The liver is a key organ in your body, and you need it to live. It is found just below your ribs on your right side. Your liver is about the size of a football and weighs about 3 pounds.
The liver is like a chemical factory. It also helps the body to make proteins and other things that your body needs to function. Your liver does many other things, like:
- Filter your blood to remove harmful wastes and toxins from your body
- Help control hormone levels
- Store sugar, vitamins, and minerals for when you need them
- Produce bile, a helpful part of digestion
When your liver gets damaged, it usually can heal itself.
- When you have a hepatitis C infection, your liver may become inflamed. This is a sign that your body is trying to fight off an infection
- Inflammation causes your body to form scar tissue. Over time, this scar tissue replaces your healthy tissue. This is known as fibrosis
- Scarring can continue and take over most of your liver, and your liver can no longer heal itself. This is called cirrhosis