Poor liver health and its affect on the skin
When it comes to skin health, the liver is one of the most important organs in the whole body. It holds down the fort, detoxifying the chemicals substances and foreign invaders that enter the body through processed foods, alcohol, sugar and toxins from the environment and creams soaps etc.
The liver is super important - but when it doesn't work properly - all hell can break loose in the body. Inflammation can become a serious problem when your liver is compromised - causing toxins to build up in the blood, digestion to become sluggish, and your blood sugar to become high - leading to many problems that you don't want nor need.
All of these issues can cause your skin to become inflamed, whether that be acne, melasma, eczema, rosacea or psoriasis. All of these inflammatory skin conditions are caused by some inflammation in the body - inflammation is controlled by the liver, meaning without a healthy liver - we have permanent inflammation.
So you're probably wondering what kind of signs to look for if your liver isn't functioning very well - well here's an extensive list.
- Distended stomach; constant bloating.
- Chronic fatigue, feeling run down, low on energy
- Hypothyroidism – constant sweating
- Memory problems, foggy brain, poor cogitative function
- Emotional problems; chronically depressed, frustrated, angry, easily stressed out and irritated.
- PMS symptoms; menstrual cycles are supposed to be light, cleansing periods, not painful and awful.
- Digestive problems – hemorrhoids, constipation, bad gas, diarrhea, indigestion, heart burn, bloating.
- Prostate problems
- Ovarian cysts
- Skin problems – acne, eczema, psoriasis, dry, itching, rashes, liver spots, melasma
- Burning, tired eyes
- Bad allergies
- Nausea especially after eating fat
- Yellowish skin and eyes
- Bleeding gums
- High cholesterol
- Sleeping trouble, especially waking up in middle of night
- Diabetic, hypoglycemic, hyperglycemic or any blood sugar disorders – sugar addiction
- Obesity, overweight or unable to gain muscle
- Estrogen dominance, hormonal imbalance
Luckily our liver is one heck of a strong independent organ, therefore it can bounce back and reverse the damage through careful changes made to diet and lifestyle. Healing through nutritious food, hydration, stress-reducing techniques, and avoidance of processed foods. I've comprised a detailed list of things you can do to resolve your sluggish liver.
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, arugula and radishes contain DIM, which promotes the detoxification of the liver, especially of excess hormones.
- Sulfur-rich foods like pastured egg yolks, onions and garlic, are potent detoxifiers that help the liver – sulfur is also great for collagen production, which can eliminate wrinkles.
- Vegetable fiber helps eliminate toxins from the liver and colon, which opens the detoxification pathways for the liver.
Antioxidant-rich foods like berries, medicinal mushrooms, tonic herbs and raw cacao help fight oxidative stress that is caused by toxins and inflammatory substances.
Medicinal, tonic herbs – some of the most potent liver detoxifiers and protectants are herbs. Botanical substances such as Schizandra, Reishi and Milk Thistle contain extraordinary amounts of SOD (superoxide dismutase), and other flavonoids that promote liver detoxification.
Avoid Inflammatory, Toxic Substances
Perhaps the place to start, is by eliminating all that causes stress in the liver. As we discussed earlier, there are many causes of liver burden. Identify which of these are still in your life and take actions to eliminate them. Common inflammatory foods are any processed foods, refined sugar, alcohol, conventional gluten, industrial meet, dairy and eggs, peanuts, non-fermented soy, and non-fermented legumes.
Also, take action in eliminating other toxic substances, especially the ones you put on your skin. Anything that goes on your skin, goes directly to your liver to be filtered. Switch to 100% organic skin-care. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg either to do this. You’d be surprised what one really great skin cleanser could do for your skin. Seek products that contain things like essential oils, medicinal clays, herbs, and as a rule of thumb; if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.
Open Up Detoxification Pathways
The liver is one of the first detoxification pathways in the line of detoxification. One of the best ways to ensure your liver can properly eliminate is to keep the rest of the doors open. Make sure you are caring for your intestines, especially your colon, as well as your kidneys, and skin itself. When these are all working properly, it takes the burden off the liver and ensures that toxins won’t continue to recirculate through the body and liver.
For the intestines, eating the right diet, keeping stress low, exercising moderately and drinking of plenty of water is key. For the skin, try organic clay masks. Also, dry skin brushing and if you can, soaking in a hot spring or taking a dip in the ocean.
Whether you exercise to sweat, sun bathe or sit in an infrared sauna or even some hot yoga – sweating leads to lipolysis (breaking down fat cells), which will help your body release toxins that are stored in fat. Be sure though that your bowels are working as you begin to release new toxins. If you’re following the previous steps you should be good to go. Otherwise, you could look into colonics and probiotic therapy for further assistance. Either way, we highly suggest the consumption of probiotic-rich foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, and other cultured vegetables.
While supplements are not nearly as important as your state of emotional and mental health, nutrition, sleep, hydration and physical fitness, there is definitely a place for high-quality supplements.
I suggest high-quality, organic milk thistle, dandelion tea, Chinese bitters, Schizandra and Reishi to promote phase 1 liver detoxification. Additionally, a high-quality glutathione supplement can improve phase 2 liver detoxification. Charcoal and edible clays are very potent detoxification supplements – they bind with positively charged ions (present in toxins) and escort them out of the body.
Emotions can be very toxic. In fact, if we observe how the Universe works from a physics level, we see that all creation in the physical (that which is made up of energy, matter, space and time) first started with the thought form. And it is our thoughts, which create emotions, and our emotions, which create motion.
What this means for us is that our emotions can create a physical response in our body – that responses may be a headache, upset stomach, or even a chronic disease, if those emotions are chronic.
There is no easy way to manage emotions, it takes training. However, you can start by becoming aware of your own thoughts and considerations that may be creating certain emotions. For example, the Buddha suggest that anger is an inability to lose (attachment). Angry is perhaps the most damaging emotion to the liver (When chronic), so learning to detach, let go and essentially, become a good loser, will take you a far way in mastering your health, healing your liver and improving your skin.
Once you’ve become aware of your own considerations that are creating your emotions, the second step is to allow them. What we resist persists. If we resist our anger, we will only suppress it. Acknowledging your emotions, even the low ones, does not mean you are letting them take up residence. In fact, it is the other way around, what you admire, will vanish.