By Dr.Rupesh Kalyan, Consultant Medical Gastroenterologist, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield
Humans and the complexity of our body is a huge chapter and it literally takes ages for a person to study human body entirely. As common people, we don’t understand all the bodily functions of our organs. The science behind on how our body works and which organ contributes to what function is also known vaguely. We try to manage ourselves with as much as knowledge we have. But if we question ourselves for a moment. Then we might even end up answering questions like how does our body produce necessary proteins and energy or how does it cleanse the running blood? Or how does clotting take place?
Well, human body is an amazing machine which has different organs for specific functions. And the only organ that helps in building overall health of our body and which can answer all the above mentioned questions is the liver.
Liver, is the second largest complex organ which plays 500 vital roles in our body and in the digestive system. It performs many complex and synthetic functions in the body. Liver plays a role in removal of toxins from our body and feeds our body with the required amount of energy. By storing vitamins, minerals, Liver produces eighty percent of the ‘good’ cholesterol in the body. Liver also produces bile, which aids with the process of fat digestion along with this it also enhances the body’s clotting capability. This triangularly built organ, fights many infections like Autoimmune Hepatitis Biliary atresia, Cirrhosis, Hemochromatosis, Hepatitis- A, B, C, D and E.
Liver disease does not usually cause any overt signs or symptoms until it is fairly advanced. If advanced, then the possible symptoms could be loss of appetite, weight loss, jaundice, fluid accumulation in abdomen(ascites) & loss of consciousness. In few, acute liver failure may occur which is life threatening and which requires a transplant.
In this period of changing times, everyone is realizing the importance of building immunity and the need to maintain yourself healthy. The risk of developing not only liver diseases but other health conditions can be avoided by implementing the below mentioned basic health tips-
- Reduce Alcohol: Excessive consumption of alcohol is not good for liver. Once the alcohol reaches the liver, it produces toxins like acetaldehyde which can damage liver cells and cause permanent damage. In addition to this, it does effect the inner lining of our stomach.
- Maintain balanced weight: Obesity is considered to be the largest health disease people are commonly suffering with. Being over-weight effects our liver directly as it causes insulin resistance which can lead to fatty liver disease.
- Avoid fad diets: Diet charts or plans that says that can reduce your weight in an unrealistic period of time should not be consumed. As they can put unnecessary stress on your liver.
- Get checked regularly: A regular blood check-up will help out in keeping a tab on your level of cholesterol and glucose in your blood and also will let you know every issue related to fatty liver diseases
- Practise safe: For body art like piercing and tattoos use sterilized needles, practice safe sex as used blades, needles, tooth brushes can cause hepatitis and other chronic liver infections.
- Have a balanced diet: Maintain a diet which has mixture of all grains, proteins, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats. Avoid junk and untimely meals. Eat fibre rich foods.
- Get Vaccinated: Hepatitis A & B, both viral infections can be avoided if vaccinated at the right age
- Avoid excess and un-prescribed medication: Over usage of medicines can affect the liver. Medicines like pain killers does affect the overall health of liver, causing unwanted stress on the liver.
As the nature understands the vitality of liver and its role, the organ has evolved into a regenerative internal body part. The liver is the only organ which can regenerate itself, making it possible for a person to donate their liver for more than once. And the only way that liver can be kept healthy is through basic lifestyle changes. Implement all the positive lifestyle patterns to keep yourself healthy and fit!