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Liver and the intestinal diseases

DISEASES OF THE LIVER AND THE INTESTINES ARE SOME OF THE COMMON CIVILIZATION DISEASES

LIVER DISEASES

Liver is the largest organ (accounting for 2-2.5% of body mass), as well as the most complex one. For these reasons, we should care for it throughout our lives.

The liver plays a crucial part in metabolism. Its main functions are synthesising and secreting bile, maintaining carbohydrate balance, lipid synthesis, control of cholesterol metabolism, synthesizing urea, albumins, clotting factors, and other proteins, metabolizing and detoxifying medicines and other environmental substances. The liver acts as a filter, stopping and processing toxic metabolites produced by the body and many chemical compounds entering it, including most of medicinal drugs.

Every day, the liver produces 500-600 mL of bile, which is a water solution of bile acids, cholesterol, bile pigments, phospholipids and electrolytes. Bile acids play a key role in maintaining cholesterol balance (especially in its removal from the body) and fat absorption. It is in the liver that most of the substances in the body, including medicines and food preservatives, are processed to later be removed with bile or urine.

Liver diseases are of serious concern not only for general health, but often for survival. It is not so surprising, considering the amount of the vital functions which the liver performs, while being just one organ (making its functions irreplaceable by another one).

Some of the most important factors detrimental to liver health and damaging its cells are: improper nutrition, alcohol abuse, medicine abuse, influence of chemicals (the number of which increases with the growth of chemical industry and “chemization” of agriculture), and viral infections causing acute and chronic liver diseases.