10 Signs Your Liver Needs Some Love
The liver is one of your most important organs; helping you to clear out unwanted toxins that make it into your system. We’re quite lucky in the sense that our liver often functions without being asked too; but with increasing toxins in our environment and food, it’s good to know when it needs some support. Here are 10 tell-tale signs that your liver is in need of some love.
1. Feeling Sluggish, Tired & Fatigue
When our liver isn’t functioning as it should, toxins start to overload your system - which can weigh on the body’s energy levels. Evidence suggests that this occurs because of changes in neurotransmission within your brain. When toxic substances build up in your blood due to a malfunctioning liver, you may also experience a number of cognitive issues like confusion and mood changes. Any feelings of fatigue, abnormal tiredness, or general sluggishness could be an indication of a slow-functioning liver.
2. Skin Breakouts & Impurities
Our skin is one of the greatest indicators of what’s going on inside our bodies. So when we’re living with an excess of toxins, they may begin to erupt in the skin. Any abnormal breakouts could mean your liver is trying to detoxify, but as the organ becomes overwhelmed with an excessive amount of toxins, the body looks to eliminate them in another way - through the skin.
3. Weight Gain (Especially Around The Abdomen)
The liver is a vital organ for regulating fat metabolism, so when it’s burdened with an overload, too many fats can begin to accumulate around the belly area, resulting in weight gain. Healthy fats are crucial for thriving bodies, but if they’re not able to be broken down and used in the body. Instead, the fats are stored and become visceral over time. This weight gain also may contribute to a fatty liver.
4. Fatty Liver
Fatty liver occurs, like weight gain, when the fat metabolism is thrown off-kilter. An excess of fat can impair function and the body’s natural detoxification process. Fatty liver disease occurs when fat cells take up residence inside the liver. When unaddressed, this can lead to extreme inflammation and often damage surrounding tissues.
5. Cravings & Blood Sugar Imbalances
As the liver plays a role in eliminating toxins from the body, when it’s not functioning optimally, the internal environment becomes unbalanced. This leads to a misguided response of what we do and don’t need to thrive - resulting in cravings for unhealthy or addictive foods that don’t serve us. Another of the liver's many jobs is regulating blood sugar, but when there is fat and too many toxins in the liver, it makes it unresponsive to insulin. This leaves too much glucose in the blood, which when left unaddressed, can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
6. Poor Digestion
As the liver’s innate ability to eliminate toxins decreases, digestive distress will likely increase - and the two are correlated. This distress not only determines the nutrients that the body will be able to absorb, but the wastes that occur at the other end of the tract. One job of the liver is to release bile salts into stools, giving them their distinct brown color. If this function is impaired in any way, wastes will begin to take on a greyish, clay-like color. This is one of the best ways you can determine if there’s any stress on the liver.
7. Nausea After Fatty Meals
When dealing with an overload of toxins, the liver can find it difficult to process foods laden with toxins - especially meals made of poor-quality fats. As the fat metabolism is impaired, this leads to restlessness in the internal environment and increased feelings of nausea. In extreme cases, it may lead to vomiting.
8. Stomach Pains (On The Right Side)
Because the liver is a large organ, taking up much of the right side of the abdomen, pains coming from this region may be an indication of a liver needing some love. This can be due to inflammation, difficulty in basic function, or any other toxins that are beginning to have a physical impact on the liver.
9. White or Yellow-Coated Tongue & Bad Breath
As part of a Traditional Chinese Medicine approach to health, the tongue is a great indicator of a patient’s state of health. A tongue with a thick white or yellow mucous coating, or bad breath, is often a sign of poor liver function.
10. Hormone Imbalance
The liver regulates the balance of sex hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisone, and other adrenal hormones. One of its many functions is to eliminate any excess of these hormones from the body, so when liver function is impaired the body’s hormones may struggle to reach a normal level of balance and lead to widespread chronic disease.
So how can you best support your liver naturally?
According to Dr. Libby, in her exclusive extended interview from Transcendence Season 1, the liver’s detoxification process works in three phases. In Phase 1, toxic substances are converted into a form that is easier to process during the later phases by enzymes and oxygen.
In Phase 2, the toxic compounds produced in Phase 1 are processed into a form that can be excreted from the body by combining them with amino acids to prepare for safe removal.
Phase 3 of detoxification is about transporting & eliminating the compounds that were neutralized in phase 2. The primary route of elimination is through our stool, so it’s crucial to make sure our bowels are healthy enough that we’re having “movements” at least once or twice a day. Phase 3 is influenced by three major factors - fiber, gut microbiome health, and bile production. It’s also one of the most forgotten phases of liver detoxification.
One of the best ways to support the body through this phase is with nutrient-dense, plant-based foods - especially leafy green vegetables and herbs such as parsley, dandelion leaf, and St. Mary’s Thistle. If you’re finding these hard to incorporate into your diet, adding a beautiful greens powder can help to support the liver’s daily function.
An organic greens power can help to support detoxification, nourish your liver with vital nutrients it may miss out on in a day-to-day diet, and clean up any nasty residues living in the liver. It’s a non-negotiable in any morning routine.
Unsure where to find the best greens powder? You can find our favorite, that we drink every day, here.