As the largest organ in the human body, the liver produces bile that is used to digest foods and regulate hormones. The liver successfully converts all digested nutrients into usable substances that can readily be utilized by the body. It also acts as a storehouse and hoards the excess consumed nutrients until the body requires them. However, the liver’s key function is to cleanse the body’s blood of all possible toxins. It works as the body’s ultimate filtration system. Without a working liver, you cannot survive. Unfortunately, the hepatic system can become clogged with toxins and start to malfunction.
Proper care of your liver is extremely important to keep your body functioning properly When the liver does not work at its optimum capacity you cannot properly digest your food. Detoxifying your liver of the accumulation of stored toxins helps reduce the possibility of developing cirrhosis and will also improve the liver’s performance.
When the liver is exposed to certain toxic substances such as alcohol, drugs, excessive nutritional supplements, or harmful chemicals it becomes inflamed. The liver’s inflammatory reaction to such abuse is known as toxic hepatitis. Toxic hepatitis can occur within hours of exposure or after years of abuse.
Symptoms of a Toxic Liver
Many people only suffer from one or two of these symptoms initially, but others may suffer from all of the symptoms that indicate a toxic liver. Liver failure, extensive damage, chronic inflammation, and toxicity often take years to display symptoms. In many cases, when the sufferer finally seeks medical treatment, the affliction is often advanced and the liver is heavily ridden with toxins. When the liver is in a state of complete failure and close to shutting down, a liver transplant is often the only treatment avenue.
There are certain symptoms that you can watch for that may indicate a problem is occurring in you hepatic system and that you have an issue with toxins building up in your body.
- Yellowing Skin and Eyes: The skin and the whites of the eyes become yellow. The condition is known as jaundice and is a clear indication that the body’s hepatic system is in a serious state of decline. If you notice jaundice, you should seek medical care immediately.
- Itching: Intense itching all over the body or only in specific areas.
- Pain: Moderate to severe pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen where the liver is located.
- Fatigue and Sleepiness: Excessive fatigue, feeling sleepy all the time, or the inability to stay awake.
- Loss of Appetite: Moderate to complete loss of appetite.
- Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and frequent vomiting.
- Skin Rash or Rosacea: A rash located anywhere on the body.
- Weight Loss: Noticeable weight loss.
- Urine Abnormalities: Dark urine that often appears tea-shaded.
- Constipation: Chronic or severe bouts of constipation.
- Acid Reflux
- Poor Appetite
- Bruise Easily
- Abdominal Bloating
- Weight Loss Issues
- High Blood Pressure
- Poor Appetite
- Abdominal Swelling: Swelling of the upper right abdominal region.
- Abdominal Pain: Pain in the upper right abdominal region.
- I. Bleeding
- Light Colored Stool
- Fluid Retention
How do Toxins Buildup in Your Liver?
The process of breaking down and filtering out toxins performed by your liver also creates byproducts. The byproducts are also toxic and can be stored in the liver and cause extensive damage to the entire hepatic system. Certain lifestyle choices can have a dramatic impact on the hepatic system’s function.
- Alcohol Abuse: Heavy or prolonged alcoholic drinking causes the liver to become inflamed as it works overtime in an effort to cleanse away the toxic alcohol. The condition is referred to as alcoholic hepatitis. Eventually, the chronic inflammation causes scarring.
- Over-the-counter Pain Relievers: Pain relievers such as naproxen (Aleve, others), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), aspirin, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) often damage your liver, especially after prolonged or excessive use. They are especially dangerous if taken with alcohol.
- Herbs and Supplements: Herbs such as ephedra, chaparral, comfrey, aloe vera, black cohosh, cascara, and kava may damage the liver if taken in excess.
- Children’s Vitamins: Children’s chewable vitamins pose a significant danger of causing liver inflammation if a child should inadvertently take too many.
