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 coagulating 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 cell division stimulators, elevation of their levels in the blood due to the liver's failure to remove them efficiently can cause their accumulation in tissue. This in turn 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 menstruations.
The liver also regulates body functions which affect emotional and mental activities. In a diseased condition, the liver's blood storage and regulatory functions are affected, and bleeding or clots can result. When liver blood is deficient, nourishment to tendons and blood vessels is curtailed, the joints become stiff, and muscles become spasmodic and numb. Blood deficiency in the liver may even lead to stroke, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, deafness, fainting or convulsion. When the liver blood is so deficient that it cannot nourish the eyes, night blindness or blurring may result. If the liver is affected by stress or unhappy feelings, its vitality may be repressed and the sides hurt, and hiccups or hernia may develop. The bowels may become constipated and sleep may be disturbed causing nightmare or insomnia.
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 weak liver even if they do not have a poor diet or are not taking medication regularly.
The structural position of the liver as a bridge between the returning blood from the digestive system and the lower part of the body to the heart makes the liver an important organ for the health of the heart. A weakened and swollen or congested liver can obstruct the venous blood flow to the heart causing heart palpitations or even heart attacks (see reference 3). In other words 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: the importance of the liver
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 tumour, which physically blocks blood flow to the brain, was also cited as one of the causes. The brain weighs 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.
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 Herbal 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 degeneration, we have an excellent chance of restoring it to optimal functioning with proper care.
Dr. Robert Bruce
We highly recommend that you read 2) Gallstone Information next.
article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease,
disorder, pain, injury, deformity, or physical or mental condition.
This information is not medical advice. Because every person's situation is different, the author of this article will not be held responsible for any negative results which come from reading or acting upon the information in this article. Use at your own risk.
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