Toxic livers are one of the main causes of ill health and disease today. You cannot be healthy without a healthy liver. Learn the truth about liver cleanses, the steps you can take toward having a healthier liver today, and discover the liver cleanse method I personally use and recommend to all of my clients!
Is A Toxic Liver Causing Your Health Problems?
If you often feel tired, depressed, or even exhausted, a toxic liver may be to blame.
Liver toxicity is unavoidable with the 80,000+ chemicals we are exposed to every day in the air, food, and water. It is almost impossible to achieve optimal liver health without regular liver cleansing and daily nutritional liver support.
One of the main ways that the body rids itself of toxins is through the liver. The liver is your body’s built-in filtration and detoxification system. But when it becomes overwhelmed with our toxic body burden and bad food and lifestyle choices, the liver can no longer do its job of detoxing your body and digesting your food.
Ever have a couple dozen tabs or applications open on your computer? Notice how it slows everything down, stalls, and your computer no longer functions at its best? In some extreme cases, the computer will even shut down all together. Well, that is exactly what is happening to your liver when it is stressed and overworked.
The liver serves multiple functions, but its main job is the filtration of toxins. Blood coming in from the digestive organs enters through the portal vein to the liver. That blood carries the nutrients of ingested food, as well as any medications, and toxic substances your body has absorbed.
The Liver’s Many Jobs
Besides filtration, the liver also plays a major role in every single one of the body’s metabolic processes, including (2,9):
- Breaking down fat to produce energy
- Metabolism of carbohydrates and making sure your blood sugar levels stay constant
- Producing cholesterol
- Breaking down amino acids in food to produce energy or create new proteins
- Destroying old or damaged red blood cells
- Breaking down hormones like estrogen
- Removing alcohol, medication and toxins from the bloodstream
- Aiding digestion by producing bile
- Storing essential nutrients, minerals, and iron
While the liver is incredibly resilient, it is also a delicate organ, susceptible to disease and toxicity. And in order for our liver to be able to take care of us, we must first take care of it.
Everyone’s Liver is Toxic
In today’s toxic world, it is easy to see why the liver is completely overworked and our bodies are full of heavy metals and chemicals.
Our daily exposure to 80,000 toxins from pesticides, smog, pollution, chemicals, food additives, personal care products, medication, alcohol, and other sources make the liver’s job of cleansing the body nearly impossible.
It’s important to realize that while your liver is busy processing all of these chemicals, unstable and highly toxic byproducts are produced. This toxic waste can attack and injure the liver (5).
Not only will these toxins interfere with the liver’s essential functions related to digestion, metabolism, and the storage of nutrients – but a buildup of toxins can be the cause of fatigue, headaches, nausea, bad skin, constipation, allergies, and a wide range of chronic diseases.
In 2009, the Center for Disease Control published its Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environment Chemicals, which pointed out that people have, on average, 500 environmental chemicals in their bodies (6). That’s an impossible job for the liver to handle without some assistance.
It Gets Worse
Did you know that…
- According to the National Center for Health Statistics, chronic liver diseases are among the most common causes of death in the United States.
- Almost 26,000 people in the U.S. die each year from cirrhosis. The American Liver Foundation warns that alcohol abuse contributes to most incidences of cirrhosis.
- Up to 20% of the population has liver stones and gallstones.
- More than 900 prescription drugs can injure the liver and 80% of all cases of liver toxicity are caused by drug reactions.
- 29 million Americans have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- 90% of heavy alcohol drinkers develop fatty liver disease.
- 6,000 – 10,000 liver transplants are performed yearly in the United States.
The reason you should care about these statistics is because a toxic liver is the norm today. It isn’t just limited to those who abuse alcohol or take medications (4, 7, 10).
