If this past year has taught us all something , it is to be grateful for what we have , appreciate what we have , respect and take care of ourselves and our surroundings.
Time and again we subject our body to various things , some harmful and some helpful , but our bodies never tend to give up on us. Today I want to bring to light one of such miraculous aspect about our bodies , which is the “LIVER”
The Liver is the second largest organ in our body and the only visceral organ that has the capacity to regenerate its cell and thereby itself.
Firstly, it is important for us to know the functions of the liver to get an insight into its working.
- The liver regulates most of the chemical levels in the body and it excretes a product called as bile which is carried to the small intestine . Bile juice is responsible for the carrying away wastes and breaking down fats during the digestion process.
- It produces cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body.
- It is responsible for conversion of excess glucose into glycogen for storage and to maintain the glycogen-glucose blood levels balance.
- Processing of haemoglobin for its iron contents , the liver stores iron.
- First pass metabolism of orally taken drugs
- Producing blood proteins and immune factors which help in resisting infections
These are some of the main functions of the liver and there are various other interlinked functions as well.
Since, the liver is mainly involved in detoxification of chemicals and metabolism of drugs , it is obvious that the liver cells machinery also gets affected by these chemicals and drugs.
When the liver cells are damaged it affects all the body functions and the working of other organs as well , because the blood will not be filtered and chemicals will remain in the circulation.
Some of the common conditions and their causes associated with the liver are :
- Infections : these can be caused due to pathogens and viruses and they lead to inflammation of the liver. Viral hepatitis is most commonly observed, which is of the following types –
- Hepatitis A – Most people get it by consuming something that’s contaminated by fecal matter. There might no be any symptoms and it usually goes away by itself within 6 months without any long-term harm.
- Hepatitis B – This type is contracted from somebody else, such as through unprotected sex or taking drugs with shared needles. If it lasts longer than 6 months, it makes one more likely to get liver cancer or other diseases.
- Hepatitis C – comes from infected blood that gets into ones blood. You might get it if you take drugs with shared needles or in connection with HIV. If you are a health-care worker, you might get it from an infected needle that accidentally sticks you. Its symptoms may not show up for many years. For reasons that aren’t quite clear, aged people are at a higher risk for hepatitis C and should be tested for it.
- Hepatitis D – is a serious form of hepatitis that only develops in people with hepatitis B — it cannot be contracted on its own. It can also be either acute or chronic
- Hepatitis E – is usually caused by drinking contaminated water. Generally, it clears up on its own within a few weeks without any lasting complications.
2. Alcohol Abuse – consuming excessive amounts of alcohol for a longer duration of time ( over many years ) can lead to cirrhosis . Its long term effects can be nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and in some cases Hepatitis B and C .
3. Cancers and tumours – On the off chance that malignancy appears in your liver, that is probably in light of the fact that it has spread from another part of your body such as lungs, colon, or breast. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma. It tends to develop as several small sports of cancer in your liver, though it can also start as a single tumour.
4. Autoimmune Hepatitis – when ones immune system attacks one or more parts of their body this condition is seen. In which it leads to inflammation of your liver. It can lead to other disorders and even liver failure. It is seen in girls and women more often than boys or men.
5. Liver Failure – Chronic liver failure generally occurs when a significant part of your liver is damaged and cannot function properly. Liver failure related to liver disease and cirrhosis happens slowly. You may not have any symptoms at first. But over time, you might start to notice symptoms like :
- fatigue and weakness
6. Genetic conditions – these are inherited from parents or further generations due to presence of that gene in the DNA of an individual . The commonly observed ones are :
- Hemochromatosis – causes your body to store more iron than it needs. This iron remains in your organs, including the liver. This leads to damage over a long period of time if not managed well before hand.
- Wilson’s Disease – in which your liver absorbs copper instead of releasing it into the bile ducts. Eventually, the liver becomes too damaged to store more copper, and allows it to travel through the bloodstream and damage other parts and organs of the body, including the brain.
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AT) deficiency – occurs when the liver cannot make enough alpha-1 antitrypsin, which is a protein that helps in preventing enzyme breakdowns in the body. This condition can cause lung disease as well as liver disease. There is no cure for this condition, but treatment might help.
All these liver conditions can seriously affect ones health and it is crucial that we all take good care of our body to prevent any serious medical conditions. We can ensure the good health of our liver by taking naturally available herbs such as “Katuki”. Prevention is better than cure should be the motto to maintain a healthy lifestyle .
If we start a little before hand and start caring for our organ health we can prevent serious conditions and also prevent the usage of drugs which leads to further liver damage .
In my next article I will be discussing the importance and benefits of detoxification of the liver and in-general immunity building for our body.
Wishing everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year ! May this new year bless everyone with health, wealth, joy and positivity
Also see for reference: https://houseofhealth.co.in/health-and-beauty-benefits-of-neem/