Liver Article: Signs of Weak Liver and How to Cleanse it

Health problems related to weak liver

I am writing this article because of ALL the chronic conditions I see today. There are too many health problems that all lead back to ONE thing, the LIVER. For over 20 years I have been trying my best to explain this issue with patients, some get it, some don’t, they simple don’t see the REAL problem as it is. PLEASE be patient, this is a long article and I have a lot to tell you, so save it and read as you can. It just may save your life.

A normal blood test does not show problems with the Liver, since you need destruction of Liver cells for a liver enzyme test to show positive for liver complications. A SLUGGISH LIVER does not have a test that shows positive. Here is a list of symptoms of what to look for: gallbladder problems, weight gain, bad breath, constant fatigue, sleep disorders, heart palpitations, poor memory, skin problems, poor complexion, allergies, arthritis, thyroid problems, frequent numbness in extremities, frequent infections, joint pain and fainting.

There are also health problems that I see associated with woman, such as uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, breast cysts, endometriosis, painful menstruation, hormone imbalances and more, all at the result of a weak liver.

The Liver and its functions

Western medicine and most other cultures of medicine recognize the Liver as the body’s most important organ in the body. The liver performs some of the most important functions of the body; detoxification and formation of important compounds including blood clotting factors. It also filters, regulates and stores blood. Stress, poor diet and over-medication are common problems in our “civilized” lifestyle. Because of these types of stress on the liver, it becomes dysfunctional and as I call it; “SLUGGISH.” Some of the first signs are sleep problems, thyroid issues, memory issues, weight gain and other body dysfunctions.

Estrogen and androgen stimulate cell division, elevated levels of these hormones may lead to abnormal cell growth such as; women’s uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, breast cysts and breast cancer. With men PROSTATE enlargement and prostate cancer since the liver is the principal organ which removes these hormones; its failure to remove them efficiently often leads to their accumulation in the body and is a major cause of these diseases. What this means is STRESS hormones have to be cleared from the liver, if not this causes many hormone imbalances in the body.

For thousands of years in China they have known that the liver is the source of many ailments. Hormone issues have not been completely understood by Chinese medicine, so as a result women’s problems are not always treated successfully. The herbs usually used treat their condition for energy and blood stagnation, which may initially help to improve circulation, but elevated estrogen levels can eventually make the problems worse.

Liver Functions

The liver is the most important organ after the heart. It performs hundreds of functions including:

  • Circulation: transfer of blood from the portal to systemic circulation, activity of the liver’s reticulo-endothelial system in the immune system. The liver stores and regulates the blood and is responsible for nourishing every cell in our body. Every part of the body depends on blood from the liver for nourishment and sustenance.
  • Excretion: formation and secretion of bile for digestion and cleansing of blood; removal of ammonia from blood; excretion of substances filtered from the blood by the liver such as heavy metals or dyes.
  • Metabolism: carbohydrate, protein, lipid (fat), mineral and vitamin metabolism; manufacturing and storage of many nutrients such as glucose and vitamins; production of heat through metabolism.
  • Protection and detoxification: removal of foreign bodies from the blood (phagocytosis); detoxification by conjugation, methylation, oxidation and reduction.
  • Production: formation of urea, serum albumin, glycogen and blood coagulation proteins such as prothrombin, fibrinogen and heparin; erythrocyte (red blood cells) destruction.
  • Regulation of hormones: inactivation and elimination of hormones through the bile or urine. Since estrogen and androgen are both growth hormones which stimulate cell division, elevation of their levels in the blood due to the liver’s failure to remove them efficiently can cause their accumulation in tissue. This may lead to abnormal growths such as uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, breast cysts and breast cancer, prostate enlargement or prostate cancer. Excessive estrogen is also the most common cause of painful menstruation.

As you see, the Liver is a very important organ. It regulates body functions which affects emotional and mental activities as well. When the liver is not functioning well, its ability to store and regulate bodily functions, bleeding or clots can occur. The dysfunction of the liver affects the nourishment to tendons and blood vessels resulting in joint stiffness, and then the muscles become to spasm and become numb. This is a blood deficiency and this deficiency can also lead to other conditions like stroke, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, deafness, fainting and even convulsions. With even more deficiency problems, the liver cannot properly nourish the eyes, so problems like night blindness or blurry vision can occur.

