The liver weighs about 3 lbs. and is about the size of a football. The liver has many functions. It is both an organ and a gland. You can see liver’s location in the body in this photo.
The liver has 500 functions, mainly digestion and detoxification.
The liver carries out the manufacture (synthesis) of essential proteins including albumin (to help maintain the volume of blood) and blood clotting factors. The liver synthesizes, stores, and processes (metabolizes) fats including fatty acids (used for energy) and cholesterol.
The liver metabolizes and stores carbohydrates which are used as a source of glucose that the red blood cells and the brain use.
The liver is the major organ for detoxification.
The liver is the body’s filtration system. It filters out microbes, drugs and dead cells from the body as an immune function. Every hormone, chemical, bacteria, virus, fungus and parasite is filtered through the liver. The liver is like an oil filter in your car.
The liver eliminates, by metabolizing and/or secreting, the potentially harmful biochemical products produced by the body, biochemical waste products such as bilirubin from the breakdown of old red blood cells, and ammonia from the breakdown of proteins It detoxifies, by metabolizing and/or secreting, drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins from the body.
A Special Organ
The liver has many special features. For example, in order to carry out its functions. It has ducts (tubes) that closely connect it to the gallbladder and intestines. Thus, bile made by the liver travels through these tubes to the gallbladder. The bile is stored in the gallbladder between meals, and then is discharged into the intestines at mealtime to aid in digestion.
The liver is appropriately situated in the body to directly receive the blood that comes from the intestines. With this arrangement, the liver can readily process (metabolize) nutrients absorbed from food as well as other contents of this blood.
Because of its numerous biochemical functions, the liver is considered the biochemical factory of the body.
The liver has three lobes which are grouped into three zones which are related to the liver’s blood supply and drainage. The blood enters one zone and then travels through the second and third before it leaves. Each zone has its own special function to perform.
The liver has a dual blood supply. One comes from the portal vein and the other from the hepatic artery. The hepatic artery brings the liver oxygenated blood that comes from the lungs, heart and branches of the aortic artery. This artery supplies blood to nourish the bile ducts and the liver cells. The blood is removed from the liver by the hepatic veins and then heads back to the heart and lungs.
Gall bladder and Bile
The liver makes bile. Bile acids, which include bile salts, aid in fat absorption and modulate cholesterol levels. They are produced from cholesterol in the liver and are stored in the gall bladder. The liver then secretes bile to aid in the intestinal absorption of fats and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
Bile breaks down the fats in your diet. It also is necessary for the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins. A, D, E, K. Without the proper bile salts a person won’t get the benefits of these vitamins whether from supplements or from food.
If your body cannot absorb Vitamin A, you have trouble seeing at night. You will have sinus problems and dry skin. You may have yellow skin tag on inside of eye. Lack of absorption of Vitamin D results in calcium not being absorbed. You can have seasonal depression. If it cannot absorb Vitamin E, the libido is down. Not absorbing Vitamin K will result in bruising.
Lack of bile will result in bloating, burping, belching, headaches on the right side. (98% of headaches come from lack of bile). A person will feel very bloated at night.
You will crave the stuff you can’t absorb. This means that the body is not absorbing the food. If you are not absorbing, the body will want the stuff it isn’t absorbing. A person will crave sweets after eating due to low blood sugar. You are not digesting fats so you crave them. Another symptom is being grouchy in the morning.
When the liver is damaged over the years, toxins that are normally filtered out can re-circulate through the body re-exposing delicate glands to harmful compounds and can trigger a toxic overload. Synthetic estrogens, medications, aspirin, birth control pills will cause damage. Alcohol will damage and eventually destroy the liver.
Damage to the liver causes a potbelly appearance. Fluid coming from the destruction of the liver will leak into the sac around belly. What is the most obvious sign of liver problems, the pot belly – hard, higher, most of it is fluid. That is why the symptom of a liver not functioning properly is that the stomach will become hard and solid. Fluid is leaking.
There are many things that are hard on the liver, heavy cooked proteins and deep fried foods. The worse the liver, the more you can’t tolerate heavy proteins.
Symptoms of Liver Problems
A symptom of the liver being taxed is right shoulder pain – there is a nerve that goes from the liver to the right shoulder. Livers swell and you can’t sleep on the left side as the liver is too heavy.
Red spots on the skin, itchy skin, psoriasis, liver spots, hot feet, white tongue, bad breath, digestive bloating, itchy bottom of feet are all symptoms of liver problems.
A good thing is that the liver can regenerate – three years of eating a certain way will regenerate the liver.
Losing Weight and the Liver
The liver also makes a fat burning hormone, but all the 6 fat burning hormones work through the liver. As fat on the body is burned, it has to travel through the liver to be metabolized.
The liver helps stabilize a person’s blood sugars when a person is not eating, thus keeping the fuel source in the blood constant. If it is not working correctly, the liver will have problems digesting fats.
High protein diets are not recommended for someone with a less than stellar liver. The liver needs to be healthy. This is especially true for someone who is older who will have more problems digesting protein. A high protein diet is missing nutrients – not enough nutrients – and it is hard on liver. Fat will be released through liver and plug it up. Fatty liver, block liver from detoxifying, and it will create bad breath. It is not healthiest way. It is not a long term solution.
Your liver needs vegetables – the fiber buffers insulin. You want to get your metabolism healthy. Vegetables have vitamins and minerals to burn more fat. It has the highest nutrition and improves liver function.
Alcohol as a toxin messes with liver and slows down weight loss.
Thyroid and the Liver
The thyroid’s functions can be blocked due to a liver problem.
T4 is thyroxin that the thyroid produces. The 4 stands for 4 iodine molecules. In order for the body to be able to use the thyroxin, bile salts need to convert T4 to T3 (eliminates one of the iodine molecules). Thus if there is a lack of bile salts, the body will not be able to use the thyroid hormone.
If liver is bad, the thyroid doesn’t work. Anything that messes with Liver will stop the thyroid.
Besides converting the T4 to T3, bile salts are needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins.
If you feel bloated at night, the body is not absorbing the food. It will want the stuff you can’t absorb – will need sweet after you eat for low blood sugar. Not digesting fats so crave. You will be grouchy in the morning.
Liver does well on cruciferous vegetables.
Liver Cleanse – Organic Cruciferous Vegetables
When the body needs bile salts and the liver needs help, a really remarkable supplement is Dr. Berg’s Gallbladder Formula
What are some of the symptoms a person would have if they needed this product? Bloating, indigestion, burping, belching and right shoulder tension and pain.
The Gallbladder Formula contains natural ingredients.
This product has a blend of gallbladder targeted nutrients to thin bile, reduce digestive stress, break down stones and improve the digestion of fats. Most digestive drugs work by reducing acid and this natural product enhances the bile, a commonly omitted factor.
For information about this formula including a video by Dr. Berg go to Dr. Berg’s Gallbladder Formula
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