Symptoms of Liver Toxicity
It’s important to identify the symptoms of a dysfunctional liver early, before it progresses into one of conditions mentioned above. Signs you are suffering from a toxic liver include (2, 5):
Abnormal Metabolism of Fats
- Abnormalities in the level of fats in the bloodstream – elevated LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides
- Arteries blocked with fat, leading to high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes
- Lumps of fat in the skin (lipomas and other fatty tumors)
- Excessive weight gain, which may lead to obesity
- Inability to lose weight even while dieting
- Sluggish metabolism
- Protruding abdomen (pot belly)
- Fatty liver
- Roll of fat around the upper abdomen (liver roll)
- Acid Reflux
- Gallstones and gallbladder disease
- Intolerance to fatty foods
- Intolerance to alcohol
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal bloating
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Pain in the liver (upper right corner of abdomen & lower right rib cage)
Blood Sugar Problems
- Cravings for sugar
- Hypoglycemia and unstable blood sugar levels
- Insulin Resistance
- Diabetes (Type 2) is common in those with a fatty liver
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Anger and irritability – the liver is known as the “seat of anger”
- Poor concentration and brain fog
- Overheating of the body, especially the face and torso
- Recurrent headaches (including migraine) c0-0ccuring with nausea
- Allergies – sinusitis, hay fever, asthma, dermatitis, hives, etc.
- Multiple food and chemical sensitivities
- Skin rashes and inflammations
- Autoimmune disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Increase in recurrent viral, bacterial and parasitic infections
- Skin rashes
- Coated tongue
- Edema, water retention, puffiness, swollen lower legs
- Bad breath
- Excessive sweating
- Offensive body odor
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Red, swollen, itchy eyes
- Brownish spots and blemishes on the skin (liver spots)
- Flushed facial appearance or excessive facial blood vessels
- Skin and/or eyes that are yellowish (jaundice)
- High blood pressure (due to clogged blood filter)
- Intolerance to hormone replacement therapy or the contraceptive pill
- Severe hot flashes
- Severe premenstrual syndrome
- Estrogen dominance
Causes of Liver Toxicity
When discussing the causes of liver toxicity, the two main perpetrators often named are obesity and alcoholism. But that is an oversimplification of the problem, as liver dysfunction can actually be caused by a number of issues:
- Toxins and heavy metals. That’s right, you guessed it! Remember that everything we breathe, eat, and drink takes a trip through the liver, where it is then filtered and processed. Constant exposure to heavy metals and the 80,000+ chemicals and toxins in our air, food and water is the main cause of an overburdened liver.
- Poor diet. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: a diet that is high in processed foods is full of toxins and puts your liver health at risk. Things like refined flour, sugar, processed foods, food additives, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, and fast food place a heavy burden on the liver, which must break down and metabolize what you put into your body.
- Excess protein and carbs. Consuming too much protein or too many simple carbohydrates can harm the liver. With simple carbohydrates, the body converts them into triglycerides, which are then stored as fat in the liver. More fat = more work for the liver and, thus, the harder it is for it to function properly. When it comes to protein, the liver metabolizes proteins into more simple compounds, a more taxing process than breaking down other foods. Excess protein also metabolizes to glucose (sugar). And while we need protein in our diets, an overload of it can certainly put a strain on the liver. So remember to always eat a balanced diet.
- Lack of exercise. A lack of physical activity forces the liver to work overtime to compensate for the elimination work that should be done by the lungs and the skin. These eliminative organs are activated by exercise.
- Drug residues. All medications are filtered through the liver to be metabolized. This places a huge demand on the liver to process the toxins in medications. A new study from Mayo Clinic researchers, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, shows that 7 out of 10 Americans take at least one prescription drug (1). And with twenty percent of the population on 5 or more medications, it’s as important as ever to be thinking about supporting your liver if you’re on any kind of medication.
Many health practitioners even believe that if the liver is functioning in an efficient, healthy way, most diseases cannot develop in the body, including cancer. Conversely, it’s possible that an unhealthy liver is the root of many serious diseases (2).
This is why, if you plan to live a long disease-free life, you need to protect your liver. You do this by cleansing it and nutritionally supporting it on a regular basis.
What You Need to Cleanse Your Liver
The good news is if you are suffering from the symptoms of liver toxicity, there are so many things you can do to cleanse your liver. As I mentioned earlier, the liver has an astounding ability to regenerate itself and its cells. All it takes is a little TLC: Tender Liver Care.
Follow these simple steps below to put your liver back on the path to better health! I have tried and tested each one, so you you can trust these methods are safe and liver-friendly. Your liver will thank you!
Please note that a healthy and safe liver cleanse includes all of these components, working together. You don’t want to only do a liver flush but not supplement. Likewise, you won’t get the full benefit of a liver cleanse if you only supplement but skip the other steps. It’s a delicate balancing act of cleaning the liver, but the improvements in your health are worth it.