On top of these conditions, extended stressful times can only add more problems for the liver. With an already sluggish liver, emotional stress only makes things worse, a hernia may develop, with pain in the side and the bowels become constipated along with insomnia and nightmares. If you find yourself waking up at 2 or 3 am, that is the time in Chinese medicine for the liver. It is detoxifying itself during this time. So when the liver is out of balance, you will find yourself waking during this time. It’s a sign that the liver needs help.

The liver is the most emotion sensitive organ and its weakness is often connected to emotional sensitivity. Individuals who are emotionally sensitive are more prone to a weak liver even if they have a great diet, not taking medications and are taking care of themselves.

Weak Livers can cause heart attacks

The liver is important as that it takes the returning blood from the digestive tract and the lower body back to the heart, so this makes it extremely important for the heart. A weak and swollen or congested liver can obstruct the venous flow to the heart causing heart palpitations or even heart attacks. A healthy liver is essential for maintaining an adequate amount of blood flow to the heart and the heart can only pump the blood it receives.

Age-related vision and memory loss: weak liver

According to the Chinese, the liver and kidneys are the organs that “age” us. That is why almost all longevity herbs used in Chinese medicine are liver and kidney tonics. Without a clean, efficient liver and healthy kidneys, blood is not filtered clean. “Dirty” blood, loaded with toxins or waste products, is heavier and more sluggish. This causes poor circulation and reduced capacity to carry oxygen and nutrients. As a result, tissue and organ cells are undernourished. If this condition persists the cells will deteriorate and inevitably age. The eye and brain cells are especially affected because the blood has to flow against gravity to reach them. In an article on Alzheimer disease in the January 1988 issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter, malfunction of the liver and kidneys was mentioned as one of the causes leading to Alzheimer disease. Brain tumor, which physically blocks blood flow to the brain, was also cited as one of the causes.

The brain is only 2% of our body weight, yet it needs 20% of our oxygen supply. If the toxin-loaded blood from a weak liver has limited capacity to carry oxygen, the brain cells are affected most.

Low back pain

When I cleansed out my liver and gallbladder, changed my diet and started doing daily morning exercises, not only did my memory improve, I had a drastic change in flexibility and function out of my body. Food tasted different, I wanted better food and I could taste the chemicals in cheaper, toxic food. I gained more energy and better sleep, the pain I had carried for years had began to disappear.

Constant Fatigue

When blood is loaded with toxins due to a weak and inefficient liver, there is limited capacity for the blood to carry oxygen and nutrients which are necessary for energy production. The result is constant fatigue. A clean and efficient liver which produces cleaner blood would help energy production because clean blood can carry more oxygen and nutrients.

Liver problems: liver congestion and stagnation

Liver congestion and stagnation are common liver problems. Yet conventional medicine does not understand them and has no test to detect them. In hepatitis or liver inflammation, liver enzyme levels in the blood are elevated because of the ruptured liver cells which contain high contents of liver enzymes. However, in liver congestion or stagnation, liver cells are still intact and liver enzyme levels in blood are normal. Therefore normal clinical tests which rely on liver enzyme levels as a measure of liver condition cannot detect liver congestion or stagnation.

According to Chinese medicine, all internal organs work as a team in the body; the liver is considered the “General” or “Chief of Staff:”. Unfortunately, many of our modern prescription drugs are damaging to the liver or kidneys. Over the counter drugs such as painkillers can also cause liver toxicity. Therefore it is not surprising that many people over the age of 50 develop liver weakness or toxicity. Even among healthy people who are not dependent on drugs, the liver has been filtering blood day and night throughout life without being “cleansed”. Over the years, circulating blood has deteriorated in quality which goes unnoticed. The end result is often a feeling of sluggishness and heaviness due to poor circulation. Studies linking liver damage to excessive or long-term use of painkillers have been reported.

Weakening of the liver and eventual toxicity are usually slow processes. In many cases the only sign of liver weakness is poor digestion and low energy level. Most people pass this off as something that happens with age. As a result they do little or nothing about it until it is too late. Fortunately, nature has endowed our liver with excellent regenerative powers. If we are able to understand the early signs of regeneration, we have an excellent chance of restoring it to optimal functioning with proper care.

