to their water: Many of my clients have voiced that they have a hard time drinking water by itself. Adding juice from a freshly squeezed lemon may help with weight loss and purifying the blood. Besides many people may need to quench their thirst instead of eating more calories.
  4. Increase physical activity: Much of the time we encourage individuals to exercise to help lose weight or maintain optimal weight. Body movement helps to increase nourishment to our organs and rids the body of excess waste.

Please share your comments.

To your best health and life!


References

Centers for Disease Control (2018). Fact sheets-Alcohol use and your health. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm.

World Health Organization (2015). Sugar intake for children and adults. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/sugar-guideline/en/

Hazlehurst, J.M., Woods, C., Marjot, T., Cobbold, J., Tomlinson, J. W. (2016). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes. Metabolism, 65(8), 1096-1108. https:// doi: 10.1016/j.metabol,2016.01.001

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