The liver is the largest internal organ in the body and is responsible for detoxification, as well as many other roles to keep us healthy. In order to sustain its function, the liver needs to have no obstructions in order to work optimally. You may be unaware, but right now bile and lipid deposits are collecting in the gallbladder. When solidified, these masses are commonly referred to as gallstones and can clog up both your liver and your gallbladder! Many people these days are trying a liver and gallbladder cleanse in the hopes that everything will be cleaned out, and it will make the liver and gallbladder work optimally. However, a liver and gallbladder cleanse may not remove gallstones at all, can have dangerous side effects, and requires consideration and caution.
In order to be able to digest food correctly, the digestive tract is in need of a little help. It gets this from the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.
One of the functions of the liver is the production of bile. Bile is stored in the gallbladder and travels through the cystic ducts to the small intestines, where it is released to aid in digestion. Both the right and the left lobes of the liver are made up of cells, called hepatocytes, which produce and secrete bile into bile ducts. The bile is then carried to the gallbladder which stores it until such time as it is used for the small intestine’s digestive process. However, gallstones may keep bile from effectively making its way to the intestines by clogging up the ducts, which in turn hinders the digestion and detoxification process, putting stress on the liver and indirectly affecting the rest of the body.
Cholecystitis and cholangitis occur when there is a blockage between the gallbladder and the small intestines. Inflammation and possible infection occur. However, there can be a partial blockage or occasional blockage, as gallstones move in and out of the cystic duct, that can still adversely affect the body’s detoxification process without these tell tale signs. At the same time, bile can start to fill up the gall bladder and back flow into the liver, where it is made, congesting it. When the liver is unable to detoxify properly, dangerous toxins build up, putting stress on the body. If this continues for a while, and the adrenal glands become overworked, adrenal fatigue can result.
Factors that contribute to the formation of gallstones include eating dairy products, chocolate, trans fat, artificial sweeteners, and red meat, in addition to smoking, stress, and alcohol. Other risk factors include diabetes, fasting, pregnancy, obesity, and taking medicine for cholesterol or birth control.
When the liver and gallbladder becomes overloaded with gallstones, causing liver congestion, its natural detoxification process is less effective and toxins are given the chance to build up in the fat cells.
Freeing your liver from these gallstones will help to hasten the detoxification process by helping the liver gather the dangerous free radicals and toxins stored in fat cells, releasing them from the body, as well as protecting you from many conditions, including Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).
Those with Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome may want to consider a liver and gallbladder cleanse known as a liver flush. Other synonymous names are a gallbladder flush and gallbladder cleanse. A liver flush is a type of cleanse that is meant to detoxify the liver and remove accumulated gallstones before they can cause serious damage. However, it’s important to consult an experienced health care provider before self-navigating through a liver and gallbladder cleanse or intense detoxification programs. Performing a Liver and gallbladder cleanse or flushes in stages of advanced adrenal fatigue can often leave the body in a weakened state due to the stress it puts on the liver and the body. When too many demands are made of a body that already has symptoms of adrenal fatigue, the adrenals can no longer function optimally, and repercussions follow. These include constant lethargy, heart palpitations, dizziness, fluctuations in blood pressure, insomnia, constipation, mood swings, and fluid retention, amongst others.
In cases like this, a better course of action is to:
The NEM stress response is a system in which various parts of the body act to protect you from excessive stress, whether physical or emotional. The main stress response control center, the adrenal glands, secrete more than 50 hormones to help with resolve stress related issues. Excessive and chronic stress will, in turn, overburden the adrenal glands, inhibiting hormone output and causing this natural defense to fail, resulting in adrenal fatigue syndrome.
The liver is part of 2 important circuits: Metabolic and Detoxification. When the body is in chronic stress, metabolism changes and the liver, thyroid, and pancreas have to change their output to match the stress levels. The liver may need to output more glucose from its stores to help balance blood sugar. In addition, the detoxification circuit can be impaired due to a buildup of toxins in the ECM, liver, and immune system.
A liver and gallbladder cleansing procedure can put so much strain on already overstrained adrenal glands that adrenal fatigue advances to stage four. At this point, the production of cortisol (the hormone responsible for helping the body cope with stress) is compromised, and the adrenals no longer function correctly. Advanced symptoms of the condition now present themselves, and these include: hypersensitivity to medication, reactive hypoglycemia, panic attacks, heart palpitations, heightened anxiety, and depression.
The liver flush is an overnight, at home liver and gallbladder cleanse that can be done over the course of the weekend. It should take about 6-8 flushes to fully clean out the liver and gallbladder, with improvement in health usually seen at 3-4 flushes.
The best part about this remedy is that you only really need a few things. Organic apple juice, epsom salts, olive oil, and 3 grapefruits are all that is needed for a flush. Proper instructions can be provided by your doctor tailored to your body’s specific needs. A colonic, or perhaps several, may be needed prior to flushing to ensure that gallstones can be properly eliminated if your body is strong enough to handle and done properly.
There are many reasons why cleansing your liver can be beneficial to your health, especially if you suffer from adrenal fatigue. However, if you are weak and your body has been congested for a long time, it might not be a good idea to do the flushes as it could release more toxins from the fat cells that your body cannot handle. Fast and strong detoxification programs can actually crash some adrenal fatigue sufferers, so it’s important to get help from an experienced coach before trying a flush. With guidance, there are many beneficial reasons to cleansing.
