The liver is considered the detoxification organ. We cannot live without the liver. The amazing thing we know today is that the liver can regenerate yahoo! To speak simply 80 % of the liver's blood supply comes from the portal vein..yes the portal vein. Aren't veins directing dirty blood back to the heart? Well 80 % of the blood supply is filled with nutrients which come from the veins which drain from the spleen, small and large intestine.
The liver is a primary organ of detoxification. We depend on the liver to function as a primary defense against toxins in the body. If the liver is congested, not functioning properly we’re overloaded. We may become very ill and the accumulation of these toxic substances from the environment, ingestion or endogenous metabolic systems presently in use. The liver is the largest detoxification organ. It is located over the right rib cage. The liver detoxifies and filters toxins from the blood, and also contributes to building new cells, tissues and organs or breaking down cell structures. The liver produces cholesterol and is a storage place for glycogen a form of glucose. The liver performs hundred of different functions involving detoxification and recycling substances either endogenous or exogenous within the body. It detoxify chemicals from the environment, converts ammonia to urea, converts carbohydrates and proteins to fat, breaks down proteins, eliminates bilirubin which is secreted in the bile, filters and detoxifies the blood, metabolize drugs, hormones, produces bile salts and lymphatic fluid, stores vitamin A, D, B12 and iron, forms blood clotting factors and makes plasma proteins, which are needed for antibody formation.
So needless to say we cannot live without the liver.
As an interventional radiologist I perform procedures on the liver and interrogate the liver because your primary doctor is concerned about certain labs related to your liver being elevated which is causing them concern about you.
The first simple and easy test to order lab tests such as: AST, ALT, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, INR, PT and PTT. If they are abnormal due to the symptoms you are presenting with then the next step is ultrasound.
A simple non radiating test called an ultrasound is ordered to make sure we do not see areas of concern like:
Tumor-benign or cancer
Dilated bile ducts
Thrombosis-Blood clots in the arteries or veins
Portal Hypertension-High blood pressure in your portal vein
Varices-abnormally dilated blood vessels due to portal hypertension
Cholelithiasis-gallbladder filled with stones
So ultrasound is ordered first. If we see something more concerning we may order a CT scan of the liver with IV contrast in three different vascular phases or a MRI with contrast.
If the liver is concerning for a tumor we can biopsy (take a sample with a needle) and send to a pathologist for a definitive tissue diagnosis. We can biopsy under ultrasound, CT or MRI guidance.
Biopsy of benign or cancerous tumor with ultrasound, CT or MRI guidance
Treat the tumor with :
Cryoablation-freezing the tumor
RFA-radiofrequency ablation super heat the tumor(s)
Chemoembolization-deposit chemotherapy particles directly into the tumor vessels and block with particles which cut off the blood supply.
Radioembolization-Administration of radiation particles called Yttrium 90 or Y-90 directly into the artery feeding the tumor in the liver. The radioactivity destroys the tumor without affecting the rest of the body.
Transhepatic Cholangiogram- Place a catheter into the bile ducts and inject contrast to out line the bile ducts to see what the cause of the dilatation is such as tumor, blood clots or stones.
Biliary drain placement; Using ultrasound, x-ray or CT guidance to place a tube in the bile ducts with a catheter draining the bile outside of the body to bypass the blockage or leak of bile into the abdomen.
Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt Placement (TIPS)- placement of a stent across the hepatic vein into the portal vein ( a bridge) in order to decrease the high blood pressure in the portal vein due to a hard sclerotic cirrhotic liver.
Cholecystostomy Tube Placement: placing a catheter into the inflamed infected gallbladder and drain outside the body in order to "cool" off the inflamed gallbladder in order to eventually go to surgery safely.
I like to integrate the function of the liver in order to assist in healing with the interventional component of treatment.
We know with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery in the conventional way causes stress so I like to add herbs and supplements which help to assist in detoxification so it is a win- win for you.
An example: a supplement to help in detoxification of the liver and helping the detoxification pathways in the liver are herbs such as:milk thistle,alpha lipoic acid, phosphatidyl choline, trimethylglycine/betaine, reduced glutathione, N-Acetyl cysteine, Glycine, Glutamine, Taurine, dandelion root, burdock root, beets, lemon and green vegetables to name a few.
Do Genomic testing (Genova Diagnostics, Doctors Data, ALCAT, Metametrix) to see what genes you may be missing in detoxification. After all, if you are missing these genes especially related to the liver you increase your risk of cancer, Alzheimer's, depression, alcohol and addiction tendencies to just name a few.
Drink plenty of water of good clean oxygenated alkaline water (this one's for you Hannegan).
Cleanse your liver every 3 or 4 months just like the change of the season with liver detoxification supplements/nutrients.
Drink smoothies. I have a Vitamix and love it...My favorite is taking a bag of organic Kale salad by Harvest Sensations, 1 1/2 fresh lemons ( I pick from my tree) sorry :( 2 granny smith organic apples cut up with skin on add some alkaline water about a cup I sometimes throw in a couple of berries or frozen organic berries and voila you believe it or not have a great tasting green smoothie cleaning out the good ole liver, kidneys and colon. Ohh and you glow too after awhile!!
Live a long healthy prosperous life filled with Love Joy Peace and Prosperity... Stay Away from Negative people and circumstances.. Believe in yourself.. know your scripture if you are a faith person like me or your mantra.. Do NOT allow people to speak death over you.. This is between you and your Creator and No one else...Galatians 5:22,23