WHY IS THE LIVER IMPORTANT?
The liver is the second largest organ in your body and is located under your rib cage on the right side. It weighs about three pounds and is shaped like a football that is flat on one side. The liver performs many jobs in your body. It processes what you eat and drink into energy and nutrients your body can use. The liver acts as a filter to remove harmful substances from the body.
MAKE NO MISTAKE, LIVER DISEASE IS A KILLER
Approximately 3.5 to 4.6 million people in the US are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus. About 2,000 die annually of it. Also in the US, Hepatitis B kills approximately 2,000 out of the 85,000 to 2 million people infected annually with the virus.
ACUTE LIVER FAILURE
LIVER CANCER IN THE USA
- Excessive alcohol use
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Unprotected sex
- Sharing of needles
- Family history of liver disease
- Skin and eyes appear yellow
- Dark urine color
- Itchy skin
- Tendency to bruise easily
- Chronic fatigue
- Swelling in ankles and legs
TAKE CARE OF YOUR LIVER
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
- Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly help the liver to work well.
- Eat foods from all the food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, meat and beans, milk, and oil
- Maintain a healthy weight
THE LIVER STORES VITAMINS AND MINERALS
The liver stores vitamins A, E, and K which are fat soluble vitamins. Here are some of the uses for each of these vitamins:
Vitamin A keeps the eyes, skin and mucus membranes healthy. It is involved in bone formation and healing of wounds. Vitamin A is essential for cell differentiation, that is the process by which cells become specialized. This means that it is important during pregnancy for fetal development.
Vitamin E is antioxidant, a substance that helps prevent cell damage. It is involved in healthy blood cell development. It also works with Vitamin K.
Vitamin K is involved in clotting and in bone health.
- The liver is the second largest organ in your body and is located under your rib cage on the right side.
- The liver processes what you eat and drink into energy and nutrients your body can use.
- The liver can repair itself and create new healthy liver tissue. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly are important to liver wellness.
- There are more than 100 liver diseases.
Liver disease is one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S.
- One out of every 10 Americans is affected by liver disease.
- Our liver simultaneously performs over 200 important functions for the body. Some of these important functions include supplying glucose to the brain, combating infections, and storing nutrients.
- The liver creates the blood that circulates in our bodies. In fact, the liver starts producing blood before we are born. Without the liver there would be no blood and no life.
- Our liver has the amazing ability to regenerate itself, making liver transplant possible. When people donate half their liver, the remaining part of the liver regenerates the section that was removed.
MANAGE YOUR MEDICATIONS
When medicines are taken incorrectly — by taking too much or the wrong type or by mixing — the liver can be harmed.
- Learn about medicines and how they can affect the liver.
- Follow dosing instructions.
- Talk to a doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you are taking.
- Mixing alcohol and medicines can harm your liver, even if they are not taken at the same time.
PRACTICE SAFE TATTOOING AND BODY PIERCING
- Is an autoclave used to sterilize reusable equipment?
- How are instruments that cannot be sterilized handled?
- Are sterile needles used for piercing and tattooing?
- What type of training does the person doing the tattooing or piercing have?
- Does the person doing the tattoo or piercing wear gloves? Only use non-allergenic jewelry.
Do not have any kind of piercing done with a piercing gun. These instruments increase your risk of infection because they cannot be sterilized between procedures.