The liver is the second largest organ in the human body. It is so big that it contains 10% of our body’s blood supply at any given time. It is responsible for more than a few hundred different bodily functions, including digestion and detoxification – two crucial processes for survival. The liver and the bile (produced in the liver) play an important role in breaking down and processing fats, sugar, and proteins. Along with the kidneys, skin, and the GI tract, the liver also serves as the body’s built-in filter and detoxifier. These mechanisms alone prove how critical the liver’s role is. That’s why despite its resiliency and its ability to regrow and regenerate, the liver needs as much help and care as it can get. Poor liver means poor liver detox and overall health. Liver failure can be fatal.
These are eight tell-tale signs that your liver needs help:
- Excessive belly fat and bloating
- Acid reflux/ heartburn
- Pain or discomfort along the area of the liver
- Bad skin and profuse sweating
- Chronic fatigue
- Brain Fog
Excessive belly fat is a great indicator of liver toxicity and possible liver problem. Toxins in the form of gluten, preservatives, and unhealthy fats are stored in between the internal organs. Numerous studies prove that visceral fat is directly correlated to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), making even non-obese subjects a likely candidate for liver diseases. It is also a possible culprit in the development of diabetes, cancer, and metabolic disorders.
Acid reflux progressing into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be more than just a digestive concern. The burning feeling you may be feeling before or after meals can be bile reflux or duodenogastroesophageal reflux (DGER). Bile mixed with acid is more toxic in combination than either of them are alone.
Pain or discomfort is always a signal that something is wrong. Like a gallbladder attack, pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, just below the ribcage, can indicate that your liver needs help. A number of conditions can cause pain: these may include deterioration of liver cells and tissues in liver cirrhosis, accumulation of fats in the liver, excessive iron deposits, enlarged spleen, Wilson’s disease, or liver abscess due to bacterial infection.
If liver detoxification is inefficient, toxins in the body are bound to accumulate or find another way out. The skin can be an alternative route for exit. Thus, acne, rosacea, age spots, and itchy skin can happen. Aside from skin breakouts, too much sweating, even without strenuous activity, can be the body’s way of coping with liver toxin build-up.
Feeling tired all the time can mean many things, and an overloaded liver is one of them. Poor liver detoxification and conditions like NAFLD increase cytokines in the body. Cytokines are chemical messengers involved in inflammation, attracting and activating phagocytes. Elevated cytokines have numerous effects like loss of appetite, decreased glutathione (our body’s natural antioxidant – to know more, see blog post), brain wave changes, and altered metabolism. All these contribute to the feeling of lethargy and chronic fatigue.
Jaundice is one of the most obvious signs of liver problems. Jaundice results from bilirubin accumulation when the liver fails to filter it from the blood or excrete it into the intestine via bile ducts. It is characterized by yellowish skin, nails, and eyes. Bilirubin is the waste product from the breakdown of old blood cells. It is the bilirubin that gives bile its brown or yellowish color.
Like fatigue, brain fog can be a symptom of many things – one of which is the accumulation of excessive toxins in the body. Since the liver affects the gut and the brain, toxic bile may cause forgetfulness, lack of mental clarity, and inability to concentrate.
Hormones are processed in the liver. Signs of PMS such as irritability, bloating, water retention, etc., and difficult periods are both indications that the liver needs help.
So how do we take care of our liver?
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making better food choices are obvious solutions to a healthier liver. But unknown to many, regular detox can work wonders for your liver too.
To understand the importance of detoxification, it is good to know how the various ways that the liver expels toxins from our body. There are different means to an end – the liver filters the blood to remove large toxins. It also synthesizes and gets rid of bile that contains cholesterol and fat-soluble toxins. It also eliminates unwanted chemicals via enzymes that neutralize or change toxins into activated intermediates, which can be converted to less harmful chemicals. These processes can produce free radicals in the body. And though these reactive oxygen species are always present inside our bodies, too much can cause liver toxicity and damage.
