What is the Function of the Liver?

Composed of millions of cells, the liver is considered one of the most important organs of the digestive system, since it is mainly responsible for metabolizing and storing nutrients from the body. It weighs around 1,300 to 1,500 grams in man and a little less, about 200 grams in women.

The main functions of the liver are:

  • bile production
  • cholesterol synthesis
  • storage and release of glucose
  • detoxification of the organism
  • transformation of ammonia into urea
  • drug and hormone processing
  • protein metabolism
  • destruction of worn blood cells and bacteria, among others.

Located in the upper right part of the abdomen, it is a vital organ because the human being can not survive without it.

And, despite having an excellent recovery capacity, some diseases can lead to liver failure, leading to death. In these cases, there may be a medical indication for liver transplantation.

The main cause of the need for transplantation is liver cirrhosis, which causes irreversible damage to liver cells.

The disease occurs when the normal anatomy of the organ is replaced by scar tissue, which impairs its function. It can be caused by several reasons: hepatitis B and C, autoimmune hepatitis, alcohol, primary biliary cirrhosis, sclerosing cholangitis, and secondary biliary cirrhosis.

Hepatitis B, for example, is caused by the B virus, known as HBV. When it enters our organism, the virus attacks the cells of the liver, and multiplies, causing the inflammation of the organ.

By being contaminated with blood, saliva, semen and vaginal secretions, the individual can develop acute hepatitis, chronic hepatitis, and fulminant hepatitis – which is the most severe form of the disease and can lead to death quickly.

In turn, hepatitis C is a viral disease, which also causes inflammation of the liver. The problem is that most of the time, there are no symptoms and the patient does not perceive the problem in the body. Its virus, the HCV, can be transmitted mainly by contaminated blood.

Sexual contact, perinatal, mother-to-child, sharing of syringes or instruments in the manicure, pedicure and piercings are also important ways of transmitting the disease.

Therefore, there are several diseases that can cause liver deterioration and lead to the need for transplantation. It is always important to take care of health, have healthy habits and do routine exams to detect possible problems early.

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