Feeling Tired? 10 Signs Your Liver Needs Help!
by Tegan Wallis - Holistic Health Practitioner at Veda Wellness
The liver is one of the most important organs, when it comes to detoxification. It’s what protects us from all the environmental pollutants that we are exposed to, plus the toxins we ingest such as alcohol, processed foods and refined sugar.
There is no liver detox as such.
The liver is detoxifying every minute of every day. However, you can support its efficiency by looking after the detoxification pathways and reducing the stress you put on it.
What does the liver actually do?
The liver is basically a factory that receives, filters and then repackages all substances that are useful for bodily functions. On the other side, it is responsible for the safe removal of all substances that are harmful. Everything that we take in via food, air or skin goes through this pathway. Harmful substances are detoxified on two steps:
Step One / Phase One: Enzymes and oxygen are used to partially break down toxins in order to make them water-soluble for easier removal.
Step Two / Phase Two: The processed toxins are combined with amino acids to prepare them for save removal via watery fluids like bile and urine.
Both steps need to be in balance to work efficiently. The free radicals that are produced during Phase One can damage the liver cells, if the burden is too high.
You will feel the burden of high toxins exposure in your entire being.
High alcohol intake, smoking, consuming processed foods, exposure to environmental toxins slow down Phase Two of the detoxification process, which causes those free radicals build up in your body, which is even more harmful than the original toxins.
10 signs that your liver is struggling:
- Feeling sluggish, tired and fatigued
- White or yellow-coated tongue and/or bad breath
- Weight gain – especially around the abdomen
- Cravings and/or blood sugar issues
- Poor digestion
- Feeling nauseas after fatty meals
- Intolerant to strong smells such as perfumes
- Pain in the right side of your stomach
- Skin breakouts
If your liver is under stress for a long time, you may develop a condition called fatty liver. Fatty liver is the build-up of excess fat in the liver, which is quite common in Western societies (1 in 10 people). Serious conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cirrhosis and cancer may ensue after fatty liver.
3 Tips to Support Liver Detoxification
FIRST - Remove harmful foods:
- Eliminate all refined and processed foods, such as simple carbohydrates and refined sugar, like sweets, soft drinks and baked goods.
- Replace fats and oils like canola oil, corn oil, margarine and trans fats for good quality oils such as ghee, butter, coconut oil or rice bran oil.
- Decrease animal products, especially red meat and processed meats.
- Eliminate or greatly reduce alcohol. If 3 or more of the above symptoms apply to you, end immediately.
- Minimize coffee
SECOND - Eat foods that support a healthy liver:
- Consume fresh, seasonal, wholefoods, fruits and vegetables.
- Start the day with warm lemon water.
- Drink lots of water during the day.
- Beetroot, turmeric, onion, garlic, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, legumes, grapefruit and lemon support a healthy liver.
THIRD - Herbal Medicine
- St Marys Thistle:…Or Milk Thistle aids the restoration of liver cells. The herb stimulates both phases as mentioned above and is a powerful antioxidant protecting the liver from free radicals. Research shows that Milk Thistle is a great help, when treating fatty liver disease.
- Dandelion Root: The herb helps to clear a sluggish or congested liver, as it increases bile flow, which supports the efficient removal of the toxins in Phase Two. An increased bile flow also aids digestion and relieves constipation.
So, show your liver some love and help it to do its job properly.