The Functions of the Liver
Your liver is the second largest organ in the body (your skin is #1) and is located in your abdomen. To find your liver, you need to be familiar with the quadrant system of identifying the organs. In this system, you first draw an imaginary horizontal line underneath your ribs and another at the level of your groin.
Then draw an imaginary vertical line through your navel. These lines now separate your abdomen into four quadrants. The two quadrants on your right side are called the right upper quadrant and the right lower quadrant. The two quadrants on your left side are called the left upper quadrant and the left lower quadrant.
The liver is shaped like a triangle with a 90 degrees angle and two 45 degrees angles. The 90 degrees angle is rounded and located under your ribs in your right upper abdomen. One 45 degrees angle is located about 3 to 4 inches straight down from the 90 degrees angle under your right ribs; the other one is located under the ribs in your left upper abdomen. The liver weighs about three pounds.
There are billions of liver cells in the liver, and it’s good that there are, since chemicals and toxins in the environment are constantly affecting the liver negatively. Luckily for us all, the liver has a pretty remarkable regeneration capacity. The most circulation the liver gets is at night, when your body is restoring.
What else does the liver do? Below are 14 different functions of the liver but there are hundreds more!
14 Functions of the Liver You Might Not Know
1 Detoxifies Chemicals Like Herbicides, Pesticides, Heavy Metals, and Medications Your liver is your body’s primary recycling center, changing and breaking down chemicals into safer fragments, recycling some for other purposes while discarding others.
2 Processes Nutrients from Foods – Your liver collects and distributes nutrients as needed. When your body must create new proteins, the liver will assemble amino acids perfectly into what you need.
3 Secretes Bile for Digestion – Your liver creates bile. Like detergent, bile emulsifies fat in the diet. Without being dissolved, fats can’t be absorbed into the blood stream. Bile is stored in the gall bladder.
4 Stores Iron in the Body – Iron is important for your endurance levels. All red blood cells depend on iron because these cells are not created without it.
5 Metabolizes Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins – Every food and beverage you consume is processed and metabolized by your liver.
6 Provides Storage for Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Iron and Copper – Each of these vitamins and minerals are essential for your health.
7 Controls the Production of Cholesterol – Cholesterol is the precursor molecule for hormones, so your liver plays a role in hormone production.
8 Metabolizes Alcohol
9 Maintains Hormonal Balance by Breaking Down Hormones – Hormones are recycled in the body by your liver.
10 Converts Ammonia into Urea – Breaking down protein requires the removal of ammonia, and your liver has this job in the body.
11 Produces Immune Factors for Good Immunity
12 Stores Excess Glucose as Glycogen Sugars are converted to glycogen for use in the body at a later time.
13 Regulates Blood Sugar – Besides your pancreas, your liver also plays an important part in controlling your blood sugar levels.
14 Creates Heat in the Body
15 Breaks Down Red Blood Cells That Are Old – Your body’s amazing recycle center in your liver will reuse the iron in the red blood cells.
Reverse Fatty Liver Symptoms – Drugs That Cause Fatty Liver
Often the use of drugs is unavoidable, but one of the problems with them is that they may cause harmful side effects such as fatty liver. Any medication that causes a person to gain weight is potentially contributing to fatty liver. Thus, the listing of many drugs associated with fatty liver disease includes the following:
Birth control pills -Drugs to prevent pregnancy are so widely used that the side effects are rarely considered.
Antidepressants – There are many types of drugs that treat depression.
Antipsychotic medications – Drugs that treat psychosis can also cause fatty liver disease.
valproic acid – This is an anti-epilepsy drug.
Diltiazem – This prescription medication is a heart medication that is called a calcium channel blocker.
Indinavir – You wouldn’t know much about this prescription medication unless you had HIV. It’s a drug reserved for those who have HIV.
Tamoxifen – This is a prescription drug based on an ingredient from the Pacific Yew tree. It’s used as an anti-estrogen medication for those who have breast cancer and is part of the treatment plan for cancer patients.
High dosage of intravenous tetracycline – You have to be pretty sick to end up with a high dosage of intravenous tetracycline. It’s one that is used in the Intensive Care Unit in the hospital.
Alcohol – As little as two drinks a day for women and three drinks a day for men can cause the appearance of fatty liver disease.
Cigarettes – Fatty liver disease is one of those hidden health problems of cigarettes you never thought of.
Sedatives – These are drugs that calm you down.
Corticosteroids – Two primary steroid drugs are cortisone and prednisone.
Methotrexate – This is a potentially dangerous medication used as a last resort for rheumatoid arthritis.