An imbalance in the bile towards fat-soluble bile over water-soluble bile is also toxic to the whole system including the liver cells. Taking supplements that help to support that proper balance is also of paramount importance.
Many factors cause liver toxicity:
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Fatty and high sugar diet
- Medication (drug-induced toxicity)
- Environmental exposure to toxins
- Toxic bile
Many of these causes can be addressed and avoided easily. Unfortunately, there are about 3.9 million adults diagnosed with some form of liver disease in the US alone.
Natural Liver Detoxification Methods
1. Liver-friendly Diet
A radical change in food choices is an inevitable part of liver detox. This includes avoiding processed foods and common allergens that may induce inflammation and further burden the liver with toxins. For a list of what to eat and what not to eat, you may refer to our Gallbladder Diet page – because what’s healthy for the gallbladder is also definitely good for the liver.
2. Healthy lifestyle
We do so many things to our body that causes toxin build-up. Here are some ways that we can help our liver detoxification and regeneration:
Exercise – We all know that exercising is good, we just don’t do it enough. Aside from its cardio-pulmonary and belly-busting benefits, sweating is an excellent way to remove toxins from the body.
Have enough sleep – It is vital to have enough sleep as part of the detox period. Sleeping helps the body heal and revitalize. It also reduces fatigue and irritability.
Quit smoking – Smoking has no health benefits whatsoever. We could leave it at that.
Avoid or manage stress – Stress is not good for the liver and the body as a whole. It damages the mitochondria, affecting our cells’ energy, increases inflammation, and weakens the immune system.
3. Coffee Enema
Here at GallbladderAttack, we firmly believe in coffee enema’s health benefits and liver detox capabilities. As early as the 1930s, this practice has been known to stimulate the liver and gallbladder to discharge bile. Substances found in coffee are also proven to promote the production and activity of glutathione, dilate blood vessels and counter inflammation in the gut, remove free radicals, and prompt the visceral nervous system to dilute and expel toxic bile. To know how to do this at home, visit our coffee enema page.
The liver/gallbladder flush helps cleanse stagnant waste from the liver and the gallbladder, improving liver function and regulating bile flow. It also addresses several symptoms mentioned earlier, like skin problems, chronic fatigue, and digestive problems. For liver flush directions, visit this page. Just a reminder, if you have gallbladder attacks or in pain at the moment, doing a flush might not be a good idea until that has passed.
5. Liver Detoxification Supplements
We have handpicked two of our best gallbladder and liver detoxification products and bundled them into a Liver Detox Kit to make supplement selection easier for you. Our kit contains these three tinctures:
Gallbladder-ND Detox Tincture – When detoxifying your liver, you would want a supplement that can help stimulate bile flow, reduce inflammation, treat gallbladder and liver symptoms, and facilitate effective fat metabolism. The herbs in this formula are known for these actions.
Medi-Clay FX This natural supplement is made from a rare calcium bentonite clay called calcium aluminosilicate, which promotes whole-body detoxification.
Bile Salts Booster Our best-selling supplement with numerous digestive and gallbladder benefits.
The liver does many things for our bodies, and we cannot live without it. It just makes sense to support it and its functions. Don’t let your symptoms get worse. Do something about it now. If your liver is crying for help, change your diet, modify your lifestyle, and take natural supplements to help your liver detox, recover, and heal.
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Gilmore, I., & Garvey, C. J. (2013). Jaundice. Medicine, 41(2), 99-103.
Gong, Y., Chai, Y., Ding, J. H., Sun, X. L., & Hu, G. (2011). Chronic mild stress damages mitochondrial ultrastructure and function in mouse brain. Neuroscience letters, 488(1), 76-80.
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McClain, C., Hill, D., Schmidt, J., & Diehl, A. M. (1993, May). Cytokines and alcoholic liver disease. In Seminars in liver disease (Vol. 13, No. 02, pp. 170-182). © 1993 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc..
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