Your liver is the second largest organ in your body, located in the upper right area of your abdomen.
It plays really important role, synthesizing proteins, clotting elements, aiding digestion and eliminating waste products such as alcohol, medications and harmful chemicals.
Your liver stores carbs, which can be used as energy fuel. This solid organ secretes bile to provide absorption of fats.
As one of the most powerful detoxifying organs, liver needs strong protection from dangerous substances. There are two main mechanisms to defend it. First of all, liver has ability to repair and replace damaged tissues. In addition to this, high amount of hepatocytes (liver cells) perform the same task. So, if one part loses ability to work properly, another area can do it, till the injured area has been restored.
Despite these protective methods, there is wide variety of factors, which can affect liver function.
Infection, most commonly caused by viruses, may cause inflammatory process and dysfunction. Sometimes this may occur because of autoimmune processes, when immune system considers liver cells as foreign bodies and begins to attack them.
Inherited genetic abnormalities may also disturb liver structure, leading to its failure. The most common of liver-affecting genetic disorders include Wilson's disease, and hemochromatosis.
Cancer is one of the less predictable disorders, which can develop in any part of human's body, including hepatic tissue.
Medical experts say that obesity, alcohol misuse, unprotected sex with many partners and injecting drugs may significantly boost your risks of liver dysfunction.
How can you understand that your liver doesn't work as needed? Check up these symptoms:
#1. Nausea, which occurs when the liver fails to remove waste as needed
#2. Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes) – a substance, called bilirubin, normally flows into the intestines with bile. In the case of liver dysfunction, this substance may be stored in the skin, causing its yellowish color
#3. Pain and heaviness in the abdomen
#5. Itching, caused by accumulation of the bilirubin
#6. Fatigue and loss of energy
#7. Loss of appetite
#9. Swelling in the lower extremities (peripheral edema)
#10. Easy bruising, caused by impaired production of clotting substances
#11. Dark urine (result of improper removal of bilirubin)
#12. Pale stool, associated with bilirubin metabolism too
#14. Ascites (accumulation of the fluid in the abdominal area)
#15. Intestinal bleeding, which usually becomes apparent in bloody or tarry stool
#16. Mental confusion (in advanced stages of liver disease)
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