The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. Weighing about 3 pounds, the liver is reddish-brown in color and feels rubbery to the touch. Normally you can't feel the liver, because it's protected by the rib cage. The liver has two large sections, called the right and the left lobes.
Why is the liver so important?
The liver is the heaviest organ in the body and one of the largest. It's located in the upper right portion of your belly under the ribs and is responsible for functions vital to life. The liver primarily processes nutrients from food, makes bile, removes toxins from the body and builds proteins.
What is liver function?
What are the functions of the liver? The liver controls most chemical levels in the blood. It also secretes a clear yellow or orange fluid called bile. Bile helps to break down fats, preparing them for further digestion and absorption. All of the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver.
What are the main functions of the liver?
The primary functions of the liver are:
Bile production and excretion.
Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs.
Metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Storage of glycogen, vitamins, and minerals.
Synthesis of plasma proteins, such as albumin, and clotting factors.
There are many kinds of liver diseases:
Diseases caused by viruses, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
Diseases caused by drugs, poisons, or too much alcohol. Examples include fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.
Inherited diseases, such as hemochromatosis and Wilson disease.
What is the most common liver disease in the world?
Globally, alcohol, NASH and viral hepatitis currently are the most common causative factors. Prevalence of cirrhosis is likely to be underestimated as almost a third of the patients remain asymptomatic.
How serious is liver disease?
It is a life-threatening condition that demands urgent medical care. The first symptoms of liver failure are often nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, and diarrhea. ... But as liver failure progresses, the symptoms become more serious. The patient may become confused and disoriented, and extremely sleepy.
Can liver disease be cured?
Cirrhosis isn't curable, but it's treatable. Doctors have two main goals in treating this disease: Stop the damage to your liver, and prevent complications. ... Your doctor will personalize your treatment based on what caused your cirrhosis, and the amount of liver damage you have.
What is the leading cause of liver disease?
1. Obesity is the leading cause of liver disease in the U.S. There is a stigma that drinking alcohol and using drugs is the leading cause of liver disease, but there are other things that come into play as well. A liver disease may even be genetic.
What are the early signs of liver damage?
If signs and symptoms of liver disease do occur, the may include:
Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
Abdominal pain and swelling.
Swelling in the legs and ankles.
Dark urine color.
Pale stool color.
Nausea or vomiting.
Where do you feel liver pain?
Liver pain is felt in the upper right area of the abdomen, just below the ribs. Usually, it is a dull, vague pain though it can sometimes be quite severe and may cause a backache. Sometimes people perceive it as pain in the right shoulder.
Can you live without a liver?
While you can't live without a liver completely, you can live with only part of one. Many people can function well with just under half of their liver. ... If you or someone you know has liver disease and in need of a transplant, living liver donation may be an option to consider.
How long can you live with a damaged liver?
PROGNOSIS: Your recovery depends on the type of cirrhosis you have and if you stop drinking. Only 50% of people with severe alcoholic cirrhosis survive 2 years, and only 35% survive 5 years. Recovery rate worsens after the onset of complications (such as gastrointestinal bleeding, ascites, encephalopathy).
Stages of liver failure
Inflammation. In this early stage, the liver is enlarged or inflamed.
Fibrosis. Scar tissue begins to replace healthy tissue in the inflamed liver.
Cirrhosis. Severe scarring has built up, making it difficult for the liver to function properly.
End-stage liver disease (ESLD). ...
How do I clean my liver?
Garlic: Garlic contains selenium, a mineral that helps to detoxify the liver. It also has the ability to activate liver enzymes that can help your body naturally flush out toxins. Citrus Fruits: Fruits like grapefruit, oranges, limes and lemons all boost the liver's cleansing ability.
Does drinking water help your liver?
Water cleanses the system of toxins. As you know, the liver is responsible for the flushing of toxins. Water aids the liver with this process. ... If you want to improve the health of your liver, you need to drink water
Which foods are good for liver?
Some of the best foods and drinks that are good for the liver include:
Coffee. Share on Pinterest Drinking coffee offers protection against fatty liver disease. ...
Oatmeal. Consuming oatmeal is an easy way to add fiber to the diet. ...
Green tea. ...
What foods are bad for your liver?
6 foods to avoid if you have a fatty liver
Alcohol. Alcohol is a major cause of fatty liver disease as well as other liver diseases.
Added sugar. Stay away from sugary foods such as candy, cookies, sodas, and fruit juices. ...
Fried foods. These are high in fat and calories.
White bread, rice, and pasta. ...
Is coffee bad for liver?
In conclusion, evidence suggests that moderate coffee consumption is related to a lower risk of liver cancer and slowing of disease progression in liver fibrosis and alcoholic cirrhosis. There is also evidence that moderate coffee drinking could be beneficial in slowing the progression of viral infections of the liver.
Which fruit is best for liver?
Citrus Fruits: Fruits like grapefruit, oranges, limes and lemons all boost the liver's cleansing ability. Even consumed in small amounts (we know some of these can be tart!), citrus fruits help the liver to produce the detoxifying enzymes that flush out pollutants.
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