Liver Detox Symptoms: Signs That Might Surprise You

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM

Be aware of liver detox symptoms, even with mild detoxification protocols Adrenal fatigue and liver detox symptoms typically go hand in hand. Additionally, they both impact the functioning of other hormone producing organs, including the ovaries. Women who have adrenal fatigue and liver congestion also frequently suffer from ovarian hormone imbalance.

Adrenal Fatigue and Hormones

Adrenal fatigue is a condition that has a gradual onset. There is often no clear cut starting point. As the stress and pressures of modern life often cause the body’s natural stress response system to be called upon far too often. Over time, the adrenals slowly reach a point of being depleted and unable to continue to rise to the occasion. Thus, early stage adrenal fatigue sets in. It typically goes unnoticed, so it gradually gets worse and evolves into adrenal exhaustion.

As the body deteriorates and energy levels decrease, the liver becomes unable to do its job adequately. One of the functions of the liver is the break down hormones. When the liver gets backed up, hormones can fail to be adequately broken down and flushed from the system properly. This can lead to liver detox symptoms and an excess of hormones remaining active in the system. Worse, sometimes when hormones are only partially broken down, the waste by-products have an even more deleterious effect on health than the original hormone.

Hormone Imbalance, Dysfunction and Liver Detox Symptoms

It is common for women these days to be putting additional hormones into the system, such as oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. It is also common for the hormones in question to be synthetic, which are much more difficult for the body to process. The body is designed to handle the hormones we actually produce ourselves. It is not well equipped to handle synthetic hormones that are introduced on top of our own hormones.

Between adding extra hormones to the system, adrenal gland fatigue – which involves the adrenals failing to produce adequate amounts of stress hormones – and the liver failing to break down hormones, a serious hormone imbalance can develop. This can lead to a variety of health problems, often involving the female reproductive tract. Symptoms may include irregular periods, fibrocystic breasts, severe premenstrual symptoms, and infertility.

In many cases, this will not be recognized as a consequence of either adrenal fatigue or liver congestion. A woman may wind up going to their gynecologist for such problems. It is unlikely that a gynecologist will identify adrenal or liver health issues as the culprit.

Liver detox symptoms can worsen with over the counter medicineIn fact, it is not uncommon for oral birth control or other hormonal intervention to be recommended. This can actually make the problem worse. It can further derange the hormonal balance, leading to more serious problems. External testosterone frequently prescribed to increase energy and well being can lead to hair loss, acne, oily skin, and dependency issues, for example. DHEA and pregnenolone can lead to anxiety and insomnia. Estrogen replacement, even if natural, can lead to menstrual irregularities, while natural progesterone can trigger candida infection. The lesson is simple – any form of hormone replacement must be labeled proceed with care.

In addition to irregular periods, people suffering from adrenal fatigue and liver congestion are often chronically tired, have blood sugar problems and have gastrointestinal issues. They may feel cold all the time. They may not do well handling relatively minor stress. They often have poor quality sleep and may be suffering from insomnia.

Yet, if they go for a medical check up, they may be told that there is nothing medically wrong with them. They may pay for expensive tests, only to be told that all the test results are within normal range. This can be an enormously frustrating experience. It can begin to take a toll psychologically, where they begin to wonder if these very real health issues are just all in their mind.

What You Need to Know About Liver Detox Symptoms

The liver is part of the detoxification pathway, which is part of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response. The NEM stress response is how your body handles stress. The liver and detoxification pathway are responsible for removing toxic and stressful compounds from the body. However, when the liver is weak, toxins can build up. It is thus important to strengthen the liver and detox the body. However, if the liver is overwhelmed, it is possible to experience detox symptoms.

As with any recovery process, liver detox symptoms can be surprisingly unpleasant. Keep in mind that the toxins and metabolites backed up in the system must come out somehow. It has a variety of pathways out of the body, including the urinary tract, bowel movements, breathing and sweating. It is very important that while detoxifying the body, as little stress is put on it as possible. After all, the point of addressing Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is to reduce stress and help the body become more able to handle it. An excess of stress during the recovery process is not desirable. In fact, if you detoxify too strongly, a re-toxification reaction can actually occur. Possible symptoms of this include, increased fatigue, brain fog, worsening sleep, and generalized muscle aches and pains. As adrenal fatigue progresses, the risk of a re-toxification reaction increases as well.

Some other symptoms that can be experienced include, but are not limited to: night sweats, fever, chills and sinus issues. Sinus drainage is another potential pathway for a backlog of wastes to be removed from the body so that it can become more functional again.

Using drugs to manipulate the body without resolving the underlying problem of a congested body may show some short term benefits, but it typically makes the problem worse in the long run. It most definitely compounds the problem by causing more stress and more backlog of toxins and metabolites.

Detoxing for Recovery

When liver detox symptoms subside, you should feel goodAlthough liver detox symptoms can be unpleasant, following each bout of symptoms, there should soon be an upsurge in energy and general vitality. It is short term unpleasantness in service of a long term goal. Your body may be able to handle the short term symptoms in early stages of adrenal fatigue. However, the advanced stages, a re-toxification reaction may take days, weeks, or even months to recover from. Detoxification programs can often trigger adrenal crashes. Do not detox without the proper supervision of an experienced practitioner.

As adrenal health improves and liver congestion is alleviated, general malaise will become less problematic. People in recovery slowly get their life and health back. Irregular periods can even out. Other issues that are related can also begin to calm down. Working on moving towards optimal health is the best way to protect against developing serious medical conditions. Working on developing a proper diet and lifestyle and toward reversing nutritional deficiencies is a gentle, proactive way to protect a person’s health for the long term.

© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

The simplest detox can produce liver detox symptoms