The Liver is a large and extremely important organ in the human body and is the largest internal organ of the body. It is a key component to metabolism and the largest gland of the body.
Therefore, the liver is an organ and gland all wrapped up into one. It is an essential, though often overlooked part of the Digestion Process. It is a secondary response to the Immune System.
It weighs around 3-4 pounds and is typically reddish-brown in color, but can change color depending on illness and other outside circumstances.
This organ produces many different types of proteins and other substance that are used throughout the body.
It is located on the right side of the abdomen cavity and sits under the ribs. It is jut below the diaphragm. It typically can’t be felt unless it is enlarged – again due to certain sickness or medical problems. Just beneath it, is the gallbladder.
The Lobes of the Liver
The liver is divided into four sections and also two lobes: right and left lobes. The Falciform Ligmant, divides the left from the right lobe. This ligament can only be seen from one side. Along with the gallbladder, pancreas, and intestines – together these organs work together to allow the body to digest, absorb, process, and regulate food and water.
In addition, blood from the body is filtered through the liver, and much of the chemicals, waste products and other portions are taken out. The two large blood vessels entering the liver are: The Hepatic Artery and The Portal Vein. The waste is then packaged with bile, returned to the intestines and excreted from the body through stool.
It also metabolizes medications that are used throughout the body and makes proteins that are used in a variety of areas.
Several veins join to form the hepatic vein that brings blood from several other organs such as: spleen, pancreas, small intestines, and stomach.
An intense duct system is important of the liver that leads to the right and left hepatic duct which drains into Cystic duct and than into the Common bile duct.
Medical term regarding liver typically begins with hepato or hepatic from the Greek word “liver”.
The Function of the Liver Includes:
– Glycogen storage
– Protein synthesis [protein]
– Creation of some amino acids
– Storage of some Vitamins and substances
– Production of Cholesterol
– Production of bile
– Allows for the continuation of many biochemical reactions
– Recycling of wastes from red blood cell.
Medical Conditions related to the Liver
Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease – Damage caused by excessive drinking of Alcohol.
Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency – A disease of newborns that often affect breathing and the liver.
Ascites – A symptom – very general – often seen in severe liver diseases. The symptom is a large swelling/fluid in abdomen.
Autoimmune Hepatitis – Inflammation and damage, caused by an autoimmune disorder.
Cirrhosis – Is a general and chronic condition – caused by several things – but overall is a change to the tissue, color, and effectiveness of the liver.
Drug & Toxin-Induced Liver Disease – Damage that is often caused by too much of a medication, drug, or toxin.
Hemochromatosis – Autoimmune disorder causing iron deposits on Liver and other organs.
Hepatic Encephalopathy – A condition of the brain – caused initially by liver problems.
Hepatic Vein Obstruction (Budd-Chiai Syndrome) – This occurs where there is a blockage in the Hepatic Vein – this takes blood from this organ and returns it to the heart. The result of this blockage is damage to the liver.
Jaundice – A symptom related to yellowing of the skin or eyes and can be seen in a variety of medical conditions.
Liver Cancer – Liver Cancer is also often referred to as Hepatic Cancer and is cancer that starts in the Liver.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – Damage in the presence of very little to no alcohol use.
Acute Liver Failure – is the rapid development of dysfunction or failure of the Liver [hepatocellular dysfunction].
Hepatitis – Inflammation of the Liver – General term for inflammation that can be caused by several things including: viral, bacteria, parasites, other medical conditions, toxins, medications, etc.
Portal Hypertension – Causes severe symptoms when there is Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) of the hepatic portal system.
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis – is a medical condition where the bile ducts are slowly destroyed.
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis – PSC – is a chronic condition with Inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts.
Viral Hepatitis – Inflammation and damage caused by a virus. There are several different viruses that can cause problem. Well known is Hepatitis A,B,C
Wilson’s Disease – is when Copper, a potential toxin, accumulates in tissues of the body. Changes can be seen in the brain, mental health, and Liver.