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(0.12) Covering my back
(0.49) The liver
(1.10) The secret service
(1.24) The breakdown of nutrients
(1.51) The energy system
(2.30) Liver damage
(2.58) Fatty liver damage
(4.35) The good news
The “Covering My Back” Part!
Just let me cover my back a little bit here, I am not a doctor, I am not any kind of medical persona, I can only speak from experience…that’s enough as far as pointing you in the right direction where liver pain is concerned…that direction is your doctor. Go visit your doctor and tell him your symptoms, that’s important to state at the beginning, before you read any more of what I have to spout…OK?…Alrighty then, let’s move on!
Your liver is the largest internal organ in your body, it’s about the same size as a football, and is located on the right hand side under the ribcage.
Purpose: 99% of nutrients we consume pass through the liver…
Security, Breakdown Assistance, and Fuel
The liver is part of your body’s critical security system, it’s one of the main components in the breakdown of the raw materials coming in through your gob, and it’s part of the power producing system that keeps you moving like an all-star athlete…well, at least it keeps you moving!
The Secret Service
Think about the liver as part of your body’s personal secret service, continuously on the lookout for evil threats that it can destroy with one swift movement (whilst speaking inconspicuously into a really visible earpiece!)
Your secret service removes all the toxins – that’s including toxins from drugs and alcohol…It deals with some of the chemicals by disarming them and beating them up until they’ve been turned into less harmful toxins… or it will immobilize them by covering them in a chemical film before shipping them out of the body and straight down the toilet.
All the food that goes into your body must be broken down into different chemicals before the body can use it. Bile, which is a nasty looking greeny-yellowy, bitter tasting liquid gunk that wouldn’t be out of place in a festering swamp, is an essential gunk that’s full of helpful chemicals, is produced in the liver, and is absolutely crucial in the digestive processes that take place in your small intestines….
Once this breakdown is completed, the resulting nutrients are fed back into the liver through the blood. The liver then filters the crap out of it, kicking the poisons out and allowing all the goodness to be absorbed and used at your body’s leisure.
The Fuel System
The liver also breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, the main fuel source of your whole system. If you don’t need much fuel at the moment, the good old liver just stores it away for later use, labelled Glycogen…
Your bloodstream only holds enough energy for about ten minutes worth of activity, so when you need to run away very fast from an athletic and hungry looking sabre-toothed tiger, your liver is there for you pal.
It releases the glycogen as glucose aka rocket fuel into your system and bam….your running like a greyhound after a hare with a pack of sausages tied to its head….
[In the modern world, the equivalent of the sabre-toothed tiger might be a surging crowd, converging on the hot dog stand at half time during the London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham; you need to get there before the queue builds to critical levels!]
So, Let’s Get the Morose Stuff Outa the Way
I’m not going to go too deeply into the damage that alcohol can cause to the liver; I’ll save that for a later series of articles!
There are three different levels of liver damage.
We’ll start with the first level, the one that almost all heavy drinkers have already, that’s fatty liver damage….
Fatty liver damage occurs where your liver cells get fat…they store more fat than usual…It’s a bit like your Body Mass Index (BMI)…the more fat you have in your body as a whole, the more unhealthy you are likely to be. If the makeup of your liver is more than 5% – 10% fat, you have a problem…
The second damage that can be caused to the liver is a progression of the fatty liver into hepatitis.
Hepatitis is when your liver starts to swell…this inflammation will vary in intensity and danger…
With a mild case, you might not feel a thing… the only way any damage can be detected is if you’ve had a blood sample tested…
You will, however, feel the symptoms in a more severe case, ranging from nausea and vomiting, your skin turning yellow, or perhaps some weight loss…
Please Take Notice and Be Afraid!
A severe case of hepatitis of the liver can result in very serious internal problems, coma, or complete and irreversible liver failure…
The consequence of liver failure is death…within 3 to 4 days…unless you are lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a transplant…
If you don’t die and you keep on drinking you may get cirrhosis….
One in ten people who consistently drink large amounts of alcohol will develop cirrhosis of the liver….
Can You Be Repaired?
Here’s the good news…
Your liver can completely regenerate itself under the right circumstances; in fact it is the only organ in your body that is able to do this…
It’s imperative if you feel any sort of recurring abdominal pain that you see a doctor straight away. If you don’t seek out medical attention, you are risking escalating this serious condition until it’s beyond any of the regeneration skills that your liver may possess….
Again, I have to state that I am not a doctor or any other type of trained medical person.
I can only talk from personal experience, having had a swollen liver on more than one occasion…
I have done my research, but a day flicking around some books and online articles should not really take the place of years of training in medical schools or other equally valid medical environments!
So, don’t take my word for anything, other than you will be better off if you NEVER drink again.
Please, please talk to your doctor; they’re gonna be the best person to give you advice.
The only exception to the ‘not listening to my advice’ rule is this:
BE COMPLETELY HONEST WITH YOUR DOCTOR!
You absolutely must tell them that you’re having problems with alcohol, they are there to help you after all…
Leave a comment below if you have any questions that you’d like me to answer or topics you’d like me to cover… or just leave a comment about the article or video.
Thanks for visiting Alcohol Mastery and I hope you come back soon.
Until next time, onwards and upwards!