I don’t think many IBS sufferers are aware of symptoms that an over-taxed liver can cause.
I certainly didn’t until I started getting some severe hormonal imbalance problems. My local pharmacist explained to me the important role the liver has – and the consequences that liver overload can have on both men and women.
If our gut lining is our major immune barrier, the second one is our liver. Our blood goes through the liver, and the liver takes out any toxins that have accumulated in it. When too many toxins accumulate in the body, the liver has a hard time doing its job properly. This can lead to a build-up of toxins in the body.
Toxins are increasingly present in our environment. Some, called endocrine disruptors. act in a similar way to the hormones that our body naturally produces in our endocrine system, and that regulate a large number of our body functions (read more on this here). The most common endocrine disruptors mimic estrogen, and thus artificially raise the levels of estrogen in our bodies.
What symptoms can these cause in men and women?
Women are not the only ones concerned by these estrogens. Men also produce a small amount of estrogen, and they can have symptoms too if the estrogen/testosterone balance becomes affected too.
In men, these can include weight gain, fatigue, depression, fertility problems, breast enlargement and erectile dysfunction (1)
In women, this estrogen build-up can start off reactions like weight gain, irregular or heavy periods, mood swings, fatigue, migraines and even anxiety. (2)
Where do the toxins come from?
We have toxins in our environment: Building materials, paints, chemicals, furniture, cars, etc…Airing homes and cars, and avoiding the use of chemical products can help reduce these.
We also have them in products we use: Endocrine disruptors have been found in plastic bottles, non-stick pans, cleaning products, perfumes, even in baby’s dummies. Although we can’t avoid all of them, becoming aware of the products you buy and the less toxic alternatives can lighten the load.
Bad digestion and gut bacteria imbalance produce their own toxins: Many IBS sufferers have one or both of these, creating toxins and taxing the liver big time. This is why dealing with SIBO and Candida is very beneficial to you, and you will feel better for it.
If you are experiencing some of the symptoms above, consider giving your liver a boost with a detox.
Spring is considered as being the best time of year for this. I use a 100% natural one made up by my pharmacists containing artichoke extract. If you have specific problems talk to your pharmacist and see if they can make you up a specific detox for you. If you have
Spring is considered the best time of year for a liver detox. I use a 100% natural one made up by my pharmacists containing artichoke extract. If you have specific problems talk to your pharmacist and see if they can make you up a specific detox for you. If you are suffering from hormonal imbalance, for example, you may find that adding in some herbs that act similarly to progesterone in the body can be beneficial. Ask your local pharmacist for advice on this.
If you have several of these symptoms and they persist, it is worthwhile getting them checked out by a doctor as they are linked to liver disease.
Foods that can help you improve things
A liver detox will give your liver a boost, but regularly consuming foods that aid digestion will help support your liver too:
Fresh organic fruit and veg that are on the low Fodmaps list are an important choice to support your digestion.
Include bitters in your diet: These have been used since the beginning of time to aid digestion. Dr. David Jockers explains how they work: “Bitter herbs are divided into two major categories:
1) those that increase the flow of bile, and include dandelion root, parsley, burdock root, artichoke, ginger, and goldenseal
2) those that repair and protect the liver from overexposure to toxins. These include turmeric and milk thistle“.
Nothing new here. By far the best drink for flushing through your system is plenty of water.
High alcohol consumption is known to overload the liver and can lead to liver disease.
Did you know that high coffee consumption overloads the liver too? This is how I kicked the coffee habit.
So, maybe it’s time for a liver spring clean!
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