- Prescription Medications: Some prescription medications are known to damage the liver in certain individuals or after prolonged usage. Statin drugs used to treat high cholesterol, niacin (Niaspan), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), the combination drug amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin), azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran), ketoconazole, certain antivirals and anabolic steroids have all been shown to cause harm in some people There are also many others prescription medications that can pose a danger.
- Industrial Chemicals: It is not uncommon for workers to come into contact with industrial chemicals that can cause significant physical harm. Exposure may occur suddenly or over the course of years. Common industrial chemicals include the dry cleaning solvent carbon tetrachloride, the herbicide paraquat, a substance called vinyl chloride (used to make plastics), and a group of industrial chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyl.
Common Causes of a Hepatic Toxin Buildup and Inflammation.
Certain risk factors and conditions can cause hepatic inflammation from a buildup of toxins. A malfunctioning liver causes a chain reaction in the body that leads to numerous physical disorders and symptoms. Anyone suffering from a hepatic condition should remember that the cause of the disorder may have occurred years prior to the exposure or damage. Symptoms of hepatic failure, toxins, or damage often take years to manifest.
Here are the most common causes of hepatic toxin buildup and inflammation.
- Alcoholism: Frequent or chronic alcoholism commonly leads to severe cirrhosis of the liver. In some cases, complete failure results and a transplant may need to be performed.
- Diseases and Disorders: Certain liver diseases such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease cause a buildup of toxins in the body.
- Cancer: The liver is a common area for metastatic cancer or primary cancer to occur. As the liver becomes consumed with malignant tumors, its ability to filter out toxins is impaired and eventually fails.
- Non-Malignant Tumors: Non-malignant tumors can occur in the hepatic system and cause a buildup of toxins.
- Aging: Aging naturally slows your system and makes it less effective at breaking down byproducts.
- Taking Over-the-counter Pain Relievers or Certain Prescription Drugs: Combining multiple medications or exceeding the recommended dosage all pose a significant health risk.
- Viruses: Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and other hepatic viruses cause hepatic inflammation. Some hepatic viruses can now be prevented with vaccines.
- Being Female: Females metabolize toxins slower than males. It is not uncommon for toxic substances to build up at a greater rate in females than men. A man’s body can metabolize and clear away alcohol far more effectively than a woman’s system.
- Genetic Mutations: Certain genetic mutations inhibit key enzymes that are needed to break down toxins
- Low potassium levels: A diet low in potassium often causes fatty liver disease, according to a study done by the Key Laboratory for Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases of Ministry of Health at the Rui-Jin Hospital in China.
- Blood Transfusions: Blood transfusions performed prior to 1992 pose a significant risk of containing hepatitis.
- Intravenous Drug Use: Drug abuse not only causes hepatic cirrhosis and inflammation but also may expose the user to various forms of hepatitis.
- Exposure to Industrial Chemicals and Environmental Pesticides: Any job or career that places you in constant contact with industrial toxins pose a danger to the hepatic system. Workers in the dry cleaning industry and in the agricultural world often come into frequent contact with dangerous industrial chemicals and environmental pesticides.
- Unprotected Sex: Hepatitis can be spread via unprotected sex.
- Obesity: Obesity causes the body to store high saturated fats and processed foods. Cirrhosis and fibrosis are common in heavy people. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is forecast to become the leading cause of liver transplants in the next thirty years, according to John Hopkins Medicine.
- Tattoos and Body Piercings: People receiving tattoos and body piercings are at a significant risk of contracting hepatitis from unsanitary instruments and needles.
- Viral Infections: Certain viral infections cause hepatic inflammation.
- Triglycerides: High levels of triglycerides in the blood cause hepatic disorders.
- Autoimmune Diseases: Certain autoimmune diseases may disrupt the hepatic system.
Dangers of a Toxic Liver
A toxic liver will develop scar tissue over time. The bands of scar tissue take over the liver and block its ducts. The scarring is known as cirrhosis. Widespread cirrhosis causes organ failure. When the organ fails, the only way to survive is with a liver transplant.
