KNOW ABOUT YOUR LIVER

1. Where is it situated in the body?

  • Liver is situated in the abdomen.
  • 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.