Your liver is your master detoxifier! Liver health is incredibly important to our overall health but unfortunately it is often overlooked. Many medical professionals will tell you that you never need to detox because you have a liver and that’s it’s job.
The unfortunate truth is that we live in a far more toxic world than we did 50-60 years ago so while that statement may have held true back then, it just doesn’t anymore. Between the air we breathe, the water we drink, the chemicals in our household products, personal care products, furniture, the candles we burn and the air fresheners we have plugged in 24/7, we are being bombarded by toxins constantly. Our liver just cannot keep up and can easily become overburdened leading to a lot of health problems and symptoms that we may never connect back to the liver!
So how do we combat this? We implement practices on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to detox the liver. I know this might seem complicated if you know nothing about liver detox and you may even think it’s unnecessary but let’s first take a look at what exactly the liver does, why you need to actively detox and support it, signs your liver needs support and the amazing health benefits you’ll get from detoxing your liver!
What exactly does the liver do?
Your liver is the epicenter of your body. Did you know the liver performs 500 vital tasks?! Here are some of them:
Helps your body fight infection by removing bacteria from the blood
Factory for proteins & cholesterol
Produces bile, a compound needed to digest fat & to absorb Vitamins, A, D, E & K.
Regulates blood clotting
Clears blood of drugs, chemicals & alcohol
Converts excess glucose to starch for storage
Metabolizes, or breaks down, nutrients from food to produce energy, when needed
Prevents shortages of nutrients by storing vitamins, minerals & sugar
Excretes bile for fat digestion
All of the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. The liver processes this blood. It breaks down, balances, and creates the nutrients.
To simplify - while the liver does many jobs, there are 3 big ones:
It cleans your blood.
It produces an important digestive liquid called bile.
It stores energy in the form of a sugar called glycogen.
Why do you need to actively detox and support your liver?
Like I said at the beginning of this blog post, we live in a world that is loaded with toxins. (food supply, water, personal care products, cleaning products, flame retardants on furniture & clothing, etc.) We truly cannot escape the toxicity no matter how hard we try but we can do things to reduce our toxic load. Our livers were not designed to carry the burden that they carry in today's world.
There are roughly over 72,000 toxins that have been created since World War II and only 2% of them have been tested for toxicity, mutagenic, carcinogenic & birth defects. The average home contains on average 62 toxic chemicals. Babies have been found to be born with over 200 chemicals in the umbilical cord. We are literally carrying toxins from birth!
Remember, the liver is the epicenter of the body making sure that your blood stays pure & clean. Daily life overloads the liver & it can't keep up, eventually leading to poor health & disease.
Think of your body as a rain barrel. Little by little over time it is filling up with toxins. At first it's not much so your body can handle it and your liver does it's job. But many of us reach a point where our rain barrel becomes full and begins overflowing (symptoms). At this point we have to do something about it to bring down our toxic load if we want to not only avoid disease but if we also want to feel better.
Once we detox the liver as best as we can initially, we aren't done. This provides you with a relatively "clean" starting point and now you can do small things daily to detox the liver and more involved things a few times a year. This is obviously not a one and done type of thing as we will continually be bombarded with toxins but it is important to make lifestyle changes (i.e. switching to non-toxic household & personal care products, decreasing our consumption of processed foods, filtering our drinking water, etc.) so that you can decrease your toxic load overtime.
Let's take a quick look at many of the things that become a toxic burden to our liver & impact how we feel:
Coffee & energy drinks
Allergies / Food Intolerances
Soils deficient in key detox minerals
Environmental toxins (heavy metals, pesticides, etc.)
Prescription & OTC medications
Infection/Illness [acute or chronic]
Stress [psychological / emotional]
Processed foods [sugar & white flour products]
No matter how clean we eat and how hard we try in all areas of our health, everyone needs to support & detox their liver.
Signs your liver needs support:
While I think we can all agree now that we need to take care of the liver, you might be wondering what the signs & symptoms are that your liver needs some help. Here are some signs & symptoms of liver dysfunction - some of which you may not have connected to the liver!
Excessive fatigue / Brain Fog
Hormonal Imbalances / PMS
Bloating / Gas / Constipation
Poor Sleep / Insomnia
High level of heavy metals in the system
Chemical sensitivities or allergies
Unexplained weight gain / difficulty losing weight
Skin issues (psoriasis, eczema, acne, rashes, itchy skin, etc.)
Cravings for sugar, alcohol or carbs
Did you know that waking between 1 am and 3 am is a sign of liver dysfunction? This is when toxins are released from the body and new blood is made so if you are waking up during this time it could mean that you have an issue with your liver or detoxification pathways.
Benefits of Liver Detox
I know, I know. You just want to know WHAT to do to start detoxing - I promise that's coming. But first I want you to know what's on the other side of detoxing! Let's talk about all of the amazing health benefits of detoxing the liver.
Boosts overall health, energy & focus
Supports a whole body detox
Improve mental & physical performance
Healthy glow to skin
Prevent liver stones
Most importantly, you are helping to prevent disease & feel your best when you detox your liver and isn't that what we all want?!
Okay, just tell me what to do to detox my liver!
To avoid making this blog post way too long, I have put together a full guide for you of things you can do on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to support and detox your liver. The great thing is that you can pick and choose a couple to start with and slowly add more into your routine over time. Having a pdf guide you can print or save to your phone will ensure you can easily find all of these tips so that you’ll actually begin implementing them.
I help women get to their root causes, detox their bodies & restore balance to achieve optimal health. I offer 1:1 virtual health coaching, optional lab testing & personalized protocols to rebalance the body. If you feel like you've been going around in circles with your health and not getting any real answers or you aren't making any significant, lasting progress then I would love to help you!
Click here to learn more about my 1:1 Virtual Integrative Health Coaching Program.