I had a patient who had a “Liver transplant.” Even she knew the importance of mild cleansing to her liver. The liver has such regenerative properties and has two lobes (pieces) to it, because of that she was able to have one from her brother, they both could function normally on one lobe. This hopefully helps you to understand the power of regeneration the liver has.

Liver cleansing

The liver is the most important organ for hormone regulation. Because of a weak liver, this can have severe hormone imbalance resulting in many “women’s problems”. Although a Chinese medicine practitioner can correctly diagnose a congested liver condition, the treatment can actually make problems worse! They sometimes prescribe several herbs including Dong Quei, licorice and ginseng which contain plant estrogens. Although these can have beneficial effects initially, because they improve blood circulation, the plant estrogens eventually can aggravate hormone imbalance problems. Many holistic doctors know that Chinese medicine does not understand hormones and conventional medicine also offers no help for chronic liver congestion problems. Therefore I understand to trust the cleansing that soon you will know more about. Chinese herbs have their place, but it’s in the timing of the usage.

I first came across information on liver/gallbladder cleansing while in Chiropractic college. There was not much preparation, just drink this salt and then drink this olive oil, go to bed and “Hang on!” Something should happen I was told. Let’s just say something did happen, I was quite ill and stones did pass, but it was an experience I was not willing do again. Many experimental cleanses later I found that preparing the body with Oxy-Detox for a week along with the apple juice, which contained “malic acid,” which apparently, malic acid in apple juice is excellent in dissolving the stagnant bile and softening stones accumulated in the liver and gallbladder. I was really amazed by the amount of stagnant bile driven out by the apple juice.

After my experience, I was finally really to use my friends as “lab rats.” Some would do it with me, many would not, they could not see the reasons why they should do such a thing. Many gallbladders were saved during this time, although still many became really ill during the flush I realized there was still discoveries to be made. Some would flush a toilet full of stones and some would not, then asking them to do it again I realized many were just really jammed up! On the second and even a third cleanse here they would come. It was like a dam had released its log jam, and like magic their symptoms would just disappear!

I was finally ready to introduce it to my patients, being a young Doctor I wanted to be sure first it’s safe, second that it actually worked and third what to expect. I cannot tell you how excited I was to see years of symptoms finally disappearing. Patients with life-long symptoms of sinus problems, allergies, headaches, all over body pain – just GONE. It was like a miracle, but yet why did not other Doctors know about this? Why was this not taught at any seminar I had been too? Along with passing stones, many patients would pass lots of parasites and yeast. So now I was on to the next discovery, why the parasites and yeast with the sluggish liver?

Restoring liver health

Nutritional deficiency is a common problem for individuals with liver disorders. Most nutrients pass through the body without being assimilated if the liver is weak. Many people take their many vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements for years without any effect. Their only improvement came after their liver was cleansed and strengthened. It was after my experience that I realized that supplements taken by individuals with weak livers may end up as waste products for the body to dispose because the supplements cannot be digested or assimilated with a weak liver.

While learning to restore my own liver to health, by liver and gallbladder flush and by eliminating all liver and kidney weakening foods such as white flour, white sugar, caffeine, chocolate, deep fried foods, all citrus fruits, tomato, banana, cold drinks and foods which chill the liver and kidneys. I took supplements or foods rich in Vitamin B’s, C and minerals to nourish my organs. I also learned to use many different types of Glandulars to feed and nourish the hormone system naturally. Learning QI GONG was a huge addition to the already system I had been developing over time from my own experiences. Having a Tai Chi master move in and live with me for a year was quite the experience that I needed, it does not get a closer to you than being in your own home. I also learned real Chinese massage, which is quite painful, but yet very relieving in the same. If you survive the first three sessions, you are on the home bound. I soon found no pain in my body and was still training heavily in combat martial arts weekly. To my surprise the soft CHI training in Qi Gong actually helped improve my combat training, the grounding techniques made my body more balanced and centered at all times. It became easier to treat patients in my office, little did I know that I had just made my life much easier in many ways, which improved my personal quality of life.

