A Window To My Internal Health
The liver is one of the hardest-working organs in the body. It is also the only organ that nature felt was so important for you it regenerates, grows back all of the time! Up to 80% can be removed and it will grow back to size in 4-6 weeks.
This is why it can be very challenging if something goes wrong with the liver. It’s also the reason why the liver usually gives you a look into the rest of your health. Your liver is the second largest organ in the body, other than the skin, and is responsible for more than 500 functions. This is why liver health is crucial for overall health and well-being.
Your liver: the basics
You’ll find your liver above the stomach under the rib cage on the right-hand side. This organ is one of the most crucial to human existence – we can’t live without it. Among the 500 tasks, the liver performs every day are some of the most essential to our wellbeing, including eliminating toxins/waste products from the body, supporting the immune system and processing nutrients we receive from the food we eat. The liver can become damaged in many ways, whether inherited conditions, such as Wilson Disease or non-inherited such asdisease due to lifestyle choices, alcoholic fatty liver, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its complications. The liver is also part of the blood clotting process, which will stop you from bleeding out if you cut yourself, are injured or are operated on.
How does non-alcoholic fatty liver disease progress?
Different stages are involved in liver damage, each lowering the potential for a positive outcome. However, the liver is an incredibly resilient organ, and lifestyle changes can often reverse the damage that has been done. Although, these changes need to happen quickly because the more advanced liver disease becomes, the lower the chances of reversal. The progress of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease looks like this:
● Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease exists because the liver contains more than the right amount of fat (i.e. more than 5% of the liver’s weight).
● Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can lead to steatohepatitis. This is an advanced stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease where excess fat results in the liver becoming inflamed and cells becoming damaged, increasingly common if you have type 2 diabetes, heart disease or other metabolic conditions.
● The final stage is scarring of the liver, also known as cirrhosis. This is usually a process that occurs over 20-30 years where the liver has repeatedly attempted to repair itself, resulting in a large volume of scar tissue. This scar tissue prevents the liver from functioning properly. Once scarring exists, it’s very difficult to reverse the damage to the liver.
What can you do to improve liver health?
As the liver is a window to the body’s internal health, anything you can do to better support it will also positively impact general well-being. That could be more regular exercise and a healthier diet so that you are able to lose weight if required, limiting alcohol and giving up smoking, as well as avoiding drugs and steering clear of any toxins or pesticides.
The liver is hugely important to bodily functions – and can be an indicator of internal health – so it’s vitally important to ensure that you are taking care of yours.