The production of bile makes the liver an important organ within digestion, as it emulsifies fat, much like dish soap acts on fat and grease to split it into smaller pieces. This process makes it much easier for the body to process fats. Hepatocytes within the liver also absorb much of the glucose that comes from digested food and stores the sugar as glycogen for later release. This helps the body regulate its sugar levels.Know More
Bile is a blend of cholesterol, water, bilirubin and bile salts. The bilirubin comes from digesting old red blood cells that have worn out for use in the hepatocytes, which turn them into protein for the body. The benefit of having bile break down fats is that the body is able to excrete much more of the excess fat that it would otherwise be able to do.
Glycogen is an extremely important substance in the body. Without it, everyone would go through significant spikes of high and low blood sugar throughout the day as they went through the cycle of mealtime. While diabetics have difficulty controlling sugar levels at times, without glycogen, everyone would go through extreme highs and lulls as the body digested each meal. In general terms, the liver is a filtering system for the body, breaking down what the body does not need and aiding in the digestion of nutrients that it does need.Learn more about Gastrointestinal Issues
Elevated liver enzymes occur when there is damage or inflammation on the liver. The damage causes the liver cells to produce a higher amount of certain chemicals, which are deposited into the bloodstream. The liver enzymes that are usually elevated in the blood include alanine transaminase, or ALT, and aspartate transaminase, or AST.Full Answer >
According to the Mayo Clinic, lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating a healthy diet and lowering cholesterol sometimes help to control fatty infiltrates of the liver. Additionally, getting at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise, avoiding alcohol and using over-the-counter medicines in accordance with the manufacturer's directions are strategies that may also help.Full Answer >
The symptoms of liver cirrhosis include edema in the legs, itching, jaundice, fatigue and nausea, Mayo Clinic states. Other symptoms include bruising easily, bleeding easily, weight loss, confusion and slurred speech. These symptoms often do not manifest until damage to the liver is already extensive.Full Answer >
Milk thistle, B vitamins and magnesium are recommended herbal treatments for nonalcoholic fatty liver, according to Dr. Mark Hyman. He also recommends lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant, and n-acetyl-l-cysteine to cleanse the liver and help boost its glutathione levels.Full Answer >