Cleansing your liver will help you feel better and live happier. The liver is an organ in the body that filters toxins, regulates blood sugar and cholesterol, aids digestion, and fights infections. For this reason, it is one of the most complex organs in the body, apart from the brain. Alcohol is the main toxin responsible for 4 out of 5 deaths from liver disease. However, the liver is an incredibly resilient organ. It may be possible to reduce or delay the consequences of liver damage. Continue to read on to learn how to cleanse your liver, and live healthier.
It is essential to know what alcohol does to the liver before taking steps to reverse the damage. Alcohol damages the liver initially by accumulating fat in the liver. This condition is called fatty liver disease. Alcoholic hepatitis leads to inflammation of the liver, and cirrhosis occurs as a result. Fat accumulation and inflammation are reversible, but the scarring they cause is irreversible. A scarred liver has irreparable liver damage with long-term health consequences that are fatal.
It's crucial to get alcohol consumption under control earlier rather than later. Also, there are steps one can take to support a healthier liver after stopping alcohol consumption.
First, complete medically supervised detoxification for heavy drinking. Do not attempt to stop alcohol cold-turkey as the effects can be life-threatening.
Second, follow the doctor's orders. At Indiana Center for Recovery, initial blood work will determine the presence and extent of liver damage from alcohol use. Medical staff will make treatment recommendations meant to treat fatty liver and later-stage liver disease caused by alcohol consumption.
Dr. Michael Kane, medical director at Indiana Center for Recovery, makes several recommendations for patients with early to later stage liver disease:
"Avoiding high fructose corn syrup, which has been shown to bring about or support the development of fatty liver disease. Taking milk-thistle for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the liver may also be helpful. Avoid processed foods and eat a more balanced diet with whole foods."
Additionally, adding physical activity to your daily routine will reduce the amount of fat in your liver, just like other body fat. Eating a diet high in antioxidants such as oily fish (sardines, mackerel, tuna), several types of berries, and dark leafy vegetables has been shown to reduce inflammation liver.
Getting vaccinated against hepatitis A, B, pneumonia, and influenza will not reverse fatty liver disease nor treat it. Still, they may prevent more serious conditions later. If you have fatty liver disease, it's essential to talk to a medical provider before taking acetaminophen or any other medication. Tobacco cessation is also significant as tobacco use can influence the development of fibrosis of the liver.
The excellent news about alcohol-based liver disease is that early detection and intervention can lead to better outcomes. Suppose you take your vehicle for an oil change every 5,000 miles. Doesn't it make sense to see a medical provider annually to make sure your liver (engine) works appropriately?
At Indiana Center for Recovery, we focus on holistic treatment. We believe that the mind, body, and spirit cannot be separated, and attention to all areas is crucial to recovery. Once the physical body is stabilized, we work with our patients to address the mental, emotional, and spiritual factors that can lead back to alcohol and drug use.