For the past seventeen years, I have struggled with a chronic disease (chronic Lyme disease). In that time I have researched, read and discussed many elements relating to good health. These include but are not limited to diet, adrenals, hormones, and keeping the colon, intestines and liver in good working order.
As early as age 15, I began researching all the functions that fall under the liver’s list of must-do’s. Even so, I continually come across individuals in this country who believe that the liver (and other major organs) do not need detoxing. It astounds me, especially considering that these people are often incredibly smart OR belong to the medical society.
In the following posts I will discuss not only what our livers do for us and ways we can keep them healthy, but will be providing links for YOU to do your own research. Don’t just believe me! It stands to reason that if I, who have been studying this issue for fifteen years, still have to argue the basics with medical personnel, then YOU will also come across many people who believe that detoxing the liver is completely unnecessary. Learn more for yourself so that you can be confident when talking about this issue.
Please remember: I am not a licensed health professional. Anything I share is based on research and personal education, so please read more for yourself and talk to your doctor about these subjects.
Right, let’s answer some basic questions:
Where is the liver in the human body?
The liver sits in the upper right portion of the abdomen. It is above the stomach and below the diaphragm. Reddish-brown in color, it is the largest solid organ in the body.
What does the liver actually do?
Textbooks often cite around 500 functions of our liver, including bile production, creating blood-clotting coagulants, fat metabolization, carbohydrate metabolization, storing both vitamins and minerals, filtering the blood, metabolizing proteins, producing albumin, and breaking down any chemicals (such as prescription drugs).
Basically, your liver is responsible for processing EVERYTHING you eat or drink and either repackages it for your body to use in other areas, or eliminates it.
How much does the liver weigh?
The liver weighs in around three pounds.
Can you function without your liver?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. There is a possibility of donating part of your liver to another person and functioning without full use of your liver, but if your liver is already compromised, there could be serious side effects.
Some incredible information so far, readers! Your liver, the largest solid organ in your body, is responsible for everything you eat, drink, and put into your body. Who wouldn’t want to make sure their liver is functioning at as high a level as possible?
Now comes the tricky part. Many elements can compromise your liver, but do they apply to you?
What hurts my liver?
As already established, the liver processes everything we eat, drink and put into our bodies (including supplements and prescription drugs). Therefore the very BASIC answer to this question is, eat well, drink responsibly, and be aware of what prescriptions you take.
But what does it mean to eat well and drink responsibly?
Let’s take a look at some items that typical humans eat and drink on a regular basis:
Refined sugar comes from a sugar cane, but when it is refined it is stripped off all its natural componants and has been defined by some as a “drug” in your body. Refined sugar can:
- Increase the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, hormonal imbalance and contribute to candida which is a yeast overgrowth in the body. It is highly addictive and because it is stripped of its natural componants, is difficult to break down in your body, leading to a blood sugar imbalance
Refined sugar is basically empty calories with no nutritional value whatsoever. Here are some more articles to check out:
ITEMS HIGH IN SUGAR
Cereals/canned and packaged fruit/pudding and pudding cups/snack cakes and pies/muffin mixes and prepared muffins/barbecue sauce/specialty coffees and teas
White flour is wheat flour that has been stripped of bran and germ, and then bleached with a chemical component (often chlorine oxide) to give it a lighter color. Refined white flour is highly processed during which time most of the organic nutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin B, magnesium, calcium, and iron, are almost completely stripped. During the growing process the wheat is sprayed with pesticides. Essentially, white flour has little to no nutritional value and is a festation of pesticides and bleach. Despite this, it is extremely common in everyday eating habits!
White flour leads to:
- Obesity, heart disease, allergies and asthma, diabetes, gluten intolerance, health issues related to vitamin deficiencies, gut inflammation, other chronic diseases
ITEMS HIGH IN WHITE FLOUR
To be honest, readers, hundreds of blog posts could be dedicated to discussing the evils of common food ingredients such as sugar and white flour. There simply isn’t enough room to go into more specific detail, which is why I provided links for you to do your own research.
This concludes Part 1, but stay tuned for the next post which will contain information on things you can do to make and keep your liver healthy!