Did You Know


Know Your Liver

May 3, 2014 | Author : Dr. Dhanya V. Nair

How Your Liver Is At Risk | Liver Diseases

The Liver is the main organ responsible for metabolism. Metabolism can be simply understood as a process wherein complex water insoluble chemicals/toxins are converted into simple water soluble substances so that they are easily eliminated from the body through the excretory system i.e. the kidneys.

The role of liver :

The Liver performs more than 200 functions in our body which includes fighting infections, purification of toxins, production of proteins and hormones for various cellular functions like maintaining blood glucose level. It is also involved in the production of a substance called “bile” which is essential for the metabolism of fats.

How your liver is at risk ?

All the types of chemicals of varying toxicities are initially exposed to liver which holds the prime responsibility of metabolism. During metabolism many a times the liver itself succumbs to damage which may vary from minor disruption of liver cells to extensive damage of liver accompanied by loss of function.

Some common chemicals consumed in day to day life have a predilection towards liver tissue including alcohol and prescription drugs like paracetamol. These chemicals bring the liver under stress by a complex process called oxidative stress which subsequently disrupts the normal functioning of the liver. As the liver is exposed to each and every chemical that enters the body through any route, it is inevitable to say that liver is the most prone organ to oxidative stress induced damage. This again is one of the main reasons why liver has the power of regeneration and replenishment. But the current lifestyle practices give very little rest and continuous stress to this most important organ of our body. The continuous toxic insult to the liver by chemicals and toxins threatens the functioning capacity of liver leading to swelling of liver cells (inflammation) followed by deposition of fat cells and subsequent damage of liver cells leading to cell death(hepatic necrosis). Although the liver is said to posses a high regeneration capacity, the continuous exposure to toxins causes damage that exceeds the regeneration capacity of liver.

Is there any way to test liver damage ?

Liver damage at an initial stage seldom gets noticed due to mild symptoms or symptom less conditions. Elevation of liver enzymes diagnosed by liver functions tests (LFT ) only appears after considerate damage to the liver. If still not treated, the liver enters into a vicious circle of toxic overload and finally ends up into cirrhosis with no therapeutic options.

Thus it is needless to say that the root cause of a any liver degenrative disease is oxidative stress and a regular boost of antioxidants through various nutritious foods and natural herbs is a manadatory requirement to combat oxidative stress and protect liver from damage.

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