Liver sits in the upper part of the abdomen, tucked away under the right side of the rib cage.
Above it is the heart and the right lung.
Liver is separated from heart and right lung by a thin sheet of muscle called the diaphragm.
2. What is Liver?
It is the largest internal solid organ in the body.
The liver is the only organ in the body that has the ability to regenerate itself by creating new tissue.
The size of the liver is probably four to five times the size of your fist, weighing in at around 1.25-1.5 kilograms.
The liver has two halves or lobes, the right lobe and the left lobe.
The right lobe is larger than the left; roughly the right lobe is 60-65% of the liver.
Blood flows into the liver through two large blood vessels.
The blood vessels are the hepatic artery and the portal veins.
The hepatic artery brings blood rich in oxygen, pumped out from the heart.
The portal vein which brings blood flowing out of the gut, rich in absorbed food material.
Blood flows out of the top of the liver through three large veins called the hepatic veins, into a big vein called the inferior vena cava or IVC that goes to the heart.
Below the liver, where the hepatic artery and the portal vein come in, the bile duct comes out of the liver.
The liver cell produces bile that flows out through this bile duct and goes down to the gut, where it mixes with food.
The gall bladder is a small greenish pear-shaped bag that hangs off the bile duct. It stores bile and squeezes it out into the gut at mealtim
3. What functions the liver does for our body?
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.
Produces 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 they are needed.
4. How to keep your Liver Healthy?
1. Healthy diet
Vegetables and fruits such as cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions and cabbage, Garlic, Grapefruit, Beets and Carrots, Lemons & Limes, Leafy Green Vegetables, Avocados, Apples, Walnuts, Turmeric, ginger, grapefruit, mango and papaya.
Regular intake of high fiber foods.
Limit animal protein by eating small portions.
Use of olive oil, green tea.
Limit fatty food intake.
2. Life style modifications
Aside from consuming a healthy diet to protect our liver one should eliminate bad habitslike smoking, drinking too much alcohol and using recreational drugs that contain more harmful substances than a bad diet can have.
Don't drink a lot of alcohol. It can damage liver cells and lead to the swelling or scarring that becomes cirrhosis of liver.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is especially important in maintaining an ideal weight for your age, gender and body type.
With exercise you'll keep your weight under control, which helps prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that leads to cirrhosis.
3. Take precautions while taking medications
Drugs can cause liver disease in several ways. Some drugs are directly injurious to the liver; others are converted by the liver into chemicals that can cause injury to the liver.
Common drugs like medicines to lower cholesterol, excessive intake of painkiller like acetaminophen (Tylenol) etc can be harmful to the liver.
To protect liver one should take medicines with caution.
Take medication in medical supervision.
Doctor should be consulted to take medications. The self-medication practice should be avoided completely.