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Why You Need to Clean Your Liver (and how to do it)

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liver pain

How often do you clean your liver? More than ever in history, our bodies are bombarded with toxins. Chemicals are everywhere, from air pollution to pesticides, from personal care products to plastics. They leech into our bodies through the food we eat, the water we drink, the products we use, and the air we breathe. They are, simply put, unavoidable. 

Our bodies were not designed to cope with the high amounts of chemicals we are exposed to daily. These toxic contaminants cause a buildup of unwanted compounds in the body, depleting nutritional stores, and leading to long-term health consequences, especially for the heart. 

Thankfully, we have an organ specifically designed to help detoxify our bodies. The liver takes the brunt of the responsibility of keeping the body clean. From the moment we are born, the liver works tirelessly to nullify the impacts of toxins. 

However, given the enormous job of the liver, it gets understandably tired. Every so often, it needs a hand. Today, we will share the best ways to clean your liver naturally. 

What does the liver do? 

The liver is the largest solid organ inside the human body. The liver lives in the upper right side of the abdomen, approximately the size of a football, tucked neatly behind the rib cage. 

This powerhouse organ works quietly behind the scenes, participating in hundreds of bodily functions. Just a few of the responsibilities of the liver include: 

  • Produces bile to help with digestion and fat absorption 
  • Makes and stores several vitamins and minerals 
  • Regulates amino acids 
  • Helps to metabolize drugs 
  • Manufactures proteins for blood plasma
  • Generates cholesterol and other proteins to transport fatty acids through the body 
  • Converts glucose to glycogen and stores it for energy
  • Regulates blood clotting 
  • Produces immune factors that fight infection 

Of all the jobs the liver has, the most critical function is its role in detoxification. Blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. In fact, at any given moment, the liver holds approximately one pint of blood. The liver removes unhealthy toxins and other harmful substances from the blood.

Heart-liver connection

Organs don’t work in isolation, and the liver and heart are no exception. The liver and heart pair together to ensure healthy blood circulates through the body. 

The heart pumps the blood throughout the body, including to the liver, where it filters approximately two quarts a minute. At the same time, the liver produces bile to help dissolve fat in the blood vessels. Without bile, arteries would harden, making the circulation of blood impossible. 

Science has identified a link between liver dysfunction and cardiovascular health. For example, studies have found that individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are at much higher risk for atherosclerosis. Moreover, an unhealthy liver can lead to systolic and diastolic dysfunction and rhythm disturbances, such as AFib. 

Signs your liver could use some help 

The liver is a quiet organ, rarely alerting the body to a problem in a significant way. Instead, a tired liver may exhibit itself in the following ways: 

  • Fatigue or low energy 
  • Infrequent bowel movements or constipation  
  • Sugar cravings  
  • Bad breath or body odor 
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Skin problems such as acne or rashes
  • Anxiety, stress, depression, or mood swings 
  • Brain fog
  • Headaches  
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Difficulty losing weight 
  • Gas or bloating 

If you experience any of the above symptoms, detoxing the liver might be a good idea.

7 ways to cleanse your liver naturally

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of liver detoxes. From 3-day liver cleanses to juice cleanses, cleaning the liver is all the rage these days. But unfortunately, the vast majority of these fad diets don’t healthily support the liver.

The best approach to cleaning the liver is one that is naturally incorporated into daily life. The liver appreciates continuous love. The following seven tips will help your liver to release toxins slowly, gently, and effectively. 

Adopt a liver-friendly diet 

The liver processes everything we eat. Diets high in sugar, processed foods, preservatives, and pesticides put tremendous strain on the liver, making it work harder to remove the toxins. 

While one would think that fatty foods increase the liver’s workload, studies have found that excessive carbohydrates are the real problem. For example, researchers in this study found that after eating high levels of simple sugars for three weeks, the subject’s weight increased by 2 percent, but their liver fat skyrocketed by 27 percent. 

Focus on an organic, locally sourced diet rich in vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Keep in mind that liver detox pathways require protein, so eating pasture-raised poultry and eggs, grass-finished beef, and wild-caught seafood is essential for detoxifying the liver. 

Moreover, many of these high-protein foods are high in omega-3s. Omega-3s have a powerful effect in preventing liver inflammation. Multiple studies have found that omega-3s, such as those in fatty fish, can aid liver health. 

Other foods to boost the liver include: 

  • Fiber-rich foods that keep the gut moving 
  • Pre and probiotic foods that help maintain a healthy microbiome 
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts 
  • Pungent foods such as mint, ginger, horseradish, dandelion, and chamomile 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Hydration is essential for a healthy functioning liver. Water plays a critical role in helping to remove toxins from the body. Therefore, ensuring sufficient hydration is a crucial component of cleansing the liver. 

It’s important to remember, however, that water quality is just as important as quantity. Tap and bottled water are key sources of toxins, including pharmaceuticals, fluoride, pesticides, and other dangerous chemicals. So be sure only to drink filtered water

Aim for 6-8 glasses of room temperature water each day. Adding a squeeze of organic lemon or lime juice to your water stimulates the bile to remove toxins. 

Sweat it out

Sweating is one of the best ways to detoxify the liver naturally. When we perspire, chemicals stored in the body are excreted through the pores via sweat. 

Some of the best ways to support the liver through perspiration include: 

Focus on breathing 

We don’t often think of our lungs as detox organs, but we should. Lungs expel waste products every time we exhale. Diaphragmatic breathing, or breathing from the diaphragm instead of the chest, helps to eliminate toxins, thus reducing inflammation in the body. 

Practicing breathing exercises multiple times a day enables the respiratory system to detoxify more quickly, thus helping detoxify the liver. 

Consider liver-supportive supplements

While eating a healthy diet is the best way to clean your liver, an overburdened liver often requires additional help.  Some of the best supplements to aid in detoxification include: 

  • Glutathione – This powerful antioxidant supports cellular detoxification.  
  • Alpha-lipoic acid – Alpha-lipoic acids helps the body make glutathione while boosting other essential antioxidants.
  • Magnesium – Magnesium is an essential cofactor in enzymatic processes involved in liver detoxification.

Catch some Zzz’s 

In this day and age of go-go-go, sleep may feel like a waste of time. However, nighttime is the most productive time to restore health. While we are sleeping, our liver works hard on the detoxification process. 

Like the rest of the body, the liver also follows a circadian rhythm. Studies have linked sleep disturbances to an exacerbation of liver disease. Without sleep, the liver can’t perform adequate detoxification. 

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to best support your liver.

Remove toxins from your life 

The world that we live in is incredibly toxic. While we can’t eliminate toxins entirely, we can help the liver by reducing exposure whenever possible. By avoiding certain products and chemicals, we can help reduce the burden on the liver. 

Take a good look at the products you use in your daily care routines, such as shampoo, lotions, and soap. Many of these products contain harmful chemicals that absorb through the skin and scalp and make their way to the liver. Additionally, consider the products used around your home, such as candles, cleaning supplies, and homeware. Wherever possible, remove unhealthy toxins from your life.  

Next steps 

The human body was perfectly and wonderfully designed with organs that serve several purposes. But unfortunately, the liver was never made to handle the enormous amount of toxins that flow through it daily. 

There’s not a single person in the world who wouldn’t benefit from cleansing their liver. However, knowing exactly how to detoxify the liver naturally can be confusing. A Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach can help you determine your toxic load and advise you on the next steps to reduce the burden on your liver. 

Eat well, Live well, Think well

Medical Review: Dr. Lauren Lattanza 2022

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He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

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About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

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About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

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As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

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About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

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Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

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Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

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We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

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Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

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Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

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Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.