The liver aids both in glandular function and with other organ systems. It protects the body by detoxifying hormones, drugs, and any biological molecules not produced in the human body. It’s very important to return an overburdened liver to healthy enzyme levels to ensure all of these processes continue to function normally. Educate yourself on conditions that can tax the liver. Partly because the liver performs so many essential functions, it is prone to a number of different diseases. Hepatitis viruses: Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E all have different causes. However, each different type of hepatitis infection taxes the liver. Other infections that burden the liver include mononucleosis, adenoviruses, and cytomegalovirus. Tick bites and parasites can cause harmful diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or toxoplasmosis.
Recognize the symptoms of liver disease. Because the liver is involved in so many different processes, there is no single list of symptoms that point to liver disease. However, every liver disorder has both unique and shared symptoms. See your healthcare provider for a diagnosis. See your doctor for a physical exam, and provide him with a complete medical history and description of your symptoms. The LFT will test for the levels of various liver enzymes and proteins. Your doctor will use that information to aid in diagnosis. ALT is used to detect and follow the progress of hepatitis and liver injury. High levels are found in those with alcoholism, viral hepatitis, and diabetes.
ALT levels is often used to tell if liver disease is due to infection, inflammation, or alcohol use. Can help diagnose bone disease, liver disease and gallbladder disorders. With ALP, can be used to distinguish between liver and bone disease. LFT values to monitor treatment of liver and other disorders. High levels are seen in various liver diseases, anemias, kidney disease, and infections. If you have a history of liver disease, you may need liver tests every month or every six to eight weeks.
Keep track of the numbers carefully. A downward trend in lab values over six to twelve months will indicate success in supporting the liver. Always keep your physician informed regarding any supplements you are taking, and let her know if there is any change in your symptoms. Leafy green vegetables have high levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Importantly for liver function, they can lower the level of fat deposits in the liver. Look for foods high in antioxidants. Beets alone won’t lower your liver enzymes, but they’re high in “flavonoids” that act as antioxidants that support liver function.
Other nuts, including walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and almonds also contain B vitamins and minerals in significant amounts. 50 grams of fiber a day. Foods that are high in fiber prevent your body from absorbing cholesterol. By reducing the amount of cholesterol your liver has to process, you increase liver health and lower enzyme levels. Drink citrus juices rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in tissue repair and wound healing. Eating citrus fruits or drinking their juices will help the liver heal, bringing enzyme levels back to healthy levels.
Citrus fruits are also known to reduce the risk of liver cancer. Increase your consumption of cruciferous vegetables. The family of vegetables called “cruciferous vegetables” are known to balance the production of detoxifying liver enzymes. These “phase two detoxification enzymes” neutralize cancer-causing carcinogens in the body. Ask your healthcare provider about your protein intake. Protein is usually the key to repairing damage in the body, so you might think you should increase protein to treat a strained liver. But because the liver is the organ processing the protein, you may overwhelm it with too much protein. Drinking enough water will help your liver flush out waste products, reducing its work burden. Drink eight to ten 8 oz.
Right before you go to bed. Avoid foods that harm liver health. Healthy foods can support the liver, but unhealthy foods can damage the liver. Too much fat, salt, sugar, or oil can overburden the liver. If you already have high enzyme levels, you need to give your liver a break for a while. Salty foods like most processed and prepared foods, snacks like pretzels and chips, and canned foods. Drink herbal teas that improve liver health. There are many herbs that have been traditionally used to support liver function. Little is known about how these herbs function, but there is a long history of safe use.
In general, most of these herbs have been given as teas, so dosing is not often clear. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and consult your physician for dosing. 500 mg of extract taken three to four times daily. Taraxacum root: Decreases cholesterol, reducing the burden on the liver. Drink two to four cups of dandelion root tea daily or two to four gm of root daily. Combination formulas: There are many of these on the market, though most have not been clinically tested. Examples include NOW’s Liver Detoxifier and Regenerator, Gaia Herbs Deep Liver Support, and Oregon’s Wild Harvest Milk Thistle Dandelion. Green tea: Reduces the risk of liver disease, but in some people, it can increase liver problems. The best course is to speak to your physician for advice regarding using green tea.
In general, two to four cups of green tea has been shown to reduce the risk of liver disease. These herbs not only taste delicious, but are also known to improve liver health. Add these herbs to taste, and use at least one of these daily. Garlic also prevents liver cancer and heart disease and boosts the immune system. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that support the liver by decreasing the inflammation that leads to hepatitis, NASH, liver cancer, and cirrhosis. Though there are plenty of ways to get antioxidants through diet, supplements can help you get even more.
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