Liver Health Tips * Eastern Medicine Nutrition & Herbs *
Embrace the Sunshine
School's out, vacations are happening and air conditioners are running full blast. What does this mean for your liver? While warmer weather often leads to plenty of fun in the sun, it's important to take care of your health. Summertime activities, including barbeques (smoke and other toxins), boating (exhaust fumes), drinking alcohol, late nights (insufficient sleep), chemicals (bug spray, sunscreen), and eating certain foods (dairy, junk food, sugar, wheat) can cause a greater need for additional liver support. Get Well Natural's tips and herbal supplements can help you take care of your liver the natural way so you're ready to turn on the music, fire up the grill and cannonball into the pool!*
The Danger of Summer BBQs
Poolside barbeques are a summer ritual. Add an ice chest full of beer and wine, and by the end of the night, empty bottles and cans adorn the patio while family and friends act a little more free-spirited than usual. It may sound like fun, but it's important to consider the negative effect alcohol has on the body's immune system and organs – including cirrhosis of the liver. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), cirrhosis refers to a condition in which the liver deteriorates and malfunctions over time due to chronic injury (i.e. drinking). In a cirrhosis patient, blood cannot flow properly through the liver because scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue. Common symptoms include weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal bloating, itching and spiderlike blood vessels on the skin. So how much is too much? NDDIC indicates that the amount of alcohol it takes to damage the liver is different for everybody. For women, two to three alcoholic drinks per day can lead to liver damage and cirrhosis. For men, it takes approximately three to four drinks per day. According to Mayo Clinic, other risks of excessive alcohol consumption include:
Your Liver Works for You
Chances are, you've heard the words "detox" and "liver" used in the same sentence. Actually, many parts of your body play a role in the detoxification process – especially your liver. Your liver is the largest organ in your body and it has many jobs, including converting food into energy and cleaning alcohol and other poisons from the blood. A major function of the detoxification system is to process toxins so they are more easily removed from the body. The liver helps with this by binding toxins to amino acids and other detoxifying agents. To further explain this process, we're bringing back one of Dr. Graeme Shaw's most popular articles, Detoxification: An Important Tool for Surviving in a Toxic World. In his exploration of both cellular and liver detoxification, Dr. Shaw fills us in on the liver's role in toxicity and how you can enhance detoxification.*
What exactly are the ABCs of Hepatitis?
According to the American Liver Foundation, Hepatitis A, B and C affects more than five million Americans. While all three forms of Hepatitis result in inflammation of the liver caused by a virus, here's some at-a-glance info to help you differentiate these liver diseases:
Hepatitis A (HAV):
Hepatitis B (HBV)
Hepatitis C (HCV)
Just like your body craves cool air in the summer, your food needs to stay cool as well. The countertop fruit bowl (and your stash of dark chocolate) may need to move to the refrigerator. When dining in the backyard, keep toppings and mayonnaise-based dips like guacamole on ice and make sure to put away perishable items promptly. Remember to defrost meat in the fridge overnight instead of setting it on the counter, as food-related illnesses are more common in warmer weather. Here are a few summer-friendly recipes to kick off the season:Facebook Page or Twitter (@GetWellNatural) and leave us a comment or send us a message. We'd love to hear from you!