Most people understand and agree that the liver is a “filtration” organ that causes problems for those that drink too much alcohol. Most people have heard the word “cirrhosis,” and don’t really see it as a concern for themselves, personally. But did you know that this amazing organ has the ability to regenerate itself, and can potentially keep your body “running” even if 80-90% of it fails? (NOT RECOMMENDED!)
Did you know that the liver is the heaviest organ in your body; responsible for processes including our metabolism, fat storage, hormone production and regulation, weight control, temporary blood storage, drug metabolism and transportation, balding patterns, waste production, elimination of toxins, and blood clotting? This dynamic, powerhouse organ can make carbs out of protein, turn sugar into fat, and, when healthy, detoxifies our bodies from dangerous drugs and chemicals that we have been exposed to through our diet, pharmaceuticals, and environment. Centuries-old traditional Chinese medicine refers to this amazing organ appropriately as “The Governor.”
Dysfunction of this vital organ can result in skin sensitivity and rashes, bruising/bleeding easily, digestive problems, mood disorders, “feminization,” (example: “man-boobs”) permanent, irreversible scarring known as cirrhosis, hypoglycemia, cardiac issues, muscle loss, and many, many other preventable symptoms. This organ also produces and excretes an enzyme that allows our bodies to break down and utilize the drugs that we DO want, such as lidocaine or pain killers during a major event like a knee replacement or heart surgery.
So, without this organ in a healthy and functional state, we simply cannot exist in a way that sustains any true “quality of life.” We need it to survive, and especially, to thrive.
This may lead us to question why so few people actively work to create a healthy liver. Part of the reason is that we don’t necessarily see lab values throwing up any red flags until the damage is too far gone. Symptoms may be vague or not discernible until many years of damage finally show up as end-stage liver failure, or fast acting acute liver failure. Our amazingly resilient liver works hard to compensate for all of the offenses incurred, until it just can’t anymore. That’s part of why it is so awesome. Additionally, most people don’t know where to begin and how to improve their liver health. Many supplements, herbal formulas, and over the counter drugs can actually damage the liver. Acetaminophen is one of the harshest offenders and in a large dose, or normal dosage with a compromised liver can result in accidental overdose and even death. Liver detoxes can be found on any drugstore shelf. How do we know what is safe? Many physicians will advise against generic detox or cleanse programs because there is no one size fits all. It’s important to know what is appropriate for you, as an individual. Specific recommendations can be made by a provider that will monitor your liver health and all that it affects downstream. If we wish to create the best possible environment for a life in our best, most vital body, liver health is absolutely essential.
Naples Vitality can safely assist in the personalized medical management of a customized program that will teach you how to optimize your liver function, providing support and education along the way. Don’t trust the drugstore shelf or wait until the red flags tell you that the damage is already done. Take action with a physician-guided program to safely create the liver that you love, the liver that loves you back!