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Introduction to Week 2

Introduction to week two
Welcome to week two of Liver Disease – Looking After Your Liver. We hope you have enjoyed the first week of the course. You should now be able to understand basic principles of liver anatomy and have an idea about the cells that constitute the liver microenvironment. Did you take the quiz, to test your knowledge? We would love to hear from you, at every step of this course. So please keep using the online comment facilities. Even at the point of preparing these teaching materials, thousands of you have already enrolled for this course.
There is strength in numbers and tapping into this tremendous resource, we would encourage you to post and read posts from other participants, to promote discussions and enrich your learning experience.
Week one covered the critical importance of our liver for life. A healthy liver can perform 500 different functions. You should be able to name a few, by now.
The liver is the only internal organ that can regenerate. Even if three quarters of the liver are removed, doing surgery, the remaining part can grow back to take up its original volume. Our poor livers can take a lot of damage, before they start complaining. And, for this reason, we don’t notice until it is severely hurt. Maybe you have had the chance to look at this in more detail. Have you read about the myth of Prometheus?
In week two of this course, we will learn about factors that damage your liver and can cause liver disease. Many of us think of alcohol abuse, when we hear about liver cirrhosis.
Although alcoholic liver disease is a big problem in the UK, and worldwide, there are many other conditions that can effect our livers and even lead to cirrhosis, including genetic disorders, fatty diet, viruses that can choose the liver as their nest for replication.
Let’s start by taking a quick quiz, to test our current perceptions about the causes of liver damage. We will then introduce the signs and symptoms that may lead us to suspect liver disease.
Reading early signs of liver distress can often help take action against further damage and give this organ the chance to repair itself.
Once we can recognise the hallmarks of liver disease, we will hear from some of our consultant liver doctors who work at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, behind me, and are experts in the field. Each of them have years of experience in treating patients with liver diseases, and they run research groups of international reputation, aiming to find new treatments.
We are hoping that you will enjoy learning about liver diseases, this week. Please keep in touch.

In this video Dr Zania Stamataki welcomes you to the second week of the course and introduces some of the concepts that we will be covering.

The course has been developed by the educators but this run will rely on learners answering each other’s questions, without educator facilitation.

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Liver Disease: Looking after Your Liver

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