Gallstones that are allowed to collect in the liver can slow down the metabolism and the synthesis of hormones. The liver is responsible for regulating hormones by breaking them down and disposing of the them. This includes sex hormones and other hormones that may affect your recovery from adrenal fatigue. Women who experience trouble with their menstrual cycle should also consider flushing the liver as the first important step to cleansing the body. A clean, healthy liver effectively regulates reproductive hormones to normal levels.
An obvious sign of liver congestion is emotional irregularities and instabilities. Those with a lack of impulse control or one who angers easily with severe mood swings could be seen in adrenal fatigue. Cleansing the liver will allow the organ to do its job in hormone regulation, helping to balance emotions and deal with stress in healthy ways.
As you may know by now, preventing as much stress as possible is vital to keeping the adrenal glands, and NeuroEndoMetabolic(NEM) stress response from becoming overworked in the first place. This can be difficult with an abundance of gallstones, but flushing them out will help you feel much better equipped to handle stress.
Besides that the substance excreted doesn’t resemble normal gallstones, very few gallstones are small enough to actually exit the gallbladder, and many that do tend to get stuck in the cystic duct or common bile duct. Many of those that undertake a cleansing of the liver and gallbladder end up with an acute case of pancreatitis due to bile building up behind the obstruction and then moving into the pancreas. Nausea, vomiting ,and abdominal pain usually occur, and surgery is, more often than not, the end result.
Due to the laxative effect of Epsom salt, combined with the vegetable oil, diarrhea is often experienced. This, combined with the vomiting experienced due to obstruction of the ducts, causes dehydration and an imbalance of electrolytes in the system.
Perhaps the liver’s most important function, in helping your recovery from adrenal fatigue syndrome, is its detoxification responsibilities. The liver has the important task of filtering about one quart of blood per minute. The buildup of gallstones are weakening the liver’s process to eliminate both internally generated and environmentally sourced toxins that may cause the body harm. The liver detoxifies the blood by means of eliminating harmful hormones, alcohol, and drugs so they lose their potentially negative effects. Once the gallstones have been eradicated from the liver, this job can be completed with far greater ease. This is good news for people with adrenal fatigue, as well as those with compromised NEM response, as improved detoxification has been shown to assist in the healing process of the adrenal glands.
One of the possible side effects of a liver and gallbladder cleanse is that the body’s natural detoxification process becomes inhibited and begins working slower. The end result is often constipation.
Epsom salt, one of the main ingredients consumed in most efforts to clean the liver and gallbladder, when taken in moderation, has a beneficial effect on one’s overall health.
However, taken in large amounts, the results could be catastrophic. Ingesting larger quantities of Epsom salt can cause low blood pressure, muscle weakness, vomiting, and, in very extreme instances, coma and even possibly death.
Some people report losing weight during a liver and gallbladder cleanse, but in most cases it is not really fat. Most of the weight they lose is water. This is unhealthy because, not only does it lead to possible dehydration and an imbalance in electrolytes, but it can put the body into a state of shock, which has a negative influence on the adrenals and NEM response.
In addition, this weight loss is not sustainable, and the weight will soon return once a normal diet is resumed.
Acne is a common sign of a hormonal imbalance. The adrenal glands also function to balance the hormones in the body. Imbalanced hormones is one of the contributing factors in the formation of acne. With a cleanse of the liver and gallbladder, the adrenals are put under an inordinate amount of stress which could result in adrenal fatigue. In this way, a cleanse could actually cause adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and lead to the formation of acne.
Flushing the gallbladder and liver in order to remove stones is targeting the result of lifestyle issues, and does not address the root cause of the problem. Removal of these stones, by any means, does not identify nor attempt to correct the reason for their formation in the first place. Thus it is still important to identify and remedy the cause of gallstones in the first place.
Natural medicine addresses the root causes of symptoms. Once the cause is identified, it is addressed in such a way as to heal the body as a whole, rather than only focusing on the initial symptom.
Practitioners of natural medicine see the entire body as a complete system. Of this system, the adrenals and the NEM play an extremely important role. An instant remedy as, suggested by a gallbladder and liver cleanse, could be harmful. This is why it is important to focus first on health practices and diet that will improve the whole system. If you have gallstones, make sure to follow the instructions of your primary care physician in staying away from fatty foods and changing your diet to include more fiber and vegetables. You do not need to have a diagnosis of gallstones to do a liver flush. Anybody can benefit from a liver cleanse, however, the harshness of this process could potentially worsen symptoms, as it would put an inordinate amount of strain on both the adrenal glands and liver. Considering that with adrenal fatigue, the adrenals are already battling to cope, the consequences could be severe. Do proceed with caution if you are in advance stages of adrenal fatigue however. Often times a cleanse of the liver may put to much stress on the body and lead to a crash.
A healthy liver, with uninterrupted bile, means effective detoxification and overall wellbeing. Cleansing your liver regularly will help to keep AFS and gallstones away, as well as balance and restore your NEM stress response to proper functioning levels.
It is important to note that when going through a liver flush minimizing any fats, proteins, and unnecessary supplements eases the burden and load on the liver. With the returned health of the liver, the hormonal system becomes more balanced and the adrenals begin to function normally, helping to alleviate the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.