Your Amazing Liver

liver
Keeping an eye open for any early signs of liver problems is an essential part of maintaining a holistic health lifestyle. Without a fully functioning liver, both your health and lifestyle will be compromised. Luckily your liver is capable of repairing itself, so providing that any problems are spotted early, and are not allowed to develop and worsen, your liver is likely to make a full recovery. So you need to be on the alert. Here are some symptoms of liver problems to be on the lookout for.Liver damage can include anything from heredity (i.e., inherited from a family member), toxicity (i.e., due to chemicals or viruses) to a long-term disease (i.e., Cirrhosis) that can affect your liver for the rest of your life.

The liver helps the body digest food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate toxic substances. Without this abdominal organ you wouldn’t be able to live.

Causes for liver damage

Liver problems usually occur gradually and over many years. The most common cause for liver problems is long term alcohol consumption. Other causes are:

  • Various viruses including many type of hepatitis
  • Malnutrition
  • Reactions to certain medications
  • Overuse of certain medications
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Inherited disorders of iron and copper metabolism
  • Diseases like liver cancer and fatty liver caused by obesity
  • Diabetics have an increased risk of liver disease
  • Even smoking can dramatically increase the risk for not only lung cancer, but also liver cancer. Certain chemotherapy drugs can damage cells in the liver, and even too much of vitamin A can cause liver damage.

7 Early Symtomps of Liver Damage

Dark yellow urine

Due to increased levels of the bile pigment in the body that cannot be eliminated by the damaged liver. People may associate it with dehydration, but if they drink enough fluids, it should not happen.

Swollen Abdomen

Cirrhosis, the serious progression of liver disease, causes fluid build-up in the abdomen (a condition referred to as ascites), as levels of albumin and proteins in the blood and fluid are retained. This may actually make the patient appear pregnant. While ascites can be caused by numerous medical conditions, cirrhosis of the liver is the single most common. Sometimes, swelling can also take place in the ankles, as accumulated fluid is drawn down into the body by the forces of gravity.

Diarrhea, constipation or intestinal bleeding

There are noticeable changes in bowel movement. You may have periods of constipation or diarrhea or change in the stool color or traces of blood in it.

Acid Reflux

If you suffer from increasingly frequent attacks of acid reflux with indigestion, with or without vomiting, these are other warning signs that all is not well and needs investigating further.

Jaundice

This is the well known ‘yellowing’ of your skin. Your whole body including sometimes your fingernails and eyes take on a yellow hue. This is mainly due to the build up of ‘bilirubin’ which is a pigment in bile. Bile is made in our livers, and is essential in the digestion process. If your liver is having problems filtering the toxins that you ingest (whether through the digestive tract, the skin or the respiratory system) bilirubin will collect in the bloodstream thus turning your pallor yellow.

Nausea and vomiting

Due the interruption to the digestive system, you may suffer from heartburn, nausea and vomiting.

Abdominal pain

Especially where the liver is located, in the upper right part of the belly under the ribs.

3 Liver Detox Recipes

Beet-Juice

Liver Boosting Beet Juice:

1 beet
1 carrot
1 lemon, peeled
1 handful parsley
Run all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy.

Deep-Green-Liver-Detox

Deep Green Liver Detox:

1/2 cucumber
2 cups kale
1 lime, peeled
1 cup swiss chard
1/2 lemon, peeled
Run all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy.

Liver-Detox-Green-Smoothie

Liver Detox Green Smoothie:

2 oranges, peeled
1/2 rib celery
1 lemon, peeled
1/2 cup dandelion greens (or other bitter green)
1/2 cup parsley
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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Binge Drinking Affects Your Immune System Immediately

Binge Drinking

Binge Drinking

Just one night of binge drinking affects the immune system, and it can happen within just 20 minutes of ingesting alcohol. The findings, published in the journal Alcohol last month, are the first to document the immediate effects of alcohol on the human immune system.

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against disease, infection and viruses. If this system is damaged, reduced or does not work as efficiently as it should, a person will become sick with illness from infections or viruses. Alcohol is known to inhibit the immune system which means that those who abuse alcohol will find it takes longer and they are affected by infections much longer than other people.

When the immune system is deficient and a person abuses alcohol, they have an increased risk of contracting certain diseases such as pneumonia, respiratory infections, blood-borne viruses such as HIV or Hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases. Additionally, if they have a predisposition to cancer, heart disease or kidney disease, these conditions are more likely to occur.

balanced-immune-system

Balanced Immune System

It is well known that binge drinking alters behavior. “But there is less awareness of alcohol’s harmful effects in other areas, such as the immune system,” Loyola University Chicago’s Elizabeth Kovacs says in a news release. Previous studies in both humans and animals revealed that alcohol intoxication exerts effects on the immune system several hours to days after the exposure—when blood alcohol is no longer detectable.

Now, to study the effects while blood alcohol is still elevated, a team led by Majid Afshar of Loyola University Health Systems collected blood from seven men and eight women before they voluntarily became intoxicated after “high-dose alcohol consumption.” This was achieved by downing up to five shots of vodka within 20 minutes. A 1.5-ounce shot of vodka is the equivalent of one 5-ounce glass of wine or 12-ounce can of beer.

The team also collected blood 20 minutes, two hours, and five hours after the participants first imbibed (these are the times when intoxicated patients typically arrive at trauma centers for alcohol-related injuries). The researchers isolated immune cells from the blood sample, and then measured their response to introduced proteins from potentially harmful bacteria, New Scientist explains. An early pro-inflammatory state was already evident at 20 minutes when blood alcohol levels were about 130 milligrams per deciliter. The immune system was revving up: There was an increase in total circulating leukocytes, monocytes, and natural killer cells. Additionally, there was also an increase in cytokines, a protein that signals the immune system to ramp up.

The responses eventually diminished, and the immune system became more sluggish than when the volunteers were sober. At the two and five hour post-peak-intoxication intervals, the team found an anti-inflammatory state with reduced numbers of monocytes and natural killer cells circulating in the blood. This was accompanied by higher levels of a different kind of cytokine that signals for the immune system to become less active.

So next TGIF, before you have your night out consider this information.

You can find out more about helping to boost your immune system here.