How To Improve Your Liver

From the video series “All About Your Liver”

PART 1

 

Hello, my name is Dr Sandra Cabot, and I’m talking to you today about how to improve your liver, a very important subject.

There’s no doubt that your liver is the busiest organ in your body, performing hundreds of life-essential functions. Your liver is extremely busy and it requires a lot of oxygen to perform its functions. It’s very, very important to keep your liver healthy and you will enjoy a better quality of life and a longer life.

Just to understand a little bit about the liver, it is the largest organ in the human body and is situated in the upper abdomen on the right side. It is a unique organ in the body because it has two separate sources of blood supply. One from the hepatic artery, which supplies fresh oxygenated blood to the liver, so it can perform its numerous metabolic functions. And the second blood supply is from the gut through the portal venous system. And everything you ingest is digested and absorbed from the gut and goes straight to the portal venous system, where it is transported back to the liver. And your liver processes the nutrients. So, you could say the liver is the gateway to your body because nothing gets into your body from your gut without first passing through the liver.

So, let’s look at my liver check-up. How can you check your liver? Well, there are quite a few different symptoms that you can suffer with if your liver is not functioning at its optimal level. And these symptoms are quite diverse and varied. And this is why often the liver symptoms get missed. In other words, the doctor may not recognize that some of the symptoms you have can be traced back to an underfunctioning liver. Now, some of these symptoms can be caused by diseases that have nothing to do with the liver. And so, we are not saying categorically that these symptoms diagnose liver disease. But if you have four or more of these symptoms, it’s highly likely that your liver is not functioning at its optimal level.

So, let’s look at some of these symptoms that could indicate your liver needs help.

• Do you have difficulty losing weight?
• Or do you have unexplained weight gain?
• Have you got excessive abdominal fat such as a pot belly or a roll of fat around the upper abdomen, which I affectionately call the “liver roll”, as some people call it a “muffin roll”?
• Do you have discomfort over your liver? Remember, that’s in the right upper abdominal area.
• Are you overheated? You can’t cool down.
• Do you have excessive sweating?
• Have you developed chemical or food sensitivities and intolerances and increasing allergies?
• Do you have excessively high cholesterol or triglyceride levels in your blood?
• Do you have fatty, yellowish-colored lumps under your skin? These are called xanthalasma.
• Do you have red and/or itchy eyes?
• Do you have dark circles under your eyes?
• Have you developed skin problems, such as very itchy skin, rashes, hives or brown liver spots, which is sometimes called age spots, but they can occur in younger people if their liver is not working efficiently.
• Do you have problems with your gallbladder? Because remember, the liver makes the bile that is stored in your gallbladder. So, if your gallbladder is playing up, it could be that your liver is not making a healthy bile.
• Do you have problems with your moods? Are you quick to anger? And this is an interesting symptom, because metaphysically the liver is known as the seat of anger. So, if your liver is overloaded or toxic, this could reflect in angry moods, irritability, short temper. And when you improve your liver function, your mood will improve.
• Do you have unpleasant body odor?
• Do you have bad breath?
• Do you have a coated tongue?
• Do you have hemorrhoids?
• Do you have type 2 diabetes and find it difficult to control your blood sugar levels?
• Are you very tired? And yet you’ve had blood tests and X-rays and no cause for your fatigue can be found. The liver is the metabolic furnace of the body and if it is not performing well, you can be very, very tired.
• Do you overindulge in alcohol or sugar or fast food? In other words, do you enjoy the good life too much? Then this could be impacting on your liver.

So, if you have 4 or more of these symptoms, I highly recommend you have a blood test for liver function and you may find that your liver enzymes are elevated, indicating liver inflammation. Now, some people will have normal liver function tests, even though they have 4 or more of these symptoms and that is because the liver has not yet become inflamed. But because they have these symptoms, it’s a sign that their liver is struggling, even if their blood tests are normal. But it’s a good idea to have the blood test.

You can also have an ultrasound scan of your liver and definitely talk to your doctor about these symptoms. But modern medicine often treats the symptoms of liver dysfunction with medications and doesn’t realize that, really, it’s very important to improve the liver function and treat the cause.

Now, if you have more questions or want more information, please email us from liverdoctor.com or sandracabot.com. We love to get your emails and also follow on with our series of liver presentations, where you will learn everything about the liver and it will give you a deep understanding of how to improve your liver.

Thanks for listening. And this is the end of our first presentation.