Liver Detox Symptoms Are Varied and Serious

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

Improve Liver Function and Improve Your Life

Liver detox symptoms depend on the health of the liver as well as the entire bodyPoor liver function and liver detox symptoms include allergies, chronic indigestion, cramps, headaches, insomnia, muscular pain, menstrual problems, and emotional distress. This is only the beginning of the list of symptoms that can be associated with a liver that is not working optimally. When you improve liver function, many other health problems can be resolved as well.

The liver is the largest organ in the body, weighing 3.5 lbs on average in adults. It accomplishes a large and varied number of bodily functions. These include making and storing glucose for energy, detoxifying the blood, storing and producing several important vitamins, and storing excess blood for emergency situations. It is no wonder that when you improve liver function, you improve your health on many levels.

How Improving Liver Function Helps Adrenal Fatigue

The adrenal glands are the center for production of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol production has an effect on liver function and was linked to fatty liver disease in a study published in the scientific journal Clinical Endocrinology.

In this study, researchers found non-alcohol related fatty liver disease in study participants who also had high cortisol levels from chronically over-stimulated adrenal glands and stress response systems. The conclusion of this study was that chronically high levels of cortisol are directly connected to development of a sub-clinical form of fatty liver disease and decreased liver function.

Not only can elevated cortisol levels decrease liver function, lowered cortisol levels can do so too. In those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS), the body’s energy and cortisol levels are both lowered due to a stressed out liver. As a result, the liver slows down to conserve energy and becomes sluggish in the process.

When the liver is sluggish, toxins can build up in the body as a result. This can slow down intracellular and extracellular processes throughout the body. It is therefore important to help the liver strengthen and detoxify. However, overuse and improper implementation of detoxification products, herbal remedies, and glandular compounds that are meant to help the liver can sometimes aggravate the situation. This is especially true in the setting of adrenal fatigue when the body is already low on energy and sensitive to any changes. Healing must be accomplished through gentle, appropriate, and on-going support of the liver, adrenals, and other organs.

NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response Sheds Light on Liver Detox Symptoms

Conventional methods to help the liver can end up with liver detox symptomsWhile a poorly functioning liver is responsible for many liver detox symptoms, it is rarely the root cause of adrenal fatigue. Conventional medicine usually considers the liver as an isolated organ. Naturally oriented physicians tend to look at the liver as part of the body’s overall stress response system, called the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response. Understanding the NEM Stress Response will provide a fresh perspective for addressing the complex and dynamic interrelationship between many organs and systems in the body, especially in the context of adrenal fatigue. It is the interplay between these various organs and systems that forms the overall stress response of the body.

During times of stress, the adrenal glands release cortisol and other hormones that stimulate the liver to produce more glucose, release or store vitamins or blood, and to generally work harder. While this may make you feel better in the short term, over time and with continued stress, this leads to congestion and lowered efficiency in liver function.

When the body is in a state of chronic stress, as occurs in AFS, other metabolic processes can become dysregulated as well. The liver plays an important part in regulating inflammation, which can run rampant once the liver slows down and succumbs to liver detox symptoms. When inflammation increases, the adrenals are further stressed by a demand for more cortisol, an anti-inflammatory hormone. This is a damaging cycle in which, as the stress continues to mount on your adrenals, your energy levels continue to drop and affect your liver function.

When liver function is suboptimal, as in those with AFS, the liver does not regulate these energy sources in a timely way, leading to feelings of physical fatigue, especially in the muscles. When glucose production is affected by liver congestion, thinking is harder and mental fatigue comes on more quickly as well. When you improve liver function, your metabolic response delivers the glucose when and where it is needed, improving energy in both the muscles and the brain.

The Liver May Be the Root of Your Health Problems

Inflammation of the liver hurts its efficiency and can produce liver detox symptomsBecause the liver plays such a central role in both metabolic and hormonal processes and liver dysfunction is implicated in so many medical problems, improving liver function is a logical place to start when seeking to improve adrenal and overall health.

The liver is greatly affected by the excess cortisol produced in adrenal dysfunction, so it should be a priority to improve liver function as a part of AFS recovery.



McLelland, Jonathan. “High Cortisol and Fatty Liver.” 8 October, 2015. Web: 18 March, 2016.

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

Dr. Lam’s Key Questions

Due to the toxins, removal properties of activated charcoal can help improve the instances of acne and other skin impurities. Mix one teaspoon of each of activated charcoal, water, and aloe vera. Apply to face until dry.

Oil Pulling has been practiced in India for 5000 years. It may remove only toxins localize in the mouth area.

Liver detox symptoms depend on the health of the liver as well as the entire body