Inflammation is a natural process our body uses against pathogens, but it sometimes turns against us. For example, in hepatitis, inflammation against the hepatitis virus causes a series of events that may become life-threatening in some cases.
But what is hepatitis? How can you get infected? How do you know you have this ailment, and what can you do about it?
In this article, we’re giving you a short review of this common health problem after a quick review of the liver’s normal function.
Normal liver function
The first step to understand the disease is knowing exactly how the body works. Or maybe not exactly, but at least accurately. The liver is a vital organ in our anatomy. It is often described as a very large organ in the abdominal cavity. However, even though we know it is important, most of us do not precisely know what the liver does.
To understand the liver function, we need to know a bit about biochemistry because with mostly happens inside the liver can be summarized in two words: chemical reactions. Deliver performs thousands of chemical reactions every single minute. Through these chemical reactions, we can clear our blood from pathogens and toxins, metabolize certain substances to make them more active or completely inactive, and create in the process a fatty substance with a lot of cholesterol, known as bile.
The liver does all of these functions through a series of enzymes. These are particular proteins that take a substrate and turn it into something else. For example, the enzyme maltase turns one maltose into two glucose molecules. But this one is located in the digestive tube, and those found in the liver are much more complex.
Liver enzymes are divided into families, and one of the most popular is the cytochrome family, which subdivides into many others. They inactivate drugs and prepare them for elimination by the urine. They also contribute with the kidneys in turning vitamin D into an active molecule. In the converting process, the liver collects bile, which is stored in the gallbladder and contributes to the digestion of fatty acids.