That William James the philosopher, had the human organ in mind when he coined the above phrase is up for debate. Still, it is just as apt. Do you ever think about your liver? I bet you would if it were to stop working. And since the liver is your body’s second largest organ, it might be wise to educate yourself on it:
Where is the Liver located in the body?
The liver is at the Right Upper quadrant of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm, and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines. Shaped like a cone, this reddish-brown organ is hidden
just under your rib cage. What does the Liver do?
- The liver is a major metabolic organ responsible for:
- Removing toxins from the blood
- Producing bile for digestion
- Regulating lipid, amino acid and glucose levels
- Storing sugar for future use
- Producing Protein and cholesterol
- Producing clotting factors
- Storing Vitamins
How does Obesity Affect My Liver?
A BMI of 25-29 is overweight and anything above 30 signals obesity. Obesity is linked with fatty infiltration of liver cells and the subsequent swelling and death of the liver cells. This may progress to cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Cancer as well. A healthy weight, healthy diet and exercise ensure a healthy liver.
How does Alcohol Affect My Liver?
Sustained, long-term intake of alcohol is also related to swelling and death of liver cells. If you cannot avoid alcohol, limit consumption to 4-6 drinks a week and no more than 2 per day (zero is safest). As you get older, alcoholic hepatitis and eventual cirrhosis becomes a more likely effect of regular alcohol consumption.
What is Viral Hepatitis?
inflammation of the liver caused by a group of Viruses, notably: Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses. Hep A & E are acute and self-limiting, transmitted through contaminated food or water. Hep E, however, could be life threatening in pregnant women. Hep B, C & D are transmitted parenterally (blood, unprotected sex, childbirth), they may be chronic and are associated with Liver Cancer. You should note that they may have Carrier states whereby an infected person shows no symptoms. Also, A, B and D have vaccines.
What are the symptoms associated with Liver Disease?
A lack of symptoms does not indicate the absence of liver disease, but the symptoms that do present include: -Yellowing of the eyes (jaundice)
- Tea-colored urine
- Clay-colored stools
- Persistent body itching
- Chronic fatigue
- Swollen Feet
- Abdominal Swelling
Should I get a Liver test on My next Health Check-up?
You absolutely should, the current Prophylactic Medicine approach to Health should include your Liver. At your next appointment, request a liver function test and get hepatitis virus screen while you’re at it.
Afterall, If life is worth living….It all depends on the LIVER !