Is one of your new years resolutions to lose those extra pounds, to be less scatter-brained, to get off the couch, or just to be happier? Well if any of the below common resolutions are yours, your body might be telling you something, and taking care of your liver might be the one thing that you need to do to achieve all of these goals!
1. Energy – “I’m always tired.” I bet, the liver processes your nutrients, gets them where they need to be, while removing the harmful stuff. But if it’s overloaded, it’s not able to do its job properly and your poor body is sending all extra energy to help your liver. (All hands on deck.)
2. Extra weight – “I exercise, I really do!” I believe you. If you notice you are carrying extra weight that you can’t get rid of, it might be the warning of a fatty liver. Once diagnosed though, it can be reversed (with some discipline of course) and get you back to those washboard abs real quick! A healthy liver will kick weight loss into high gear. See, it wasn’t even your fault you were a little fluffy. hehehe.
3. Skin problems/rashes – “I just feel gross” Take a bath woman! No, seriously, if you begin to notice impurities on your skin, more hair loss the usual, nail issues, bad breath, all with no explanation… it is possible that your liver is overloaded and therefore unable to clean all the toxins from your body, so it begins to push the toxins through the surface. (better out then in, I guess) If you are constantly itchy, especially on your palms or bottoms of your feet, or if you also have a yellowish or even “tanned” look to your skin, this is called jaundice and is due to excess bilirubin building up in your system.
4. Those crazy hormones – “I’m always PMS’ing?!?” Yikes, If the female hormone estrogen is not broken down efficiently, it can lead to excessive levels of estrogen in the body. Excess estrogen can cause breast pain and lumpiness, heavy painful menstrual bleeding, and weight gain around the hips, buttocks and thighs. (see… It’s the livers fault again, not the pound of fudge I ate over the holiday)
5. Brain fog – “I’m just getting old.” No you’re not, I’ve seen Betty White! This can be hepatic encephalopathy. It can range from mild forgetfulness and confusion to a coma. ‘HE’ is a worsening brain disorder that occurs when the liver is no longer functioning correctly; symptoms include behavior changes, confusion, a change in sleep patterns (night-day reversal is common) poor judgment and slow speech and movement. A hand flapping movement called asterixis or trembling hands can sometimes be a symptom (go grab some toothpicks and see how long it takes you to make a 6 point star, or try the Stroop app that is available at the iTunes store)
6. Depression/anxiety – Well who wouldn’t be depressed with any of the above symptoms… But besides that, again, it’s your liver breaking down those toxins we have, some naturally in our body, and others we put into it. One of those being ammonia, and once those levels start to raise, depression and anxiety may start to set in. The brain fog usually “rolls” right along in with them.
The good news… Your liver is amazingly resilient and as long as too much damage hasn’t been done, it can be reversed, or at least not continue to get worse. Even better news, you don’t need any radical changes or expensive elixirs… You just need to take good care of yourself! Avoid putting undue stress on the liver. Don’t smoke; drink little or no alcohol; avoid caffeine; and do your best to avoid harmful chemicals especially cleaning solvents and pesticides. (Green cleaning is best) The most important dietary guidelines for supporting good liver function are also those that support good general health: exercise, avoid saturated fats, refined sugar, and alcohol; drink enough water each day; and consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes. Like Dr. Oz says, shop on the outskirts of the grocery store, and stay away from almost everything with a label.
However if you do have any of these “symptoms” see a doctor – it could be the only warning sign you get… And if you think it couldn’t be you, remember this, there are almost 29 million Americans with fatty liver disease (sadly that includes kids too) 17,000 people are on the waiting list for a new liver… That is second only to kidneys. So please make loving your liver a resolution you stick to and all the others will fall in place 🙂
I wish you all happiness and health in the new year! Keep up the fight!!
The informational content of this article is intended to convey general educational
information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.