Hello, our blog followers. To say that the liver is essential to your health is an understatement. The liver is involved in every metabolic process that takes place in your body.
So make sure you’ve read this article from beginning to end because as we start talking about the most common signs and symptoms of liver stress, the whole point is to understand the mechanism so you can fit the pieces together and start impacting your health.
The liver is directly responsible for some five to 600 different reactions in the body. They include manufacturing hormones, activating and modifying hormones, degrading hormones, making glycogen from excess glucose for future storage, and use as blood sugar. And when we run out of that, the liver can make glucose from scratch, gluconeogenesis from glycerin and amino acids, and the ketones that fuel the brain when we’re low on carbs.
That’s the liver that makes those ketones. The liver makes various proteins. Most proteins in the body are made in the liver 10s of 1000s of proteins. And two of the most common ones are called albumin and globulin. These are blood proteins that help maintain the properties of blood pressure, and we’ll talk more about the osmotic pressure of albumin.
Globulin is carrier proteins, and if you recognize the word immunoglobulin or antibody, that’s what those are and deliver manufacturers cholesterol. It modifies and packages, and maintains the proper balance. It recycles cholesterol as needed and maintains the optimal balance of LDL and HDL that the body needs—depending on the circumstances.
The liver is also, of course, the main detoxification plant in the body. It is the only organ that can take toxic things like chemical poisons and pesticides and stuff like that and turn them from fat-soluble, potent toxins into water-soluble byproducts and metabolites that we can safely get rid of through the bow. Then, indirectly, we could argue that the liver is involved in one way or another with every chemical reaction in the body.
So I’ve underlined the first four letters in the world liver, and they spell live. And that should give you an idea of how important the liver is when we talk about liver disease. We often hear words like fatty liver and toxic liver and cirrhosis and so forth. And they’re all kind of different sides of the same thing.
The most common form of liver disease is fatty liver, which is also going to be a toxic liver because when we have insulin resistance, things start accumulating fats and toxins and metabolic byproducts start getting in the liver, causing congestion fat, but also toxins. And they’re different stages of liver disease and liver failure.
So in the early stages, there’s no real damage. Still, there’s inflammation, and there’s severe irritation hepatitis going on at two different degrees; then that can proceed if we get more accumulation we get fatty liver with insulin resistance and type two diabetes. But then, if we start damaging the liver, if we take it further as we break it down to where there are scarring and fibrosis, now we’re starting to do damage.
And if this damage gets so widespread that a significant portion of the liver’s function is lacking. Then we have cirrhosis, which is just severe scarring of the liver. And then, of course, if this proceeds, we can also end up with end-stage liver disease with liver failure and cancer. The first sign of liver stress is called bronze diabetes. And this isn’t diabetes, but it can be associated with that and contribute to diabetes.
It’s something called hemochromatosis, which means a whole lot of color in the blood. And this is from iron overload.
When we absorb too much, too high, a percentage of the iron in the diet is absorbed, and not enough of it is excreted. We get an overload. And if some of this iron gets trapped in the skin’s sweat glands, now we can get a bronze appearance of the skin.
One way to think of this iron overload is rust; just like your car can get rusty doesn’t happen the same way. But you could think of it that way. And this rust, the least of your problems, is that the skin changes appearance because it creates organ damage. And the most commonly damaged organs are the liver, pancreas, and heart. And this is why this is such a solid contributor to liver disease, two types two diabetes, of course, liver, a pancreas about diabetes. And the heart is about cardiovascular disease.
So this is an essential thing to understand and check for because it is widespread and straightforward to manage. It contributes to insulin resistance, type two diabetes. And here’s why it’s so often missed, because most times they do a blood test for you, they test something called serum iron.
Well, that’s like measuring your wealth by how much money you happen to have in your wallet at any given time because the serum iron is less than 1% of the iron in your body. If we want to get an idea of how much iron load you have, we want to test something called ferritin. So ask your doctor for the ferritin test. Because it’s so inexpensive, it adds like five bucks to the blood test. And you will find out, and you’ll get precious information because this is like measuring your savings, equity, and house worth.
This will give you an idea of how much iron is really in there. That’s the best measurement. There is also a genetic test, the actual definitive test for if you have hemochromatosis. If they want to slap a label on you, you need the genetic test.
But in reality, you don’t need the genetic test because the only treatment for this is to give blood. If there’s a whole lot of stuff wrong with your blood, then they’re do bloodletting and throw it away. But if there’s nothing majorly wrong, you have a lot of iron, then go to the Red Cross and donate some blood, and they’ll love you for it.
