According to the American Liver Foundation, each year almost 33,000 Americans die from liver cancer. Due to the rising statistics, October has been designated as National Liver Awareness Month. The annual recognition month highlights the importance of the organ, celebrates the medical discoveries made by science, and reminds us of the progression of liver disease.
Did You Know That…
- The liver is the body’s heaviest, hardest working, and second-largest internal organ. An average adult liver can weigh up to 3 pounds. It cleanses toxins, produces energy, and aids in digestion. It protects the body by not allowing harmful impurities into the blood.
- The liver can grow back. It is the only organ that can completely regenerate, needing only a quarter of its original tissue to do so.
- The liver holds a lot of blood. Ten percent of the body’s blood may be inside it.
- The liver has multiple functions. From filtering blood to producing bile, the liver performs approximately 200 paramount jobs for the body.
- The liver metabolizes alcohol. It can process one ounce of liquor in one hour which is the average amount in one mixed drink.
Common Causes of Liver Disease
- Autoimmune disease
- Poor diet and/or obesity
- Excessive alcohol use
- Side Effects from medications, chemicals, and/or narcotics
There are over 100 different liver diseases and all result in similar damage to the liver regardless of the progression. Although the liver is an incredible organ that can repair or regenerate itself, the buildup of scar tissue over time can lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can prohibit the liver from functioning properly and lead to serious complications.
Many individuals do not even look or feel sick, but the damage is still happening. In the past decade, the occurrence of cirrhosis has doubled in the United States. If the progression of liver disease can be treated, well-managed, and/or cured in its early stages, the liver will likely be able to recover from any damage.
Love Thy Liver
Eating a balanced diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help prevent Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Not just those abusing drugs or alcohol can develop liver disease, anyone (including young children) can have liver disease. Early detection can double one’s survival rate and allow a person to lead a normal and healthy life.
Dr. Erickson - Interventional Pain Physician are here to make your healthcare journey simple and bring further awareness to the community. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.