The liver is a critical organ and has many important roles for the body. In fact, one cannot live without a liver. An unhealthy liver is difficult to diagnose without lab tests or a visit to your doctor.
Liver: An Important Organ
An early symptom of liver disease is marked fatigue. If the early symptoms are not recognized chronic liver disease will progress resulting in cirrhosis that leads to liver transplantation or death.
Body’s energy plan
The primary role of the liver is quite simple; create energy and detoxify the body. For all intents and purposes the liver is the energy plant for the body. As you can imagine your local electric company working at decreased efficiency will result in all kinds of issues within the community. The liver is very similar – whereupon chronic liver disease is left untreated the person’s energy level is lowered and overall ability to perform daily functions are markedly affected. The result when person’s energy level is dropped is commonly associated with an increase in fatigue, depression, sleep disorder, and loss of muscle mass. Additionally, the ability to detoxify the body is markedly affected when a diseased liver is not working at 100% capacity.
Take care of your liver- you need it!
“We are what we eat”
To create energy, ingested food is transformed into an absorbable setting by the stomach and small intestines then transferred to the liver for energy processing. The liver is very efficient in turning absorbed food into energy. However the liver is unable to determine how much energy to create on a daily basis and ultimately converts all given food into energy. In essence the liver, never slows down and will turn all given food into energy. Thus the problem!! If one consumes 4,000 calories per day and only expends 2,000 (typical) per day- 2,000 calories are stored in various parts of the body- as fat! And in more and more Americans the fat is stored in the liver- hence the term- “fatty liver disease.” The transformation of the American diet over the past 50 years of buffet style meals, high fructose diets, processed foods with high carbohydrate and fat contents, while decreased daily activity levels have transformed us into the most unhealthy country on the globe!
“Watch what you eat and make every calorie count!”
Your Hepatologist can determine the liver’s health state by the numerous laboratory tests. However the challenge with liver disease is that nearly all patients with liver disease are without symptoms. In fact, without an office visit to your doctor and appropriate laboratories, one’s liver will continue to progressively worsen. The term asymptomatic (without symptoms) is often noted and is relevant for the more than 100 million American suffering from fatty liver. Many of the fatty liver disease patients will not progress. But 25%, or one in four, will develop progressive fatty liver disease from the resultant liver inflammation that leads to extensive liver injury.
Your Liver is your Life
Do not wait for fatigue to develop, or jaundice to present, or ascites to accumulate, or confusion from increased ammonia levels to occur or bleeding from your esophagus. Follow up with you doctor for complete liver evaluation. These are common complications in patients with cirrhosis, a term used to define patients with chronic liver disease that has not been managed from years.
“Your Liver is your life, do not ignore fatty liver or chronic disease of the liver, find help now!”