Your liver is one of your truest and most hardworking friends. Think of it as a built-in, ultra-effective toxin remover and a master of another 500 functions listed in medical books. Now that you know how much your liver does for you, you do not want to be an ungrateful friend, do you?
Bright Side prepared a list of tips to help you see when your liver is crying for help. To the rescue!
- Liver area pain
Feeling achy in the upper right area of your abdomen is a sign that your liver might be in trouble. Usually, it is a dull pain. However, at times it becomes quite intense. Remember that the liver’s job is to detoxify and help the body filter out waste as well as help the body digest food into nutritional products. When your liver is affected by a disease, it cannot operate efficiently, it swells painfully, and the body sends the signs of toxicity.
- Leg and ankle swelling
When you ignore the problem, your poor liver tries to repair itself at the cost of forming scar tissue. The more scar tissue there is, the tougher it is for the liver to function, which finally leads to portal hypertension. The latter causes fluid to accumulate in the legs (edema). The good news is that the swelling is painless. It may affect both legs, the calves, or the thighs. However, the gravity effect makes the swelling most visible in the lower part of the body.
- Gaining weight
Every year, more and more people start a healthy diet and work out, but they still struggle with weight issues. If you experience weight gain that does not seem to stem from overeating or hormone malfunction, you might want to discuss improper liver function with your doctor.
What happens is the liver cannot deal with all the toxins coming in (alcohol, artificial sweeteners, a high-fat diet, certain medications, etc). The only thing the liver can come up with is to store the unfiltered toxins in fat cells. This mess will not let you lose weight unless you help your body to cleanse the overworked liver.
Very often, allergies are the result of an overloaded and sluggish liver. When there are too many substances entering the bloodstream, the brain recognizes them as allergens and releases antibodies and chemicals (histamines, etc), which cause itchy rashes. The healthy liver, in its turn, perfectly cleans the blood of all the harmful molecules and eliminates the effect a potential allergen has on the body.
- Yellow skin and yellow eyes
When a person’s eyes or skin turn yellowish, science calls it jaundice. Jaundice itself is not an illness but rather a symptom of possible malfunctionings. Normally, jaundice appears when a diseased liver makes the system accumulate too much bilirubin – a yellow pigment that is formed by the breakdown of dead red blood cells in the liver. Guess what happens when the liver fails to get rid of bilirubin along with old red blood cells? That’s right. You turn yellow.
- Chronic fatigue
Chronic fatigue syndrome resembles a prolonged flu-like illness. By definition, you should experience the symptoms for at least 6 months before you can be diagnosed with chronic fatigue. The reason behind this is the intoxication of the liver. The liver, to a large extent, contributes to the energy supply in the body. It turns glucose into glycogen and stores it for later use. A healthy liver pours out glucose between meals or whenever there is a need for nourishment and energy. The diseased liver, however, can hardly produce glucose and has very little space to store it.
On the bright side, you do not have to despair if you have noticed the slightest symptoms of a failing liver. Firstly, the liver can heal itself. Just give it a break from a destructive lifestyle. Yes, it’s as easy at that. Cleansing the liver is all about healthy habits. Scientists also say there are a number of natural products to boost liver performance. So from now on, you should try your best to become friends with green tea, turmeric or lemon water, and organic fruits and vegetables.
What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your liver happy? Do you do anything at all? Share with us in the comments!