YOUR LIVER & DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

What is Liver?

Liver is the largest organ, weighing about 1.2-1.5 kg. It is chocolate colored, situated on the right upper part of the abdominal cavity.

What are the functions of liver?

  • Metabolism: It metabolizes carbohydrate, proteins, fat, drugs, alchohol and vitamines
  • Detoxification: It detoxicates toxins from the body.
  • Synthesis: It synthesizes protein - albumin, globulin and waste products like urea, NPN, uric acid etc.
  • Storage: It stores glycogen, iron, copper, Vitamin A, D, B12, vit K and folate
  • Excretion: It execrates bile salt & bilirubin.
  • Digestion of food materials

What is Hepatitis? What are the causes of Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is defined as inflammation of the liver which causes damage to the hepatocytes with subsequent cell death. Causes:

  • Viral infection—HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV, HEV, EBV, CMV, Herpes etc.
  • Autoimmune Disorder- Autoimmune chronic hepatitis, toxins, drugs (INH, Refampicin, CPZ & Halothane) and alcohol.
  • Miscellaneous: Wilson’s disease, α1 – Anti trypsin deficiency.

What is cirrhosis of liver?

When the liver is damaged with persistant inflammation the liver cells will die. Some other cells (stellate) and fibers (collagen) encircle the dead cells and all become fibrosed and ineffective. This type of agglomeration of dead liver cells, fibers and stellate cells will lead to cirrhosis of liver, resulting in irregular shape of liver.

How cirrhosis patient should lead his life?

  • In primary stage of cirrhosis there should not be any change in lifestyle.
  • If tiredness is felt take rest in between work.
  • In cirrhosis there is breakdown of protein in the body, so in the initial stage the protein intake should be high.
  • If there is edema or ascites no extra salt should be taken and medicine should be taken empirically.
  • If there is temperature or abdominal pain in cirrhosis patient - consult doctor as it may be due to other bacterial infection/asctic fluid infection.

What is transplantation of liver?

Transplantation of liver means transplant of liver tissue from a healthy donor to a recipient. It can be done to patients with end stage liver disease.

In transplantation how much part of liver is necessary?

In transplantation approximately 25% of healthy liver tissue is necessary.

What are the indications of liver transplantation?

Liver transplantation may be required for patient suffering from acute & chronic liver failure due to Hepatitis Virus, cholestetic forms of cirrhosis (Primary Biliary Cirrhosis), alcoholic cirrhosis and rarely due to metabolic disease (i.e. α1- Anti-trypsin Deficiency & Haemochromotosis).

What is Gilbert Syndrome?

Gilbert Syndrome is congenital liver disease & is characterized by non-hemolytic hyperbilirubinaemia. In adults the prognosis is excellent, needs no treatment, but occasionally Phenoberbitone is given & is clinically important only because it may be mistaken for more serious liver diseases.

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