The liver is the largest organ in the body. It is responsible for processing any organic chemicals in the body that may be harmful to it by breaking them down into safer compounds. This typically includes substances such as alcohol and acetaminophen. It also produces enzymes that assist with the digestion of food, such as bile. Persons whose liver function has been impaired typically show jaundice, a yellowish coloring of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
The medical specialty dealing with the diseases of the liver and it's associated organs is Hepatology
Typical diseases of the liver are:
- Cirrhosis - where liver tissue turns to fat due to abuse of chemicals, typically alcohol.
- Malaria - where parasites carried by a mosquito interfere with liver function.
- Hepatitis - a group of viruses that affect liver function