Why do we care about Liver Health?
One of the most important functions of the liver is to detoxify our bodies. With the popularity of detox diets these days many people worry about the liver’s ability to detoxify, but in fact there’s no need to worry because unless your liver is in the final stages of failure then it’s going to detoxify your body all on its own. Without getting too in depth with the physiology, the liver breaks everything down in two phases, the fat- soluble and water- soluble toxins.
All this means is that everything needs to be broken down in stages, so it can be effectively recycled or shuttled out of the body in the form of waste (namely urine or stool). If these functions aren’t done properly, this can have profound effects on just about every other system in the body. If the liver isn’t functioning properly then overall digestion, metabolism, hormonal balance and the immune system don’t function well.
The Liver performs the following vital functions:
Essentially, without the liver it would not be possible to survive very long.
We are living in a Toxic world
We are exposed to all kinds of toxins every day of our lives. From the moment we are conceived, we are exposed to toxins through our mother. At present, there are over 80,000 chemicals registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. 3,800 are ‘high-use’ chemicals and less than ½ have been assessed for toxic effects in humans. Less than 9% of these chemicals have been assessed for toxic effects on children. If we don’t take care of our liver’s health, we won’t be able to function in our toxic laden environment.
How do we know we’re experiencing symptoms of toxicity?
Well that in and of itself is part of the problem. The overall symptoms of toxicity are quite general, and can easily be mistaken as part of another problem. Some of the symptoms include: fatigue, headaches, muscle and joint pain, mood changes, cognitive impairment and possibly neurological problems.
Are you susceptible to toxicity?
Multiple factors affect how your body deals with toxic burden.
To better understand what toxicity looks like in the body, the analogy I like to use is a bucket.
We all have different buckets, some are short and fill very quickly, or have a spout that doesn’t drain effectively, or perhaps an average size bucket with a decently emptying spout. However your bucket functions, determines how quickly it will fill (accumulate toxins) or empty (eliminate toxins). Unfortunately, those of us with shorter buckets/poorly draining spouts are more likely to build up toxins quickly and/or not eliminate them quickly enough to avoid symptoms of toxicity.
What Can We Do?
Work with a medical professional to help correct problems
Note: Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor today about getting assessed and treated if needed, and as always talk to your health care provider before beginning any new medication or supplement. This information is not meant to replace the advice/guidance of a medical professional, nor should it be acted upon by individuals unsupervised by the appropriate healthcare provider.
I am a Naturopathic Doctor and Doula providing care in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. I have a passion for helping people with their health issues and improving the birth experience for Moms, and their babies. I also have a life long love affair with soccer, curling, and the alto saxophone.