You need daily nutritional support for your liver. Every day the liver is bombarded with so many chemicals that you must take regular nutritional liver supplements to assist your liver in functioning optimally.
In order to repair your liver and restore it to optimal health, it is absolutely essential to do regular cleansing. In doing so, you will be eliminating toxic waste, removing excess fat that has built up in the organ, assisting bile to flow freely to detox metals and digest fat, and regenerating cells that aid liver rebuilding.
I recommend the following supplements for liver health and cleansing:
- Daily Detox. Daily Detox is an organic liver support blend that contains the top liver detox herbs from Eastern and Western traditions, including a highly potent form of turmeric that potentiates the effect of all others by helping reduce inflammation in the liver cells. It is loaded with unique nutrients for optimal liver function, whole-body detoxification, remineralization, and metabolism. It features: broccoli sprouts for detox and anti-aging, dandelion root (more on that below), along with milk thistle seed extract (read more on this below as well). If you only take one supplement for your liver, I recommend Daily Detox. It is the best all-in-one supplement you can take for liver health.
- Milk Thistle. Milk Thistle‘s active ingredient is an extract referred to as silymarin. Silymarin has been shown in laboratory studies to exhibit antioxidant properties, stimulate the activity of enzymes involved in detoxification, repair liver tissues, strengthen cell walls and neutralize dangerous free radicals (3). It is key in liver cleansing and regeneration.
- Dandelion. Studies have shown that dandelion contains diuretic and liver-detoxifying properties, and promising new research is looking into whether dandelion root has cancer-killing properties. A small lab study in mice even found that dandelion root extract reduced alcohol-related liver damage in mice.
- Beet Root. Beets are well proven to aid in liver detoxification. That’s probably why I crave them all the time!
Eat Healthy and Clean
Immediately remove all toxic foods that are putting strain on your liver from your diet and replace the healthier alternatives. I recommend my nutrient dense reduce toxins diet – the Modern Paleo diet. Also, keep in mind that there are certain vegetables ideal for a liver detox, including: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. These cruciferous pals help to increase sulphur to aid detox and reduce acid levels in the body to balance pH.
Liver flushes are a great way to mechanically flush the liver of toxins, the gallbladder of gallstones and get both organs working better – quick. Learn how to do a 2-day quick flush and a weeklong liver flush here.
And how often should you do a liver flush? You should only do a liver flush once per month at the most. And for most people, only twice a year is recommended. But while liver gallbadder flushes are an integral part of maintaining a healthy liver, don’t forget you still need to be doing something to support your liver on a daily basis (see: supplements and diet sections above).
A note of precaution: you do NOT want to do a liver cleanse or a liver gallbladder flush if you have an active cold or flu. Wait until you have recovered!
Ditch the Booze
It’s no secret that overindulgence in alcohol strains the liver. In a 2012 German study, researchers found that those who were alcohol dependent died, on average, 20 years earlier than those who were not (8). This is largely due to the undue stress put on the liver. Alcohol inflames the liver’s tissues. When that happens, the liver is unable to perform as a filtration system and, therefore, gets backed up with fat. And that build-up leads to fatty liver and more inflammation than normal. Consumption of too much alcohol over time may then lead to cirrhosis.
Coffee enemas are the most powerful way to cleanse and repair your liver. Coffee enemas provide a means for your liver to ‘dump’ its toxic load of chemicals, excess estrogen, and heavy metals into the intestines for elimination. The protocol has a stimulating effect, increasing the flow of bile and sparking the production of glutathione, a strong cleansing compound that helps to release the build up of toxins in your system. It’s like a natural jump start that stimulates serious detox for your liver and gallbladder. Learn how to do a coffee enema here.
Most people (understandably) will not do regular coffee enemas. If you’re one of these people, consider sticking to a supplement routine comprised of those recommended in the list above.
For anyone who has a sensitivity to caffeine, they are not candidates for these types of enemas. Additionally, some people have reactions to them and cannot do them. Listen to your body to see what works and what it can tolerate.
