Why is your liver important? How does HCV affect the liver? What does liver disease mean?
What the Liver Does
The liver has many functions, including these:
- Stores iron reserves, as well as vitamins and minerals
- Detoxifies poisonous chemicals, including alcohol and drugs (prescribed and over-the-counter medicines as well as illegal substances). Acts as a filter to convert them to substances that can be used or excreted from the body
- Converts the food we eat into stored energy and chemicals necessary for life and growth
- Makes blood products
- Manufactures new proteins
- Makes clotting factors to help blood clot
- Manufactures bile, an enzyme used in breaking down fats and in waste disposal
Below are some artists’ images of the various stages of liver disease, along with the general associated conditions. In addition, click for SYMPTOMS.
Click to Enlarge.
STAGE 1 Liver Damage:
STAGE 2 Liver Damage:
Scarring begins inside liver (around portal areas)
STAGE 3 Liver Damage:
Scarring over more of the liver
Some loss of function
STAGE 4 Liver Damage (Cirrhosis):
Advanced Scarring (Cirrhosis)
Serious loss of function may result