What Do Your Organs Say About You?
This week we are going to be exploring some of our major organs and what they might be telling us. Our bodies are amazing and can give us signs way before certain things go wrong. The more you know, the better you can troubleshoot an issue and stop it.
Liver Talk, Onions not Included!
The Liver is the largest internal organ and the second largest organ after skin. The coolest thing about the liver is that it can regenerate itself if injured. Another fun fact is that the liver is so important, we could only live for 2 days without it.
So, What Does the Liver Do? (10 facts from 10FAQ.com)
Production of Bile
The liver produces between 800 and 1000 milliliters of bile every day in an adult human.
After production in the liver, the bile makes its way to the gall bladder.
This fluid plays two major roles. It contains salts, also called bile acids. Which are needed during the breakdown and absorption of fats and fat-soluble nutrients in the small intestine. Secondly, bile aids in the elimination of waste products.
Converts Excess Glucose to Glycogen
After you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which then enters the bloodstream for use throughout the body.
A hormone called insulin controls the amount of glucose in blood. With the excess being converted into glycogen by specialized liver cells in a process known as glycogenesis.
The resultant glycogen is stored in the liver and in muscles.
Glycogen makes up as much as 10 percent of the weight of the liver. Glycogen can be broken down into glucose for production of energy.
Converts Poisonous Ammonia to Urea
Ammonia is produced because of nitrogen metabolism in the body. For it to be excreted, ammonia is turned into urea through a series of reactions collectively called the urea cycle. These reactions take place in the cytosol and mitochondrial matrix of the liver.
The urea cycle involves a total of five reactions, which are catalyzed by various key enzymes.
The first two reactions take place in the mitochondrial matrix, and end with the ammonia being turned into citrulline.
The remaining reactions then happen in the cytosol. Where the citrulline formed in the previous steps is eventually turned into urea, which can be excreted through urine.
Regulates Blood Clotting
The liver also plays a role in regulating the clotting of blood in case of bleeding. When an injury causes bleeding, a complex system of proteins within the plasma also known as coagulation factors are activated. Most of these proteins are produced by the liver.
As earlier mentioned, bile salts produced by the liver aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Therefore, the liver enables the absorption of fat-soluble vitamin K, which is required by a number of these coagulation factors for synthesis. Hence, in case of vitamin K deficiency, you might suffer from uncontrolled bleeding because some of these coagulation factors cannot be produced.
The liver clears toxins from the bloodstream in a process known as detoxification. This process occurs in two phases: oxidation and conjugation. During the first phase, the liver breaks down the toxins using oxygen and enzymes. Oxidation causes the toxins to become soluble in water so that they can be excreted via the kidneys or in bile.
However, this first phase can at times disrupt the detoxification process. This is because oxidation may cause some toxins to become even more toxic.
Regulates Iron Levels
Studies have shown that the liver plays a major role in regulating iron homeostasis. Iron is an important nutrient that is closely regulated within the body.
The liver carries out many regulatory mechanisms that control the storage capacity, and iron regulatory gene production.
When the body has excess iron, the liver reacts by increasing iron storage and protects the pancreas and the heart from iron-induced cellular damage.
The liver is also involved in the production of several hormones that are essential for various body processes.
For instance, it is responsible for converting the thyroid hormone to its most active form. This hormone modulates the speed at which various complex biochemical processes and reactions occur.
Moreover, the liver also produces angiotensinogen, a hormone that controls blood pressure. Additionally, the liver secretes another hormone known as IGF-1, which promotes cell growth. The liver also regulates the levels of other hormones such as estrogen by breaking them down and removing them once their job is done.
Stores Vitamins and Minerals
As earlier mentioned, one of the main functions of the liver is storage. The liver acts as a store for minerals, glucose, and vitamins. In the case that any of these factors lacks in our diet, the body gets it from the liver. The liver is an amazing organ as it can store enough vitamin A and vitamin B12 for up to four years.
Vitamins are essential in many metabolic processes where they act as catalysts in several chemical reactions. In fact, lack of a vitamin in the body causes disease. The liver also stores minerals such as copper and iron, which play vital roles in various chemical processes in the body.
