In humans, liver is a reddish-brown, rubbery organ situated on the right upper quadrant of the abdomen weighing about 1.5 kg and protected by rib cage. It is divided into two lobes, right and left lobe. It overlaps gall bladder, and parts of pancreas and intestines.
Liver is considered as an accessory digestive organ. It has over 500 functions including protein synthesis, destruction of old RBCs, detoxification and metabolism of chemicals and drugs along with hormone regulation and digestion of fats assisted by the production of bile, to name a few.
Different Liver Tests
There are different liver tests, mostly liver function tests (LFTs) through a blood sample that determine the proper functioning of the liver. LFTs include ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase), AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase), Alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, albumin and ammonia, which when abnormal show discrepancy in the optimum functioning of liver. There are other blood tests done to check for healthy liver including hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, prothrombin time (PT) and partial thromboplastin time (PTT). Certain imaging tests can be done to check for different liver diseases such as abscesses, cirrhosis, cancer or gallstones and these scans include ultrasound, CT scan, radioactive liver and spleen scan and liver biopsy. All the above tests help in diagnosing liver problem.
Different Liver Diseases
Unhealthy liver and functional disruption can lead to different problems of the liver such as:
Liver Failure: This could be related to different causes that include excessive alcohol consumption, infection or genetics.
Hepatitis: It is the inflammation of liver that might be caused by viruses and lead to hepatitis A, B or C and non-infectious cause include allergy, obesity, drugs and excessive alcohol consumption.
Cirrhosis: The scarring of liver damages liver cells thus disrupting its function.
Ascites: It is the fluid accumulation in the abdomen after liver cirrhosis, making abdomen heavy and distended.
Hemochromatosis: In this, there is deposition of iron in the liver, thus causing damage to it. In addition, iron may also deposit on other parts of the body.
Liver Cancer: Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of hepatic cancer.
The treatment of liver diseases depends on the removal of the cause and treating accordingly; the last resort is liver transplant when the liver is completely damaged and loses it functional capability.
What Heals The Liver?
Liver is an organ that is capable enough to regenerate and heal itself, if it is given the right nutrients and minerals through a healthy diet. The body requires flushing out toxins and the best way to do that is to drink enough water, around 4 liters of water per day. Eating a healthy diet is eating a lot of green vegetables and fruits that will restore a healthy liver. Raw vegetables will provide more minerals and also roughage for proper motility of the toxins to be flushed out of the body. A blend of lemon juice and olive oil in a glass of water is known to detox the liver by lowering bilirubin and flushing heavy metals out of the body and promoting increased bile production, stimulation of lymphatic flow and restoration of pH in the body.
Other food such as burdock root is great for liver and stimulation of bile production. Dandelion also stimulates the liver and helps alkalize blood. Cilantro is another herb that helps detoxify body of metals like mercury. Oregano is rich in antioxidant activity and full of vitamin B6, which also increases bile production and reduces the inflammatory effects of other foods. Beets, carrots and grapefruits are supposed to be rich in glutathione, which is great for liver detoxification. Kale, celery, spirulina, chard, ginger, orange, romaine, cranberry juice, milk thistle all are known to promote liver health. It is important to consume fresh and healthy foods and the rest liver will take care of in healing itself. Healthy diet requires avoiding alcohol that causes damage to liver. A person is what he eats and drinks, so it is best to eat healthy for healthy liver and body.
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