Most people know that the liver is one of the major organs in the body. Most people are unaware of the complete role it plays and how addiction can damage it. The short version is that if we did not have a liver, or if the liver was not functioning properly, we would die a slow and painful death, mostly through blood poisoning.
The liver filters out all the toxins and everything else that would harm the body by getting into the bloodstream in dangerous amounts. The liver detoxes the bloodstream, so these toxins are taken out and expelled. This is why you need to look for signs that your liver is detoxing so that you won’t just keel over from blood poisoning.
Typically the body will get rid of toxins any way it can. Normally, it would do so through regular waste disposal, sending the toxins out with the stool or urine. In cases where the liver is not functioning properly and cannot process these toxins efficiently, the body tries to expel them in some other way, and sweat is one such way.
Sticky, smelly, and excessive sweat means there are fatty compounds and other toxins being expelled through the skin and brought out through sweating. Excessive sweating could point out that there are a lot of toxins to process and expel, and the liver is not up to it.
In most cases, blood poisoning is a slow process. Toxins, unprocessed and not filtered by a possibly malfunctioning liver, circulate through the body, causing damage where it could. This means there are more toxins in the blood than there are nutrients and oxygen that help the body function properly.
Without the nutrients and oxygenated blood to go around the body, the person would feel tired, sluggish, and not have enough energy even though they barely did anything.
The body has quite a number of sensors that indicate if something is wrong. Should the liver not be performing well enough to be healthy, signs are sure to pop up that are difficult to ignore. One such sign is nausea or even the urge to vomit after eating, particularly if the meal is fatty or oily. This is actually one of the most compelling reasons why people ask, “how long does it take to detox your liver” as not being able to eat properly is nothing short of agonizing for many.
This is actually the body trying to prevent the person from further endangering the liver, which could already be functioning poorly. The nausea is to try to prevent the person from ingesting food that could make them much worse, as fatty and oily foods need to be processed more than others.
As the body will try to get rid of toxins any way it could if the liver is not performing well, another alternate route for disposal could be pimples and breakouts. The toxins could also be mixed with the pus that comes out when it erupts, and these usually manifest in large, painful pimples.
Allergies are also a common manifestation, particularly those that have an external sign. Allergies are common visual signals that the body is dealing with something or that it needs help in some way to deal with something internally, as the symptoms are quite hard to ignore.
Medical experts monitoring for something wrong would tell the patient to watch out for any color variations in their urine. This is because, much like the signs of allergies, the color of a person’s urine could point to something seriously wrong going on inside, particularly with the liver.
Sometimes dark or discolored urine could be accompanied by a sudden discoloration of the person’s skin as well, particularly if jaundice is setting in. Jaundice is usually the result of liver cells performing poorly, which leads to the build-up of bilirubin, a compound that is present when the liver processes toxins.
Should the liver be unable to process fatty foods properly, the fat will not be disposed of efficiently. Accumulated fat will quickly manifest in weight gain, particularly around the midsection. This happens even if the person is not someone who tends to eat large meals all the time. Alcohol, excess sugar, and even substance abuse could compromise the liver to the extent that it could process fatty foods.
This is worth mentioning as the difference between someone who gains weight through food binging and someone who gains weight due to a compromised liver is the time it takes to gain weight. Large eaters will gain weight, but only after continuing to binge– and over a relatively long period since their liver will inevitably process it.
What is a Dysfunctional Liver?
All the symptoms mentioned above are warnings that a person’s liver is either performing poorly or is on the way to completely failing. Liver failure is a condition that is certain to lead to death, as with any failure of any major organ in the body. Death is a certainty because the liver will no longer be able to do what it does to keep the body running, including:
- Blood cells manufacturing, the blood cells help in transporting oxygen and aid in clotting
- Aid in processing sugar to create glycogen, which gives the body a quick energy boost when needed
- Breakdown of saturated fat and production of cholesterol
- Production of bile, a necessary component of food digestion
- Processing and removal of toxins from the blood, including alcohol and drugs
Should the body experience any disruption of the processes mentioned above, all the other bodily processes will also be affected. Liver disease is already at an alarming rate, as in the US alone, at least 30 million people have one form of liver disease or another, ranging from symptoms that could be treated with continuous medication and a lifestyle change to conditions that need a liver transplant.
Can You Detox Your Liver at Home?
Detoxing the liver is ironic, considering the liver’s job is detoxing the body. In many cases, however, it becomes necessary. This is particularly true for people who either have a liver disease they came by due to an illness, such as hepatitis, or if they have an unhealthy lifestyle, made worse by substance abuse.
The first step to helping your liver with a detox you do yourself is to know how NOT to make things worse. Many think because there are do-it-yourself detox procedures that could be done at home, they can go on and continue making things difficult for their liver. No amount of medication or DIY detox could help your liver if you do nothing to ease the stress that it is going through already.
Here are some ways to help ease the burden on your liver:
Understand the Threats to a Healthy Liver
Medical experts will always argue the disease is hereditary, but at the end of the day, it would still be much better if one could avoid risk and take steps to avoid the disease, if possible. Still, it would be good to know if liver disease is present in the family and how severe it usually is.
