What are signs your liver is detoxing?
Why do we need a 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 to prevent fibrosis. Detox is necessary to maintain optimal liver performance.
What are the signs the liver is detoxing?
Our body goes 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.
The most toxic substance for the liver is alcohol, regular consumption of alcohol is the biggest risk factor for the development of irreversible liver injury, alcohol dependence alters the 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 the most difficult. Symptoms experienced at the 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.
There are certain signs while your life detoxes such as mild digestion-related discomforts. These signs are minimal and they show after dietary changes, (cutting off refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose products, processed foods, trans fat, fried foods, various unnecessary supplements, medicines, etc).
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 life 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 – the liver constantly produces bile which absorbs fats and important nutrients, when working properly work of digestion should become noticeably better.
- No easier bruising and bleeding – healthy liver prevents blood loss and aids in faster wound healing – since the liver synthesizes all the proteins (clotting factors) necessary for blot clot formation,
- Healthier-looking skin – one of the most prominent changes people can notice after “resetting their liver” is clear and healthy skin color. The 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 these changes are manageable with detox.
- Heightened immune response – The liver has a quite important role in the 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 the 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 the management or prevention of liver diseases. However, one thing is clear, following a balanced diet, avoiding the aforementioned products, and having a healthy lifestyle can take some pressure off the liver. The liver will accordingly make its performance more effective and be strong when preventing the development of toxin-related liver diseases.