Sign number two is called xanthelasma. And that’s a fancy word for yellow and plaquing. And if this shows up on the inside corner of the eye, that’s the label they give it. And these are cholesterol deposits. So usually, the liver produces bile. And bile is like a detergent. It’s breaking up grease, just like your detergent and emulsifier do.
So when you have a fatty meal, the liver has made the bile, and the gallbladder stores the bitterness, and the gallbladder squirts out some bile that breaks up the fat. But if the liver is stressed, if you have liver disease, you’re not going to make as much bile. And now you also don’t have the proper fat metabolism. And part of fat metabolism is cholesterol metabolism and cholesterol breakdown. So if you don’t produce enough bile, some of this cholesterol can end up in the wrong places.
Number three is jaundice. And that is just a condition of being yellow. And you could have the yellow on the skin, or you can have it even in the earlier stages and the sclera on the white portion of the eye. And this color comes from red blood cells when red blood cells are broken down and recycled. Then one of the end products that the liver is responsible for is called bilirubin.
This Billy Rubin is then discarded in the bile, and that’s what provides the brown color of your stool. Now, if the liver can’t finish this process correctly and put it in the bile, then this Billy Rubin starts spreading, it’s not appropriately discarded, and it ends up in other tissues. The color appears as yellow on the skin.
Number four thing to look for is changes in bowel habits. One of the most common liver disease signs is diarrhea, especially chronic diarrhea, and it’s very poorly understood.
They don’t understand why, but it’s one of the strongest associations to liver disease. Another thing is called Seattle Ria, which means fatty stool. And this one is very plain and simple because it comes from the liver not making enough bile.
If we don’t break down and digest the fat, it will stay in the digestive tract as part of the stool. It will be pale because of the extra fat and the lack of bilirubin that we’re not getting from the bile. And it’s going to float because fat is lighter.
So again, less by less fat digestion creates all kinds of problems.
Itching and Burning
Sign number five is itching and burning. And this happens because of bile retention. The bile is supposed to contain toxins to be discarded. But if we can’t get rid of the bile, if it’s stuck, if it’s not flowing correctly, then these toxins end up stuck in the body.
And one of the most common places is feet and hands. And why is that because it has to do with circulation is what brings things to the tissues, and it’s what removes toxins and junk and debris from the tissues? And you could have this because of liver congestion.
And it could be made worse by type two diabetes. We so often see this in the feet and the hands; many problems happen there because they are the furthest from the heart. Because of lack of circulation, the further it is from the heart, the harder it is to bring nutrients there and remove toxins.
Number six thing that you might notice is poor vision.
There is a vitamin associated with a site called vitamin A. And this is a fat-soluble vitamin. So when the liver and the bile aren’t working. We can’t digest and absorb and utilize the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
So without vitamin A, we’re going to have disturbances possible degeneration of general vision, but especially of night vision. So if you have a flawed idea that night is called night blindness that could very well be some liver stress.
Number seven is a huge one that many people don’t realize, and that’s allergies. Whether it’s food sensitivities or environmental reactions, it seems like you’re reacting to just about everything you eat.
There are so many different foods that you get a response to. Well, that could be liver congestion, liver toxicity, the same thing with environmental reactions, if you have hay fever if you’re reactive to pollen and ragweed, and things like that, or even pets, that could be a toxic liver because the less power the liver has the less function in the liver, the more junk accumulates in the rest of the body. The more junk there are, the more reactions, the more the immune system’s tendency to overreact to be hypersensitive to various things.
Unique form of Deema
Sign number eight is called a society’s, which is a unique form of deema. And what are these things? They’re fluid accumulations. And basically, it’s a form of leakage where the water leaks out of the vascular system and into the surrounding tissues. And this is caused by something called hypoalbuminemia. If you recall, on the earlier slides, we talked about albumin as being a sponge. And that’s why we have these things up here.
Think sponge, because these little proteins, they’re very tiny particles and they hold water to them, they create osmotic pressure. And why is that so important? Because think blood pressure when the heart squeezes hard, and the pressure inside the blood in the arteries is so much higher than the surrounding tissues.
What keeps the water from just leaking out from the blood pressure squeezing the water the fluid out in the surrounding tissues? And the answer is that the albumin acts like a sponge. If the liver is suffering if the liver is under performing and can’t make enough albumin, that’s a huge deal because now we have less albumin, less sponge activity, less osmotic pressure, and more leakage, so what can that look like?
