Liver Disease and Disorders–Maintaining good Health

Anatomy of the liver and biliary system with blood vessels

We will be looking at diseases of the liver which is the largest organ in the body. The liver’s function is to clean or filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before distributing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines.

The liver is shaped like a cone dark red in color and weighs about 3 lbs and is located at the right side of the bode near the stomach. underneath the rib cage, The liver has many functions

Healthy Liver
Liver Disease and disorders.
  • Functions of the Liver

The liver holds about one pint of the body’s blood supply at any given time. The liver consists of 2 main lobes. Both are made up of 8 segments that consist of 1,000 small lobes.  These lobules are connected to small tubes that connect with larger tubes to form the common hepatic duct. The common hepatic duct transports the bile made by the liver cells to the gallbladder the first part of the small intestine via the common bile duct.

All the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. The liver processes this blood and breaks down balances, and creates the nutrients and also metabolizes drugs into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body or that are nontoxic.

The liver is said to have more than 500 functions but some of the more known ones are:-

    • Conversion of sugar  (or glucose ) into glycogen and to balance and make glucose as needed. (glycogen can later be converted back to glucose for energy)
    • Regulation of blood vessels of amino acids which form the building blocks of proteins.
    • Processing hemoglobin for use as iron  (which is stored in the liver.)
    • Conversion of poisonous ammonia-urea (urea is the end product of protein metabolism and is excreted in the urine)
    • Clearing the blood of drugs and other poison
    • Regulating blood clotting
    • Resisting infection by making immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream.

Clearance of bilirubin, also from red blood cells. If there is an accumulation of bilirubin, the skin and eyes turn yellow.

When the liver has broken down harmful substances, its by-products are excreted into the bile or blood. Bile by-products enter the intestine and leave the body in the form of feces. Blood by-products are filtered out by the kidneys, and leave the body in the form of urine.

There are many diseases that can affect the liver we will look at a few of them:-

INFLAMMATION

In the early stages of inflammation of the liver, the area becomes hot and painful. But an inflamed liver may cause you no discomfort at all, and people with inflammation generally do not feel it.  If your liver disease is diagnosed and treated successfully at this stage, the inflammation may go away. Inflammation of the liver consists of hepatitis A, B, C, D, E,

Hepatitis A- a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus

Hep.B A serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus that’s easily preventable by a vaccine.

Hepatitis C An infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation.

Hepatitis D A serious liver disease caused by infection with the hepatitis D virus.

Hepatitis E A liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus.

FIBROSIS

If the inflamed liver is not treated it will start to scar, as it scars in excess the scar tissue grows and replaces the good tissues. This process is called fibrosis.

Scar tissue cannot do the work that what the healthy tissue can do and because of this the scar tissue can keep the blood from flowing and the more the scar tissue  builds up the less work the liver is able to do or the good part of the liver has to work extra hard to make up for the bat part of the liver.

If the liver is treated at this stage there is a very good chance the liver can be healed. The liver has the ability to heal its self over a period of time.

CIRRHOSIS

Cirrhosis is the hard scarring tissue that replaces the soft healthy tissue. As cirrhosis becomes worse, the liver will have less healthy tissue. If cirrhosis is not treated, the liver will fail and will not be able to work well or at all.

Cirrhosis can lead to further complications including liver cancer. The symptoms of Cirrhosis are- You may bruise or bleed easily

Water may build up in the legs and abdomen.

The skin and eyes may take on a yellow color known as jaundice

There may be severe itching of the skin

The blood vessel leading to the liver may burst during the blood vessel becoming blocked.

The sensitivity and side effect to medications may increase.

Type 2 diabetes and resistance to insulin may develop.

Toxins may build up in your brain, causing problems with concentration, memory, sleeping, or other mental functions.

At this stage of the disease, the treatment is focused on keeping the disease from becoming worst or slowing it down.

END STAGE LIVER DISEASE (ESLD)

The end-stage liver disease shows signs of decompensation and is irreversible and cannot be treated with medication and only liver transplant can help. Decompensation includes hepatic encephalopathy, variceal bleed, kidney

impairment, ascites, lung issues. The decompensated liver disease allows these patients to be prioritized on the transplant list.

LIVER CANCER

Cancer that starts in the liver is called primary liver cancer. Cirrhosis and hepatitis B are the leading risk factors for primary liver cancer. But cancer can develop in the liver at any stage in the progression of liver disease.

Symptoms of liver cancer usually don’t show up until very late in the disease. Some if the symptoms include.

Unintentional weight loss.

Loss of appetite

Feeling full after eating a very small meal

Nausea and vomiting

An enlarged liver which can be felt on the right side under the ribs

An enlarged spleen felt like a mass under the ribs on the left side.

Pain in the abdomen felt on the right side near the shoulder blade.

Swelling of the abdomen caused by fluid build up.

Itching of the skin

Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Some other symptoms can be fever swelling of the veins on your stomach which can be seen through the skin also bruising and bleeding of the abdomen.

To maintain a healthy Liver.

Cut down on alcohol intake.

If obese lose weight

Eat a balanced diet

Conclusion

The liver is a very important organ of the body it cleanses the blood for us to maintain a good healthy liver,  we need to take the necessary action.

We need to eat healthy cut-out alcohol and cut down on the intake of red meat quit smoking and all unhealthy habits. The dash diet is known for its benefits to our health

Exercise is also very important for our well being and should be done at least 30 min. per day. I have left a link to Silver Sneakers for some exercise I do hope you enjoy them.

7 Exercises That Strengthen Your Hips

7 bodyweight exercises that strengthen your hips—just bring a chair and yourself!

Posted by SilverSneakers on Monday, March 12, 2018

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