Amiodarone – This medication treats abnormal heart rhythms.
Sulfonamides – This medication treats infections; these drugs also use up para-amino-benzoic acid (PABA), a B vitamin, in the body which is used to synthesize folic acid in the intestines.
Phenytoin – This anti-epilepsy medication is especially used for grand mal seizures.
antithyroid drugs – The primary medication in this category are the ones used for hyperthyroidism.
Phenothiazines – These drugs treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
Salicylates – These are aspirin-based medications that treat mild to moderate pain.
Why You Avoid These Drugs If You Want to Reverse Fatty Liver Symptoms?
How These Drugs Harm the Liver
When drugs harm the liver and cause fatty liver, they cause the elevation of liver enzymes. Three of the most important liver enzymes are found on liver function tests, and are called SGOT or AST for short, ALT or SGPT, and alkaline phosphatase.
There are three types of liver injuries:
- Hepatocellular injury– If this type of injury shows jaundice as one of the symptoms, the person may be a candidate for a liver transplant. Two drugs that can cause this injury are acetaminophen and isoniazid as well as the gout medicine allopurinol; NSAIDS Omeprazole, Paroxetine, Rifampin, Sertraline; Lisinopril, Losartan and Methotrexate, Baclofen, Statins, Tetracyclines, Trazodone, and Risperidone. The injury is reflected in elevated ALT enzymes.
- Cholestatic– This type of injury is not as bad as hepatocellular injury, but it may destroy the bile ducts and cause itching skin as well as jaundice. Cholestatic injuries show high alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin. Drugs that can cause it include oral contraceptives, amoxicillin, estrogens, Mirtazapine, Terbinafine, Phenothiazines, Erythromycins, and Anabolic steroids.
- Mixed– This injury is reflected by similar lab test findings as the hepatocellular injury and the cholestatis injury. It’s caused by the drug phenytoin. Drugs responsible include Amitriptyline, Captopril, Sulfonamides, Trazodone, Verapamil, Phenobarbital, Clindamycin, Carbamazepine, and Trimethoprim. Treatment for these liver injuries starts with removal of the prescription medication causing them.
Reverse Fatty Liver Symptoms – Typical Medications Used to Treat Fatty Liver Disease
When a patient has fatty liver disease, the doctor must evaluate the patient fully to determine how the fatty liver disease began. Is it because the patient was overweight or obese? Is the fatty liver due to diabetes and metabolic syndrome? Is the cause related to high cholesterol and triglyceride levels?
Thus, there’s not one medication for everyone who has fatty liver disease. Instead, the answer may be medication to lose weight, metformin to bring down the blood sugar level, or statin drugs to lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
If the patient is obese, Orlistat systemic medication may be prescribed. This is a peripherally acting anti-obesity medication. Another peripherally acting anti-obesity agent is called Xenical.
However, studies don’t prove that these medications work to reverse the fatty liver disease. Plus, medications that cause rapid weight loss are suspect as to what other damage they may be doing in the body.
If the patient has diabetes, pre-diabetes, or metabolic syndrome, then Metformin is often the drug of choice. However, again, we do find that studies don’t prove that Metformin is working to reverse fatty liver symptoms.
Statin drugs to lower cholesterol and triglycerides can cause a host of other problems such as a Coenzyme Q deficiency, related to muscle aches and pains and memory loss. Coenzyme Q is an antioxidant in the body, and by lowering antioxidant levels in the liver, you cannot really help the condition of fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver disease needs high levels of antioxidants in order to reverse the progression of the disease. Medications that are in the category of statin drugs might contribute to fatty liver disease in the long run. Thus, you should be very cautious about using statin drugs when you have fatty liver disease.
The bottom line on the use of medications to reverse fatty liver symptoms is that they can never be effective if you continue to eat an unhealthy diet high in fats, calories, salt and sugar. Only when you alter your diet and make it one that has nothing but healthy foods and beverages in it and stop drinking alcohol will you begin to see improvement.
To get more ideas on how to reverse fatty liver symptoms, watch this video – Fatty Liver: How to Fix It
This post is from the Fatty Liver Remedy Program. It is created by Layla Jeffrey who is a Nutritionist and an Expert on the subject of Fatty Liver. She was diagnosed with a “fatty liver”, or to be more precise, Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatisis (NASH). In this program, she will share how she has succeeded in reversing her fatty liver. This program offers T ime-tested, proven and all-natural ways to PREVENT & REVERSE the 3 main categories of Fatty Liver Disease: Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (AFLD), Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatisis (NASH).
To find out more about this program, visit her website – Reverse Fatty Liver Symptoms Right Now