I am your Liver: Your life and mine are dependent on each other

Written on Thursday, October 1, 2015
By Shri K.K. Bajaj - Chairman Bajaj Capital Ltd.

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I am the largest and heaviest organ within the body weighing in at about 3 pounds (approx. 1.36 kilograms). I appear as a spongy, reddish brown organ that lies just below the diaphragm in the abdominal cavity. Structurally, I am divided into two parts called the 'right lobe' and 'left lobe' by the “ligmentum teres” which is a cross like structure. I am the only organ in your body that can regenerate itself. Even if you get two thirds of me removed through trauma or surgery, I will grow back to the original size within four weeks. But this does not mean that you can afford to be careless with me.

I am the link between digestive and circulatory systems. Damage to me can choke almost all body systems. When I become too heavily damaged, I can no longer carry out my normal functions, a condition known as decompensated cirrhosis. Scar tissue may block the normal flow of blood through me, causing stretched and weakened blood vessels in the oesophagus and stomach and internal bleeding. Reduced production of blood proteins may lead to fluid accumulation in the abdomen.

How to take my (Liver) care?
I scar easily and those scars, called “cirrhosis” are permanent. Remember, overloading and abusing me with alcohol, drugs and other junk foods or making me work beyond my capacity for extended periods, damages me permanently. Since I break down food and purify your blood, eating too much or too often can damage me. Also, intake of toxic substance in the form of liquor or drugs can damage me. Living healthy is the best way to take care of me. Avoid alcohol and other toxic substances; eat a healthy diet; engage in moderate exercise regularly; and take measures to manage stress and fatigue, to keep me healthy.

-Beer, alcohol, wine and aerated drinks kill my cells

-I get suffocated if you inhale polluted air

-Avoid breathing in aerosol cleaners, bug sprays, insecticides or pesticides, paint sprays and all other chemical sprays.

My (Liver) Functions
-I am responsible for some 500 of your bodily functions. I process almost everything we ingest, breathe, or absorb through the skin. I play an important role in digestion and metabolism, regulating the production, storage, and release of sugar, fats, and cholesterol.

-At any point in time, as much as 10-15 percent of your blood in the body is present in me. Due to my role as a blood purifier, I have a unique feature in that its blood is delivered by two entirely different routes.

-I perform some of the cleansing functions by removing from this blood, sources of any bacteria and dying red blood cells. I then inject a large dose of vital glucose, protein and fats into the bloodstream. The blood, so purified is carried to the heart and the general circulatory system.

-I function like a huge purifying plant, breaking down and cleansing then building up compounds to be distributed through the body.

-I am storage depot for glucose, proteins and vitamins in your body. I am the storage depot for much of the body's material. Blood from the digestive process of the intestines carries excess sugar. My cells take up this excess sugar as glucose, and convert it to glycogen for storage, just like a battery.

-I produce and carry bile to help digestion. Bile, a digestive juice produced by me, helps the body absorb fat into the bloodstream and to help eliminate my by-products.

-I produce blood clotting agents, blood proteins and cholesterol: I also produce blood-clotting agents and blood proteins that make the blood. Blood clotting agents help the body stop bleeding as soon as one gets a cut or wound.

Foods that make me healthy
1. Beet Root
2. Radish, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage
3. Oranges, Grapefruit, lemons and limes
4. Dark Green Leafy vegetables
5. Avocados
6. Apple
7. Whole Grains
8. Walnuts
9. Turmeric

I am basically a non-complainer. I cannot and will not tell you when I am in trouble, until I am almost at the end of the rope. Then it might be too late to do anything. Hence, do take proper care of me. Your life and mine are dependent on each other. I am your silent partner and ever-loving lover, LIVER. 

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