The condition of fatty liver used to only be seen in those who consumed excessive levels of alcohol or smoked cigarettes, however, fatty liver and 'sluggish liver' are conditions that are becoming more common due to high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, metabolic syndromes (e.g. Diabetes), obesity and poor diet.
The liver is a truly wonderful organ, processing everything that comes into the body in the form of the food we eat, the air we breathe, what we put on our skin and also our endogenous chemicals such as hormones. Basically, anything that circulates in our body must be processed by the liver before being excreted out of the body via the urine, faeces, and sweat.
When the liver is unable to process efficiently and effectively, all of these incoming chemicals will just continue to circulate around the body, potentially causing damage to our blood vessels and organs, until the liver is ready to take them on. Hormones are also processed by the liver and may become effected if it is under too much pressure or too busy processing foreign chemicals. This will cause an accumulation in the blood and imbalance, resulting in symptoms such as menstrual disturbances, acne or mood fluctuations.
Eventually everything will end up making its way back to the liver to be processed, however, when the liver has a large influx of incoming 'toxins' to process, it can become overburdened and high levels of these harmful molecules may result in damage.
For these reasons, it is important to ensure our liver is functioning optimally and this can be done by promoting the flow of bile, decreasing inflammation, using antioxidants to mop up excess circulating toxins, protecting and restoring the liver cells from damage and supporting the liver detoxification process.
The good news is, there are a number of amazing herbal medicines that can be used for liver support! As everyone has a completely different body type that functions in its own way, specifically tailored prescriptions from a qualified naturopath or herbalist are necessary to ensure your treatment is individually crafted for you. I'd love to work with you if you have been diagnosed with a liver condition, if you know you have been exposed to high amounts of toxins, you have a hormonal imbalance or even if you just want to ensure your liver is functioning optimally.
The main aims of your treatment will involve: 1. Decreasing your toxic load 2. Repairing the lining of your gastrointestinal tract and liver cells 3. Support and promote detoxification processes and channels of elimination: bowel movements, urination and sweating 4. Lifestyle and diet changes to reduce your risk of further liver dysfunction
In the meantime here are some things you can do at home to get this process started: · Limit alcohol intake as the liver will always prioritise alcohol before anything else, meaning all other toxins will continue circulating until the alcohol has been excreted from the body · Reduce or avoid use of chemical cleaning products, washing powders, dishwashing liquids etc. · Use natural skin products, soaps, shampoos, cosmetics (avoid petrochemicals). · Avoid use of hair spray, hair dyes, nail polish, furniture sprays, room deodorisers, ironing sprays, fly sprays, garden chemicals. There are many low-toxin or natural alternatives to these. · Avoid refined and packaged foods, try to cook with fresh ingredients as close to their original form as possible and use lots of colourful fruits and vegetables for increased antioxidants. · Avoid plastic use where possible as chemicals such as xenoeostrogens and PCBs can get into your body and disrupt the balance of your hormones, putting extra strain on your liver.