March 26, 2024

Spring Cleaning: For Your Liver

Spring Cleaning! But we’re not discussing the spring cleaning you’re thinking of. Dr. Shelby Garn explains:

Let’s talk about your liver! The liver processes basically everything you eat, drink and touch and is a metabolic and detoxification center for the body. It is an important center for thyroid hormone conversion, from helping fight infections to regulating hormones and providing energy. The liver is unique in that it is the one organ that can actually regenerate; however, as powerful as the liver is, it can become overwhelmed by chronic viral or bacterial infections, chronic stress, insecticides and pesticides, substance abuse or even vitamin and mineral imbalances. The liver is meant to be the body’s peacekeeper; it works tirelessly 24 hours a day processing all the good and bad that we put in our bodies or that our bodies are unavoidably burdened with. Let’s not forget about your liver’s neighbour, the gallbladder. If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, what’s now doing the job that your gallbladder was meant to do? Let’s just say the liver does a lot. If you’re experiencing less energy and fatigue, brain fog, any sort of skin concerns, digestive issues, trouble sleeping, emotional dysregulation and irritability it might be time to dive a little deeper into the why factor. More so than ever, with all the chemicals and toxins humans are exposed to there is no doubt your liver could use some additional support. A good place to start is routine bloodwork with a specific focus on liver enzymes.

After the cold Canadian winters of eating warm hearty meals, it’s time to start thinking about changing gears and incorporating a fresh colourful diet, or in other words, eating with the seasons. An easy tool to remember is eating the rainbow, which will ensure you get majority of the nutrients you need to support a healthy liver. Some liver happy foods are those such as beets, tomatoes, strawberries, grapefruit, blueberries, purple potatoes, oranges, bananas, sweet potatoes, green beans and garlic. Many of these options are full of anthocyanins and antioxidants that help prevent or reduce damage to the liver. They are also rich in vitamins such as Vitamin B, C & E which are specifically important for phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification. Cruciferous vegetables, which are rich in sulfur compounds, are specifically important in phase 2 detox by fighting unfriendly pathogens. 

The liver responds well to supplementation, whether that be orally or intravenously, and there are so many well studied remedies to support your liver in functioning as optimally as possible. To help the liver improve circulation and detox effectively, a couple of home remedies to consider are castor oil (Ricinis Communis) packs and saunas. Both saunas and castor oil packs work to increase lymphatic circulation aiding in detoxification, stimulating immune function and ultimately eliminating toxins. While fancy online detoxes are the craze these days, they may not be the best option for you. Simply sweating regularly, having daily bowel movements and drinking plenty of water (since our liver is approximately 70% water!) are foundational factors to a happy liver. To learn more about what options are best for you, book in for a consult with a naturopathic doctor and get a head start on spring cleaning!

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