Well, here is one example called pitting edema. So if you push into the tissue to sort of like one of these memory foam mattresses, you move, and it just keeps going for a long time. And then you remove your finger, and the indentation is still there, and it stays there for several minutes. That’s because of tissue, fluid leakage.
And assignees are the same thing. But now, the leakage happens in the abdominal cavity. So these people might have a distended stomach that kind of looks like a big belly with a fatty liver, but it’s just fluid. That’s assignees.
Number nine is shoulder pain. And how does that come about? Whenever we have some stress in an internal organ that can manifest as a referred pain, there are referral patterns of pain. For example, if you have heart trouble, many people will report severe pain in the left shoulder radiating out and to the left arm if you have angina or a heart attack.
The heart itself doesn’t necessarily have any pain, but there’s a referred pain. Same thing with the liver and the gallbladder, that when the liver gallbladder has stress, you’re going to find a referral pain pattern into the right shoulder blade, into the right shoulder, and even up into the right side of the neck. So if you recall some earlier time, when you might have been drinking, and you had a naughty stiff neck, the day after, that could very well have been the mechanism.
Liver Stress is Fatigue
And the 10th sign of liver stress is fatigue. And this is the most common complaint. And even though it’s the most common complaint, they don’t understand why this is happening.
They have several different theories. Both they have understood and observed. They don’t understand it necessarily. But they have kept that there’s a change in the neural transmission. So the brain and the body always talk back and forth, back and forth. And whenever the liver has stress, this changes the signals in the body the in the nervous system. And they don’t understand why. But suppose we sort of use a little bit of logic.
In that case, we might think that because the liver is so critical to every form of metabolic process in the body, it is so vital to the body’s energy production and maintaining ketones and blood sugar, and so forth. If the liver is stressed, it’s not so strange that it wouldn’t produce good energy, appropriate blood sugar, etc.
We can also think about this because when you’re sick, your body likes to allocate the resources differently. It doesn’t want to fight a war, and it wants to heal the inside organs. It wants to fight off if you have an infection or if you need to recover something. So being in a healing state will very often produce tremendous fatigue.
Now, if you have a fatty liver or a toxic liver or liver disease, whatever you want to call it, what do you do about it? There’s a lot of talk about liver detox, and you can buy these packages called liver cleanses or liver flushes.
And what they do is they get the bowel moving, they stimulate some things, and they flush items out. And that’s not a bad idea because the liver dumps all of the toxins, all the byproducts of its activity, it dumps into the bowel.
That’s the natural evacuation route. And if your bowel isn’t moving, then the stuff sits there, and it tends to be reabsorbed. The longer it sits and moving the bowel is a great idea. But there is so much more.
That’s just a short-term step one, and then you want to focus on eating real food. And you want to understand that plants and animal products are both great that plants have more of a cleansing function and animal products have more of a rebuilding function.
The amino acid profile and animal products, which the body makes tissues from, are much more complete. It is much more utilizable by the body from the animal, but plants have a great cleansing way. And we’re not talking about bread and doughnuts. We’re talking about nonstarchy vegetables, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, things like that; a lot of the damage in the liver is from oxidative stress, and combating that, we need antioxidants, but it doesn’t mean that we need to
Going and buying a bunch of supplements or products that have antioxidants means we need to understand sulfur and glutathione and cysteine and methionine. So what does that mean? Glutathione is the antioxidant that matters. It’s the one that the body makes itself inside the cells. And it makes it from two amino acids, called cysteine, and methionine that contain sulfur.
So you want to try to find foods that contain a lot of sulfur, whether they are from animal products or plants, it’s a good idea to select plant and animal products that have a lot of sulfur, because then you get these two amino acids. And you can make a ton of glutathione, which, again, is the only antioxidant that matters in your body. And then, of course, you want to stop putting in the garbage that caused the problem in the first place. And there are three things we want to understand sugar and alcohol.
Sugar is 50% fructose, a liver poison; high fructose corn syrup is more than 50%. And alcohol is an even more potent liver poison. So these have to go. Next, however, we want to understand that medication is also a powerful liver toxin. You have to take more medication all the time because the liver does its very best to clean it out.
The liver gets the first shot at everything you put in your body, whether it’s food or drink or medication. It all comes flowing from the digestive tract through the portal vein into the liver, and it tries to get rid of the alcohol and the medications.
That’s why you have to get more medication all the time. It’s a toxin. And of course, you want to avoid processed foods because they have a lot of sugar. They have a lot of chemical additives. They have a lot of preservatives and artificial colorings. They have a lot of chemicals. That is a burden on the liver, and the processed foods don’t have anything you need.
Thank you so much for reading. I’ll see you next time.