What is a Liver?

The liver is the largest organ in your body. It is about the size of a football weighing three pounds. The liver is located in the upper right portion of your abdomen below the diaphragm.

What Does My Liver Do?

The liver has many functions. In fact, the liver performs 500 functions! The main job of the liver is to serve as a filter. The liver filters blood, detoxifies chemicals and produces bile and proteins.

Most things you ingest go to your liver. The liver also stores about 13 percent of blood from your entire body supply.

Unlike the gallbladder, you cannot live without your liver. It’s important to keep your liver healthy and functioning as best as possible. When the liver can no longer perform primary functions, liver diseases can occur which may sometimes lead to needing a liver transplant. Liver diseases that can occur, but are not limited to, include:

Alcohol use is the number one reason for liver disease and transplants in the United States. The amount of alcohol any person can consume before developing alcohol-related liver disease varies depending on weight, percentage of body fat and genetic conditions. To learn more about alcohol-related liver disease, check out this blog.

Chronic Hepatitis C infection can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure and death. The UofL Health – Hep C Center is the leading provider in curative treatments in our area. Treatments are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most other insurance plans. Visit our  Hep C Center to learn more and to download a referral form.

Additionally, our multi-disciplinary team at UofL Health – Trager Transplant Center are renowned for their ability to treat all types of liver and digestive disorders. To learn more about the types of liver conditions and treatment provided by our team, click here.

Could you be a candidate for a liver transplant? For an appointment with a liver transplant specialist, please fill out our contact form.

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Article by: Loretta Jophlin, M.D., Ph.D.

Loretta Jophlin, M.D., Ph.D., completed both her medical and Ph.D. degrees at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, South Carolina. She did her internal medicine residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She completed her gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship at MUSC, where she was also awarded an NIH F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for postdoctoral research in liver disease and cirrhosis. In 2017, she did an advanced fellowship in transplant hepatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and practiced for a couple of years while continuing laboratory research aimed at cirrhosis. She joined the faculty at the University of Louisville in December 2020 to practice clinical hepatology and to start her research laboratory. Also part of UofL Physicians – Digestive & Liver Health, she works alongside Dr. Craig McClain and Dr. Matt Cave who are internationally renowned physician-scientists studying alcohol and environmental liver diseases. Her chief interests include caring for individuals with liver problems ranging from abnormal liver function tests to decompensated cirrhosis, early liver transplantation for acute alcohol-related hepatitis, clinical trials and scientific research on mechanisms of fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.

All posts by Loretta Jophlin, M.D., Ph.D.
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