Since 2006, research has shown alcohol-associated liver disease has been steadily increasing and since the pandemic, it has grown even more – particularly between the ages of 25-44 with the highest death rates between the ages of 45-64. More people in their late twenties and thirties are becoming sick with liver disease which may be due to job and school disruption, lifestyle changes and isolation experienced in the last few years.
This, in addition to a less-than-ideal diet, lack of movement, medications, and stress can all be hard on the liver – an organ associated with spring in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
So what can you do to nourish this part of the body that plays a vital role in detoxification, metabolism, and digestion?
1. Decrease your toxic overload.
Harm to the liver can be the result of a cumulative overload. Frequent use of NSAIDs (like ibuprofen and acetaminophen), drugs, alcohol, sugar, fried foods, environmental toxins (such as mold, BPA, pesticides, and phthalates), and stress can all overwhelm the liver, particularly when added up.
To decrease such burden, lessen or avoid usage of unhealthy and/or unnecessary toxins when possible such as taking a break from alcohol, eating organic foods, reducing sugar intake, avoiding fried and processed foods, and using natural, toxic-free beauty and cleaning products.
2. Monitor your liver function.
Constipation, nausea, fatigue, dark urine, pale stool, loss of appetite, itchiness, and swelling in the abdomen can all be symptoms of a struggling liver. Blood tests can help monitor liver function and can be requested through a primary care physician or Dr. Graves.
3. Support the liver with supplements.
Liver supplements can be used regularly or for a certain amount of time (such as the spring season). Dandelion, milk thistle, ginseng, turmeric, L-Glutathione, beet, and ginger are especially supportive liver herbs.
Liver C™ by Mountain Peak Nutritionals, LV-GB Complex™ by Designs for Health, Liver Cleanse by Thorne®, and GB6™ by Health Concerns are supplements designed to support liver health and can be purchased at the CNMA office.
4. Aid detoxification and move stuck qi.
Qi (energy) can get stuck in the liver according to TCM from toxins, stress, illness, etc. so aiding the detoxification process by moving lodged qi can be helpful.
Activities that induce sweating such as exercise and hot yoga as well as sitting in saunas and steam rooms can help detoxify the body through the skin and acupuncture, cupping, acupressure, and massage can work to stimulate the movement of qi.
And spring is just the time to do this!
For liver supplements or therapeutic naturopathic services, please call us at (303) 688-6698 or schedule your appointment here.
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