The liver is one of the vital organs of our body. It works like an engine and a filtration system that runs the body and keeps it clean. When the liver does not function properly, our body is unable to carry out several essential processes, and toxins may build up to dangerous levels as a result. Therefore it is imperative to take care of your liver’s health and make sure that it is getting what it needs. Like any other engine, it also requires protection, maintenance, and caring. We will talk about that later, but first, let us see why the liver is such an important organ.
Here is a brief list of different functions of the liver in our body:
1. Regulation of Body Fuel Our body’s primary fuel is the sugar ‘glucose,’ which the body uses to produce the energy required to carry out the processes that keep it running. One of the main roles of the liver is to maintain an adequate supply of sugar in the body. It does that by creating a balance between production, supply, and storage of glucose.
2. Controlling Cholesterol Another vital function of the liver is to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the body. This process includes synthesis, excretion, and conversion of cholesterol into other essential substances. There are two types of cholesterol in the body which are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). LDLs are the bad cholesterol that you want to decrease in the body. Ideally, LDL levels should be below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) and HDL levels should around 50 mg/dl.
3. Cleansing The liver is one of the two central filtration systems in our body, the other being the kidneys. The liver works by converting undesired substances into simpler, inactive, and/or excretable molecules that are then removed from the body through urine or feces.
4. Production of essential proteins The liver also produces several essential proteins that are involved in the processes of clot formation, building immunity, and the transportation of substances in the blood.
5. Regulation of hormones Another function of the liver is to regulate the production of different hormones, such as the thyroid and sex hormones.
6. Promotion of digestion The liver has a significant role in the process of digestion. It aids in digestion by producing bile that is delivered to the small intestine where it breaks down fat molecules, thereby making them digestible.
Poor Liver Health and Liver Diseases
Fatty Liver: Effects about 25% of people worldwide. It is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, as well as other disorders of insulin resistance and other conditions. It s caused by too much fat build-up in liver cells which can occur due to many reasons including obesity, insulin resistance, and consumption of refined carbohydrates and beverages high in sugar. Weight loss, exercise and dietary changes such as limiting the consumption of alcohol can help reverse fatty liver.
Fibrosis Liver: This is the first phase of a scarring liver. Symptoms of this condition include loss of appetite, nausea, jaundice, and more. Medication and better lifestyle choices can help to prevent the progression of fibrosis.
Cirrhosis of the Liver: This is when liver scarring has progressed and become severe. This occurs when the liver is exposed to long-lasting toxins like alcohol and chronic viral infections. Each time the liver is injured, it will try to repair itself which results in the formation of scar tissue. This leads to complications such as high blood pressure, swelling in the legs and abdomen, the buildup of toxins in the brain, jaundice, bone disease as well as an increased risk of liver cancer. There may be no symptoms during the early stages of cirrhosis but over time it may lead to the decreased functioning of the liver to detoxify the blood as well as decreased functioning to metabolize drugs. As a result, the body may be more sensitive to drugs.
For more information, please visit:
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fatty-liver https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/when-the-liver-gets-fatty https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/cirrhosis-a-to-z
If you have questions about your liver’s health or you are wondering if a particular medication you take has an effect on the liver, feel free to contact us at Guildview pharmacy.