“Brown is not my favorite color. . .but I am stuck with it. However, I am proud of my slick exterior that protects the zillions of liver cells inside me. These hard working microscopic chemical factories are more complex than the computer chips in your cell phone. They work 24/7 to keep you awake – alive and functioning at top speed. Each liver cell performs over 200 complex processes that jump start multiple body functions, build strong bones, muscles, make immune factors to protect you from the sea of germs that surround you, and many, many more.
Without my miracle workers you would be a sitting duck for every bug or virus out there. They also store the sugar you need for energy so that you can get out of bed in the morning. The clotting factors that my cells produce keep you from bleeding to death from even the smallest break in your skin. They process fats you eat . . . but can be overwhelmed and unable to handle too much fat. Excess fats ingested can infiltrate liver cells, causing them to die. Dead cells are called cirrhosis. A good look in the mirror, revealing a protruding belly and derriere, may be an early warning sign that I’m having trouble processing all the fats you’re eating. Lots of other stuff can also kill my liver cells as well. The beat goes on.
My hard working liver cells also manufacture bile – that nasty tasting green stuff. A real life saver. Bile has two major jobs to protect you. One is to act as a detergent breaking up the fats you eat so your body can absorb the vitamins and minerals they contain, that are essential for building strong bones, muscles, good eyesight, etc.
The second critical job bile performs is ridding your body of the toxins I routinely remove from the alcohol, drugs and environmental pollutants that have made their way into your body. Tiny bile ducts inside me, and more that connect me to your small intestines, serve as a highway for bile to get where it is going. Bile is dumped into the small intestines, sending these poisons on their way out the back door (if you know what I mean).
Think about what happens to that bite of chicken pot pie when you send it down to your stomach. It is churned up and sent on to your small intestine. Now in a liquid form these nutrients are picked up by the tiny blood vessels in the wall of your intestines and carried over to me for processing. This is where the miracles happen.
All of this goes on without a sound. Unfortunately, this also means that I cannot tell you when my liver cells are being killed by too many fats, drugs, and alcohol or hepatitis viruses. Sadly, I don’t have a built in warning system to alert you that I need your help.
Please think about me when you’re partying and guzzling more than two drinks a day. Or when you are popping pills and not watching the clock or counting the number you are taking. When your passion takes over, make sure you are using protection so those nasty AIDS and Hepatitis viruses cannot destroy my precious miracle workers. With fewer liver cells to work daily miracles, your health and life could be in danger.
I am depending on you to take care of me, so I can take care of you.
* * *
So What Can You Do To Help Me?
You can help fill this enormous national liver wellness knowledge gap that is costing lives each day. Share what you have learned with your family, friends and your children’s teachers.
By working together to promote liver health and wellness WE CAN SAVE LIVES.
You ever lovin’ liver