Exercise stimulates blood circulation. When blood circulates better, all organs function better. Stretching and deep breathing kind of exercises early in the morning provide the most benefit for anyone with sluggish liver. According to Chinese medicine, the liver works hard to filter our blood between 1 to 3 am during our sleep. A fair amount of blood may be still retained in the liver when we wake up in the morning if the liver is congested. Early morning exercises help to bring the blood out of the liver into the circulating system. One of the symptoms for the excess blood retained in the liver is waking up in the morning with stiffness or numbness in the fingers or dizziness due to lack of blood circulation. Add to that a HOT shower in the morning and you have just helped your liver to yet perform a mild cleansing again.

Because of high estrogen levels, women should also avoid foods or herbs that have estrogenic activities such as Don Quei, Licorice, Ginseng, Royal Jelly, fennel, anise, clover, red clover, evening primrose oil, etc.

Stress congests the liver and constricts the blood vessels. It causes poor blood flow and the whole body becomes sluggish. Furthermore, it is believed in Chinese medicine that anger (especially suppressed anger) injures the liver, grief injures the lungs, fear or fright injures the kidneys and worry injures the spleen. As mentioned earlier, all these organs support each other and work together. Disharmonies in one of these organs tend to produce an imbalance in the corresponding emotions and vice versa.

Releasing emotions should become a part of your life in some form or fashion, this is where the technique of “Cellular Release” can be explored.

According to Chinese medicine, cold and raw vegetables such as salads tend to weaken the spleen unless the individuals who consume them are robust and strong (“Yang” type person). This could be the reason why many vegetarians look pale because of their weak spleen although Vitamin B12 deficiency may also be responsible. Also, most vegetarians eat a lot of salad, even though cooked vegetables are better to eat. One of the common signs of weak spleen is dry lips or frequent thirst. Chronic diarrhea or loose bowel may be another sign of weak spleen. Since the spleen is an important organ for red cell production, weak spleen is a common cause of anemia, especially in cases that do not respond to iron supplements. Fainting spells and heart palpitations will disappear.

When your liver becomes healthier you should have improved vision. The Chinese have a saying: “The liver opens into the eyes. When the liver is harmonized, the eyes can distinguish the five colors”. Clean and nutrient rich blood from a healthy, efficient liver can flow easily and nourish the eye tissues better. Stimulation of blood flow to the eyes by massaging also helps. Massaging the pressure points for blood circulation to the eyes twice daily, morning and night when you lie flat in bed is a good start, just make sure you are shown the correct way to do this. In this position blood does not have to flow against gravity.

Gallstone symptoms, gallstone treatment, kidney stone symptoms and removal

Gallstones and kidney stones often occur together. When either kind of stone exists, the liver, kidneys and the whole system cannot work efficiently. Because the kidneys and gallbladder are very close to each other, the stagnation of one organ often causes the other organ to become sluggish too. Gallstones and kidney stones usually occur together because both stones are very often the result of stagnation. In order to reduce the chance of having stone accumulation and stagnation again, it is better to cleanse both kidney stones and gallstones.

Gallstone and Kidney stone formation

Gallstones may be caused by chemical disturbance, faulty diet, liver sluggishness or toxicity, gallbladder stagnation or bile stasis which is often the result of sluggish liver. “Absorption of fluid by the gallbladder occurs to a much greater extent than normal when there is stasis of bile in the biliary system. Gallbladder bile becomes very concentrated as a result, and cholesterol crystallizes out of solution, the crystals so formed gradually growing into large gallstones” [Selkurt, E.E. (editor), Physiology, 2nd edition, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1966]. The bile will circulate up to “9” times and be reabsorbed by the small intestines, but with proper cleansing, it will be flushed from the body. When the kidneys are sluggish, they do not empty during urination. As a result, the stagnant urine may become too concentrated and eventually calcium salts crystallize out. Estrogen replacement therapy and birth control pills are common contributing factors to these problems because they weaken the liver and gallbladder.

Gallstone symptoms and gallstone removal

Based on the Chinese gallbladder “meridians,” gallstones may be associated with headaches, shoulder and neck pain. According to Chinese medicine, when gallstones are present, the weak gallbladder makes energy flow along the meridians sluggish and result in tense and tight feeling. If blood circulation becomes so poor that the blood flow becomes stagnant, pain is the result. The presence of gallstones is often a contributing factor to weak spleen because the nerves on the spleen and gallbladder are connected to each other. Weak spleen may lead to hypoglycemia.

