When your liver is in trouble, you may see some warning signs. Liver detoxification is the key to ensuring good health.
Your liver is the largest organ in the human body and directly participates in hundreds of important physiological functions, including:
- Producing albumin
- Synthetic coagulation factor
- Producing and secreting bile
- regulating amino acid
- Metabolizing fat, protein and carbohydrates
- Storing glycogen, vitamins and minerals
- Detoxifying and purifying blood
As you can see, your liver is the largest nutrition center in your body, the largest garbage disposal site and the most important detoxification organ.
In fact, every one of your body systems depends on the liver to clean the blood of impurities. These impurities can include environmental toxins, additives in food or medications.
Your liver turns these fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble by-products, then metabolites and excretes them through the intestines.
Therefore, in the process of filtering blood and processing waste, your liver can suffer a lot of damage, which also makes it one of the most vulnerable organs in the body.
When it comes to liver disease, the words we hear most often are “fatty liver”, “hepatitis”, “cirrhosis”, “liver cancer” and so on. They actually refer to varying degrees of damage to liver function.
Among these liver diseases, fatty liver is the most common. Fatty liver is a manifestation of excessive liver toxicity.
When your body develops insulin resistance, excess fat, toxins and metabolites will accumulate in your liver, leading to fatty liver.
Without timely intervention, fatty liver can lead to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, until it develops into permanent liver damage or even liver cancer. [*]
When there are too many toxins in your liver that have interfered with its normal function, it will transmit signals through some external manifestations of your body.
If one or more of the following 10 signs appear, it means that your liver may be in trouble.
10 Early Signs And Symptoms Of Liver Damage
1. Skin turns brown
Change in skin color is one of the manifestations of internal organ damage. The main relevant organs are the liver, pancreas and heart.
One of the principal functions of your liver is the regulation of iron homeostasis. Damage to liver cells directly affects iron metabolism. [*]
Therefore, excessive iron will accumulate in your body. Part of it can get trapped in the sweat glands of your skin, causing your skin to darken.
2. Yellowing of the skin and eyes
This is called “jaundice”, a common sign of excessive liver toxin.
In the process of decomposing and recycling aging or dead red blood cells in your blood, your liver produces a yellow end product called “bilirubin” and discards it in the bile.
However, if your liver doesn’t function correctly, it may have trouble processing and discarding bilirubin properly. As a result, the bilirubin spreads into other tissues and organs, resulting in yellowing of the skin or eyes. [*]
3. Steatorrhea (Fatty Stool)
Another common symptom of liver disease is steatorrhea, also known as fatty stools.
Fatty stool means that stool may contain a large amount of fat, which is usually off-white in appearance and smells like a bad stench. It usually floats on the water and is not easily washed away.
One of the causes of fatty stools is that your liver cannot produce enough bile to digest and break down the fat in your diet. These fats will stay in your digestive tract and become part of the stool.
4. Itchy skin
If your skin starts to itch and worsens at night, but there is no obvious rash, you need to consider the possibility of systemic diseases.
In most cases, excessive itching can be a feature of kidney failure, blood diseases (including lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloproliferative diseases) or liver disease. [*]
However, if you find that itching mainly occurs on your palms and the soles of your feet, then your liver may be the cause.
Liver damage prevents the liver from breaking down and excreting unwanted waste products through bile. These toxins can stay under the skin and cause itching.
The most common body parts that may suffer from this type of specific itching caused by liver disease, are hands and feet.
This is because your hands and feet are at the end of your blood circulation. Therefore, sometimes they can’t get enough nutrients. The toxins there can also be difficult to remove.
5. Yellow patches appear in the eyelid area
Under normal circumstances, your liver continuously secretes bile and stores it in the gallbladder. Bile is like a cleanser that can help break down grease.
When you eat fatty foods, the bile in the gallbladder is released into your small intestine through the common bile duct, to help break down and digest fat.
However, if your liver is not functioning properly, it may not be able to produce enough bile to metabolize fat and cholesterol. Part of the cholesterol may eventually flow to the surface layer of the skin.
In most cases, it appears as a pale yellow papule-like plaque near the lacrimal sac on the inside of the eyelid, called “eyelid xanthoma.” These plaques are cholesterol deposits.
6. Vision loss
Vitamin A is the best nutrient for the eyes. Eating more foods high in vitamin A can help improve your vision and prevent various eye diseases.
When your liver and bile are not working properly, it may be difficult for your body to digest and absorb fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin A.
When lacking vitamin A, your vision may also decline. Particularly, your night vision capability can be weakened, which can lead to night blindness.
