Education-Part 1 of 3: Anatomy of the Liver

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 10/28/2007 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I hope that this information will help us all be educated in the function of the liver, normal lab values, and what happens when your liver is diseased or sick. I strongly believe in being proactive. The more informed we are the more questions we can ask. I believe in educating myself so that I can have a clearer understanding of the diease process. I hope not to offend anyone rather to add some knowledge. Many of the posters probably already know these things but for those that don't I hope it helps.
 
 Anatomy of the Liver: Part 1: The liver is on the right side upper portion of your abdomen. It has 4 lobes and is the only organ in the body that can regenerate itself. If you have surgery to remove part of the liver they can leave 25% of the liver and remove 75% and amazingly it will grow back!
 
 

1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 10/28/2007 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Part 2: Functions of the Liver:
a.) Produces and excretes bile
b.) metabalizes carbohydrates
3.) metabolizes lipids (fats)
4.) produces coagulation factors
5.) breaks down hemoglobin
6.) Converts ammonia to urea ( so you dump excess ammonia)
7.) Breaks down toxins to be secreted (This includes medicines we take-keeping the good and excreting the bad)
8.) Stores vitimins and minerals ( so your body can use these)
9.) In the first trimester of pregnancy your liver produces red blood cells for the fetus
10.) The liver is the sieve for immunological effects

When the liver is sick or diseased it can no longer function at its peak performance level. Thus we retain byproducts that will hurt us and make us fell sicker. Such is the case with the amonia levels. We don't dump the ammonia out and consequently our ammonia levels rise. This is a toxin and then we face the issues of toxicity. Lactulose is often given so that we excrete the ammonia through our stools.

1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 10/28/2007 9:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Part 3: Normal Lab Values for the Liver based on Adults
1.) AST= Normal: 0-42 Optimal=21
2.) alt=Normal: 0-48 Optimal=24
3.) Alkaline Phosphatase= Normal: 20-125 Optimal=72.5
4.) GGT= Normal Female: 0-45 Optimal: 22.5
Normal Male: 0-65 Optimal: 32.5
5.) LDH=Normal:0-250 Optimal:125
6.) Bilirubin,Total= Normal 0-1.3
7.) Amonia Nitogen=15-45 (I added this because so many people with liver diseases have elevated ammonia levels)

When these values are elevated it tells the DR that the liver is sick and not working properly. He/She can then order tests and medicines to try to get the values back to normal. Frequent Lab tests are ordered to monitor the progress of the liver function and to evaluate if the medicine is working.

exhaused
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 445
   Posted 11/25/2007 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Shelly My husband is in later stages of cirhossis. Can you tell me why all of a sudden he is shaking so bad he can't even feed himself. Its not his amonia levels. Also all of a sudden he can hardly walk. This whole thing is just so scarey. Some days he goes crazy itching and others he is fine. I aggree on educating yourself. I can hardly stand not knowing the facts!!!

1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 12/1/2007 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   

  Hi, sorry it has taken so long for me to respond to your question. I am not an expert but I can share my own experiences with my mom who had hepatitis that led to chirrosis and finally liver cancer. She too had the shakes and was unable to feed herself. My dad finally started feeding her. Her weakness increased to the point that she was falling down. She then began taking her clothes off and her confusion increased with each day. My understanding is that the toxins (not just amonia) begin to crystalize and cause pain, confusion, and weakness. She removed her clothing because the crystals actuall caused her skin to hurt with any kind of contact. That of course includes clothing. The itching is common with advance liver disease. Not every one has the itching but the majority of people do. As you know the liver is a huge filtering system for our bodies. As the waste is filtered normally we maintain normal healthy livers. When the liver is failing it ceases filtering all the waste products that are normally excreted out of the body. When this happens some of the waste stays in the body. Needless to say this is NOT good. The blood can be affected with material that is normally excreted. there are some other theories that are out there too. The itching seems to be incessant and difficult to relieve. My own conclusion is that the crystalized toxins are most probably the culprit. That is only my own theory though. I guess I would equate it with being covered in sand. Even though the sand is dried on our skin it is so aggrevating isn't it? So we attempt to brush it all off to give our poor skin some relief from the granuales that are irritating us. Just imagine if you had that feeling but could not get the sand odd of you! That must be how it feels to them. Make sure you tell his Dr. They may be able to help him. I hope this helped a little.

