It's that time of the year where the festivities are at the peak of peaks. The office parties, the celebration of Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa along with the New Years Eve celebration - this is a season that host a streak of partying and drinking. Well, not to be the party pooper - and since this is a Health & Wellness Blog -I must - I have to pull this one out just for you. Your liver.......
Did you know that your liver is the largest internal organ and it is located in the upper right hand part of the abdomen, just behind the lower ribs and weighs about a whopping three pounds in an adult? Yes, that's right - large isn't it? However, do not let that deceive you. It has an important function more than 200 to be specific.
Here are a few functions of your liver:
1. Detoxifying poisonous chemicals which includes alcohol and drugs
2. It removes poisonous gases and chemicals that we are exposed to by inhaling from the air
3. It is responsible for making bile to help digest food
4. Your liver makes clotting factors to help blood clot
5. It is a manufacturer of new proteins
6. It serves as a storage spot for iron reserves, as well as vitamins and minerals
7. Although this does not apply to adults, the liver makes blood
8. Additionally, it stores energy by stockpiling sugar until needed
9. It processes all the food and the majority of drugs we consume
So you heard that you can get a transplant? Well, yes that is possible. However, it is also possible that you may be the jack pot winner of your state's largest lottery. The truth is although having a transplant as an option for those whose liver cannot be saved - it is also difficult finding a donor. In fact, there are many people who have succumbed to liver disease because not even their family members were willing to take the chance of going through the donor process. It is a known fact that the operation for a donor is more severe for the donor as oppose to the recipient. Unfortunately, some donors have died as a result of the procedure and these issues are discussed in advance of the surgery. Of course your family loves you, in fact they are praying for you and hoping that a miracle will come through for you to receive a new liver. Fortunately, most liver donations are from deceased donors.
Based on current research, the waiting list each year is about 17,000. Of the 17,000 on the list, 4,500 are performed each year which means that the waiting list for those who did not receive the transplantation extends for 1 - 2 years. Needless to say, there are deaths (1 of 4) who were waiting for the transplant. Even after having a transplant, the waiting period to see how well the liver functions is also a sensitive period.
Here's the deal, you cannot survive without your liver. So as you go out to celebrate or have a good time ordering your drinks - keep the health of your liver in mind.