October is National Liver Awareness Month.
While I feel pretty confident that we are all “aware” of our livers, I’d be willing to bet that many people don’t know everything that their liver does for them.
It’s arguably your most important vital organ!
In addition, unlike your other organs and systems, unfortunately you don’t always get obvious warning signs when something is awry with your liver…so yours may be suffering and you don’t even know it.
Let’s take a look at some of your liver’s most important, life-saving functions and see how yours might be doing.
Your humble, hardworking liver
Unlike other parts of your body, your liver doesn’t always let you know when there’s a problem.
As a matter of fact, your liver can still function when up to 70 percent of its capacity is lost! So, many people don’t even know they have a liver problem until it’s practically getting ready to shut down.
Here are four serious reasons why you don’t want your liver shutting down:
Four critical functions
Your liver performs over 500 functions that are all essential to life and health, but here are four of the most critical:
1- Making bile
In addition to breaking down fats, bile helps your body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Bile also is the "escort" for toxins that your liver filters out of your system. The toxin-drenched bile gets absorbed by fiber in your gut and is escorted out the back door when Nature calls.
But if bile secretion is too low, toxins can accumulate, and your liver can actually become constipated just like your gut!
2- Controlling cholesterol and hormones
Although you do get some cholesterol from food, the vast majority is made by your liver.
Your liver closely monitors your cholesterol level. When you take cholesterol in with food, it temporarily backs off on its own production of cholesterol until more is needed.
So truly, the health of your liver is the primary indicator of whether you'll have a cholesterol problem and an increased risk of heart disease!
Note that statins only make the problem worse because they shut down your liver’s ability to make cholesterol.
Poor liver function can also lead to hormone-related conditions.
For example, PMS, fibrocystic breast disease, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, ovaries and uterus are all associated with elevated estrogen, and that can be the result of your liver not breaking down and eliminating old estrogen like it should.
3- Regulating blood sugar
Your liver works with your pancreas and adrenal glands to regulate your blood sugar.
If your liver isn't carrying out its part of the cycle properly, you are a candidate for Type 2 diabetes, increased fat storage and elevated cholesterol.
4- Filtering blood
About two quarts of blood pass through your liver EVERY SINGLE MINUTE.
Although that sounds like a lot, a healthy liver can efficiently handle 99 percent of the toxins you take in before they enter circulation and make you sick.
But if your liver is NOT healthy, toxins will begin accumulating in your cells, tissues and organs, creating a perfect breeding ground for disease.
The signs are vague
Here are some (vague) signs that you may have a liver challenge:
- Intolerance to greasy foods
- Foul smelling stools or urine
- Bitter taste in your mouth
- Grayish skin or yellow in the whites of your eyes
- Bad breath
- Excessive body odor
- Fatigue or headache after eating
- Dry skin or hair
- Right sided abdominal pain
- Water retention
- Pain in big toes or pain that radiates along the outside of your leg
- Blood in stools
- Elevated blood cholesterol and/or triglycerides
The biggest challenge to your humble liver
Environmental pollution, chlorinated water, household chemicals, herbicides and pesticides all put tremendous stress on our livers to clean everything up.
But the biggest challenge to your liver is: YOU.
Factors such as eating processed and fast food, drinking soda, smoking, drinking too much alcohol or too little water, and overusing prescription and OTC drugs drain the life out of our livers.
But your liver isn't something you can be without!
No liver = No you!
So it’s time for you to take responsibility for your liver’s health before it’s too late!
Ways to pamper your liver
Here are some surefire ways to help preserve the health of your precious liver:
Support it with your diet
Have a diet of real fiber-rich foods which will help your liver in eliminating toxins with your BMs. If you want some great ideas for delicious dishes featuring nutrient and fiber-packed real foods (as well as ways to help support tip-top digestion) check out the Great Taste No Pain health system.
Also, limit your fructose consumption to one piece of fresh fruit each day, and avoid sources of high fructose corn syrup (especially soda). Fructose is very taxing on the liver.
Also, incorporate onions and garlic into your diet, as they help your liver escort heavy metals out of your body.
Engage the power of your gut microbes
Your friendly gut bacteria help support efficient digestion so toxins can be safely eliminated like they should be…but you need a strong enough population of them to do this crucial job!
Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula helps ensure that your microbiome balance is where it needs to be to help support regular BMs, encourage a strong gut wall and promote sharp immune function too!
Watch what you’re drinking
Drink mainly filtered water throughout the day—at least eight 8 oz. glasses should be your minimum. The best measure is to drink half the number of pounds you weigh in ounces of water every day.
Also limit alcohol to a drink or two, preferably with a meal, and avoid soda at all cost.
If you smoke or do recreational drugs, please stop. If you need help quitting, there are many programs out there for you to explore. Keep in mind acupuncture can be a tremendous help.
Also, if you are on any medications, talk to your doctor about reducing your dose or possibly weaning off them altogether. There are natural alternatives to many drugs—here are some examples:
- Vitamin D has been shown to be more effective that flu shots in preventing the flu! Plus it helps combat depression and protect against heart disease too. Check out our Optimum DK with Fruitex B.
- Herbs like mastic gum, licorice and ginger are very effective against occasional heartburn and are far safer than Tums, Nexium or Pepto Bismol. Our outstanding Gastro BeCalm Blend contains these natural digestive soothers.
- Ashwagandha has a 2,500-year history of supporting liver function, better sleep, healthy cholesterol levels and much more! Take advantage of this superstar of Ayurvedic medicine in our very own Ashwa Blend Gummies.
Do all you can to help support the health of your precious liver.
And it will return the favor with a healthier you for years to come!
To your health,