                                 Shelly


Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 12/1/2007 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Shelly, It is good to hear from you. I hope you are doing well.
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!


shadowsghost
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 5/27/2008 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Shelley, My husband also has issues with shaking that are not caused by am levels. I asked about this and was told if your in liver failure for lenghty time period you start to lose muscle mass and strength. It is like trying to lift a weight heavier than your body can tolerate, you shake from the effort and eventually lifting a cup or even holding your own arm up is to much. We have PT and OT coming in to help bring some strenght back and slow the breakdown of the muscles. I find it is helping and almost all the excercises are done in bed or his recliner so as to avoid falls. Also doesnt involve buying anything as you use basic household items. He has been in liver failure for 8yrs and also not able to work.  Sue

1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 5/30/2008 9:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Shadowsghost, I know it is so hard to see your husband like that. The weakness is called "Profound weakness". The PT and OT will help him regain some muscle mass so that is a good thing. Prolonged illness of any kind creates this type of weakness as we don't use our muscles as a result of the illness. Wasting occurs rapidly and is difficult to regain strength back. With determination and patience it can and does return as long as the original illness is under some kind of control. If you have ever had a cast on a leg or arm for any length of time you know that when they take the cast off the limb has lost it's muscle mass. That's why the Dr usually orders PT to start what's called "Muscle training". It is a slow process but very effective. It doesn't seem to take long and the muscle starts to develope again. Sounds like you are doing a great job with him. Keep it up!
 Shelly
 

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

 


shadowsghost
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 5/30/2008 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanx Shelly for the pat on the back. Also the info, I try to stay on top of things. I have a great group of dr's to guide me through this. They all say I am a great addition to their team cause sometimes i am teaching them things in a bit of a crazy humorous way. I am becoming known as the "bulldog" I hope thats a good thing hhhmmm I wonder now? Some do cower a bit when I come down the hall. SUE

1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 5/31/2008 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Sue, I am so proud of you for being a "Bull Dog" concerning your husbands care. Being passive and not participating in an aggressive manner doesn't get anyone very far. I think that many caregivers don't give themselves enough credit for the diligence and Pitbull attitude that they have developed. The days of passive or submissive patients and caregivers is over. That's why I preach all the time for patients and caregivers to be educated in the disease process. The more you know the more you can and should demand as far as care goes. Smart people make smart choices!
 Shelly
 

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

 


shadowsghost
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 5/31/2008 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Shelly, A doctor once told me "We have many patients you have one" so always stay active, verbal and educated. I have always been that way even with my girls, grandson, friends and now hubby. You can never know to much! Some things you may never use for loved ones but can always pass along to help others. Sue

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/8/2008 5:02 PM (GMT -7)   

I just wanted to comment on that first part of the "anatomy" lesson, regarding regeneration.  In my case, where the right lobe had been basically killed, due to the chemicals/radiation introduced to destroy the tumor.  It not only killed the tumor, but the entire right lobe.  Therefore, when I had surgery to remove the right lobe, I was told it would NOT regenerate.  Amazingly, though, the left lobe grew, as if to take on the extra work of the missing right lobe.  I did see the ultrasound they used to perform the drainage placement last week, and could see that there was no right lobe at all. 

Just a bit of clarification for those who may have cancer treatment.

Connie


Caregiverx3<3
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 7/11/2008 1:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Connie, I had been wondering about that. I was talking to Mom about you and told her that I was going to ask you about it. It is a miracle in itself, to me, that the liver will regenerate itself. I didn't know that the right and left liver lobes were so detached from each other that they couldn't regenerate on their own.
Mom was the one to ask me that. It didn't even occur to me at all. Puts a new perspective on transplants. Want to make sure they use the correct side, don't you?

I'm up way too late again. My sleep is more off than Terry's now.
Carol
 


Caregiverx3<3
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 7/11/2008 1:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Connie, I had been wondering about that. I was talking to Mom about you and told her that I was going to ask you about it. It is a miracle in itself, to me, that the liver will regenerate itself. I didn't know that the right and left liver lobes were so detached from each other that they couldn't regenerate on their own.
Mom was the one to ask me that. It didn't even occur to me at all. Puts a new perspective on transplants. Want to make sure they use the correct side, don't you?

I'm up way too late again. My sleep is more off than Terry's now.
Carol
 


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 5/3/2009 11:44 PM (GMT -7)   
bump
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 5/12/2009 11:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Bump.
hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


rainbeau
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 6/13/2009 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
bump for Laura
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Friday, December 02, 2016 9:49 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,731,950 posts in 300,977 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151137 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Country girl2.
268 Guest(s), 2 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
NewspaperLover, cilly


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer