About Liver



What is “LIVER”

Liver is the largest organ in our body which performs many important functions including (a) metabolism of carbohydrate, protein and fat, (b) storing some nutrients, (c) converting fats to energy, (d) producing bile - a substance that helps the digestion and absorption of food, (e) protein synthesis, (f) helping the blood to clot, and (g) most importantly break down harmful substances including alcohol, and drugs in the blood.

How will liver get damage:

The function of the liver will become abnormal due to the following insults

  • Infections – Viruses – Example: Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, Hepatitis D, Hepatitis E virus, etc). Bacteria – Example: Typhoid, Malaria, Leptospirosis (Rat fever)
  • Toxin – Alcohol, Drugs particularly anti tuberculosis & anti-epileptic drugs
  • Fatty liver – Associated with overweight or high blood sugar (Diabetes) or hypertension or high blood cholesterol
  • Genetic diseases – Wilson disease (excessive copper overload in liver), Hemochromatosis (excessive iron overload in liver)
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Obstruction in the bile flow – Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), Biliary atresia in children
  • Malignancy – Primary liver cancer or Secondaries in liver

What are the most common symptoms of liver damage:

  • Fatigue (Tiredness)
  • Anorexia (Loss of appetite)
  • Jaundice (Yellowish discolouration of eyes & skin)

How to protect our liver?

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Keep blood sugar & cholesterol under control
  • Regular walking or exercise
  • Maintain ideal body weight (Height in cm minus 100 = ideal body weight)
    Example: If height is 160cm, ideal body weight will be 160 minus 100 = 60; that is 60kg)
  • Get vaccine for Hepatitis B virus irrespective of age if not yet received
  • Do screening check-up for liver disease minimum once in 5 years