YA Gotta Love Your Liver
Anybody thinking the heart is our most important organ needs to check out the liver. While the heart inspires poetry, love songs and all sorts of praise, it’s not as important as the liver. Well, now, see, that’s a problem. The liver looks like, well, liver, and nobody ever wrote an ode to it.
The purpose of the liver
And the liver’s whole purpose in life is sifting through garbage and sending the really bad stuff down the chute that leads to the exit. Out! Out! is the cry! Essential as it is, getting rid of garbage never motivated anybody to write rapturous poetry-or even prose.
When it struggles, though, other body parts start drifting towards disease. Sometimes even rushing to disease. It becomes a race to see which body part finishes you off.
While most of us have a wounded liver to some degree, medicine considers the problem just an incidental finding. Meanwhile, we don’t know anything’s wrong, and by the time symptoms start becoming obvious, we’re a long way down the road to disaster.
We need to talk. Since the liver is central to everything the body does, this can only be a quick look, hopefully with enough information to help you measure your risk.
Fatty liver disease
To start, you should know medicine’s name for fatty liver disease: Non-alcoholic cirrhosis, and it affects a lot more people than those who come to cirrhosis via alcohol. Same problem, but few have heard of a fatty liver and its health consequences.
Cirrhosis causes the liver, piece by piece, to be more like cardboard than gushy, functioning tissue. As time goes on, the its functions less and less well.
Doctors treat the diseases caused by poor liver function, but somehow or another, treating it never comes up. Probably because they have no drug treatment, only, finally, a transplant so you can start the process all over again. I read an estimate saying by 2020, which is right around the corner, fatty liver disease will be the reason for most liver transplants, and we won’t have enough livers to meet the need.
Returning to health
Well, now that you’re gasping for air, let me share some good news before we plow forward in our discussion. The liver has a world-class record for returning to health. Even with only 20% function can be restored to health if you change how you go at life.
Magazines talk about magic bullet solutions, but there are no magic bullets here. It’s about doing what you need to do to get to where you want to go-which is good health.
Two major causes of fatty liver disease
- Eating the wrong kind of fat slaps the liver hard; eating the right kind of fat leads to healing. Most vegetable oils and all transfats damage the liver; good saturated fat (grass-fed beef, coconut oil, etc.) helps heal a fatty liver. Mostly you’ll hear about eliminating fat from your diet, but that’s really bad advice; a low fat diet increases the risk of liver inflammation by 700%.
- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) stomps all over the liver, so HFCS can’t be part of your life. Or supposedly safe substitutes such as agave syrup, either. Our bodies don’t know how to handle fructose, and refined-to-a-fare-thee-well HFCS stomps the liver, then kicks it when it’s down. Also, anybody with a fatty liver should avoid ALL fructose, including fruits, until the liver is healed.
Avoid bad fat
Avoiding bad fat, transfats and high fructose corn syrup means staying away from processed foods like fast food, meals from a box, most frozen foods, most restaurants, potluck dinners, food at county fairs and sports arenas, and so on.
It shouldn’t have to be this hard, but food manufacturers, restaurants, etc. want cheap ingredients so they get greater profits. When enough of us stop buying their food, start writing letters to editors and otherwise threaten those profits, manufacturers will change. We see this happening in the demand for organic food and grass-fed beef, but there’s still a long way to go before we can give up reading labels.
Some common signs of fatty liver disease
- Gall bladder problems
- Elevated blood sugar levels, especially combined with excess weight
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Weight gain that goes straight to the belly
- A high triglyceride level
- Brain fog
Three tips on reversing fatty liver disease
- Change your diet to high saturated fat, good protein and low, complex carbs.
- Get on a vitamin/mineral program designed for your specific needs.
- You’ll need either Pep for the Pooped or Moving to Health (which also covers diet, helpful herbs, how body parts work, etc.) to figure out how to make it happen.
- Drink coffee. Research, including some from the National Institutes of Health, agrees that coffee helps fatty liver disease. Four cups a day. Hubba, hubba!
But DO NOT get talked into a liver detox, flush or however else they describe attacking your liver. People make it sound like the greatest idea going, but your body’s already in enough trouble. Don’t make things worse.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.