You probably don't give much thought to your liver (except maybe when you contemplate that third vodka and soda), but the health of your liver is key to your overall health and weight. Your liver is the ultimate multi-tasker: It acts as a filter to remove toxins (like medications and alcohol) and nutrient byproducts such as ammonia from the blood; it aids in digestion by producing bile to help break down fat and absorb fat- and water-soluble vitamins and minerals; and it plays a part in regulating glucose and glycogen, blood pressure, blood sugar, insulin, estrogen, testosterone, immunity, and blood cholesterol production and removal. And you thought you had a long to-do list!
When Your Liver Is Struggling
Because of all of this activity, it is reasonable to say that if our liver isn't nutrified properly then it can't do these jobs efficiently, so your liver may be in need of a little TLC. When it's overworked, toxic residues can build up, causing inflammation that is associated with obesity. A stressed out liver can also cause fat to build up, especially around the belly. If your liver cannot handle the excess fat and sugar coming at it, then fat and sugar will pile up in all the wrong places all over your body – hardening your arteries, your brain, and generally accelerating aging across the board. Thus, it is appropriate to think of your liver not only as a backup system trying to cope with excess, but also as an organ of last resort, a type of a last stand, before more difficult health issues take hold.
Unfortunately, more often then not, we seem to take our liver for granted expecting it to deal with the over 500 jobs it must perform, with both hands tied behind its back. For example, the excess leptin production from white adipose tissue causes a depression in its companion hormone, adiponectin. Low adiponectin in turn causes insulin resistance in your liver, which raises your blood sugar and simultaneously converts sugar to fat in your liver. Now your liver cannot process carbohydrates properly, resulting in easy weight gain or weight regain from eating carbohydrates. Having a fatty liver elevates the risk for type 2 diabetes by 500 percent!
Added together, this can mean that no matter how much you restrict calories, weight loss is near impossible unless you first nutrify and then detox your liver. But before you jump into a crazy liver cleanse, check if you have other symptoms of liver problems, such as fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, rashes or acne, digestive troubles (constipation, acid reflux, indigestion, bloating), high cholesterol, and blood sugar and insulin imbalances, which can lead to low energy, cravings, and excessive thirst and urination. If you think your liver may be amiss, ask your doctor for a liver function test, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test, or alanine aminotransferase (ALT) test, or request CAT or MRI scan to get a picture of your liver.
So how do we provide support to our liver?
Nutrify to Detoxify
Our liver needs nutrients to detox properly. Here are some action steps you can take to better give your liver the nutrients it needs to detox and thus regulate your weight:
Action Step #1
Have you ever heard the concept that if you are passing the vitamins then it means your body doesn't need them? Well believe it or not that isn't true. Make sure you are using proper supplementation. Most vitamins today are nutraceutical grade and not a Food Nutrient. This means our body can't absorb them and we end up passing them out of our body. Instead use a bioavailable supplement. This is something I teach my clients, you can also learn more about the bioavailable supplements I use, and recommend by clicking the Essential oils tab above.
Action Step #2
- Try using a good organic Castor Oil pack for liver detox.
Castor oil packs over the abdomen enhance liver function, increasing this organ's ability to detoxify the body. Castor oil is extracted from the seed of the castor bean plant. The oil has been used for therapeutic purposes since ancient times.
- Use Therapeutic grade Geranium essential oil for added liver support during the pack therapy.
It is very important that you don't just go buy some geranium at your local retail store or health food store even. If you don't have access to Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils it's best to skip it altogether. If you would like to know which oils are CPTG certified, register for my Intro to Oils Class under the Essential Oils tab above, or read my blog about the oils I personally use and recommend to my clients.