Before I wrote this blog post on the liver I really didn't know very much about my liver and how important it is to my overall health and the condition of my skin. I really could not believe how many functions the liver performs daily. Here are a few facts to get us started.
- Largest glandular organ in the body
- Detoxifies the blood to rid it of harmful substances such as alcohol and drugs, (prescription and recreational).
- Stores vitamins and iron
- Converts sugar to usable sugar when the body's glucose levels fall below normal
- Destroys old red blood cells
- You cannot survive without a healthy liver
- It weighs about 3 lbs and is located in the upper right portion of the abdominal cavity, under the diaphragm.
- The liver receives 1.5 quarts of blood every minute
This is only a partial list of the functions of our liver. As you can see the liver plays such an important role in keeping us healthy and alive.
Pictures say it best! Here is a picture of a healthy liver and one that is not.
In my research on the liver I ran across an article written by Sandra Cabot, M.D., who is a specialist on our liver and it's relationship to our skin. I wanted to share her information for this blog.
"Not many of us relate the outer glow of our complexion to our liver health. Over many years I have come to understand the tremendous importance of our liver function to our appearance. Your liver is the metabolic factory of your body producing energy to sustain the thousands of functions performed every minute by all of your body’s cells. Your hair follicles need energy to grow strong shiny hair and your skin cells require energy to eliminate toxins and repair and regenerate themselves. Your heart requires energy to pump blood efficiently to your skin to maintain collagen production and oxygenate the cells to protect them from aging.
If your liver is not doing its job of breaking down toxins efficiently they must be eliminated from your body by other means – in many cases they come out through your skin! When excessive toxins build up in the deeper layers of the skin this causes inflammation to occur and this can manifest as:
· Premature aging and wrinkling of the skin
· Brown liver spots which make you look older
· Red itchy rashes anywhere in your body
· Deep painful rashes which may lead to ulcers
· Acne rosacea on the face – this causes small red pimples which affect the cheeks, the chin and area around the nose and small yellow heads may occur on the top of the pimples
I have often found that worsening skin problems are a sign of liver dysfunction or of future liver problems on the horizon. There are thousands of different types of skin problems and an accurate diagnosis often requires a consultation with a skin specialist or dermatologist. Sometimes it is very difficult to pinpoint why a patient has chronic skin problems and for this reason these problems can be difficult to treat effectively. Most conventional treatments for skin problems use creams and/or drugs to suppress the rash or the underlying problem with the immune system; but in the long term these strong medications have side effects and that is why I prefer to look deeper and treat the cause (usually the liver and the immune system) with nutritional medicine. It’s more logical and scientific to treat the deeper causes of these skin problems than it is to suppress the symptoms – don’t you agree? If the skin is treated with strong steroid creams or antihistamine drugs to stop the rash, the toxins are suppressed deeper into the body and cannot escape through the skin; this may cause health problems to appear on a deeper level in the future. Steroid creams should only be used intermittently for short periods of time. Long term use of steroid creams causes loss of collagen in the skin resulting in thinning and wrinkling of the skin. Generally acne rosacea is treated with antibiotic drugs, which do not work very well and if used long term will make your liver unhealthy and possibly damage your liver seriously.
The vast majority of skin problems can be helped with a natural approach
A good liver tonic is vital to support the liver’s ability to detoxify and eliminate.
· Omega 3 supplements – either fish oil, flax seed oil or hemp oil. Capsules can be used but when it comes to fish oil I recommend good quality liquid fish oil stored in a glass bottle in the refrigerator. Some chronic skin problems, such as very dry skin, dermatitis or psoriasis require large doses of fish oil – doses vary from one teaspoon daily to one tablespoon three times daily just before food
· Selenium 100 to 200mcg daily
· Vitamin D 1000 I U daily
These nutritional supplements can reduce inflammation in the skin and support the detoxification pathways in the liver.
Raw juices are another tool to clear the skin and I recommend you juice citrus, pear, carrot, kale, mint, basil, apple and cabbage.
Other factors which may cause skin rashes and inflammation are food intolerances particularly gluten intolerance. Gluten can worsen or trigger autoimmune diseases such as lupus which will then attack your skin. I have cured many skin problems just by putting my patients of a gluten free diet! To see if gluten is causing health problems for you ask your doctor for a blood test – “Test genotype for gluten intolerant genes”. If you have these genes which predispose you to gluten intolerance, try avoiding gluten in your diet and you may find a huge improvement!The other cause of skin rashes is imbalances in your nervous system and this is not surprising as during development of the human embryo, the skin is formed from the same stem cells as the nervous system. Thus you can expect that factors which upset your nervous system will manifest as skin problems. Stress, unresolved emotional conflicts, suppression of emotions, lack of sleep or excess alcohol intake will overload your nervous system and may manifest as recurrent skin problems. "I am in agreement with her about finding natural remedies for these issues. I have discovered a supplement that I want to pass on that helps improve the function and well being of our liver. It is called Liver Rescue +5 made from Healthforce, (one of my favorite companies). I order mine from Amazon.Liver Rescue contains herbs that help our challenged liver to function at a more optimum level, because most people overtax their liver and their health is compromised. The older we get and the further away we get from a plant based diet the more liver stress there is. Nearly all medical drugs can and DO cause liver damage. Even though my diet is very clean, I have no control over toxins that are in the air. water or environment. So I want to do all I can to keep my liver functioning great which is not only for my health but for my skin. If your liver is not functioning properly, it will show up in your skin. My husband who doesn't like to take any pills or capsules, takes Liver Rescue. And he uses Real Raw Beauty's Daily Moisturizer! His skin looks amazing. Both of these products have transformed him, and they can transform your skin too. What are you waiting for? Take care of your liver and skin and they will take care of you for years to come!!Until next time,Janwww.realrawbeauty.com