The liver is the body’s largest organ and is responsible for over 500 functions. It is divided into two main lobes (the larger right lobe and smaller left lobe) which are further sub-divided into about 100,000 small lobes. The main functions of the liver include breaking down food and turning it into energy, processing digested food from the intestine, the liver receiving blood with nutrients from the digestive organs via the portal vein, controlling the levels of fats, amino acids and glucose in the blood, fighting infection, deactivation of drugs, alcohol and toxins, making bile, storing iron, vitamins and other essential chemicals and making enzymes and proteins which are responsible for most chemical reactions in the body, for example those involved in blood clotting and repair of damaged tissues. Without a functioning liver, a person cannot survive. 

Abnormal liver function tests

Abnormal liver blood tests are often detected incidentally in a health check

Alcohol and liver disease

Drinking large quantities of alcohol risks the development of progressive liver disease

Bile duct cancer

Bile duct cancer, also known as cholangio.arcinoma,


Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver.


Hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver


Jaundice causes yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin

Liver cancer

Liver cancer can be a primary liver cancer (hepatoma) which develops from the liver cells.

Non-alcohol fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Fatty liver is common and affects about 20% of the UK population

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