Production of Albumin and Other Blood Proteins
The liver produces most of the proteins that are required in the body. This includes albumin, whose major functions are regulating blood volume and distribution of fluids in the body. Therefore, liver dysfunction may lead to low albumin levels.
While many people think that cholesterol is a bad thing, it is necessary for various processes in the body, especially the synthesis of hormones, cell membranes, and vitamin D.
For this reason, the body requires a constant supply of cholesterol. To meet this demand, in an adult human, the liver produces about 1000 milligrams of cholesterol per day.
Now That We’re All Liver Linguists, Let’s Talk About the Signs of Liver Dysfunction…
Our liver controls so many parts and functions in our body, it’s often easy to tell when something is wrong. You just have to know what to look for!
Fatigue and tiredness
Doctors are not sure exactly how liver damage causes tiredness, but it’s a common symptom.
Nausea occurs because toxins build up in the bloodstream, due to the liver’s decreased ability to do its job of filtering out toxins.
If the stools are pale, it may indicate a problem with the liver or other part of the biliary drainage system.
Yellow skin or eyes
Jaundice is due to the build-up of bilirubin (a bile pigment) in the blood, because it can’t be processed effectively. The skin may also be itchy for the same reason.
(small spider-shaped arteries that appear in clusters on the skin)
Spider naevi look like a red dot with blood vessels radiating out from the center like spider’s legs.
You may bruise easily due to your liver’s reduced ability to produce clotting factors.
Roughly a quarter of people with liver cirrhosis develop palmar erythema – a reddening of the skin on the palms.
Urine that is dark orange, amber, cola-colored or brown can be a sign of liver disease. The color is due to too much bilirubin building up because the liver isn’t breaking it down normally.
Ascites happens because fluid is retained in the abdomen. The legs and ankles may also become swollen due to fluid retention.
All too often, people will start feeling bad, or not quite themselves and chalk it up to the wrong reason. We learned from the list above, the liver controls almost EVERYTHING. Hormone levels, insulin secretion, water retention, cholesterol and even the color of our skin can all be affected by liver issues. If you’re stocking up on hydration eye drops, but never considered a liver detox, it might be time for a change.
Causes of Liver Trouble
Exposure to Toxins
While the liver is responsible for cleaning toxins from the blood, overexposure to toxins can be harmful. Read warning labels on chemicals you use around the house, and wash fruits and vegetables before consumption to ensure you’re not digesting pesticides.
Many herbs and supplements have been associated with liver damage.
Twenty percent of liver injury in the U.S. is caused by herbs, so pay attention to labels. Taking more than one medicine or herb that acts on the liver may compound the issue. Tell your doctor about every medication and supplement you take, even occasional or over-the-counter remedies.
Too Much Alcohol
Fatty Liver, which causes liver inflammation is a process that begins on as little as four drinks a day for men and two for women. By the time you show symptoms, your liver may be damaged beyond repair. The good news: people who stop drinking at the fatty liver stage may find their condition reversing itself.
Obesity, Diabetes, High Fat Diet or High Cholesterol
These conditions can also cause Fatty Liver Disease, which may also lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Fatty liver disease is the world’s fastest growing reason for needing a liver transplant. As with alcoholic fatty liver, it can be reversed at the “fatty” stage.
By cutting simple carbohydrates like bread and sugar and eating more fruits, vegetables and protein. Another tip: Drink lots of coffee.
Elite’s Plan for Liver Health
At Elite, we carry 2 products that can specifically target your liver and help it detox. Today, we are focusing on one of those products. We guarantee you’ll feel more energized, less moody, more focused and all over healthy.
Benefits of Glutathione Include…
- Antioxidant Support
- Immune Support
- Respiratory Health
- Skin Health
- Spots Nutrition
We encourage you to check out more information on Glutathione on our website! We would write and talk about it all day if we could.
Tip pf the Day:
Clear Your Mind of Can’t! You CAN! Cheers to finding your CAN-DO IT attitude!!