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 and my proven 5 step liver cleanse!
Is A Toxic Liver Causing Your Health Problems?
Do you often feel tired, depressed, or exhausted? If so, 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 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 (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 blood stream
- 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 you 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 build up 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 an average of 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 (4, 7, 10):
- 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.
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 form a toxic liver include (2, 5):
Abnormal Metabolism of Fats
- Abnormalities in the level of fats in the blood stream – 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…
The Top 5 Supplements for Liver Detox
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. These powerful supplements contain potent ingredients to get your liver’s condition back on track.
Of all the detoxifying herbs around, milk thistle is, by far, the best. It’s the most effective at detoxifying the liver from heavy metals, prescription drugs, radiation, alcohol, environmental toxins, and pollution, even minimizing the negative effects of chemotherapy. Milk thistle’s active ingredient is an extract referred to as silymarin. Not only can silymarin, or milk thistle, strengthen and stabilize liver cell walls and protect them from toxins, but it also stimulates protein synthesis while accelerating the process of regeneration in damaged liver tissue (3).
Milk thistle is also known for helping to reduce the damage and detoxify the body from radiation, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis. That is good news as well, considering the amount of radiation to which we are frequently exposed – in everything from wireless internet, cell phones and more. Finally, milk thistle also plays a part in increasing the body’s levels of glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD), two of your body’s most powerful intracellular antioxidants.
The Black Box by Quicksilver Scientifics is designed to help restore proper liver function. This four week protocol flushes the liver and gallbladder to promote good bile drainage and effective metabolism. Featuring Quicksilver Scientific’s phospholipid-rich Etheric Delivery™, the products chosen for this detoxification system support basic cellular function by feeding the cells’ membrane structures, thus helping your body’s systems to function in harmony.
Liver Detox by Protocol for Life Balance is a supplement that works to achieve this. These capsules contain a blend of herbs‚ nutrients‚ and antioxidants that are known to support liver health. This natural formula may be particularly helpful in supporting good liver function for frequent travelers.
Gastrointestinal health is important for detoxification, as inflammation in the intestine increases susceptibility of the organism to toxicity from external and internal agents. This supplement contains a blend of herbs such as dandelion, milk thistle, solidago, and burdock to aid in digestion and critical liver detoxification.
Liver Life naturally strengthens the liver’s structure and function, improves the body’s ability to filter toxins, drain acidic waste and decrease ammonia. Liver Life opens up the detox pathways in the liver and supports kidney function.
Cleanse Your Liver in 5 Easy Steps
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.
Simply follow these 5 simple steps to put your liver back on the path to better health! Your liver will thank you!
- Do Coffee Enemas. 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. 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. Most, however, are averse to the thought of doing an enema.
- Regular Liver Flushes. Regular liver flushes are a great way to mechanically flush the liver of toxins, liver and gallbladder stones and get it working better – quick. This flush can really help to flush out your liver and give it a boost in detoxing your body. Learn how to do a Liver Flush.
- 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.
- 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 buildup leads to fatty liver and more inflammation than normal. Consumption of too much alcohol over time may then lead to cirrhosis.
- Take Milk Thistle, Dandelion and Beet Root. 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. 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. Beets are well proven to aid in liver detoxification. That’s probably why I crave them all the time!
Love Your Liver To Improve Your Health!
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.
I’ve seen this time and time again.
Before you do anything for your health, give your liver the attention it needs. 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.
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