Where is the liver is a fairly common question from the less "expert" of anatomy. And unfortunately it is a question that arises especially when you feel pain in the abdomen, and you want to understand which organs it comes from.
So let's try to understand together what are the main characteristics of our liver and, once we have clarified where it is, what are the symptoms of the most recurrent problems that can derive from this organ.
What is the liver
The liver is an organ about the size of a soccer ball, which is located just below the rib cage on the right side of the abdomen.
It is a very important organ, essential for digesting food and ridding the body of toxic substances.
That is why problems affecting the liver generally cause great concern in people who suspect them. Liver disease can be hereditary (genetic) or caused by a number of factors that damage the liver, such as viruses and alcohol consumption. Obesity is also associated with damage to this organ.
Over time, liver damage causes cirrhosis, which can lead to liver failure, a life-threatening condition.
Symptoms of liver problems
There are numerous signs and i symptoms that could be "Spies" of liver disease, like:
- jaundice, with skin and eyes appearing yellowish;
- abdominal pain and swelling;
- swelling in the legs and ankles;
- itchy skin;
- particularly dark urine color;
- pale-colored, or tar-colored, or bloody stools;
- feeling of fatigue and chronic fatigue;
- nausea or vomiting;
- loss of appetite;
- tendency to easy bruising.
Of course, given the above, it is advisable to make an appointment with your doctor if there are persistent signs or symptoms of concern. Also, try to seek immediate medical attention if you feel abdominal pain so severe it can't be easily tolerated.
Causes of liver problems
THE liver problems they can have many causes. Consider, for example, a 'infection: parasites and viruses can infect the liver, causing inflammation that reduces liver function. Viruses that cause liver damage can spread through blood or sperm, contaminated food or water, or close contact with an infected person. The most common types of liver infection are hepatitis viruses, such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
Other cause of liver problems could be traced to some abnormality of the immune system, which are diseases in which the immune system attacks certain parts of the body (autoimmune), which can also affect the liver. Examples of autoimmune liver diseases include autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis.
Then there are those causes that are mainly related to the sector of genetics. An abnormal gene inherited from one or both parents can in fact cause the accumulation of various substances in the liver, resulting in liver damage. Genetic liver diseases include hemochromatosis, hyperoxaluria and oxalosis, Wilson's disease, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, cancer and other cancers, such as liver cancer, bile duct cancer, liver adenoma, and more.
We then have further common causes of liver disease, which include chronic alcohol abuse, fat accumulating in the liver (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) and other hypotheses that we obviously invite you to share with your doctor.
In addition to the above it should be remembered that there are numerous risk factors, which are factors that can increase the risk of liver disease.
Among the best known are the heavy consumption of alcohol, the injection of drugs with shared needles, tattoos or piercings, exposure to the blood and body fluids of other people, unprotected sex, exposure to certain substances chemical or toxic, diabetes, obesity.
Read also Liver tests
Complications of liver problems
The complications of liver disease vary depending on the cause of the liver problems. Untreated liver disease can progress to liver failure, a dangerous condition for one's survival.
If you want to know more, or you still have undiagnosed liver problems, our suggestion can only be to talk to your GP in order to share your health status and carry out any diagnostic tests, the first step to be able to find the well-deserved well-being and thus solve your problems of proper liver function.