Live Healthy by Taking Steps to Improve Liver Health

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Carrie Lam, MD

To achieve an optimal state of healthiness, it is imperative to improve liver healthThe liver is an important factor in of how the body processes and takes out the garbage. It plays a central role in cleaning your blood and is a major part of the Neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response. The NEM stress response is how your body deals with stress, and it is important to have a well functioning liver to clear any toxins, irritants, and metabolites out of your body to minimize stress, and taking steps to improve liver health. In the setting of adrenal fatigue, a sluggish liver is often commonly seen due to a lack of energy in the body, and the need to slow down some bodily functions to help compensate for this. Thus, if your lifestyle or a health crisis places undue stress on the liver, this will fundamentally impair your body’s ability to stay healthy and may worsen adrenal fatigue.

One way to work on improving this issue, is to clean up your lifestyle. The things you do every single day make more of an impact on your health than the things you do occasionally. So, changing some of your habits can gradually improve your liver health with a minimum of drama.
Here are a few tips for doing that:

  • Eat clean.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Switch to non-toxic cleaners.
  • Get rid of household items that off-gas.
  • Try fasting or juicing.
  • Limit your use of drugs and alcohol.
  • Take liver support supplements.

Let’s expand on each of those points:

Eat Clean

Fresh ingredients without chemicals or too many carbs help improve liver healthFood should nourish the body and help strengthen it. It shouldn’t make it weaker. Some ways to make sure that your food is clean and helping you grow stronger include eating lower on the food chain, going organic, shopping the kosher section, and looking for grass fed beef. Although it is possible to eat lower, on the food chain, without becoming a vegetarian, going vegetarian is a great option. Even if you are only a part-time vegetarian, your liver will thank you for taking some of the load off it.

Stay Hydrated

You are mostly made of water. So is your blood. Getting enough to drink, as well as getting enough electrolytes, can help your body flush out the liver, stay on top of any issues, and improve liver health. Keep in mind that drinks containing caffeine or alcohol do not really help you stay hydrated. Additionally, if it is unusually windy or hot, or if you are running a fever, you may need more fluids than usual in order to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Switch to Non-Toxic Cleaners

Toxic household cleaners can place a high burden on the liver. Switch to eco-friendly cleaning products or use alternatives such as baking soda, salt and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach substitute. It helps kill germs and it is the only thing that can remove fresh bloodstains from clothes. There is no need to keep harsh chemical bleach in the house. Peroxide is a much better alternative.

Get Rid of Household Items That Off-Gas

New vinyl flooring, carpeting, soft plastic items, and even particleboard furnishings can give off toxic fumes. If you are basically in good health, and there are not too many of these things in your home, it may be no big deal. But, if you are not in good shape or you simply have these kinds of items all over the place, this may be contributing to your system being overwhelmed by events.

In order to cushion the blow to the body, you should have such items removed gradually. Doing too much all at once can be very hard on the body. You can think of it as being similar to drug withdrawal. It is always easier on the body to wean off rather than to go cold turkey.

Try Fasting or Juicing

Keeping the body topped off with the proper nutrients allows it to improve liver healthFasting or juicing can help cleanse the gut, and body, of a backlog of built up junk in the system and improve liver health. If nothing else, you are taking a break from adding to the workload. This can help the body get caught up on taking out the garbage instead of continuing a situation of “The more behind I am the more behind I get.” Give the body some breathing room and let it get caught up. Your liver will thank you for it.

Fasting may not be a good idea for those with advanced adrenal fatigue as inability to regulate blood sugar levels is a common symptom and fasting can easily exacerbate this. Juicing may be too strong of a detox on very sensitive bodies as well. Use caution here and consult with your primary doctor before fasting or juicing.

Limit Your Use of Drugs and Alcohol

It is common knowledge that alcohol is hard on the liver. So are most drugs, both recreational drugs and prescription or OTC (over the counter) medications. Cutting back on your use of drugs and alcohol can take a lot of the burden off of the liver, allow it to attend to other issues, and improve liver health. Especially for OTC drugs used for minor problems, you can readily find many non-drug alternatives. Often, aches and pains can be successfully alleviated with a hot bath, heating pad or ice pack. Cold symptoms can frequently be alleviated with saline sinus rinses instead of medication.

Take Support Supplements to Improve Liver Health

Glutathione plays an important role in the liver. While you cannot consume glutathione directly, you can consume things that help promote its production within the body and improve liver health. One of the most popular options is a milk thistle supplement. Such supplements are readily available from a variety of sources for relatively little money. This is not the same thing as taking medication. It is more like nutritional support for the liver. It gives the liver the building blocks it needs for doing its job. You might think of it like providing lubrication for a rusty hinge or a replacement part for a damaged mechanism.

No matter how overwhelmed your liver has been, in the past, or may be currently, it is possible to redress the issue and improve liver health, thereby alleviating various issues. Getting the liver cleaned up is an important part of alleviating NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response.

The liver plays an incredibly important role in the body’s ability to take out the trash and function in a healthy way. When it is backed up, the blood cannot get properly cleaned up. This has many knock-off effects on multiple other organ systems, including the adrenals and other glands that are involved in the body’s ability to cope with stress.

If your liver is overwhelmed, accumulating toxins is slowly poisoning you. Like a slowly boiling frog, you may not see it getting worse. But it needs to stop.

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Keeping the body topped off with the proper nutrients allows it to improve liver health