You might not think to love your liver. Sure, you know that drinking too much alcohol will have a bad effect on it, but really, what else does it do and why should you look after it? It’s not just something you eat with onions and mash!
The liver’s main job is to work with the digestive system to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, taking out the nutrients, any medications and also toxic substances before passing it to the rest of the body.
Its other important job is the metabolism of foods – fats, sugars and proteins.
- It creates bile to break down fats and reach the nutrients inside to convert them into energy.
- It metabolises sugar, stores it as glycogen and then releases it into the blood if our blood sugar levels get low.
- And it also metabolises proteins, changing the amino acids in food so that they can be turned into energy, carbohydrates or fats.
- It then converts ammonia which is a toxic by-product into urea, which it transports to the kidneys to be secreted out in our urine.
It is a hard-working organ!
The liver is such an important part of your digestive process, yet we underestimate how much it works to keep us healthy. It is in fact AS IMPORTANT as your heart, yet most people don’t put it that high on their priorities.
Although it has an amazing ability to regenerate, you can understand how with persistently wrong lifestyle choices – diet, alcohol and exercise – it can come under pressure and need a little love.
What happens when you don’t love your liver?
Fatty Liver Disease develops when your body is producing too much fat or isn’t able to metabolise the amount you are consuming effectively. The excess fat is then stored in your liver (too much to use) and builds up causing fatty liver disease.
This can be caused by different things – mostly related to your diet but can be related to too much alcohol, lack of exercise, being overweight, or having hepatitis.
You may have some general symptoms that your liver is under stress. In most cases there won’t be any noticeable symptoms – you may feel tired, or have some discomfort in the upper right-hand side of your abdomen. More serious symptoms would be swelling in the belly or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
How can you test the health of your liver?
At Complete Health Clinic, you can order a Liver test that is quick and easy to do.
I gave it a test drive and here’s what happens.
I did a quick finger prick test to take some blood and put a few drops into a tube to send off to Lorisian where they test for two important liver enzymes – alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST).
The results were back quickly!
My results were emailed to me within three working days and show me on a scale how healthy my liver is.
These results are given next to the “normal” ranges that you should expect according to your gender so that you can see if they fall in, or out of those ranges. They also give you an overall liver health score using a handy green/amber/red colour coded level.
You also receive a Results Guidebook where you can refer to your bespoke results section and read the associated advice. Plus you get a really wonderful Lifestyle Planner book where you undertake an audit of your lifestyle, then take the actions to make any necessary changes.
My results were within the normal limits and green, so obviously my gin habit isn’t having too bad an effect! Plus, as you know I don’t really believe in doing Sober in October, as it always leads to a Bender in November! But they still advise that someone with a green result should do a test once a year to keep a check on how your liver health is doing. After all, it’s better to take proactive action than have to take drastic reactive action when things start going wrong.
What would you suggest doing to show some love to your liver?
As I explained before, the liver helps to keep the colon clean and helps that engine keep working. Coffee enemas are a great way of doing this too, as the coffee helps to give the liver an additional clean.
In the coffee that I use there is a component called Cafestol Palmitate. This stimulates the enzyme called Glutathione S-Transferase, which opens the bile duct in the liver. This helps the liver release more bile to break down food and improve digestion. It’s like adding that petrol boost injector cleaner to your car engine – it maximises the engine’s performance while giving it a good flush through.
So, if you would like to do a quick and easy health check on your liver – you can book your Liver Test here (click under Food Intolerance test) and show that you love your liver!