Know Your Liver
Your Liver is So Important, You Cannot Live Without It
Your liver is the largest internal organ in your body and performs more than 500 vital functions. All of the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver, where nutrients are processed and harmful substances are filtered out.
What Can Go Wrong
An organ as complex as the liver can experience a range of problems. In a diseased or malfunctioning liver, the consequences can be dangerous or even fatal.
Examples of liver diseases include:
Hepatitis means “Inflammation” of the liver. It can be caused by injury, bacteria, viruses or medication. There are currently 5 viruses identified (Hep A, B, C, D and E) that specifically attack the liver.
When chronic injury or inflammation occurs in the liver, it tries to repair and repair cells, causing a build up of scar tissue in the liver. Over time, this leads to cirrhosis.
This condition is the late stage of liver scarring (fibrosis) as scar tissue replace liver cells. This can be caused by toxins, alcohol and hepatitis. Cirrhosis is irreversible and can cause liver failure.
FATTY LIVER DISEASE
Extra fat build up in the liver cells, usually because of alcohol abuse, genetics, medication or a diet high in sugar. When it gets worse, Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) develops and can lead to cirrhosis.
People with chronic Hep B or Hep C infections have a 20 – 100 times increased risk of developing liver cancer. The survival statistics for liver cancer are very low, with a relative 16.6% five-year survival rate.