January – Love Your Liver Month!

Do You Love Your Liver?

Love your Liver! The liver is the largest gland, and the largest solid organ in the body. If you place your right hand over the area under the ribs on the right side of your body it will just about cover the area of your liver.

It holds approximately 13% of your total blood supply at any given time and has over 500 functions.

The liver is dark reddish brown in colour and is divided into two main lobes (the larger right and the smaller left)

Liver functions include:

  • processing digested food from the intestine
  • controlling levels of fats, amino acids and glucose in the blood
  • combating infections
  • clearing the blood of particles and infections, including bacteria
  • neutralising and destroying all drugs and toxins
  • manufacturing bile
  • storing iron, vitamins and other essential chemicals
  • breaking down food and turning it into energy
  • manufacturing, breaking down and regulating numerous hormones including sex hormones
  • making enzymes and proteins responsible for most chemical reactions in the body, e.g. in blood clotting and repair of damaged tissues.

 

Your liver also helps the body to get rid of waste. Waste products which are not excreted by your kidneys are removed from the blood by the liver.

People with liver damage may sometimes lose the ability to control glucose concentration in the blood and need a regular supply of sugar.  Symptoms of liver damage can be difficult to spot as they are not always obvious – they can include tiredness, nausea and itching.

NHS choices website has information about the signs, symptoms and causes of liver disease.

Support your liver this month by:

  • Drinking less alcohol
  • Eating less processed food (which may have additives which will increase the workload of the liver)
  • Taking more exercise and reducing your weight
January is Love Your Liver Month

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