Sleep problem is another common symptom with gallstones. In more severe cases, the gallstones may cause dizziness, bad taste in the mouth, vomiting of the bile, painful flanks, aggravation, anger and depression, insomnia and nightmares or hot and cold flushes [A Barefoot Doctor’s Manual, the American translation of the official Chinese Paramedical Manual, Running Press, Philadelphia, 1990]. These symptoms are often reduced significantly after the gallstones are removed. Gallstones may take up to 25 years to show symptoms.

Women are four times more likely to have gallstones than men. There is suspicion that pregnancy and childbirth may make the abdominal area more stagnant and become susceptible to gallstone formation. Many think that gallstones only develop in people who are obese or have a high fat diet. We now know bile stasis or gallbladder stagnation is a major cause of gallstone formation. What I find is that years of high stress will keep the body in a high adrenal state and the stress hormones overburden the liver and it cannot keep up with that lifestyle. The adrenal system is meant for temporary use, get out of danger and then back to normal life occurrences. We in American have stress 24/7!

Neck and shoulder pain, a common complaint, is usually attributed to prolonged hours in front of a computer screen, poor posture, injury or car accident. Many patients come in after a car accident and have prolonged pain in their neck and upper back. I try to talk them into performing the flush, the ones that do eventually completely eliminate their neck and back pain. They are just surprised that the flush could help with pain, me well it’s just another day at the office. Their gallstones led to poor blood circulation in their neck and shoulder area which is part of the gallbladder meridian. Poor blood circulation may already have caused tightness and tension that is not noticed. The car accident probably triggered blood stasis leading to pain. When the gallbladder became healthy again, blood circulation was better and there was no more blood stasis. Gallbladder flush and gallstone treatment – alternatives to gallbladder surgery; problems with gallbladder removed.

“Gallstones, a national health problem” – the American Liver Foundation

Gallbladder problems

Gallbladder operation is the most common operation in North America. Every year, more than 750,000 people in the United States and more than 75,000 people in Canada undergo surgery to remove their gallbladders because of gallstones. Approximately 80% of all gallstones show no symptoms and may remain “silent” for years. Once symptoms arise, they persist and increase in frequency. The most common triggers for gallbladder attacks are caffeine, chocolate, eggs, dairy products (especially ice cream) and greasy or deep fried foods. Symptoms may include right upper quadrant abdominal discomfort or sharp pain, gas or fullness after a heavy meal. The pain can also spread to the chest, shoulder, neck or back. In addition to these symptoms, stones expelled from the gallbladder during contraction may become lodged within the bile duct leading to infection of the bile duct or gallbladder.

Different approaches to gallbladder problems in conventional medicine all carry unwanted risks. The most common treatment, surgery, has as many as 10% of patients coming out of surgery with stones remaining in the bile ducts according to the U.S. National Institute of Health. Bile duct injury is another risk. According to the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, “complications of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy are infrequent, but include bleeding, infection, pneumonia, blood clots, or heart problems. Unintended injury to an adjacent structure such as the common bile duct or duodenum may occur and may require another surgical procedure to repair it. Bile leakage into the abdomen from the tubular channels leading from the liver to the intestine has been described.”

The other treatment in conventional medicine is gallstone dissolution by different drugs such as chenodeoxycholic acid (Chenix), ursodeoxycholic acid (Actigall), methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), and ethyl propionate. These drugs only work on smaller propionate. These drugs only work on smaller cholesterol stones and may cause diarrhea, hepatic injury and increase in plasma cholesterol level, nausea, pain or fever [References 2 and 3 at the end of this section]. MTBE administration (intragallbladder instillation) is an invasive procedure.

Testing

We now have NEW and BETTER testing methods.

Here are some things that will be tested by taking a URINE sample, that will greatly help to understand even more about what is going on with you.

YEAST & FUNGAL markers
BACTERIAL markers
CLOSTRIDIA bacterial markers
OXALATE METABOLITES
GLYCOLYTIC & MITOCHODRIAL markers

This is all done by a simple test performed in our office.

Treatment

Many of you have been given personal instruction about how to cleanse your Liver/Gallbladder system, but there are updates that make the process easier and there are new methods in removal of calcification of the kidneys and gallbladder. Many herbal remedies have been added to the process to also aid in thinning of the stagnant bile.

Take the time to visit with Dr Price and find all the information you need for you and your family to avoid these type of complications and make your road to health one well taken.

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