YOUR LIVER

About your liver

Let’s begin by finding your liver. Place your hand on the right-hand side of your abdomen, just below your diaphragm, behind your ribs, and there it is — the largest organ inside your body. It’s about the size of a rugby ball and weighs around 1.5 kilograms.
 

Every day your liver performs the following functions:

  • clears the blood of waste products, hormones, drugs and other toxins

  • breaks down hormones and old blood cells

  • makes, stores and releases sugars and fats

  • produces essential proteins, including blood-clotting factors and enzymes

  • aids digestion by releasing bile salts to break down food

  • stores and supplies vitamins, minerals and iron to parts of the body where needed
     

Your liver is also the only organ able to regenerate itself by creating new tissue. So it can still cope with doing all of these things even when it is mildly damaged, just not as efficiently.

 

Liver Disease

Liver disease is a general term that refers to any condition affecting your liver. These conditions may develop for different reasons, but they can all damage your liver and impact its function.

Many conditions can affect your liver. Here’s a look at some of the main ones:

 

Hepatitits
Hepatitis is a viral infection of your liver. It causes inflammation and liver damage, making it difficult for your liver to function as it should

 

Fatty Liver Disease

Fat build up in the liver can lead to fatty liver disease.
 

There are two types of fatty liver disease:

Autoimmune conditions
Autoimmune conditions involve your immune system mistakenly attacking healthy cells in your body.

Genetic conditions

These are things we do not have control over and are inherited at birth. Such as Hemochromatosis and Wilson Disease.

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis refers to scarring that results from liver diseases and other causes of liver damage, such as alcohol use disorder.

Liver  cancer

Complications of other liver diseases, especially those that aren’t treated, may contribute to the development of liver cancer.

Liver failure

Chronic liver failure typically happens when a significant part of your liver is damaged and can’t function properly. Acute liver failure, on the other hand, happens suddenly, often in response to an overdose or poisoning.