I know nothing about my liver. After my Kidney stones shockwave treatment (and my other kidney showing sign of kidney stones), I guess it’s about time that I worry about my other organs.
Some facts about liver:
- Liver is part of our digestive system.
- Liver is the biggest solid organ in our body and is considered as a gland because it secretes bile.
- The liver is the only organ in our body that can regenerate even though a large of it has been removed.
The bile secreted by the liver is a substance needed to digest fats. Aside from that, our liver is important because it detoxify our body by breaking down toxins. It also stores some vitamins and iron and stores simple sugar and converts it when our body needs the sugar. The liver also plays a vital role in metabolism as it converts ammonia to urea which is needed in metabolism.
Liver destroys old red blood cells, the usual brown color of our fecal is the result of destruction of old red blood cells. Discoloration of fecal may be a sign that there is something wrong with our liver. Jaundice is another sign that your liver is not doing any good.
The most common liver diseases are hepatitis infection, fatty liver or damaged brought about by alcohol abuse.
And though our liver can regenerate even though a large of it has been removed, it does not mean that we should not take care of our liver. Who would want to undergo a liver operation? Just imagine the pain and the cost. Here are some ways to take care of our liver:
- Do not drink too much as too much alcohol can damage our liver in two ways: 1. when our liver tries to breakdown too much alcohol, the chemical reaction can be damaging to the cells of the liver and 2. the alcohol damage the intestine which may allow bacteria to get into our liver.
- Stay away from fatty food and exercise daily. Since our liver produces bile to digest fats, more fats means more bile production which means overworked liver (they need to rest too, you know).
- Be more conscious of the medicines you take as some or incorrect dosage may lead to liver damage.
- Drink more water as this will help your liver detoxify itself.
- Proper hygiene also plays a vital role in making sure our liver is healthy as hepatitis infection can be passed through contaminated food, water, blood or body fluids. Make sure that you always wash your hand properly.
What will happen if our liver is damaged?
When a large part of the liver is damaged, liver failure will occur and if liver failure is severe the patient will need a liver transplant.