Knowing how to recognize the symptoms of liver disease can save your life. As with so many illnesses and diseases, liver disease, if spotted early enough, can be arrested, and cured (providing the causes have been identified and are avoided in the future), and your liver can fully recover, growing new healthy tissue to replace any that has been damaged, just as long as the disease has not been allowed to progress too far – hence the importance of knowing what the warning signs to look out for.
An organ and a gland
Your liver is the largest internal organ (and also the largest internal gland) that you have in your body. In a healthy adult, a normal liver will weigh somewhere between 3 to 3.5 pounds and it plays a crucial role in a number of body system functions.
The functions of the liver
The key functions of the liver are to detoxify your blood, and to enhance your digestive system by creating bile, which helps to break down the fats that you consume into small pieces, making them easier for your small intestine to absorb. But that’s not all. Here is a quick summary of what your liver does for you:
-It detoxes your blood, filtering out any harmful and unwanted substances like drugs and alcohol
-It produces bile to aid digestion
-It stores some of your body’s vitamins and iron
-It stores glucose
-It converts glucose into sugar that the body can use when the body’s sugar levels become depleted
-It processes hemoglobin, insulin and a variety of other hormones
-It converts ammonia into urea; an essential ingredient for healthy metabolism
-It eliminates old red blood cells, which produces fecal matter which is normally brown in color. This is why when your stools are discolored (i.e. not brown) it can be an indication there is something wrong with your liver function.
Without a healthy liver, any holistic health lifestyle will become severely compromised, and depending on the nature and severity of disease, could prove fatal; which is why it’s so important to be able to detect and interpret the early symptoms of liver disease.
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