About the liver and liver disease

The liver has approximately 30 different functions and can work far better and more effc iently then any high tech science chemistry lab possibly can.

But how does the liver actually work? Where in the body can you find the live?, what do our livers actually do?, and what can be done with it? Our liver is a reddish brown, quite large glandular organ found in the upper-right corner in the abdominal cavity. It is situated just below the diaphragm and covered almost completely by the ribs. It's size is usually between 15 centimeters  and 18 centimeters long and 20 centimeters in diameters, the liver is is cone shaped too.

The liver is actually the largest gland you will find in your body and with its 1.5 kg it is also the heaviest gland in the body as well. Scientists have been able to figure out just how many tasks the liver does for the body, and have come up with about 30 different things the liver can do. Among the most important is that it will create the proteins the body needs from nutritional elements which are absorbed in the intestine and transmitted with the blood to the liver.

But the liver can do a lot more. The store sugar in the form of glycogen in order to be able to make it available to the body when there is a need for this valuable energy supplier. As a reliable food chemist can recognize poisonous and harmful substances which come into its chemical filters via the bloodstream. It sorts these substances and automatically deactivate them and separates them from the body.

In addition, converting and storing the liver fat. It is so important for the fat metabolism to create bile juices and bile salts, which is stored in the gallbladder and, as appropriate, will be used in the intestine via the bile ducts. It produces various substances, which have an impact on blood clotting. And finally, generate and store the substances used for the formation of red blood cells and other components in the blood. Apart from the lungs the liver is the only organ in the body that contains arterial venous blood. The Oxygen supply to the liver should be delivered by liver artery, while the supply of the blood the liver processes is handled by portal vein. This carries all the blood from the digestive organs into the liver and with it not only the chemically digested nutrients that are absorbed in the intestine, but also blood from the spleen, where the rest of the blood cells, which the body has formed is situated. The portal vein is kind of like a "live gate" into the liver.

The liver cells, liver lobes of connective tissue substances, takes care of the real, biochemical tasks in the body. The result is different metabolic products and bile juice. The processed blood collects in 3-4 short liver veins and flows away through.

The blood that flows out from the liver, is the warmest you will find in the body.

When you consider how many tasks the liver must carry out you will then realize just how important the liver is on keeping us alive.

"can you live without a liver?" a very clear answer is "no", but if you ask whether it is possible to operate without a large part of the liver and still live a normal life, the answer is an equally clear "Yes". The liver has a very large "reserve tank", it is only necessary to have one-fifth of the total liver mass in use, to live a  living a moderate life.

But no matter how good it sounds, there is limits on the liver's powers so to speak. Many of the diseases that can affect the liver, are lethal. And the thing to know about these diseases is that they can develop over a long time without being detected.

This also applies to the dreaded disease liver cirrhosis (cirrhosis). This term refers to a gradual decay in liver cells, where damaged tissue is replaced with scar tissue. The liver will become thus less efficient  with the result of the blood not being sufficiently processed, i.e. the detoxed. The body will then slowly begin to poison itself. Cirrhosis can have different causes. It can be triggered by other liver diseases, but the main reason is usually alcohol abuse.

We often discuss how much you can drink without risk of liver damage. But it is impossible to give any definitive answers, for many individual many factors come into play. several glasses of "hard" liquor, followed by a bottle of wine on a daily basis might not be causing  liver damage with one person, but can have serious consequences for another. The scale is determined by genetic predisposition, which the Constitution of the health the body is in, and of the person's eating habits.

But how can you even notice a liver damage? Some of the signs of a liver cirrhosis are loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and weight loss, as well as a feeling of being crowded. In addition, you can experience pain in the upper part of the abdominal cavity, and there may be digestive problems. In an advanced stage patients themselves feel energy abandoned, dull and weak. Leg swelling, fluid accumulations in the belly and mental disorder are indications that the disease has reached a serious, often incurable stage.

But the diagnosis "liver cirrhosis" is not necessarily a death sentence. Experience shows that the disease, can be stopped at all stages. And there are also operations which can help cirrhosis patients.

In addition to liver cirrhosis, there is another disease, which one should take seriously: viral infection of the liver, called serum hepatitis (hepatitis B). It is most likely due to another disease-causing micro-organisms than infectious hepatitis. Serum hepatitis is turning into a modern disease-in the form of jaundice, which sometimes begins with stomach problems, flu-like symptoms in the respiratory tract and often also gigtagtige joint pain. Unlike infectious hepatitis, which can be caused by poor hygiene, contaminated water and lack of nutrients, serum hepatitis sometimes transmitted by blood transfusions.

But in any case there are not just high risk for all transfusions. One need not fear getting hit by the disease, although after an accident or a serious operation which require ou to have  a blood transfusion. The blood stocks, which stands for doctors available are usually carefully selected and impeccable. You should be more careful with blood coming from the so-called commercial blood stocks. But also here it now usually  with the help of radioactive marked antibodies to detect and differentiate hepatitis, that may be found in the blood.

But it's still a problem that hepatitis B in addition to blood transfusion can also be transferred via unclean syringes, eg. among drug addicts. Hepatitis infection can also be transmitted via close body contact. This writes the American doctors from Houston in Texas in the New England Journal of Medicine. A technician who was infected by cleaning an artificial kidney, managed to transmit the disease to three women before his illness was discovered.

So long as people just stick to an inexorable rule.

 "We doctors have ... through the past years ' experience from the earliest time learned that the basis for any purposeful and promising treatment of liver-and gall diseases is a detailed knowledge of what is wrong."

In other words: the exact diagnosis is important. Therefore, if you believe that there is something wrong with your liver or gallbladder, seek out a specialist and not even try it with medications.

There are excellent methods, which makes it possible to get an accurate picture of the liver's function, among others. Special studies of the blood. But it is, above all, that it should be a technical specialist who will be conducting these studies.

How much alcohol liver can tolerate?

A rough rule of thumb says that a healthy liver from a normal very strong human can convert 100 grams of pure alcohol daily. It is equivalent to half a litre of wine, three individual whisky'er or a liter of beer.

2,000 gallons of blood a day
Day and night, as long as the heart beats, blood runs through the liver, 1 ½ gallons of blood through small blood vessels in the liver's interior every minute.


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