The Liver is a large organ that sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. It has many important jobs, including digesting food and removing toxic substances from your blood.
It also makes proteins to build your body’s cells and tissues and helps to thicken the blood to help it clot. It also produces some chemicals that protect your heart, skin and bones from infections.
A healthy liver can help keep your body free of diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV (HIV-related hepatitis). It also protects you from developing liver cancer.
Inherited conditions such as hemochromatosis and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can lead to liver damage. These disorders are not usually fatal, but they can cause serious complications if they aren’t treated early.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, affects one-fourth of the general population worldwide. It develops when there is too much fat in the bloodstream, most often caused by diabetes or obesity.
Genetic disorders can also increase your risk of liver damage. These include autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis.
Alcohol can also damage your liver, especially if you already have a medical condition or have hepatitis B or C. People who have both hepatitis B and cirrhosis are at the highest risk of alcohol-related liver damage.
Liver failure occurs when the liver becomes so damaged that it stops working, either partly or completely. The condition can be very serious, but treatment can slow down the disease and give your liver time to heal.