The liver is a remarkable, adaptable, and particularly resilient organ. We hammer it with not-so-healthy foods, medications, and lifestyle choices but it continues to chug along, processing everything we eat and drink, synthesizing proteins and fats, and filtering out toxins and waste while passing along nutrients that we need.
Because of the workload, the liver can sometimes get backed up. If not addressed with diet and lifestyle changes, toxins accumulate and cause serious problems. Additionally, lifestyle-related conditions obesity and diabetes are linked to fatty liver disease and liver cancer.
Symptoms of a toxic liver include:
- Abdominal pain/engorgement
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Loss of appetite
- High cholesterol
- Fluid retention in the abdomen
- Skin sensitivity/outbreaks
- Dark urine
- Gallbladder attacks
Whether you experience symptoms or just want to pay some special attention to this very special organ, below are 12 ways to get a natural liver detox.
Natural Liver Detox in 12 Steps
This is just what your liver needs!
1. Scale Back the Alcohol
You can’t do a natural liver detox without scaling back on the alcohol.
A glass of wine or beer with dinner can be beneficial in some ways but drinking more than that can harm your liver. Damage can be caused by metabolic by-products of consuming alcohol and the resulting inflammation. (1) Alcoholism is a given, as chronic overindulgence often overcomes this vital organ whose job it is to filter out everything harmful. Binge drinking of 4 or more drinks at once just twice a week is enough to make your liver say stop.
In fact, 21 binge-drinking episodes within a 7-week period are enough to cause symptoms of early liver disease. (2) To give your liver a break, drink no alcohol for at least a week, then reintroduce light to moderate drinking (1-2 glasses no more than a few times a week) to keep from overtaxing your liver.
2. If You’re Overweight, Shed Some Pounds
Obesity is defined as carrying too much body fat—distinguishable from being overweight, which is defined as carrying more than a healthful weight for your height. Weight can come from muscle, bone, water, and fat. Researchers have found a definite correlation between obesity and liver disease.
“Obesity has been linked not only to initial stages of the [non-alcoholic fatty liver] disease, i.e., simple steatosis (SS), but also to its severity. From a clinical point of view, obesity has increased morbidity and mortality when combined with NAFLD [non-alcholic fatty liver disease], owing to cardiovascular and liver-specific mortality, including higher HCC [liver cancer] risk. From a therapeutic point of view, weight loss is regarded as the cornerstone for the disease prevention and treatment,” writes a 2017 study. (3)