Here’s a statistic for you:
We come into contact with more toxins in 30 days than our grandparents did in their ENTIRE lifetime.
I like to share this because, if you’re like me, I always used to wonder why it seemed I had way more health issues than my grandmother did. Migraines, fatigue, anxiety, depression, anxiety. She seemed to not deal with any of these.
And knowing what I know now – that the modern world that we live in has way more toxins in it than the world our grandparents lived in.
These days, it’s hard to avoid toxins.
They are added to food, they are in the clothes you wear, your beauty care products (in fact, some experts say that women put close to 500 chemicals on their body before they leave the house for the day).
They are in our food storage, the medications we take, and the water we drink.
The more toxins your body is exposed to, the harder your liver has to work to remove them. If the liver struggles to keep up with the demand for detoxification, it may become sluggish and congested…and toxins end up getting backed up into the body.
Now, the amazing thing about our bodies is that it tells us when something is not working at an optimal level. This comes in the way of nagging health issues. Symptoms are just like the check engine light in our car…they are a sign from the body that something is going on under the hood.
It’s up to us to listen…and to take action.
Here are 6 signs that your liver might be congested and may need a little love:
- Weight gain or weight that won’t come off: When toxins build up in the body, they can cause blood sugar issues and hormonal imbalance, which can ultimately cause weight to creep up…even if you are eating well and exercising.
- Acne and other skin problems: When toxins get backed up in the body, they can wreak havoc on our skin through acne, rosacea, rashes, dermatitis, and eczema. We’ve been made to believe our whole lives that skin problems can be addressed with lotions and serums. However, so many of our skin problems are actually coming from inside the body.
- Waking up in the middle of the night: Liver processing time is between 2 and 4 AM. If you find yourself frequently waking up between these times and find it difficult to fall back asleep, then your body is giving you an indication that your liver needs some love.
- Fatigue: If you feel exhausted, drained, run-down chronically stressed, even if you are getting plenty of sleep, then your body may be telling you that the liver is not working properly.
- You take birth control or other medications: Birth control and other medications need to be processed out by the liver along with everything else, and can contribute to a sluggish liver.
- PMS: If your liver is congested, then it will have a difficult time detoxing excess hormones. As you see in the image below, our hormones are high in the two weeks leading up to our period. As the hormone levels decrease, they have to go somewhere…and the liver helps in processing those extra levels of hormones out. If we don’t have a well-functioning liver, things don’t get processed out and that can lead to bloating, mood issues, cravings for junk food, and more.
So you might be thinking, “Okay, Kim, based on what you just told me, I DEFINITELY need to support my liver. How can I do that?”
Don’t worry, I’ve got you.
Here are a few simple but POWERFUL ways you can start supporting your liver today and every day:
- Sleep: Have you ever noticed that you feel more rested if you go to bed earlier and sleep 8 hours than if you go to bed late and sleep 8 hours? The timeframe that we sleep is just as important as the number of hours we get.Your sleep is worth 2x before midnight than it is after midnight. Some key rejuvenation processes happen during that time and it also sets your liver up for success during its key processing time – 2 to 4 AM. Aim to go to bed by 10.
- Take an Epsom salt bath: If going to bed by 10 sounds really difficult because you’re a night owl, try ending your evening with an Epsom salt bath. Magnesium absorption is the biggest benefit of an Epsom salt bath. While there are a TON of benefits to magnesium, here are a few: It helps relax the body and destress, helps soften the skin, and reduces inflammation and sore muscles.AND it helps support liver function. I try to take 1-2 Epsom salt baths per week. I’ll put 1-2 cups of it into a bath. You can also add other items as well. Search Pinterest for ideas!If you don’t have a bath, you can still benefit from these by doing a foot soak!
- Incorporate organ meats into your diet 1x per week: Organ meats provide B vitamins that help both phases of liver detoxification. If you can’t find organ meats or don’t like the sound of adding them in, you can take an organ meat supplement. Paleo Valley Organ Complex is a good one to try!
- Drink more water: Many of us are chronically dehydrated…and that makes it harder for the detoxification process. If you think about what the ground is like after it hasn’t rained in awhile…it’s hard, it’s difficult to pull weeds out, and difficult to dig into. There’s not a lot of movement.The same thing can happen in the body (obviously to a different effect). So the more hydrated we are, the more movement we will get.Aim for 1/2 your body weight in ounces daily. So if you weight 150, aim for 75 ounces.Do you struggle to get enough water in? I’m a big believer in the right water bottle helping you get your water in. I use this water bottle and so do many of my clients. They’ve reported back to me that they are finding it WAY easier to get their water in.
- Support digestion: Your liver has an easier time processing toxins when your digestion is in check. Here are some ways you can support your digestion:
- Drink 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water before every meal – this helps stimulate enzyme production and bile secretion—important to help with detox
- Eat prebiotic-rich foods such as garlic, onions, bananas, and dandelion greens. Google for more ideas! Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut. This helps the gut bacteria produce nutrients for your colon cells and leads to a healthier digestive system.
- Chew your food thoroughly. This is where digestion begins. The smaller food is when it hits your digestive tract, the easier time the body will have in breaking it down into the nutrients it needs. Aim for 20-32 chews before swallowing.
All of these suggestions are things you can start trying today. Pick the ones that seem the easiest to you and start with those. Use this email as a checklist to help you get everything in.
I know some of these seem almost too simple…but honestly, it really is that simple to start giving your liver a little bit of extra love.
The more we love and support our liver, the more it will help us with our overall health.
Let me know how you go with these!
All my best,
PS – If you deal with symptoms and are ready to get some answers, then I encourage you to consider getting lab testing done and a customized plan for healing. If you’re new to functional lab testing, then I recommend the HTMA test as the place to start. It’s the most cost-effective lab test and provides a TON of insight as to the root cause of what’s going on in the body leading to your symptoms.