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The liver has many functions.  It stabilizes blood glucose levles by breaking down glycogen and releasing glucose into the bloodstream.  It regulates lipid levels (triglycerides, fatty acids and cholesterol) by breaking down lipids and releasing into bloodstream.  It removes extra amino acids from bloodstream and makes proteins or lipids or...

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The liver has many functions.  It stabilizes blood glucose levles by breaking down glycogen and releasing glucose into the bloodstream.  It regulates lipid levels (triglycerides, fatty acids and cholesterol) by breaking down lipids and releasing into bloodstream.  It removes extra amino acids from bloodstream and makes proteins or lipids or glucose for storage.  It removes ammonia and then changes it to urea.  Other toxins are removed as well.  Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the liver.  The liver stores minerals.  The liver removes and breaks down drugs.  It engulfs old and damaged red blood cells and pathogens from the bloodstream.  It makes and releases plasma proteins.  It absorpts and recylces many hormones including: adrenaline, noradrenaline, insulin, and thyroid hormones.  It removes antibodies.  It removes toxins and stores them in lipids or excretes them in bile.  Finally it makes and secretes bile (which digests fats). 

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I really want to say everything, but that would not be correct. After going through the transplant evaluation process for my husband, I was amazed at what I learned.

The liver removes toxic substances from the blood, regulates glycogen storage and secretes bile which is an enzyme used in digestion. The liver is able to remove ammonia from the blood which is a waste product from protein digestion as well as many other amazing processes. The liver regulates blood platelet production. The liver is also part of the thermostat of the body as many persons who are dealing with liver failure complain of being cold all of the time.

The liver affects the processes of many other organs. If the liver is failing, then the kidneys will also begin to fail. In fact there is no way to replicate the processes the liver does, so if a person is in liver failure, the only possible help for that person is a liver transplant. There is no "liver machine" as there is a kidney machine. The liver can rejuvenate and restore itself. It is the only organ that can do this. However, once beyond a particular stage in liver disease, the liver can no longer heal itself. This is called decompensated cirrhoses. Liver disease can be caused by heredity (hemochromatosis), toxin exposure, acetomeniphen (tylenol) overdose, alcoholism, hepatitis and a variety of other factors.

The liver is one organ which weighs about 2-3 lbs. It consists of 2 lobes and lies just under the diaphragm under the lungs.  Directly behind the liver is the gallbladder which takes up unused bile.

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