You can’t live without your liver and over time, chronic hep C can damage it, which may lead to liver disease and many serious health problems, such as cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.
Click the tabs below to see an overview of how your liver works, as well as how liver disease can affect it.
As one of the largest organs in the body, it is responsible for many important functions—acting as a factory that creates important chemicals, a storage facility for vital nutrients, and a filter too.
- The liver is the second largest organ in your body (your skin is the first). It’s about the size of a football in most adults, and is on the right side of your abdomen.
- The liver is a filter. The liver cleans your blood from harmful wastes like bacteria and toxins you may ingest while eating food, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs—both over-the-counter and street drugs.
- The liver is a factory. It produces bile (BY-el), a substance that helps your body digest fatty foods, while also making proteins that stop you from bleeding too much when injured.
- The liver is a storage depot for sugar, vitamins, and minerals such as iron, as well as important hormones—keeping them around for when you need them most.
- The liver is in charge of controlling cholesterol levels in your body.
- The liver is responsible for helping to eliminate the toxins that are introduced into you body through drug addiction and alcoholism