Are you aware that your liver can grow and replace its lost tissue? Do you know it is in charge of various functions required to keep you healthy?
Scarred Hero- Your Liver!
The liver is the largest internal organ which weighs about 1.4 kg. It is present in the right upper abdomen and is mostly surrounded by the rib cage. When viewed from the outside, it is divided into two parts or lobes responsible for carrying out 100s of different functions in the body. The liver is one of the few organs of our body that can regenerate.
Wait, What? It can regenerate?
Yes, it is capable of regenerating itself and is seen not only in humans but also in all vertebrates (animals having spinal cords surrounded by bones)
The liver can regrow completely to its previous size without losing any of its functions from just 25% of its original unharmed tissues. humans, two-third of the liver can regrow to its original size in just 8-15 days.
What are the Different Functions of the Liver?
The liver performs tons of different functions. Some of its significant and well-known functions are:
- Breaks down toxic substances into its non toxic forms.
- Acts as a storage house for glucose, iron, vitamins and other essential substances.
- Clear drugs and other harmful substances from the blood.
- Provides immune protection from disease causing agents like bacteria, viruses or others.
- Regulates blood clotting.
Can Scarring affect the Liver’s Regenerating Capability?
Well, scarring prevents the liver from regenerating on the affected site due to the damaged tissue. Scarring of liver occurs when it is damaged due to-
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Eating fatty foods (Non alcoholic fatty liver disease)
- Cirrhosis (a condition causing irreversible liver scarring)
- Different types of hepatitis
- Some infections like Adenovirus, Toxoplasmosis and others
This prevents the liver from regenerating on the site of scarring due to the damaged tissue. Once more than 75% of the liver tissue is scarred then it can’t regrow to its original shape. The scarring of the liver also affects its different functions.
How can one prevent possible Scarring or Liver damage?
Minimize or stop alcohol consumption
- Eat ‘liver’ friendly diet (low fat)
- Avoid illicit or prohibited injectable drugs
- Use medications with precautions, never mix medications with alcohol
- Gets vaccinated if you’re living or traveling to hepatitis prone areas
- Avoid contact with foreign blood and body fluids
- Use precautions during intercourse
- Avoid using others toothbrushes, razors and used needles
- Early diagnosis ensure minimum damage and early recovery.