What does your liver do?
Besides taking toxins out of your blood, your liver makes bile (a liquid that helps you digest food), takes what you eat and drink and turns it into energy and nutrients; helps your body use carbs; it also plays a role in helping your blood clot.
Along with everything else you ingest, your liver breaks down the alcohol you drink to help get it out of your body. Drinking more alcohol than your liver can process may cause damage. There are several types of alcohol-related liver disease: fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and alcoholic cirrhosis.
Taking too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause serious liver damage. Don’t forget that it can be found in more than 600 medications, including prescription drugs and many over-the-counter pain, cold, and cough remedies.
For adults, the daily limit of acetaminophen is equal to six extra-strength Tylenol tablets from all sources combined. Read the ingredients carefully, and follow the directions on the label and your doctor’s advice. If you’re taking that much Tylenol for more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
Your liver is about the size of a football. Weighing in around 3 pounds, it’s your largest organ — other than your skin.
It’s on the right side of your body, just under your rib cage.
Liver function tests are blood tests that doctors use to check the liver for injury, disease, or infection. Your doctor might call the tests a hepatic function panel or liver profile.
The liver is the only organ that can grow back when part of it is damaged or removed. That’s why people are able to donate parts of their livers.
Liver disease can be silent for a very long time. As many as half of people who have it don’t have any symptoms at all. If you do have warning signs, they’re often vague, like being really tired and having achy muscles. You may also have itchy skin, swelling in your belly, dark urine, confusion, or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
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