Prevention of Toxic Hepatic Buildup
- Limit Alcohol Consumption: Avoid excessive or chronic consumption of alcohol.
- Don’t Mix Alcohol and Drugs: Avoid mixing alcohol with prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
- Be Cautious With Herbs and Supplements: Just because a supplement or herb is natural does not mean it is safe. You should always research and discuss with your physician any herbs or supplements that you plan to take. The United State’s National Institutes of Health has a website known as LiverTox where you can research medications and supplements to see if they are harmful to the hepatic system.
- Limit Medications: Only take medications when absolutely necessary. Never exceed the recommended dosage.
- Handle Chemicals With Caution: Just because you work near or with certain chemicals does not mean you should not try to limit your exposure. You should always strictly follow your workplace’s guidelines about safety.
- Keep Medications and Supplements Away From Children: Always keep all medications and supplements away from children to avoid a possible overdose.
7 Ways to Cleanse Your Liver System Naturally
1..Remove Toxic Foods From Your Diet: A diet high in processed foods is toxic to your body. Limiting your exposure to sugar, chips and other processed foods will improve your body’s functions and encourage your hepatic system to start a detoxification regime. Replace unhealthy food choices with natural snack foods such as carrots, fruits, vegetables, granola, and nuts.
2. Increase Your Potassium: Increasing your potassium via natural foods is an ideal way to amp up your hepatic system and cleanse out the unwanted toxic buildup. Bananas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, squash, beans, and blackstrap molasses are a few potassium-rich choices. Ideally, you should consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day. Prior to increasing your potassium consumption, you should consult with your physician to make sure your body is not harboring excessive amounts of potassium in your kidneys.
3. Raw Vegetable Juice: It is difficult to eat a sufficient amount of vegetables to cleanse your system. Juicing is an ideal way to squeeze the vitamins and minerals out of a variety of different vegetables and create a single serving of only the cleansing good stuff. You can choose a wide array of vegetables to juice into a single drink and even disguise the taste by adding a few yummy fruits to the concoction. Juicing vegetables also makes them easier to digest by removing the fibers. The liquid is rapidly absorbed and utilized by the body to start a widespread cleanse.
Ideal vegetables to juice:
- Brussel Sprouts
4. Beta Carotene: Carrots contain ample beta-carotene which the liver converts to Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to flush toxins and reduces fatty buildup in the hepatic system.
5. Supplements: Supplements such as milk thistle, dandelion roots, and turmeric all detoxify the system.
- Milk Thistle: Milk thistle has been found to reduce the accumulation of heavy metals, prescription medicines, and antibiotics that may have built up in your system. It also rebuilds liver cells. Milk thistle is a widely accepted treatment aid for cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver disease, according to the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine at the University Magna Graecia in Catanzaro, Italy.
- Dandelion Roots: Dandelion roots are a natural diuretic. The roots also aid the body in balancing blood sugar levels, strengthening the immune system, and assisting in digestion.
- Turmeric: Turmeric helps the hepatic system in cell rejuvenation and metabolism.
6. Coffee Enemas: Organic coffee is used as an enema. It has been found to stimulate the body to produce chemical glutathione which increases bile production to flush out the toxins in the liver.
7. Liver Tablets and Raw Liver: Eating the livers from grass-fed cows or chickens increases the body’s levels of Vitamins A and B, chromium, copper, folic acid, choline, iron, zinc, and CoQ10 which all aid the body in detoxifying itself of harmful substances.
The liver is an amazing organ in the body. It is the only visceral organ that can regenerate itself. If 75 percent of the liver is removed surgically due to cirrhosis, tumors, or some other trauma, the liver will regenerate back to its full size. It has the ability to rapidly replace cells with new, healthy ones in as little as thirty days. However, when the organ is repeatedly assaulted by toxins and develops scar tissue its ability to regenerate ceases and a transplant becomes the only option.