Bring your hand to your right lower ribs. Behind the bones, just below your diaphragm, is your 3 pound, rubbery liver. Most of us are unaware of the body’s largest gland, unless there is a problem. But now is the time to start showing your liver some love.
You cannot survive without your liver. It supports almost all the other organs. Your liver is a filter for blood leaving the digestive tract. It detoxifies chemicals, metabolizes drugs, and makes proteins important for blood clotting. Special cells, called Kupffer cells, capture and digest bacteria, fungi, parasites, worn-out blood cells and a bunch of debris from cellular processes throughout your body. Imagine the constant fight your immune system would have without your liver’s help.
Viruses, like Hepatitis A, B and C, overuse of acetaminophen, and chronic alcohol abuse can cause scarring in the liver. Over time, the growth of scar tissue destroys the liver cells, a condition known as cirrhosis. Just because you don’t have cirrhosis doesn’t mean your liver is healthy, however. An overload of the bad stuff your liver should be filtering results in toxicity. An overloaded liver might show up as chronic fatigue, moodiness, bloating after a meal, or being unable to lose weight despite lots of dieting and exercising. Or you might not even notice it.
When I was researching my last “Lunch Date” call, I found out that eating too much fructose can lead to fatty liver and insulin resistance. Cutting down on or eliminating refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup helps ease your liver’s load. Eating whole, organic foods reduces the amount of toxic chemicals your liver has to filter out. Taking probiotics or eating fermented foods helps maintain your digestive system’s health so less bad bacteria and other microbes get to your liver.
Supporting your liver is supporting your whole body’s health. What other signs and symptoms of liver toxicity are there? How are you caring for your liver? Please share by leaving a comment.