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Liver Detoxification

by Dr. Raj Rakhra

The liver is a complex and important organ for metabolism. It is the body's premier cleansing organ as all the blood in the body passes through the liver. It is responsible for eliminating and detoxifying some of the toxic chemicals known to pass through the liver including the polycyclic hydrocarbons that are components of various herbicides and pesticides including DDT, dioxin and PCB. The exact degree of how much exposure people may have had is difficult to assess. It is probably quite high, as the yearly US production of synthetic organic pesticides alone is close to a billion tons. The liver stores - fat-soluble substances, these include chemicals, which can be stored in the liver for years. Using enzymes, the liver transforms these chemicals into water-soluble substances that can be excreted through the kidneys or the gastrointestinal tract.

The liver's basic functions are three fold: Vascular, Secretory and Metabolic. Vascular function includes being a major blood reservoir, filtering over a liter of blood every minute. The liver effectively removes bacteria, endotoxins, antibody complexes and various other particles from the circulation.

The liver manufactures about one liter of bile every day. Bile is necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble substances. Many toxic substances are eliminated through bile. The metabolic functions of the liver are immense, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, storage of vitamins and minerals, detoxification or excretion into the bile of various chemical compounds including hormones such as thyroxin, cortisol, estrogen, aldosterone, histamine drugs and pesticides.

What you eat, where you live, consumption of too many processed foods, additives, polluted environment, exposure to chemicals in the air and water all effects the liver and its performance. An impaired liver does not process foods or detoxifies as quickly as a healthy liver. Even a minor impairment of the liver has profound effects on the body. One of the leading contributors to impaired liver function is diminished bile flow or cholestasis. Cholestasis can be caused by obstruction of bile duct. Gall stones mainly due to high fat, low fiber diet. Impairment of the bile flow is associated with alteration in the laboratory tests of liver functions (serum bilirubin, alkaline phosphate, serum aspartate transaminase, alanine aminotransferase and gama glutamyl transpeptidase etc) signifying cellular damage. However relying on these tests alone to evaluate liver function may not be adequate. Clinical judgement based on medical history also plays a major role to evaluate the sluggish liver. Exposure to drugs, toxic chemicals, alcohol, viral infections and hepatitis is usually apparent in an individual with sluggish liver.

Hormones are metabolized by the liver, excess estrogen can result in endometriosis, high blood pressure, PMS, breast, uterine and vaginal cancer and many more disorders. The liver also manufactures bile to digest fats, chemically changes many foods into vitamins and enzymes, converts carbohydrates and proteins into glucose for brain fuel and glycogen for muscular energy and stores nutrients to be secreted as needed by the body to build and maintain cells.

Junk food consumption has increased drastically in the last few decades. Processed sugar, candies, chocolate bars, consumption of pop, potato chips, fries and all other variety of fast foods which are low in nutrition and processed with preservatives and low in fiber have degenerative long term effects on health. Junk foods and soft drinks contain dangerous additives, chemicals and many are laced with excitotoxins found in such ingredients as aspartame, Msg, cysteine, hydrolyzed protein and aspartic acid. Excitotoxins are substances added to the food and beverages that literally stimulate neurons to degeneration, causing brain damage of varying degrees. As the author of the book "Crazy makers" said "Our health has become a victim of someone else's profit margin." No wonder that at least half of the population has one or more chronic disorders.

If the liver function is impaired or sluggish, you may get gas, a feeling of fullness, loss of appetite, nausea after fatty meals, an oily taste in the mouth, revulsion to fatty foods, frequent headaches, weak ligament, tendons and muscles, skin problems and emotional excesses, malaise, allergies, chemical sensitivities, PMS and constipation. The most common cause of impaired liver function is alcohol consumption. All active alcoholics demonstrate fatty infiltration of the liver.

How to maintain health and vitality. Understanding that our quality of life is determined by daily choices. We have the power to improve our health and well being quickly and dramatically. Optimum nutrition is the key factor, but our health depends not only on what nutrients we eat, but how much of those nutrients are absorbed and how well and regularly the body's waste products are eliminated.

Any cleansing program should begin in the colon, the last portion of the digestive system. The function of the colon can be compared with the sewer system in a large city. Just imagine what will happen if the sewer system in our area becomes clogged. The whole neighborhood would be filled with filth in a very short time. This can also occur in our bodies when the elimination system is not functioning properly. When the colon is clean and healthy, we experience an overall well being. When it is congested with stagnant waste, poisons back up into the system and pollute the inner environment. This is called autointoxication or self-poisoning. It gives the symptoms of allergy, bad breadth, constipation, gas, bloating, headaches, low energy, low back pain, and lowered immunity, prolonged sleep, PMS, skin problems, rheumatism, aches and pain and many more symptoms of feeling unwell. Every cell of the body is affected by auto-intoxication causing the person to be irritable, feel depressed and weak.

Cleansing the colon - with Colon Hydro therapy may be required at this time. A colonic irrigation using gravitational method, is an intestinal bath that helps cleanse the colon of poisons, gas and accumulated fecal matter. There is no discomfort or pressure. Just a steady flow in and out of the colon. No other system can equal this process. We only use disposable speculums and tubes which is a must to avoid any unwanted infection.

In our clinic Triflax forte, an Ayurvedic herbal formula is also used with amazing results. Constipation - Most common sign of toxic colon. We treat this and clean the colon with Triflax forte, an old Ayurvedic herbal formula. This is an enhanced formula designed for the requirements of the present population keeping in mind life style, living and eating habits. If you have ignored your self too long and have the above symptoms to kick start, Colon Hydrotherapy is the way to go. There are so many things you can do to enhance your liver function and detoxify it. Paying attention to the diet is important. Avoid junk food, alcohol, eat raw foods, increase fiber in your diet, vegetable juice fating is great. (Must be under the care of a Naturopathic physician.) Many herbs and vitamins are effective for liver health and detoxification. These herbs include taraxacum officianalis, silibum, marianum, artichoke, Curcuma longa, Glutathione, Carnitne, choline, methionine, formula liv 52, and many other products are available to help and detoxify the liver, Vitamin C and Glutathione also can be used intravenously.

Dr. Rakhra is a Naturopathic Physician, serving Calgary for more than twenty years and practicing Complementary Medicine since 1964. He is a Member of Alberta Association of Naturopathic Doctors. Dr. Rakhra's clinic is located at 121 - 14 Street North West in Calgary, Alberta. You can reach his office at 403-270-7033. Visit his website at: www.aynh.com.

Read more articles by Dr. Rakhra Here.

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