The liver is an organ of the size and shape (approximate) of a deflated soccer ball sitting on the right side of the abdomen just below the ribs. Its role is to filter and purify the body, eliminate toxins in the blood arrived while we breathe, the food and beverages we eat and the medicines we take. The liver stores vitamins, minerals and sugar until the body needs them, and not the least, blood clotting factors.
One of the vital organs, the liver, has an important role in the functioning of our body. Without it, digestion would be impossible, wounds could not heal, we would not be able to serve a cocktail, etc. The liver uses 25% of the blood pumped by the heart. That is why we must always be careful, and at the slightest sign of illness, to consult a specialist.
What are the signs of liver disease? Well, this is a silent organ, usually does not produce symptoms very obvious when in distress. However, there are some pointers that should make you think twice:
1. Fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain – These may be signs of a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver (steatosis), when body fat is drowned. High cholesterol and obesity are major risk factors of liver disease which, in turn, increases the risk of type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
2. Flu-like symptoms and dark stool – They may indicate the presence of hepatitis A, B or C infection leading to liver inflammation. Hepatitis A is usually transmitted through contaminated food, the type B and C are transmitted sexually.
3. Tinted yellow skin and eyes – These symptoms occur when the liver is unable to process bilirubin, a substance produced in its filtration system. The disease is called jaundice (or yellowness), but you may also be concerned about hepatitis.
How do we maintain the liver health? There are a few simple ways that can be applied to everyone’s lifestyle. Thus, experts recommend fresh and healthy food, prepared properly, well-washed fruits and vegetables before consumption, daily exercises, a diet rich in vitamin E and waiving any excess (alcohol, food, drugs, etc..).
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