Many people have experienced painful allergic reactions. The most common ones are allergies to certain foods or allergies to pollen.
However, few people know that abnormal liver function can also cause allergic reactions.
If you have a damaged liver, it may not be able to filter out toxins in your blood.
When too much harmful waste accumulates, the waste may spread to other parts of your body, causing your immune system to overreact.
This is similar to pollen, pet fur or food allergies. Your immune system releases antibodies to fight allergies, which can cause skin rashes or other allergic symptoms.
8. Shoulder pain
Not only can frozen shoulders cause shoulder pain, but also heart attack and angina can also cause pain in the left shoulder and radiate down the entire left arm.
The reason for this is because, whenever there is stress in your body, it will usually be manifested through related pain.
A similar pain phenomenon may also occur with liver damage.
When there is stress on your liver and gallbladder, it may be necessary to find an outlet. The path of pain reflected is from your right shoulder blade to the right shoulder and then to the right side of your neck.
Generally speaking, if you are tired from work, taking a rest or having a good night’s sleep should help you regain your energy.
However, we are talking about long-term and unrelieved fatigue, no matter how many hours you sleep.
Why does this happen?
Your liver is an important organ for metabolizing nutrients. It is responsible for converting glucose into glycogen for storage and providing energy when your body needs it.
If your liver functions abnormally, it can’t produce, store and release glycogen.
As a result, your body can’t get enough energy. Then your physical strength can drop significantly and you may feel exhausted all the time.
10. Dark urine
The color of your urine can also reflect the health of your liver.
If you drink enough water, but your urine is always thick and yellow like tea, then you may need to be cautious. Especially when it’s accompanied by loss of appetite and fatigue, etc.
Dark urine can be an early warning sign of a dysfunctional liver. This could indicate that your liver is unable to break down the bilirubin in your blood, which causes the bilirubin to accumulate in your body and is eventually excreted in the urine.
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How To Detox Liver Quickly?
Toxins can cause many diseases. Therefore, liver detoxification is the key to ensuring good health.
You can help your liver detoxify by changing your diet.
1. Avoid foods that are harmful to your liver
- Avoid refined carbohydrates and processed foods, including biscuits, cakes, white bread, soft drinks or commercially available baked goods.
- Use high-quality oils such as ghee, butter, coconut oil or avocado oil to replace toxic and low-quality oils such as rapeseed oil, corn oil, margarine or trans fats.
- Eat less red meat and eat less processed meat.
- Reduce alcohol intake. If you have three or more of the symptoms mentioned above, it could be necessary for you to give up alcohol completely.
- Reduce or avoid drinking coffee.
2. Eat more foods that are good for your liver
- Eat natural foods, including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. If possible, it is best to choose organic products.
- Drink a large glass of warm lemon water every morning. Make sure to drink at least 6 glasses of water throughout the day.
- The best detox foods are beetroot, turmeric, onion, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables (especially bitter greens, chicory, dandelion), beans, grapefruit and lemon.
Natural Supplements For Healthy Liver Function
Some natural herbs have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxifying effects and are often used as the main ingredients of liver supplements.
These liver-supportive ingredients are scientifically proven to promote good liver health.
Here are some of the most common ones:
1. Milk thistle
Milk thistle is one of the most popular liver supplements for treating and repairing the liver.
The flavonoid contained in milk thistle seeds is called silymarin. Silymarin is an important antioxidant that protects the liver by optimizing liver function and detoxification.
Studies have shown that milk thistle can stimulate liver cell regeneration and protect them from toxin damage. It also helps reduce allergic symptoms and indigestion.
The main bioactive components of turmeric are curcumin and volatile oil. These ingredients have the effects of lowering blood lipids, anticoagulant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, choleretic, anticancer and antitussive.
It is often used as the main component of liver treatment or liver health supplements, which can help the liver to detoxify and repair damaged cells.
Dandelion has been used as folk medicine in China, India, and Russia for the treatment of chronic liver diseases. It aids liver function by improving the body’s ability to eliminate toxins while promoting the production of bile. [*]
Research also found that dandelion contains beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage.
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Your liver is one of the most important organs in the body. It is also very fragile and prone to disease.
Environmental pollution, viral and bacterial infections and poor living and eating habits can all have a great impact on the health of your liver.
When your liver is in trouble, you may see some warning signs such as yellow eyes and skin, vision loss, fatigue or shoulder pain, etc.
Maintaining a healthy diet and good living habits, practice proper exercise and relaxation, can help detoxify and promote a healthy liver.
With any of these symptoms, especially involving the liver, one should always speak to a physician. Always consult a physician if you have any questions or issues.