The liver is not just the largest but also one of the most important organs in the body. One of its many roles is breaking down food to produce the energy we need to go about our daily activities. However, when your liver is saturated with toxins, it doesn’t perform its functions effectively.
How Toxins Build Up in the Liver
The liver is also tasked with the vital role of filtering through everything we consume and getting rid of anything harmful to our health. In this sifting process, the liver cells incur damage. Despite having the ability to repair itself, constant intake of harmful substances such as alcohol (or anything with high sugar content), narcotics, and even some medications can wear out the liver before its cells can completely regenerate, making the damage permanent. This deterioration renders the liver unable to effectively remove toxins, causing them to accumulate.
Signs of High Toxin Levels in the Liver
The body may exhibit any of the following symptoms when excessive levels of toxins have been allowed to build up in the liver.
- Abdominal pain
When toxins accumulate in the liver, it can lead to inflammation. Inflammation of the liver is especially dangerous because the liver has no pain receptors. These receptors are nerves that ideally would report any discomfort to the brain, and as such, the organ itself can’t feel pain. Instead, we feel pain when the enlarged liver presses on its outer layer and other organs. For this reason, a liver that hurts shows up as pain in the abdomen and sometimes, the back or shoulders.
The liver is the hub of metabolic activities in the body. One of its most important functions is to provide the energy we need to carry us throughout the day. Fats are the main raw material for this process, contributing over 90% of the body’s energy. An unhealthy liver cannot break down fat molecules, resulting in high fatigue levels.
Sleep deprivation is another corollary of poor liver health. The liver is responsible for maintaining our hormone levels. This involves balancing adrenaline when under stress and, more importantly, cortisol and melatonin, which are the two hormones that facilitate the sleep-wake cycle. Hence, a person tends to experience insomnia when the liver cannot balance these hormones adequately.
Jaundice is a condition that causes a yellowish tinge to appear on the skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of the eye. Normally, the liver filters this waste material out of the bloodstream and turns it into a new form called conjugated bilirubin. However, when the liver is not performing as it should, it can cause this waste material to build up in the blood.
With moderate bilirubin levels, a person’s skin, eyes, and mucous membranes can turn yellow. But, when there is too much bilirubin for the liver to process, the color can also change from yellow to green. The green color occurs due to biliverdin, the green pigment present in bile. Excessive bilirubin levels also manifest in urine, tinting it dark-orange or brown, and itchy skin.
- Spider naevi
This is also known as spider angiomas and is characterized by small, spider-shaped blood vessels appearing in clusters on the skin, most especially the face and legs. It is important to note that this condition can be seen in perfectly healthy women, albeit in much lesser numbers.
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances that can accumulate within the body. As a testament to that, alcohol-induced cirrhosis is one of the major causes of spider angiomas. Spider naevi may also arise when the liver cannot balance estrogen levels.
- Frequent bruising and bleeding
The liver oversees more than 500 roles in the body that extends beyond metabolism. Whenever we open a wound, special proteins spring into action to fast-track the clotting process. These proteins are produced nowhere else but in the liver. So, if you easily bleed or your wounds take a relatively long time to heal, it can be a sign that you need to detoxify your liver.
- Pale stools
Stools normally come in one shade of brown or the other. Pale stools, on the other hand, indicate that your liver may be overburdened with some of the harmful substances mentioned earlier. The liver secretes bile salts, which are responsible for the usual color of stools. Naturally, feces will appear much lighter when the liver can no longer produce enough bile salts or if the flow of bile is obstructed.
Caring for Your Liver the Right Way
Just as toxins can build up in the liver, there are steps you can consciously take to return the liver to tip-top shape. Here are a few tips to take better care of your liver.
- Regulate alcohol intake
Excessive drinking can deal a deadly blow to the liver. As mentioned earlier, the process of breaking down substances with high sugar content, such as alcohol, damages your liver cells. Over time, it results in permanent damage to the liver, such as cirrhosis, characterized by the scarring of liver tissue.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Studies show that sedentary lifestyles underlie most health issues, not just liver problems. Poor lifestyle choices such as consuming large meals at night leave the liver with more fat than it can handle. This gradual buildup often culminates in obesity and can also cause the liver to enlarge and undergo severe tissue damage.
- Detox your liver
Having a detox every once in a while helps to reduce the pressure on your liver. Liver health supplements not only rid the liver of toxins but also increase the flow of blood to it. Medical experts highly recommend you use natural products like PureHealth Research Liver Health Formula over harmful chemical-filled ones. This is because chemically synthesized supplements can sometimes have adverse side effects on people.
The importance of the liver cannot be overemphasized, so this essential organ requires proper care and attention. Outright prevention of liver problems is the ideal path to take, but in reality, it’s not very common. Nonetheless, early detection is certainly the next best thing.