This January we are proud to say we are loving our livers here at Integrate NI.
After the holidays, it is time to start thinking about any damage we may have done to our bodies. The liver is the master organ for creating optimal nutrition for all the 50 trillion cells in your body. In case you didn’t know, it is the body’s largest internal organ and gland, with over 500 functions. The liver is necessary for survival; there is currently no way to compensate for the absence of liver function in the long term. It transforms toxins into harmless chemicals for excretion, and produces bio chemicals necessary for digestion and helps metabolic regulation. Unfortunately, it is possibly the organ most affected by our bad lifestyle choices.
A tired and overloaded liver generates a very large variety of physical symptoms. Some of the most noticeable are: difficulty digesting food, loss of appetite, a whitish or yellowish tongue, bloating, gas build up, nausea, dizziness, yellow skin, oily skin, pimples, constipation, insomnia, difficulty waking in the morning, itchy skin, dandruff, hair loss, migraines, headaches, muscle pain and vision problems.
Headaches and Migraines occur when the liver feels tired and fails to perform its function of pushing and distributing energy to the head and extremities; therefore the head can become congested and heated, while the hands and feet remain cold.
In Northern Ireland, Liver Disease takes on average, 235 lives a year. It is the fifth biggest and fastest growing killer in the UK. With the NHS spending over half a billion pounds a year treating advanced liver disease, there are many steps we can take to reduce that figure and help saves lives by thinking of how we care for our own livers.
• Follow a healthy diet: adequate, balanced, varied and harmless.
• Include high fibre foods in your diet.
• If you have not been diagnosed as having a deficiency in vitamins and minerals, try not to take supplements.
• Do not consume medicines not prescribed by your doctor.
• Certain herbal remedies, although they seem “healthy and natural ” can often be harmful to the liver.
• Limit alcohol consumption (no more than two to three times a week).
• Watch your body weight; both obesity and malnutrition produce extreme changes in liver tissue.
• Control your glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides (glycerol and three fatty acids).
• Exercise regularly.
Check out our article on The Liver and Our Emotional Wellbeing for an alternative view.