What are signs your liver is detoxing?
Why do we need liver detox?
The liver is the largest internal organ which has many complex functions like production of bile, storage of micronutrients, blood sugar balance, maintenance of immunity, various types of protein synthesis, metabolism and probably the most important – detoxification. The liver is a kind of filter for toxins. It converts toxins in the body into more harmless and easily removable substances.
The liver processes alcohol, medications, food additives, processed foods, chemicals, metabolic products (ammonia, bilirubin) and so on. Metabolic products and toxins, if accumulated in excessive amounts, destroy cellular structures – directly or indirectly through inflammatory reactions. Cell death and inflammation in the liver cause active proliferation of connective tissues – fibrosis. If the liver is constantly overworked with detoxifications of all these toxins its function begins to deteriorate with time. At later stages, the changes become irreversible, cirrhosis develops. That is why it’s crucial to eliminate all triggers of inflammation in order to prevent fibrosis. Detox is necessary to maintain optimal liver performance.
What are the signs the liver is detoxing?
Our body going through detox phases is likely to experience some type of withdrawal symptoms before the more positive effects take place. But at least these signs give us a clue that we are on the right track of liver detox.
Most toxic substance for the liver is alcohol, regular consumption of alcohol is actually the biggest risk factor for development of irreversible liver injury, dependence on alcohol alters physiology of not only the liver but the whole body and withdrawal from it is therefore quite complex.
While on a detox journey you might go through several phases, the first phase is probably most difficult. Symptoms experienced at first stages can be unpleasant and even dangerous, since the body is going through an adaptation process. Although this is mostly true when it comes to withdrawing from extremely harmful substances like – alcohol, the signs noticed during detoxing stages can be :
- Nausea, vomiting
- Irritability, headache, confusion, mood changes
While going through alcohol withdrawal phases those symptoms can become extremely dangerous, especially in case of going “cold turkey”, supervision from a physician is necessary.
When speaking of the signs your liver is detoxing in the form of dietary changes, meaning cutting off refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose products, processed foods, trans fat, fried foods, various unnecessary supplements, medicines etc after consuming them regularly, aforementioned signs can be experienced, although minimally, in fact it’s more likely to feel like discomfort
Recommendations to minimize those side effects are to ease into detox plan, drink lots of fluids and contact your physician in case your symptoms become inappropriately severe.
Signs Your Liver is Detoxing – Upsides
Detoxifying the liver can improve its function but you might need to wait to notice the positive signs of detox. In the long-run these signs tell us that liver is getting healthier:
- Increased energy levels – Since less energy is consumed for detoxifying harmful substances and your meal plan mostly includes nutritious foods you are likely to feel more energy.
- Better digestion – liver constantly produces bile which absorbs fats and important nutrients, when working properly work of digestion should become noticeably better.
- No more easy bruising and bleeding – healthy liver prevents blood loss and aids in faster wound healing – since liver synthesizes all the proteins (clotting factors) necessary for blot clot formation,
- Healthier looking skin – one of most prominent changes people can notice after “resetting their liver” is a clear and healthy skin color. Diseased and overworked liver is associated with skin jaundice – yellow skin because of bilirubin accumulation, small red dots – caused by small abnormal blood vessels, hyperpigmentation and blemishes , in case liver damage is reversible this changes are manageable with detox.
- Heightened immune response – Liver has a quite important role in a fight against infections, since it contains a large number of active immune cells.
- No more nausea – the unpleasant feeling of nausea comes up when toxins build up in the bloodstream and the liver is overworked to detoxify them all, you relieve liver from extra work by going through a detox plan.
Leaving the liver without the toxic substances to work on like processed foods, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, grilled foods and abstaining from alcohol etc makes the body go into adaptation mode which we feel in way of various symptoms.
There is not much researched evidence backing up liver detox programs being an aid in management or prevention of liver diseases but one thing is clear, following a balanced diet, avoiding aforementioned products and having a healthy lifestyle can definitely take some pressure off liver, which will accordingly make its performance more effective and help prevent development of toxin-related liver diseases.