This sets the stage for how much more a person should provide extra care for their liver. Prevention will always be better than the cure, and if one could live without taking unnecessary risks, that could be much better.
Be Aware of Relevant Diseases
Some contract viral hepatitis, which affects the liver, which can never recover fully. This leaves their liver weak and quite vulnerable to other forms of the disease. It could get so bad for them that people who had just received a liver transplant have a better chance of recovering and living a healthy life than they ever could.
As viral hepatitis is transmitted through a more direct method, unprotected sex and drug use where the paraphernalia is shared, such as needles, are among the highest possible modes of transmission.
Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle
Unhealthy habits, such as binging, substance abuse, and lack of exercise, are the worst things a person’s liver could go through. These habits push a person’s liver to work overtime, and in conditions where the odds are against the liver coming out ok after the ordeal.
Exercise, proper rest, and moderation could help the liver in a very big way. If these things are not feasible, then at the very least, ensure that things are not made worse for the liver by further abuse.
Eat and Drink Healthy
Unlike decades before, it is much easier to find healthier alternatives to popular meals and drinks today. These things are commercially available and easily integrated into one’s lifestyle. Instead of soda or other drinks high on sugar, natural juice alternatives add vitamins and nutrients the body needs.
There are also alternatives to plant-based processed foods, ensuring the fat levels are kept to a bare minimum if present. The natural flavors of these plant-based foods also do away with added seasoning that could increase the sodium levels in the body.
How Do You Know If Your Liver is Detoxing Successfully?
For people who have gone through a liver detox, the signs your liver is healing will be quite pronounced, as the changes create a profound change in the body. These changes could be subtle at first but are sure to be noticed since the signs of a poorly performing liver are also quite pronounced.
Feeling Energized for Longer
Unlike those with a poorly performing liver, people who have undergone a successful detox will notice they have more energy to get them through the day and tend not to get so tired even after a little physical activity.
This feeling of being energized will also bring a better daily outlook. There is the willingness to do more, go out more often, and experience life at its best.
Proper Digestion and Movement
Anyone who has had to go through any stomach or bowel movement issue will agree that the relief provided by a properly functioning and detoxed liver is heavenly. Regular movement ensures that the body is healthier, but there is a certain freedom in going to places where a toilet might not be readily available.
Better digestion also helps ensure one does not suffer from having a “spare tire” along the midsection. As fatty food is less likely to cause an accumulation of fatty tissue along the belly, a better and healthier figure is seen.
Clearer Skin and Complexion
Those who had liver issues before and have successfully detoxed will notice better-looking skin as one of the earlier signs. There will be less discoloration or pigmentation as the toxins in the blood have now been flushed from the system.
Coupled with a better outlook due to more energy, people who had a successful liver detox often look like people who had a makeover done on them, as even their general demeanor has improved following the experience of getting better.
Looking Good Comes with Feeling Good
A generally better demeanor, a better complexion, and a more outgoing disposition are natural outcomes in people who had a successful liver detox. The good feeling that comes with the compliments of looking much better than before is sure to enhance anyone’s mood and confidence.
Better Mental State
Many things are going on for someone who has had a successful liver detox by way of mental state. For one, there is the removal of the problematic state of being seriously unwell. With the liver up and functioning well once more and the body is showing signs that it is doing better, the relief of it all is a priceless experience. Not worrying about one’s health is a definite boost for mental well-being.
Reduced or Cleared Inflammations
There are people with liver issues who do not only manifest through sweating excessively and skin discoloration but also through inflammation in the more vulnerable parts of the body. The inflammation is due to the toxins being freely circulated in the body, as the liver cannot process them properly.
As the liver picks up the pace after a successful detox, these inflammations will clear up after some time, and with it, the pain and swelling that comes with it.
Consistent Weight and Build
While others put on the pounds when their liver is not functioning properly, others experience drastic weight changes, shifting from being overweight at one point to drastically dropping all the weight when the condition becomes more serious.
A properly functioning liver allows for weight consistency as no radical changes happen in the body. With the filtering and disposal system of the body properly functioning, more consistent weight and build could be seen.
Healthier Habits Maintained
A natural byproduct of a successful liver detox is the willingness and drive to stay healthy. This means that unhealthy habits will be discarded, and a better outlook and opinion on eating and drinking habits is sure to manifest. Feeling better and being better does tend to inspire a person to want to stay that way.
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There IS a Way to Achieve Wellness and Recovery
The path to being better is definitely not easy. It is not as difficult as most paint it out to be, either. All you need to do is find the path to getting better and stay on it until you achieve it.
We here at Achieve Wellness and Recovery understand this better than most others, which is why we do our best to make sure people see the path. Once they see it, we also ensure that they know what it takes to stay on it until they achieve what they set out to do.
- Stravitz RT, Lee WM. Acute liver failure. Lancet. 2019;394(10201):869-881. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31894-X
- Liver Disease: Types, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment. Cleveland Clinic. Published November 23, 2021. Accessed January 1, 2023. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17179-liver-disease
- Adeva-Andany MM, Pérez-Felpete N, Fernández-Fernández C, Donapetry-García C, Pazos-García C. Liver glucose metabolism in humans. Biosci Rep. 2016;36(6):e00416. doi:10.1042/BSR20160385