Liver health is an important aspect of your overall well-being. The liver is the ultimate hard-working multi-tasking organ providing a wide variety of functions for your system. Going back to ancient times, the liver was one of the primary organs needed to be treated for sick patients. Because the liver is assigned so many tasks, it is easy for it to get out of proper function. Luckily, the liver is a resilient organ and even when severely damaged it can regenerate fully when given the correct support.
The liver is the main organ in detoxification, recognizing toxic substances and converting them into harmless material that can then be flushed out of the body. The liver is always communicating with other organs, especially the digestive tract. The liver filters the blood from the digestive tract, helps metabolize proteins, breaks down excess hormones, stores vitamins and minerals, manages the conversion of fats from your diet, and manufactures cholesterol, and more and more and more. Ensuring this vital organ can perform all these tasks is critical to your health.
Symptoms of Liver Function
The first signs of a damaged liver usually include abdominal pain, digestive issues, and loss of appetite. As damage increases, symptoms such as edema, fatigue, skin changes, weakness, and cognitive decline increase. All these issues can be signs of liver disease which can have a variety of causes and solutions that will be discussed below. The good thing is when you improve your liver function, your energy increases, your skin clears, your immune system improves, your mood improves, less pain, and you have fewer digestive issues.
Liver Damage Causes
Many of the common causes of liver damage are related to your lifestyle choices, including excess alcohol consumption, antibiotic use, high stress, hormonal imbalance, and exposure to toxins in your food and cosmetics. These causes can be mitigated and avoided by changing some habits and recognizing the importance of maintaining a healthy liver.
Improve Your Liver Function Naturally
First, if you have liver issues limiting alcohol is critical. Alcohol is processed in the liver, so a single night of heavy drinking is a major load on your liver. Some medications are also hard on your liver, so if you take medications and worry about your liver ask your doctor about alternatives.
Second, your diet has a drastic impact on your liver function. The liver performs many functions in the process of getting nutrients from food and waste out of the body. Eating real, whole foods is the biggest step to allowing your liver to do what it does best. Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, and others) are two types of food that can boost your liver health. Garlic, artichokes, citrus, and beets have been shown to also be healing for the liver. Avoid heavily processed foods laden with sugar, refined vegetable oils, and artificial ingredients. Your liver has a hard time filtering and removing chemicals that do not naturally occur.
Last, there are supplements that can help your liver metabolize chemicals and help allow the liver to regenerate. These can include milk thistle, dandelion root, and others. Before you add these, consult a health professional to get an understanding of why your liver is suboptimal and make a plan to improve your health. Understanding the root cause of your liver condition is the first step in beginning the healing process.