Liver- Everything you need to know!

The Liver is your body's largest organ. This organ is important to your body's immune system and metabolic functions. Through this blog, you will get to know the structure of liver, importance in our body, the different functions it undertakes and how can we keep your liver healthy.

Gaurav Gupta Created on 4th Mar, 21

‘Is the life worth living? It depends on the liver.’ This saying is so apt when talking about the liver. It is a vital organ in humans. 

It is so vital that people would perish if it stopped working even for a single day. Regrettably, it is also one of the organs that receive the least attention.

 

That’s why, when liver damage becomes irreversible due to acute or chronic liver disease, a liver transplant becomes the only option for treatment. Luckily, most patients can get the best treatment for a liver transplant in India due to improved infrastructure and advance technology.

Let’s take some time to learn more about the liver and give it the attention it deserves, considering its significance. 

Interesting facts about the Liver

  • The liver is the largest glandular organ in the human body and the second largest organ in the body after the skin.

 

  • The liver is multifunctional, performing over 800 essential functions for the body at the same time. Providing glucose to the brain, fighting infections, and storing nutrients are only a few of these vital functions.

 

  • Around 5-10% of the liver is made up of fats. Higher fat content in the Liver leads to a condition called “fatty liver.” This condition is more prone in people with obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, High Cholesterol, and heavy alcohol drinking.

 

  • The human liver produces and stores iron and essential vitamins and nutrients from the diet and keeps them in storage until the body needs them.

 

  • It also acts as a detoxifier. The toxic substances consumed by people, such as alcohol and drugs, are detoxified by the liver. The body cannot process these substances without the liver.

 

  • The liver produces important proteins of blood clotting, which circulates in the body. That’s the reason patients with liver failure are more prone to bleeding.

 

  • The liver has the incredible capacity to regenerate, which makes Living donor liver transplantation possible. When people donate half of their liver, the liver regenerates the portion that the doctor removed. Within three months, the liver grows back to 90% of its original size.

 

So, the liver is an essential organ that performs a variety of functions. It works in coordination with other organs of the body to keep us fit and healthy. This is the reason with Liver failure other organs also start to get affected like kidney, heart, lungs, and many more.

 

What are the causes of Liver Disease?

The following factors can cause Liver disease:

  • Viruses and parasites
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer 
  • Abnormal gene
  • Alcohol abuse for a long time
  • The fat build-up in the liver

 

Which are the most common Liver diseases? 

  1. Hepatitis is caused by viruses, obesity, allergic reactions, drugs, or heavy drinking.
  2. Cirrhosis scars the liver as a result of long-term damage.
  3. The most common form of liver cancer develops after the presence of cirrhosis.

 

What are the signs and symptoms of Liver diseases?

One or more of the following symptoms can occur, with more severe symptoms often associated with more advanced disease:

  • Skin and eyes turn yellowish (jaundice)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Tiredness
  • Swelling in legs and knees 
  • Itchy skin 
  • Urine with a dark hue
  • Stools that are pale, bloody, or tar-colored
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Diarrhea 
  • Appetite loss
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Mental confusion 

What is the treatment for liver disease?

Treatment options depend on the nature and severity of the damage as well as the underlying cause. Some liver treatment includes losing weight or avoiding alcohol while the doctor monitors the patient’s liver functions.

 

In certain cases, the doctor may opt for medicine or surgery. The patient may need a liver transplant in the most severe cases. 

For critical procedures like these, patients are recommended to undergo Liver Treatment in Mumbai as the city is equipped with expert surgeons and world-class infrastructure.

Relevant Questions

Q. Hello, I'm a 49-year-old male whose platelet count has dropped to 27000 in the last several months. Gastroenterologists use sonography and endoscopy to detect compensated liver cirrhosis. I'm curious about the long-term effects and what kind of diet I should follow. Thanks

If your doctor has told you that you have compensated cirrhosis, this means you are in the early stages of the disease. The cause of cirrhosis in such patients must be thoroughly investigated. These individuals must also be monitored by liver experts on a frequent basis in order to diagnose and treat issues when they emerge. These individuals must also adhere to a rigorous liver-related diet. Diets are usually changed and tailored to the specific needs of each patient. I hope this answers your question, and please contact me if you have any other questions!

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Q. My wife has issue with abdomen pain & according to Dr the lever is fatty We have done USG of upper & lower abdomen & it shows bit enlargement of lever What shall we do next

If on USG liver is fatty, the Patient should undergo some more blood tests to find the cause and degree of fatty liver. We should also check whether this fatty liver is causing hepatitis or not. Treatment will depend upon finding of these tests. I will suggest you to consult a liver specialist and then further treatment can be started.

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Q. My brother is hospitalized in Nair hospital since last 15days because of alcoholic liver infection, not getting improvement .. So i want to consult with you.

If a patient has alcohol-related liver injury generally treatment depends upon the degree of liver injury. some of the patients will recover after alcohol-related liver injury but in case of severe alcoholic hepatitis, liver transplant may be needed. 

If you want to know more, you can refer the article on Alcohol Liver Disease.

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Q. What can potentially cause damage liver?

The 3 main causes of liver damage are: Obesity, undiagnosed hepatitis infection and alcohol misuse. There are some other factors that lead to liver damage. That is,

  • Too Much Vitamin A From Supplements
  • Excess intake of Soft Drinks
  • Too much sugar
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