The liver is the body’s biggest organ and the only organ able to regenerate, however, that being said does not mean it is immune to damage, factors such as problematic alcohol use, hepatitis and obesity can all cause significant liver damage. 

This blog will help you to understand the functions of the liver, why it’s such an important organ and how to look after it to ensure long-term liver health!

The Functions Of The Liver and Why It’s An Important Organ 

It has been found that the liver has over 500 vital functions, this speaks for itself in terms of the difficulties you would face if it failed. Many use the batter metaphor to describe the liver, for it converts food into energy for your body and stores and delegates it to wherever the body needs it. Without this energy which is stored in the liver and delivered to the correct organs, other vital organs can fail. Without a functioning liver, the body is at risk of multiple organ failure. Here are 5 more key live functions:

  1. Metabolising Bilirubin – Bilirubin is a metabolite of the heme which indicates iron coordination in proteins. You can learn more about the physiology of bilirubin here! 
  2. Production of Bile – This is key for fat absorption
  3. Absorbing vitamin K – Which is vital as part of hemostasis  
  4. Blood filtering – This is essential for hormone regulation within the body, for example, it regulates oestrogen. 
  5. Supporting the Immune System – It is part of the phagocyte system and produces cells which prevent infection via the gut. 

Ways You Can Maintain Your Liver Health 

The functions of the liver are plentiful so it is very important to look after it, here are 4 ways you can do so!

  1. Not drinking alcohol to excess regularly – The liver has to work overtime when you fuel your body with alcohol as alcohol is technically toxic to the body and the liver filters it out of the bloodstream.
  2. Vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, if you’re travelling to a high-risk hepatitis part of the world, you should consult a doctor about a Hepatitis B course as the infection can be very damaging to the liver. For more information about the immunizations we offer at Duality Health Limited please click here. 
  3. Maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise to avoid obesity as this increases your chances of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  4. Stop smoking as this increases your chances of liver cancer.

Why use a Private Liver Specialist 

Unfortunately, there are long waits on Fibro Scanning in Northern Ireland and with liver disease it is essential to catch any disease as early as possible to start treatment and many liver diseases go undetected. We are fortunate enough to have the state-of-the-art Canon Aplio for our liver ultrasounds which provides incredibly detailed imaging. Please click here to read more about the liver health assessments we offer at Duality Health Limited. Please call 028 3083 3666 to gain further information or to book now!