Your liver is a football-sized organ on the right side of your belly, just below your diaphragm and protected by your lower right ribs. It's the largest organ in your body.
The liver is like your body's chemical factory. It makes many important substances including:
Other things the liver does include:
Bile is a thick greenish-yellow digestive fluid made in your liver. Bile flows through tubes in your liver called bile ducts. Then bile flows out of your liver through a large bile duct. Bile can go directly into your intestines or into your gallbladder to be stored until needed.
Bile in your intestines helps you absorb the fats that you eat.
Problems with your liver include:
Cirrhosis is permanent, but often you have enough healthy liver tissue to keep doing the liver's work. Severe cirrhosis can cause:
Many things that damage your liver interfere with how it makes and delivers bile. Problems making and delivering bile can cause your skin and eyes to turn yellow (jaundice) because you have too much of a yellow chemical called bilirubin, which your body uses to make bile.
If your liver is badly damaged, you may need a liver transplant.