LIVER FUNCTIONS & YOUR WELLNESS
A large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen of vertebrates, involved in many metabolic processes.
It filters and processes blood as it circulates through the body. It metabolizes nutrients, detoxifies harmful substances, makes blood clotting proteins, and performs many other vital functions. The cells in the liver contain proteins called enzymes that drive these chemical reactions.
MAJOR FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY LIVER:
The most common causes of chronic liver failure (where the liver fails over months to years) include:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Long-term alcohol consumption
- Hemochromatosis(an inherited disorder that causes the body to absorb and store too much iron)
The causes of acute liver failure, when the liver fails rapidly, however, are often different. These include:
- Acetaminophen(tylenol) overdose
- Viruses including Hepatitis A, B and C (especially in children)
- Reactions to certain prescription
- Ingestion of poisonous wild mushrooms
What Are the Symptoms of Liver Failure?
The initial symptoms of liver failure are often ones that can be due to any number or conditions. Because of this, liver failure may be initially difficult to diagnose. Early symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
However, as liver failure progresses, the symptoms become more serious, requiring urgent care. These symptoms include:
- Bleeding easily
- Swollen abdomen
- Mental disorientation or confusion (known as hepatic encephalopathy)
General recommendations for patients with liver disease and disorder include:
- Eat large amounts of carbohydrate foods. Carbohydrates should be the major source of calories in this diet.
- Eat a moderate intake of fat, as prescribed by the health care provider. The increased carbohydrates and fat help prevent protein breakdown in the liver.
- Have about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. This means that a 154-pound (70-kilogram) man should eat 70 grams of protein per day. This does not include the protein from starchy foods and vegetables. A person with a badly damaged liver may need to eat less protein. Talk to your doctor about your protein needs.
- Take vitamin supplements, especially B-complex vitamins.
- Reduce the amount of salt you consume (typically less than 1500 milligrams per day) if you are retaining fluid.
- 1 orange
- Cooked oatmeal with milk and sugar
- 1 slice of whole-wheat toast
- Strawberry jam
- Coffee or tea
- 4 ounces of cooked lean fish, poultry, or meat
- A starch item (such as potatoes)
- A cooked vegetable
- 2 slices of whole-grain bread
- Fresh fruit
- Milk with graham crackers
- 4 ounces of cooked fish, poultry, or meat
- Starch item (such as potatoes)
- A cooked vegetable
- 2 whole-grain rolls
- Fresh fruit or dessert
- 8 ounces of milk
- Glass of milk or piece of fruit
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