Signs of Liver Dysfunction
Because of its restorative nature, the liver can withstand a good deal of punishment but it does have its limits. The liver’s most noticeable function is its part in digestion, so related symptoms may be the first you recognize if your liver is in trouble, but there are other tell-tale signs as well:
- abdominal swelling and pain
- swollen legs and ankles (edema)
- itchy skin, rosacea
- dark urine color
- pale, bloody, or tar-colored stool
- chronic fatigue, extreme sleepiness
- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
- tendency to bruise easily
- disorientation or confusion
- joint pain
- nose bleeds
- low libido
- gynecomastia (male breast development)
- depression and emotional distress (15)
5-Step Liver Cleanse
Periodic detoxifying of your liver is a good idea even if you’re in the best of health.
If you’ve started showing signs that your liver is in distress, it’s imperative to facilitate the liver’s restorative processes.
The following simple steps will put you on the right path.
- Eliminate toxic foods from your diet.
- Drink raw vegetable juice.
- Increase your potassium intake.
- Add milk thistle, dandelion, and turmeric to your diet.
- Eat cooked animal liver or take a liver supplement.
How To Cleanse Your Liver
Liver Cleanse Details
1. Eliminate toxic foods from your diet – you’ll ease your liver’s burden by not taking in toxins that it has to work hard to process.
- Processed foods contain additives of all kinds, including chemical preservatives, emulsifiers, color, etc.
- Hydrogenated oils (“trans fats”) are not naturally-occurring and are therefore difficult (if not, impossible) for your liver to break down. They are produced by adding oxygen to natural oils to make them thicker and increase shelf life. The S. Food and Drug Administration announced in 2013 that these types of oil are not “generally recognized as safe”, yet they persist in processed and fried foods and on grocery store shelves.
Trans fats are known to raise cholesterol (increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke) and have been linked to cancer, nervous system and vision disorders, diabetes, obesity, and allergies. (16, 17)
In addition, trans fats are inflammatory, disrupt the immune system, and their fumes when heated are carcinogenic. (18) Switch to fruit and seed oils, like coconut, avocado, olive, sesame, and walnut.
- Nitrates and nitrites are chemicals added to processed foods as coloring and preservatives. Processed meats are especially loaded with them. Nitrates are a naturally-occurring compound (found in abundance in beets) but that’s not the stuff that’s added to your morning bacon, your afternoon salami sandwich, or your dinner-time hot dog. When ingested, added nitrates mix with enzymes and other body chemicals and can form N-nitroso compounds that have been strongly associated with increased cancer risk.