The liver is one of the crucial organs in our body which performs countless functions. This half-moon-shaped organ is situated at the upper side of the right abdomen. The liver is our body’s largest internal organ. It plays a significant role in the body’s metabolic reaction and immune system. For a healthy life, a properly functioning liver is crucial.
The liver has two main parts or lobes, and each lobe has eight compartments or segments. These segments have numerous small lobules. A tiny duct or tube emerges from each lobule that connects to their respective lobe’s hepatic duct (right and left hepatic duct). These lobules produce bile (digestive fluid). Bile plays a significant role in digestion.
What is bile?
Bile or gall is a thick yellow-green fluid produced by the liver. Bile disintegrates fat in our food and converts it into fatty acids so that they can easily absorb through our digestive tract. The gall bladder (small pouch-like structure underside of the liver) stores the bile and excretes it in our duodenum through the common bile duct during meals. The bile performs three main functions:
- It breaks down fats in our food and converts them into easily absorbable components.
- It helps in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
- Bile helps in removing toxins and metabolic wastes from our body.
What is liver health?
The liver is the largest solid organ of our body. All of our blood passes through the liver. At a time, around 13% of our whole blood is present in the liver. The liver performs numerous functions, and some of them are:
- The liver filters all our blood and removes toxic products from it
- The bile secreted from the liver helps in digestion
- Most medicines pass through the liver, so the effect and activation of the drug depend on the liver condition
- The liver maintains glucose levels in our blood and stores extra glucose for future needs
- The liver produces many enzymes. These enzymes help in the absorption and storage of many nutrients, vitamins, fat, and other substances from the food we consumed
- The liver ensures the safe removal of unwanted substances from our blood, such as drugs, alcohol, and many foreign particles.
- It maintains homeostasis in our body.
- The liver plays an active role in protein synthesis and metabolism of amino acids.
Liver health is very crucial to perform all these functions effortlessly. A healthy liver is the foundation of a healthy body. Every day liver provides energy to our body and helps our body fight against many infections. Every organ in our body is dependent on the liver for detoxifying the impurities in the blood. The abundance of these toxins and free radicals imposes extra pressure on our liver and can cause liver damage.
The more toxins we consume, the more damage we induce to our liver. Processed food, alcohol, drug substances, sugary food products, and harmful environmental substances cause injury to the cells and tissues of our liver and make it more susceptible to various chronic diseases. So for the proper functioning of the liver, we should adopt a better lifestyle.
How to improve our liver health?
The more toxins we consume, the greater the strain on the liver is. Overexerted liver may cause fatigue, digestive problems, skin problems, and a weakened immune system. Although it is impossible to live toxin-free life, we can lower the consequences of liver damage by simple modifications in our lifestyle, including:
- A balanced diet is crucial to avert many diseases. We should avoid the intake of processed food, excess sugary and salty food, and high-calorie food.
- Maintaining a healthy weight is critical for preventing many liver diseases.
- You should include exercises in your daily routine. They are beneficial for the liver as it burns triglycerides and reduces liver fat.
- You should limit the intake of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. They can damage liver cells.
- Stop indulging yourself in the practice of substance abuse and illicit drugs.
- You should avoid unsafe injection practices and contaminated needles during tattoos and body piercings as they increase the risk of hepatitis B and C.
- You should avoid unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners as they increase your chances of getting hepatitis B and C.
- Follow the directions of medication properly. Mixing medications can be dangerous to health.
- Proper vaccination for hepatitis A and B is beneficial for liver health.
The liver performs countless functions in our body. A healthy liver is crucial for overall health and wellbeing. When our liver suffers, its impact is visible on our entire body. So on this World Liver Day, let’s pledge to keep our liver healthy and disease-free.