It is common knowledge that the liver is one of the most important organs in the body. It affects directly to our physical health in every possible way.
But have you ever wondered where our liver is located? Today we are going to show you the answer to that question as well as common knowledge of liver that every one of us should know. Let’s take a look!
Overview of Liver
So, What Is Liver?
For starters, the liver is the second largest organ in our body (skin is the largest one). If you are wondering what color it is and whether you can feel it, then keep reading!
The liver is a reddish-brown organ that you cannot feel or touch. This fragile organ is safely protected by the rib cage in your body. It weighs about 1.4 to 1.5 kilograms.
A healthy liver can hold up to half a liter of blood, which contributes approximately 13% of the body’s total blood supply.
And what Is the Structure of the Liver?
Simply put, a liver looks quite like a cone that consists of two main lobes. Both of them has 8 different segments which are made up of lots of lobules.
In case you have not heard of it, lobules are directly connected to ducts to transport bile to small intestine and gallbladder as well.
Enough of definition!
Let’s find the answer to our first question: Where is your liver located? Keep reading to find out!
Where Is Your Liver?
Obviously, with bare hands and naked eyes, you cannot feel or see the liver. It is located in the upper right-hand part of the abdominal cavity. This reddish-brown organ is right on the top of the stomach, right kidney and intestines.
We did mention above that the liver holds up a large amount of blood. But where exactly does blood come from? Basically, there are two different sources that transform blood into the liver:
Blood flows from the hepatic portal vein: these flows are rich in different necessary nutrients
Oxygenated flows from the hepatic artery
Although we cannot feel or see it, from what described above, we can vaguely locate the liver in our body, right? If you search for anatomy images, you will see the liver is fully protected by other organs.
What Are the Functions of the Liver?
So the next question we are going to look at is: what exactly does the liver do?
Well, we generally know that the liver is responsible for filtering all the toxic chemicals out of our body.
Let’s start from the stomach. Blood that leaves the stomach and intestines passes via the liver. Here, it will process blood and break down into healthy, useful nutrients for the body to consume.
Medically, the liver metabolizes drugs into different forms of substances that the body can take in.
After filtering all the harmful chemicals out of the blood, the liver will pass its products through different parts.
By-products from bile go through the intestine and leave the body. And as we probably know, by-products from blood leave the body in the form of urine.
Here are a few specific functions of the liver:
- Clear the blood and harmful substances
- Resist infection by generating immune factors to remove bacteria out of the bloodstream
- Regulate blood clotting
- Produce some types of proteins for plasma
- Store and release glucose
- Produce cholesterol and proteins that help carry fats
- Produce bile to help get rid of waste and fat during digestion
- Process hemoglobin
Common Liver Diseases
The liver is important, right? If you notice, more and more people are susceptible to liver-related diseases. Let’s see some common conditions that people may have!
You may be surprised to find out that there are more than a hundred type of liver disease that a person may have. The number is intimidating, isn’t it? In this article, we just show you two of the most prevalent types.
As you can guess, this type of disease is caused by excessive intake of alcohol. Usually, there is no obvious symptom until the liver has been severely damaged. And when it happens, a few common symptoms are:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Vomit blood
- Yellowing of the skin and the eyes
The doctor will determine whether you have alcohol-related diseases after a few tests. And in most cases, the primary treatment would be to stop drinking.
In case the liver has been severely damaged, you may need a liver transplant. This only happens in case the liver cannot recover itself even after you stop drinking.
Non-alcoholic fatty diseases
Unlike alcohol-related disease, this group is caused by an unhealthy diet. A healthy liver should carry little to no fat. However, for those who have this type of liver disease, fat is built in their liver which slows down the efficiency.
Early stages of the disease would hardly cause any harm. However, in the long run, some serious diseases can develop such as cirrhosis, diabetes, kidney diseases, and high blood pressure.
Leading a healthy lifestyle may be a good way to stop the disease from getting worse. You should think of having an appointment with your doctor to check if there is any sign of other problems.
How to Keep Your Liver Healthy
Liver diseases are mostly caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent fatal liver-related diseases. Here are some possible ways to stop them in the beginning.
The scary thing about liver-related diseases is that it does not have any obvious symptoms at early stages. Only when the liver becomes badly damaged do you start to feel differences.
For that reason, it is important to have regular health-check once every six months. By doing so, chances are your doctor will be able to detect diseases at its early stages. Besides, treatment at this stage is also easier and more affordable.
And second of all,
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Excessive intake of alcohol and unhealthy eating habits are two main causes that lead to liver damage.
We recommend you avoid alcohol as much as possible. To those who find it hard to give up drinking, maybe trying to cut down your alcohol intake on a daily basis is a good idea.
In terms of eating habits, eating more healthy substances such as vegetables and fruit would do your liver so much good. In addition, regular physical activities would be a great recommendation.
The Bottom Words,
We have seen many people suffering from liver-related diseases regardless of gender and age.
Since unhealthy habits are known as the main culprit, it is important for you to try to stay healthy as much as possible. By all means, prevention is always better than cure, isn’t it?
Above are basic understandings of the liver – one of the most important organs that affect our living quality. Trying to take good care of it is never too late, doesn’t it?