Your Magnificent Liver: Get to Know, Love & Treat Yours Well

by Simla on October 19, 2011

October is National Liver Awareness Month. Are you ready to love your liver?

I love mine. Dearly. After reading this, you’ll love yours too.

About 5.5 years ago, when my health pretty much exploded and I was lost in the maze of conventional medicine, one of the complications I had was medication-induced hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

Trust me, it sucked.

Your Magnificent (and funny-looking) Liver

No thanks to that and a cluster of many, many other health issues, I was laid up in bed for months. I had to leave my career and go on disability for the ensuing two years.

Had I known what I know now, I could have healed my liver pronto, and possibly even prevented its demise in the first place. But, alas, hindsight, as they say, is 20-20. Today, I never take my liver for granted.

Anyway – here’s a primer on your liver and how to take great care of it.

Why Your Liver is Magnificent

Shaped like a football and resting underneath the ribs, the liver is the largest and one of the hardest-working organs in the human body. It is a builder, destroyer, garbage collector, recycler, commander, and guardian of your overall health. It performs over 500 (!) different functions and its level of performance impacts every other organ system in
your body.

This dense organ, which is part of the gastrointestinal system and weighs about 3-4 pounds in adults, churns out thirteen thousand chemicals and two thousand enzyme systems to perform its duties. The liver is capable of functioning and regenerating even after 70% of its abilities have been damaged, and for good reason:  we wouldn’t be able to live longer than 24 hours if it weren’t.

Functions of the Liver

The liver serves multiple wide-reaching functions in the body, such as:

 

Threats to the Liver

One of the reasons the liver works so hard is because it is constantly exposed to many factors considered threats by the body, including but not limited to:

 

Taking Care of Your Liver

The liver is incredibly resilient. It has to be – our lives depend on it! Your daily choices impact the health and functional ability of your liver. Below are some basic tips to follow for optimal liver health.

What to Do

What to Avoid

Long live your liver!

References

Bauman, Edward, M.Ed., Ph.D., Crystal, Cathy, B.Ed., N.C., and Richard, Ramona, B.A., N.C., Nutrition Consultant Handbook: Distance Learning Edition: Version L, Bauman College Press, Penngrove, CA, 2009

Bennett, Peter, ND, Barrie, Stephen, ND, and Faye, Sara, 7-Day Detox Miracle: Revitalize Your Mind and Body with This Safe and Effective Life-Enhancing Program,
New York, NY, Three Rivers Press, 2001.

LaValle, James B., R.Ph., CCN, ND, Lundin Yale, Stacy, RN, BSN, 9 Keys to Optimal Health: Cracking the Metabolic Code, Basic Health Publications, Inc., Laguna Beach,
CA, 2004.

Lipski, Elizabeth, Ph.D., CCN, Digestive Wellness, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, 2005.

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Simla Somturk Wickless, MBA, CHC, CNE, is the founder of Delicious Health LLC. Simla is a health, nutrition, and balanced living coach whose mission is to transform Busy Bodies into healthy, Balanced beings TM. Simla loves working with women entrepreneurs, professionals, and autoimmune clients to help them double their energy, tame their stress, get to their natural weight without dieting, and take back control of their health to live intensely pleasurable and impactful lives. Learn more  at www.EnjoyDeliciousHealth.com or www.DeliciousHealthBlog.com.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica October 20, 2011 at 11:29 am

Great article Simla! Our poor livers work so hard, and this is a great reminder to take special care to make the liver’s job a bit easier. Thank you for sharing all the functions of the liver as well as tips to optimum liver health!

Simla October 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

Glad you found it useful, Jessica!

Jancie Philner November 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm

The unfortunate part is our society tries to shove the things that are bad for our liver down our throats. It is so hard to avoid them, but if you can at least keep them to a minimum, it will be okay. I really think this is a great post for all those out there looking for some good health tips.

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