Many people are not aware that the liver is responsible for the overall maintenance of the human body. It cleanses your blood of harmful toxins, helps to regulate the essential hormones that flow throughout the system and also helps to create much needed biochemicals that are vital for the successful digestion of food.
Although the liver is such an important part of our everyday health and wellbeing, it is often the most overlooked in terms of care and attention. We can visibly see, hear or feel the signs of many of our significant organs or bodily attributes if they’re suffering from poor health; however, sometimes it is harder to spot when the condition of your liver is needing a little tender loving care.
The pressures of a modern lifestyle
Today, due to the stresses and strains of our everyday lives, most of us are stressed mentally, fiscally and physically causing unrelenting tiredness and general feeling of weariness. Unfortunately, our hectic culture often includes quick meals on the go (generally lacking sufficient vitamins and minerals), sedentary office work, and drinking alcohol to unwind in the evening. Many of us forget (or simply are not aware) that all these trappings of modern life can lead to an unhealthy liver.
Alcohol guidelines and consumption
The most obvious cause of liver problems tends to stem from alcohol abuse, and although most of the population would never use the word “alcoholic” to describe themselves. Yet many often fail to observe the publicized guidelines as to how much alcohol should be consumed on a daily basis. When someone indulges in a large glass of red wine in the evening, which may perhaps then extend to two (if it’s been a tough day), they often do not realize that contained within those two glasses is approximately twice as much alcohol as recommended. American guidelines state that 2 to 3 units of alcohol per day maximum, should be consumed by the average woman, therefore those 2 glasses of wine could potentially comprise over 6 units, adding to the stress placed on the function of the liver.
Most alarmingly, it is far easier to fall foul of the powers of alcohol than most presume, with statistics showing that over 50% of Americans over the age of 18 classifying themselves as “regular drinkers” in a 2010 survey. Further studies then showed that over 23% of adults were consuming 5 or more alcoholic beverages a day, which is classified as excessive alcohol use. Many of those surveyed objected to being classified as alcoholic, due to a lack of craving or dependency, however, this only shows that statistically there’s a 2 in 10 chance that you may know or feel that someone close to you is suffering from alcohol abuse.
When “alcohol abuse” becomes alcoholism
Working out exactly how to help an alcoholic is a difficult task to undertake. It is important to deal with the situation with care and understanding; many alcoholics are in denial of their situation, or have become so dependent on the substance that they push themselves away from those they otherwise love and care for, making your efforts to help them almost futile. First and foremost you must find away to discuss the problem with the person in question. If this fails, talk to your doctor, the leader of your local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous, or a similar supportive environment. These professionals have the knowledge and understanding to offer a solution to get your loved one the appropriate support in a way that he or she will be likely positively respond to.
Other factors besides alcohol can damage the liver.
Overall, the importance of maintaining a healthy liver doesn’t have to centralize on alcohol abuse. As mentioned previously, an overall unhealthy lifestyle will effect your liver in an acute manner which can display itself in a number of ways. If you have been feeling “under the weather” or perhaps suffer from any of the symptoms below you should consider seeking further diagnosis and advice on maintaining a healthy liver.
Common symptoms of an unhealthy liver:
• Dry, sallow and generally unhealthy complexion
• Tiredness and irritability, especially shortly after awaking in the morning
• General feeling of malaise
• Stiff and tight joints
• The desire to consume foods which are high in fat and carbohydrates
• Change in urine color to a deep, dark yellow
• High cholesterol
• Swollen limbs and distended belly
• Yellowing of the whites of the eyes
• Loss of memory
Do any of these symptoms sound like you? Detoxification is one of my specialties in my health coaching practice, and I offer my clients a great supplementary liver detoxification program. Contact me for more details.