Functions Of A Liver In Human Body – Medical Review by Cynthia Taylor Chavoustie, MPAS, PA-C — Jill Seladi-Schulman, Ph.D. and Ashley Williams — updated 11/21/2022
Liver damage typically has four stages, beginning with inflammation and progressing to end-stage liver disease (ESLD).
Functions Of A Liver In Human Body
Liver damage can accumulate through several stages of liver disease. Each step has a cumulative effect on a properly functioning liver.
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Damage from liver disease can occur in several stages. With each step, liver function is increasingly affected.
In this early stage, the liver becomes enlarged or inflamed. Many people with liver inflammation experience no symptoms. Permanent liver damage can occur if the inflammation continues.
The scar tissue produced at this stage replaces the healthy liver tissue, but cannot perform the same function. This can begin to affect your liver’s ability to function optimally.
In cirrhosis, severe scarring of the liver occurs, resulting in the accumulation of scar tissue. Since there is not much healthy liver tissue, it becomes very difficult for the liver to function properly.
Liver Human Stock Illustrations
Symptoms may not appear in the early stages, but symptoms of liver disease may begin to appear.
ESLD is associated with complications such as ascites (a type of enlargement of the abdomen) and hepatic encephalopathy (impaired brain function). The only treatment that can reverse ESLD is liver transplantation.
Liver failure occurs when the liver is unable to perform many important functions, such as removing toxic substances from the blood and producing bile that helps digest food.
Liver damage from liver disease can lead to liver failure. However, it is not inevitable that liver damage and disease lead to liver failure.
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Acute liver failure develops rapidly and often occurs in people without pre-existing liver disease. Chronic liver failure is caused by liver damage that develops slowly over time.
Causes of liver failure can vary depending on whether the liver failure is acute or chronic. In some cases, the exact cause of acute liver failure is unknown. Chronic liver failure is associated with liver damage or disease.
Inflammation and fibrosis, the early stages of liver damage or disease, rarely cause noticeable symptoms. Symptoms are related to more advanced stages.
It can occur if you have conditions such as decompensated cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis C or progressive chronic liver failure.
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Acute liver failure is always a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms consistent with acute liver failure.
To diagnose liver problems, your doctor will start by taking your medical history and performing a physical exam.
Acute liver failure is often treated in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU). You will receive supportive care to help stabilize your condition and manage complications during treatment and recovery.
If a healthcare professional suspects an overdose or reaction, they can give a medicine to reverse the effects. Doctors may recommend liver transplantation for some people with acute liver failure.
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According to the American Liver Foundation advocacy group, the damage caused by the inflammatory and fibrotic stages of liver failure can be reversed and healed over time with early and appropriate identification and treatment.
If you have ESLD, you may need a liver transplant. During the transplant, the surgeon removes the diseased liver and replaces it with a liver from a healthy donor.
You can prevent liver damage, disease and failure by making lifestyle changes that keep your liver happy and healthy. Here are some tips to improve your liver health.
If liver damage or disease is at an early stage, it can heal over time with the right treatment and lifestyle changes.
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Liver failure, whether acute or chronic, can be a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical intervention.
People diagnosed with liver disease are often monitored throughout their lives to ensure that the condition does not worsen or cause further liver damage. Consult your doctor if you are concerned about liver health or liver failure.
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Our experts continuously monitor the health and wellness field and update articles as new information becomes available. Most people probably know that the heart pumps blood, the brain thinks and the lungs breathe. But most people probably don’t know what the liver does.
Functions Of Liver
Unlike some of the more well-known organs, the liver has multiple functions that span the entire body. In a way, it is the handyman who makes everything run smoothly in the background.
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Above you can see 5 of the liver’s many roles. It is responsible for functions such as the body’s factory, transport system, energy storage system and waste disposal system.
Figure 3: Glycogen: the liver as a battery. Our bodies store carbohydrate energy in the form of glycogen, almost like a battery, to help us run faster.
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Since you’re not eating all the time, your body needs a way to store the energy from the chocolate bar you ate so it can use it when you run.
But your body also needs some energy to use for a quick “boost”. The liver goes in there.
The liver stores energy in the form of “glycogen”, a starch. This allows your liver to quickly deliver energy to your body when you exercise.
Figure 4: Vitamins: the role of the liver. The liver produces bile, which is needed to absorb fats and vitamins from food.
Fascinating Facts About Our Liver
You may have heard that food contains vitamins. You need your liver to supply your body with some of these vitamins.
The liver produces the almost truck-like transporters needed to absorb the four main vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Vitamin A is important for vision, vitamin D is necessary for strong bones, vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cells and vitamin K helps blood clotting.
If liver function is impaired, patients can become ill because, despite a normal diet, they do not get enough vitamins.
About Your Liver
Figure 5: Liver and cholesterol. The liver helps produce fats and cholesterol, which are essential for cells. It also absorbs excess cholesterol from LDL.
Too much cholesterol can cause heart disease, but you actually need cholesterol to survive. Cholesterol is an important part of the cell membranes that hold cells together.
The liver is responsible for transporting cholesterol in the body and regulating its levels. It releases mediators such as VLDL to absorb excess cholesterol, which returns in the form of LDL.
NASH is a condition caused by the presence of fat in the liver. It is a subgroup of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Over time, fat in the liver can lead to liver inflammation, the final stage of which is called NASH.
The Liver Factory
Signs and SymptomsArticle Fatigue #symptoms NASH can cause fatigue, but the symptoms are relatively nonspecific.
Treatment Articles Weight Loss #Lifestyle Weight loss is one of the best ways to treat NAFLD. Low Carb Diet #Lifestyle A low carb diet can help treat NASH.
Important questions and answers How dangerous is NASH? Is NASH disease reversible? Can NASH be cured? Is NASH life threatening?
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