The liver is one of our largest organs—weighing an average of 3 pounds. It is located on the upper abdomen area and lower diaphragm. It is an important organ responsible for producing an alkaline element called bile that aide’s digestion process. Bile breaks down nutrients to chemicals and distributed to the entire body.
The primary responsibility of the liver is to cleanse and detoxify the blood that originates from the digestion tract before nutrients are dispersed to the entire body.
It also plays an important role in the proper functioning of metabolism by regulating glycogens, production of essential hormones and disintegrates bilirubin—a harmful substance that comes from dead red blood cells.
The liver does a lot of things for us from helping the digestion process, flushing out toxins, and storing energy. Proper care for our liver is extremely important. Poor liver health can lead to chronic illnesses and life-threatening situations.
Liver complications can come from viruses that lead to hepatitis a, b, and c. And self-inflicted reasons like substance abuse and alcoholism that leads to cirrhosis and fatty liver.
There are also other factors like genetics; we may inherit them from our parents if they have any medical background of liver complications.
Symptoms of Liver Disease
- Fatigue – people with liver problems may have an unusual feeling of tiredness throughout the day. He experiences this fatigue daily and even during mornings where he should feel refreshed.
- Blood clot problems – the liver transforms a certain protein to clot open wounds during injury. Individuals with liver complications may find themselves easily wounded and takes time for the injury to heal.
- Swellings – the liver balances the liquid distributed to the body. Liver diseases will cause swelling to parts of the feet, hand, and belly.
- Loss of appetite – this may be the case, an enlargement belly is noticeable.
- Jaundice – without the liver functioning properly an element called bilirubin will accumulate and cause yellowish appearance on the skin and eyes.
- Frequent itchiness sensation – individuals experiencing liver complications will cause certain irritants to occur that leads to itchiness.
- Varicose veins – Known as spider nevi, will start appearing on the body. The individual must be very careful dealing with it because it is prone to bleeding.
Because of the multiple functions of the liver, few medical conditions could be attributable to poor liver health. To avoid any complications in the future we have to start thinking about how to properly care our liver.
The liver detoxifies the blood to prevent virus entering the body, however, because of a bad lifestyle, those toxins may remain in our body and accumulate.
These toxins will damage the liver and cause chronic illnesses to life-threatening conditions.
While there are food supplements in the market that promises liver cleansing, most of them don’t work or may even worsen the situation.
Ways to Naturally Cleanse the Liver
You may need to consult your doctor or contact a health professional for any advice on how to safely conduct a liver cleanse. But if you want to do cleansing at home, listed below are few suggestions on how to naturally cleanse or detox your liver and keep it healthy:
1. Implement a healthy diet
The most effective way to cleanse your liver is to have a well-balanced diet.
Eat particularly foods with a huge amount of fibers, common in leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. Another beneficial effect of fruits and vegetables to the liver is its rich antioxidant compound. If consume regularly it will eventually flash out the toxins that have accumulated in your liver.
2. Minimize the consumption of foods that are high in carbohydrates
When a doctor diagnoses that you have a fatty liver, it literally means that your liver is full of fat content. An estimated 90 million Americans are affected by fatty livers and 17 percent of the demographics are children.
When we hear fatty liver, we may think of animal fats as the reason for this condition and we should stop consuming it. Animal fats are safer than carbs, according to experts. Carbohydrates and beverages high in sugar are the main contributors to a fatty liver. This is because the liver transforms carbohydrates and sugar into fats.
There are studies emerging that some type of beers is liver friendly and could even protect it; the claim is unproven and still debatable. Beers are very high in carbohydrates that the term fatty liver is linked to persons with large bellies. Though some alcoholic drinks are safe for people on diet, over-consumption can still lead to a fatty liver.
3. Consider intermittent fasting
The liver is a detoxification organ and we may not think of it as in need of cleansing. But if we have an unhealthy lifestyle, it may cause the liver to slow down the detoxification process. As a result, toxins and unhealthy fat compounds accumulate in your liver.
The idea of fasting is to allow the liver to catch up and flush out harmful toxins in your body. It enables the liver to clean itself and repair damaged tissues. Typically, intermittent fasting is paired up with the consummation of water and fruits.
However, more research has to be done regarding this topic and experts do not advise performing intermittent fasting without the supervision of a healthcare professional.
Personally, I have tried a form of fasting during my stay in Japan. I skip dinners and during weekends I only eat breakfast then the rest of the day I drink green tea.
The first month was difficult but two months later I lose a significant amount of weight. I wasn’t able to monitor how much weight I loss but the change is noticeable.
As much as I am happy with my weight loss, I began to experience more headaches and frequent feeling of tiredness. My coworkers noted that I was paler and looked sickly.
Eventually, I stopped this process and tried other diet procedures.
4. Regular exercise
Another way to help our liver detoxify toxins is through sweating. Research suggests that the detoxification process is two-way, preventing toxins to enter the body and eliminating toxins in the body.
According to this research, we can prevent toxins by maintaining a healthy liver and one way to eliminate toxins is through our skin. Regular exercise produces glutathione that pushes out toxins from our body.
We might not have imagined that as simple as relaxation can lead to a healthy liver. In fact, one study associated stress and depression leading to liver disease.
How we manage stress does not only affect our mental health but our overall well-being as well.