Stay a Step Ahead -
Join my newsletter to get the latest health tips & get a free ITN Cookbook!


Name
Email address
I honour & respect your privacy;
your details will never be shared or spammed

Do you have a sluggish liver?

Let’s take a minute to thank the liver for everything it does! Why you may ask? In today’s blog post, I’m going to discuss the importance of this miraculous organ.

The liver is responsible for over 500 functions in our body. Yes, over 500 functions! It’s the largest internal organ situated on the right side of the abdomen behind the ribs, and below the diaphragm. Shaped like a half-moon, it weighs approx. 3.17 to 3.66 pounds. 

Did you know that the liver is the only internal organ that can regenerate itself? If up to 75% of it is removed during surgery or due to chemical injury, it can actually regenerate itself! For people who don’t believe in miracles, I would suggest looking at the human body and how it functions on a daily basis to keep us alive. In my opinion, it’s truly fascinating & miraculous!

Four Major Functions of the Liver

Filters the blood

The liver filters and removes compounds from the blood including hormones, waste products, drugs & toxins. At any given time, your liver contains about 13% of your body’s total blood volume, and it filters 1.4 liters of blood per minute. Once the blood is filtered, the compounds are excreted through urine and feces – or stored in fat if the liver is overwhelmed.

Bile production, fat & protein metabolization

Bile helps the small intestine break down and absorb fats, cholesterol and protein making them easier to digest, while neutralizing toxins. It consists of bile salts, cholesterol, bilirubin, electrolytes, and water – with approximately 1 liter made per day. Bile is stored in the gallbladder while fasting, and it’s secreted into the intestines during the digestion process. 

Vitamin & mineral storage

The liver stores vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12. It keeps significant amounts of these vitamins stored. In some cases, several years’ worth of vitamins is held as a backup. It stores iron from hemoglobin in the form of ferritin, ready to make new red blood cells. Plus, it also stores and releases copper. {A few months ago, I did a spotlight on copper – if you missed that article, you can read it here}. In addition, it is believed that 50 to 80% of Vitamin A is stored in this organ. Vitamin A is a critical co-factor for potassium utilization in the body. This is important because potassium is a mineral that is rarely balanced in hair mineral analysis.

Carbohydrate & blood sugar metabolization

Carbohydrates are stored in the liver, where they are broken down into glucose (aka sugar) and slowly released into the bloodstream to maintain normal glucose levels. It’s released whenever a quick burst of energy is needed.

Causes of Liver Damage

We are exposed to many substances that stress our liver on a daily basis. These can include the following:
Causes of a sluggish liver

Signs of a Sluggish Liver 

Symptoms of a Sluggish Liver

My clients all have at least one or two of these symptoms. While I’m not saying you need to have ALL of these to have a sluggish liver, they are just some of the common signs. It’s important to remember that the liver doesn’t get dirty, so it doesn’t need to be flushed or cleansed. When it gets overwhelmed, it starts storing extra fat, iron and copper; however, it does not store toxins. Extra toxins are actually stored in fat, which is why there is a direct correlation between obesity and liver issues.

Although these symptoms may not seem terribly life threatening, compromised liver function is far more serious than we may think. In fact, a recent analysis reports that from 2009-2012 there were twice as many cases of severe liver disease than a decade earlier. Plus, the number of adolescents and young adults with chronic liver disease has more than doubled in the last three decades.

So what can we do to gently support the liver? Stay tuned for part two of this article where I’ll be discussing easy natural ways to support the liver. 

liver

 

 

Sources:

Medical News Today. “What Does the Liver Do?” by Tim Newman, March 2018 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305075.php
Dr. Axe “How to Improve Liver Function” https://draxe.com/liver-function/
Sassy Holistics. “Love your Liver: Why We Need to Heal our Livers!” by Kristin Merizalde, February 2015 https://www.sassyholistics.com/2015/10/28/love-your-livers/

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.