Without Limits Health
Have you ever woken up and felt on edge, frustrated and irritable, possibly angry for no apparent reason? This is what I would call 'liverish' it is a sign that your liver is under stress. Some people might be thinking "but I am not a big drinker", to which my reply is always "the liver does many other things than just cleansing the body of alcohol" my next comment is usually "what is your version of 'not a big drinker?'. In today's society it has become socially acceptable to binge drink to an extent, 10 beers in one night instead of 20 is a triumph for some, or maybe you are one of those people who has a glass or two of wine every night. Not only are we in a society of big drinking, we also live in a technological age where high stress levels are the norm. If we add to the liver's issues we can talk about the effect fast and processed foods are having on our health. Did you know the food industry creates jobs to specifically work out what chemicals to put in our food to make us want more, yes I know shocking to think but it's a true story. If you want to know for yourself just pick up David Kesslers book "The end of over eating" and you will be truly shocked.
These combinations of bad habits, and let me emphasis here combinations, it is not drinking on its own, having a bad diet or high stress levels that create disease, it is the combination of these bad habits that are starting to crumble the foundation of our health in which the liver plays a vital role in our wellbeing. The liver has many functions not just detoxification. The liver is like a one stop shop with multiple things happening at any given time. If you do not take care of your body then you load the liver up with too much to do on any given day so that the liver will struggle to perform all the tasks needed to be accomplished in one day, creating a long list of things to do and fatigue settles in for the long haul.
Just imagine that you have started a new job, it starts off slow with not too much responsibility in the first few weeks. Expectation starts off low as you learn the ropes, however once you come to a certain point the work starts to pile on. There is no longer enough time in 8 hours to get the job done, so you start to stay back from work, this becomes the expectation of your boss and your peers. Soon enough 10-12 hours is still not enough, so you start to take your lap top home and do work after dinner. Soon you don't have any time for yourself, your day revolves around work and you can't seem to sleep well anymore. So you instead of lying awake at night thinking about all the things that need to be done, you get up and work in the night (at least you are being productive right?) Before long this becomes your normal, you no longer eat nutritious meals, or drink water. You are always on edge and on the go so you opt for easy fast options that aren't always healthy, you drink coffee 4-5 times a day with no water further dehydrating yourself, and somewhere along the line you realise that you are far from a place of well being. Sound familiar anyone? Or is your version of this running the family household, where the jobs are constant and never ending and you never get a moment to yourself because you are too busy looking after the rest of the family... Mum's and Dad's does this sound familiar? Even more frightening is that we are raising our children in stressful environments from a young age, homework, year 12, sitting at a desk all day inside only to come home and sit at your desk for more hours of homework. Where did our innocent carefree childhood go?
We have to think about how our society is heading in the future, we are creating environments of stress in the workplace, at schools and at home, we are constantly stressing our liver. I want to take a moment here to take in all the functions of the liver to get a grasp on just how important the liver is to your health.
Main functions of the liver include:
Production of bile to store in the gall bladder (Bile carries waste away and breaks down fats)
Production of proteins for blood plasma
Converts glucose-Glycogen for energy storage
Processes heamoglobin for iron storage
Converts ammonia that is toxic to the body into urea for excretion
Regulates blood clotting
Produces immune factors and removes bacteria from the blood
Breaks down insulin and other hormones
In a nut shell the liver detoxifies the body, has a role in protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism. It clears out old red blood cells that can be harmful to the body. The liver plays an important role in the conversion of glycogen to glucose for energy demands. The liver deals with excess hormones as well. So you can understand how the liver plays a vital role in our wellbeing, we would not last long after it has completely broken down. Structurally the liver is a large organ that has an important impact on the diaphragm and our breathing. When the liver is enlarged and under stress this leads to altered function and structure. The liver can actually inhibit the movement of the diaphragm impacting the lungs and our breathing technique. This can also be influenced by posture. The liver sits under the rib cage and if you slump all day you are squashing and compressing liver cells and they are under more stress.
If we eat toxic foods with poor nutritional value, which most of us go for when we are stressed and time poor, we create more work for the liver. The liver is constantly trying to get rid of toxins therefore it no longer converts glycogen - glucose for energy efficiently for exercise and daily activities, so we get fatigued and reach for more food for energy and the negative cycle continues. It is no wonder that we are all frustrated, fatigued, irritable and down right "LIVERISH".
Please do yourself a big favour and start putting your well being first. Give your liver a break, ease the load and take a look at some very simple things you can START to do to move in the direction of health. Remember the liver is the only organ in the body that is regenerating. Every 90 days you get a new liver as the cells replace themselves. The healthier you become every 90 days you will have a healthier liver, however if you keep neglecting the liver every 90 days you may have a liver that is much worse.
1.) Hydrate yourself, dilute the toxins in your body so that when they pass through the liver and kidneys they do not damage your precious liver and kidney cells.
2.) Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in water every morning
3.) Move your body, go for at least a 30 minute walk or some form of exercise every day
4.) Work on your posture, stretch regularly throughout the working day it makes a huge difference and it actually feels good.
5.) Breathe deeply in fresh air
6.) Manage your stress by having YOU time
7.) Eat a clean healthy diet that consists of lots of vegetables and fruits, cutting down on alcohol
8.) Beet Kvass is a great thing you can make yourself as a liver tonic. Look it up on google.
These 8 steps are a start. If you have been mistreating your liver for years remember that it takes time to regenerate. These steps are easy and do and they make a big difference. Remember it is the small changes that make the biggest difference and it all starts with the decision to try, so build healthy habits over a 28 day period, as this is how long it takes to develop a healthy habit. Tune in next month as I speak about the effects of stress on our nervous system and wellbeing. In the meantime be kind to your body and your liver you never know where new found health will take you.