#122 Improve Organ Perfomance: Liver Health

June 27, 2024

                                                                                    Listen on..

Welcome to the seccond part in the “Improve Organ Performance” Series: Liver Health.  In this series, we’ll dive deep into the intersection of conventional medicine, medical science, and holistic health. Today, we’re focusing on the liver, an organ often misunderstood and underestimated. In functional medicine, we strive to achieve faster, more effective, and long-lasting health results by looking beyond the standard of care. Our goal is for you to be healthy at 100.

The Liver: More Than Just a Filter

The liver’s role in our body is crucial yet often misunderstood. While many associate liver disease primarily with alcohol consumption, the liver’s functions extend far beyond filtering out toxins from alcohol. The liver processes everything that passes through our bloodstream, including hormones and various toxins. Understanding these functions can help us appreciate the liver’s broader role in our overall health.

Filtering Toxins

Most people think of the liver as a filter for toxins, particularly alcohol. Alcohol is indeed a toxin that the liver breaks down to render it less harmful before excreting it through the gastrointestinal system. However, this is just one of many tasks the liver performs. The liver tags toxins, preparing them for elimination rather than neutralizing them entirely. This tagging process often involves nutrients like methyl products and glutathione, which help bind the toxins for easier excretion.

Hormone Processing

Another critical function of the liver is hormone processing. This includes both natural hormones produced by our bodies and synthetic ones like those found in birth control pills. For example, synthetic estrogens can overwhelm the liver, leading to pain and discomfort. Additionally, the liver processes xenoestrogens (estrogen-like compounds found in plastics) and hormones stored in fat cells. This hormone processing is vital for maintaining hormonal balance and overall health.

 Supporting Blood Clotting and Fat-Soluble Vitamins

The liver plays a significant role in supporting blood clotting factors and processing fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Blood clotting is essential for wound healing, and without proper liver function, this process can be compromised.

 Structural and Functional Support

The liver also supports the diaphragm and heart. Positioned in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, the liver’s pumping action helps facilitate the movement of the diaphragm and the heart’s function. When the liver becomes stagnant or congested, it can hinder these processes, affecting overall respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Common Liver Conditions

Several medical conditions can affect liver health, including:

Hepatitis A, B, and C: These viral infections cause liver inflammation, with Hepatitis A being more acute and B and C typically becoming chronic.
-Fatty Liver Disease: There are two types: alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Both involve fat accumulation in the liver, leading to decreased function.
-Cirrhosis: This is a late-stage liver disease characterized by fibrosis (scarring) of the liver, which reduces its capacity to function.
-Liver Cancer: While primary liver cancer is rare, metastatic cancer often affects the liver due to its filtration role.
-Alcoholic Liver Disease: Excessive alcohol consumption can overwhelm the liver with toxins, leading to structural and functional damage.

Evaluating Liver Health

In conventional medicine, liver health is often evaluated through a combination of history, physical exams, blood tests, and imaging studies. Common blood tests include liver function tests (ALT, AST, ALP), bilirubin levels, and coagulation tests. Imaging techniques like ultrasound, CT scans, and MRIs provide detailed views of the liver’s structure and any potential abnormalities.

Holistic Approach to Liver Health

In functional medicine, we take a holistic approach to liver health. Our protocol focuses on nourishing the liver, killing harmful pathogens, and removing toxins. Here’s how we do it:

 -Nourishment

We emphasize a diet rich in liver-friendly foods such as garlic, beets, and leafy greens. We also recommend avoiding exposure to toxins like plastics and synthetic hormones. Supporting the liver with hepatoprotective supplements like milk thistle, dandelion root, and turmeric is also beneficial.

-Detoxification

Our approach involves a thorough detoxification process. This includes ensuring regular bowel movements to prevent toxin buildup in the colon, which can back up into the liver. We use specialized detox programs, like our seven-day detox, which has shown remarkable results in hundreds of patients. This program is physician-guided and supported by health coaches to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Conclusion

The liver is an essential organ that plays a multifaceted role in our overall health. By understanding its functions and adopting a holistic approach, we can enhance liver performance and, in turn, improve our overall well-being. Remember, maintaining a healthy liver is not just about avoiding alcohol; it’s about comprehensive care that includes diet, lifestyle, and targeted supplementation.

If you want to learn more about our detox programs CLICK HERE! Your liver—and your body—will thank you!

Stay tuned for more insights in our “Improve Organ Performance” series.

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