The Best (and Safest) Comprehensive Program for Cleansing Your Liver
With so much information out there, it can be difficult to know what is the best and safest way to go about cleansing your liver. For a comprehensive, step-by-step guide I recommend my 14-Day Liver Rehab Cleanse.
I’ve spent a fortune on countless cleanses. I’ve worked with hundreds of people 1-on-1 and tens of thousands from via group programs. I’ve learned (often the hard way) what works and what doesn’t work for liver cleansing. I don’t want you to have to go through what I did.
That’s why I took the BEST of all that I have learned about liver detox – what is easy, doable, and doesn’t inconvenience you with a “detox crisis” that prevents you from working or enjoying your life — and created a 14-day, step-by-step liver detox program.
With this program, you’ll not only get step by step instructions for liver cleansing, but you’ll also gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to keep your liver happy and healthy long term.
The Liver Rehab Cleanse comes with a series of “how-to” videos that cover every aspect of the process – from coffee enemas to castor oil packs and beyond. It also includes the “Ultimate Liver Rescue E-Library”, featuring a wealth of eguides like How to Do Liver Gallbladder Flushes, Essential Oils for Liver Support, and Daily Detox Smoothie Recipes.
But the most beneficial part of the Liver Rehab Cleanse is that you’ll never feel like you’re alone—because the videos we include and will help you feel like you’re being coached and guided along every step of the way.
Finally, as you have learned in this article, I highly recommend taking Daily Detox as part of any liver cleanse. With the 14-Day Liver Rehab Cleanse, you’ll get special discounted pricing on the Daily Detox supplement – the absolute best supplement you can take to support your liver.
To learn more about the 14-day Liver Rehab Cleanse and why I recommend it, please click here.
A congested, toxic liver is the #1 problem I see in my practice. Once you heal your liver, it’s phenomenal how much easier it is to heal the rest of your body – whether you have a chronic illness or a life threatening disease.
True healing can only happen if you love and take care of your liver.
With a multi-step liver cleanse, you will be able to purge all of those unwanted liver-clogging fats, gallstones, drug residues, and toxic wastes that are slowing destroying your body’s most precious organ.
If you want to achieve better overall health, cleansing your liver is the absolute best thing you can do.
There is nothing more paramount to ideal health that the ability for your body to detoxify effectively. And, without a liver that’s working like it should, there’s almost no way your detoxification pathways will work as they should.
I hope you found the information in this article helpful and it has inspired you to take greater care of your liver – because it takes care of you!
Click here for References+
1. Mayo Clinic study. “Nearly 7 in 10 Americans Take Prescription Drugs, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center Find.” http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/nearly-7-in-10-americans-take-prescription-drugs-mayo-clinic-olmsted-medical-center-find/
2. Barron, Jon. “Detoxifying Your Liver: Why Do a Liver Detox Naturally”. The Baseline of Health Foundation. 11/22/2004. http://jonbarron.org/article/detoxifying-your-liver#.VX-0AIsgg3h
3. Barron, Jon. “Milk Thistle: Great for Liver Health and Detox.” The Baseline of Health Foudnation. http://jonbarron.org/herbal-library/herbs/milk-thistle#.VYMqG4sgg3h
4. Briggs, Helen. “Liver disease deaths reach record levels in England.” BBC News. 21 March 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17465403
5. Canadian Liver Foundation. “Toxic Hepatitis.” http://www.liver.ca/liver-disease/types/toxic-hepatitis.aspx
6. Center for Disease Control. Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environment Chemicals. 2009. http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/pdf/fourthreport.pdf
7. Global Healing Center. “Shocking Statistics About Liver Health”. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/cleansing/livatrex-liver-support.html
8. Heyes, J.D. “Study Shows Heavy Drinking Can Kill you More Quickly Than Smoking.” November 24, 2012. http://www.naturalnews.com/038077_heavy_drinking_death_risk_smoking.html
9. Informed Health Online. “How Does the Liver Work?” PubMedHealth. Last Update: November 22, 2012; Next update: 2015. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072577/
10. Levine, Beth. “Liver Disease Deaths on the Rise.” The Baseline of Health Foundation. April 12, 2012. http://jonbarron.org/article/liver-disease-deaths-rise#.VYMijYsgg3h
11. WebMD. “The Liver (Human Anatomy).” 2014, WebMD, LLC. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/picture-of-the-liver