I don’t have the most efficient liver and it was particularly put under stress during what seemed to be the endless, years of Perimenopause. This was because the liver is put under excess stress when as it has to process and breakdown excess Oestrogen. A sluggish liver can even be the reason for premenstrual syndrome and symptoms.
The liver is the second largest organ in the body. It is vital to metabolic, detoxification, and immune system functions. It is also known as the seat of our emotions and can lead to indifference and depression if put under stress.
10 Signs of a sluggish liver:
- Nausea after fatty meals
- Anger issues/irritability,
- Skin issues and breakouts
- Problematic digestion
- Craving sugars
(Fungal toenails can be a sign of old heavy metal toxins stored in the liver)
If you suffer from some of the above symptoms then chances are there are issues with your liver that need addressing. Below are listed some of the key functions of the liver and what you can do support it, so that detoxification pathways and functions can operate to the best of their abilities.
Key function of the liver in women’s health
A healthy liver is particularly important to women in Perimenopause or menopause. This is because Oestrogen is metabolized in the liver. If your liver isn’t healthy, it can affect how oestrogen is metabolized. This can lead to elevated levels of oestrogen in the body. Which in turn can lead to certain breast cancers, as they need Oestrogen to grow. Plus it’s also worth noting that the breasts sit above the liver, so not ideal for when the liver throws off toxicity. Genetic issues can also interfere with the body’s ability to process and get rid of excess oestrogen. Lifestyle issues like diets high in processed foods, chronic stress, poor sleep and substance abuse can also contribute. But as it is the organ of elimination then a healthy liver is key.
Symptoms of Oestrogen dominance include:
Irritability, insomnia, headaches, depression, weight gain (particularly through the hips), uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, memory issues, low libido, premenstrual syndrome and fatigue.
Other Functions of the liver
Below are listed some of the key functions of the liver and what you can do support it, so that detoxification pathways and functions can operate to the best of their abilities.
Key to immune function
The liver is a key, frontline immune tissue. It is positioned to detect pathogens entering the body via the gut. The liver then detects, captures, and clears bacteria, viruses, and macromolecules.
The liver is also crucial for breaking down fat. If your liver isn’t breaking down fat or assisting the production of bile, it can mean than undigested bits of fat pass into your digestive tract, causing a number of problems such as constipation, bloating and diarrhoea, which in turn can cause toxins and waste products to build up in your body, causing widespread inflammation.
Stores key nutrients such as vitamins A, D and B12
The liver stores vitamin A, D, E, K and B12. The first four of these are all fat soluble. This means that the bile secreted during digestion is essential for absorbing them so that the body can use them. If bile production is compromised by liver damage, the proper absorption of these vitamins may be affected. Iron and copper minerals are also stored in the liver.
Toxin Breakdown and the skin
When your liver becomes overtired it becomes unable to eliminate toxins. This means that other organs such as your kidneys and skin have to pick up the slack resulting in impurities exiting your body via your epidermis. This process can upset your skin, especially if your skin is already sensitive or you suffer from a condition like eczema. These toxins can easily cause irritation, itchiness and even a dreaded flare-up.
One of the first things I do when I begin treating a patient for eczema is to support their liver using the appropriate homeopathic remedies. It helps clear the way for the healing process and prevents a flare up.
Filters waste products to your bowel and kidneys
Tips to support your liver:
- Homeopathic liver remedy combo’s (contact me for more details)
- Dry skin brushing
- Drink lemon juice in hot water first thing in the morning.
- Nettle tea
- Celery juice
- Eat more Grapefruits (contains antioxidants that naturally protect the liver).
- Homeobotanicals liver blend tincture (contact me for more details)
- Quickly alternating hot and cold shower
- Yoga/pranayama/chi gung
- Green Algae supplements (clears old heavy metal toxins in liver).
- Castor oil Liver pack
Foods that benefit the liver:
- Cumin, Turmeric, Fennel, Dill, Rosemary, Ginger,
- Vinegars of all types
- Garlic, onions, shallots,
- Salmon, Trout, Herring
Foods to avoid
- All processed foods
- Refined sugars
- Animal products, especially red and processed meats
- If drinking alcohol avoid wines and beers and stick to ‘clean spirits’ such as Vodka and Tequila
- Try and avoid falling into the habit of ‘Habitual drinking’ as it can put a strain on your liver and sometimes escalate.
Some liver specific Homeopathic remedies:
- Hangovers and ailments from over indulgence
- Irritable, angry and impatient.
- Bilious complaints and bilious headaches.
- Cross and irritable
- Flatulence, Haemorrhoids, Indigestion.
- Worse 4-8pm
- Loss of self-confidence
As a homeopath I wouldn’t advise self-prescribing these remedies but to see a Homeopath for a full detailed consultation to work out the best course of action if you think you need help with a sluggish or fatty liver. A remedy such as Nux Vomica can be great used for an acute situation such as a hangover but to address longterm issues then you need to look at more chronic remedies such as Lycopodium which can address the cause of your liver complaints.