Anatomy And Physiology

Anatomy Physiology

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The liver is one of the largest and most important internal organs. Protected by ribs, the liver is located in the upper right hand side of the abdomen. It has many functions (over 500) and can be likened to a chemical processing factory. Many of it's functions relate to metabolism and some of it's roles include maintaining the level of glucose in the blood, synthesizing bile salts, producing bile which is then stored in the gallbladder and removing and neutralizing toxic substances in the blood.

Maintaining a healthy liver is vital to good health. The many functions of the liver can be impaired by liver disease, most commonly caused by drugs, alcohol abuse and infections such as viral hepatitis. Another common problem is the failure of the liver to secrete bile because of stones forming in the gall bladder. When gallstones are suspected they can be removed medically through removal of the gallbladder or a common alternative can include the taking Epson salts, olive oil and lemon or grapefruit juice. Recipes for this method are commonly advertised on the web. The drinking of beetroot, carrot or lemon juice is also claimed by some to increase bile flow, which in turn aids the body to excrete wastes more effectively.

Although the liver has a remarkable talent in that it is able to easily regenerate, the effects of persistent long term alcohol abuse may cause liver failure. Signs of chronic liver disease can include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), loss of body hair, and distension of the abdomen. Chronic inflammation of the liver can lead to scar tissue being formed known as Cirrhosis. Anyone who is suffering from liver disease needs to avoid alcohol.

You can assist in maintaining a healthy liver by eating a nutritious diet low in fat, sugar and processed foods, taking supplements such as milk thistle found in many health food shops, drinking dandelion tea or coffee, taking fresh lemon juice in a cup of warm water every morning, drinking 1.5 litres of good water throughout the day and doing regular exercise. Your healthy liver will then reward you with a healthier body and greater quality of life for longer.

More about this author: Shannyn Hughes

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