7 Ways To Cleanse & Detox Your Liver From Alcohol
There exists a wide variety of dietary supplements, kits, and diet/fasting regimes that claim to remove toxins from the liver, help protect it against liver disease, or improve liver function and overall liver health.
This includes everything from coffee to turmeric, milk thistle, and other compounds with anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties.
In reality, however, no liver detox products and regimens have been approved or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and their efficacy has never been demonstrated in proper clinical trials.
In other words, while coffee and a few spices might provide some benefit, there is no proof that any commercially available liver cleanse products actually work.
Complicating matters further, many herbal ingredients that have been included in unregulated liver cleanses, such as unpasteurized juices, green tea extract, and vitamin A, can actually make you sick or cause liver damage themselves.
However, there are several different ways you can support your liver during its natural detoxifying processes and long after. Here are seven:
1. Stop Drinking
If you have a drinking problem, you are actively harming your liver.
Detoxing and maintaining long-term, continuous abstinence from alcohol use is the only way to correct alcohol-related liver disease and give the organ the time it needs to recover.
Even in the case of liver transplants, individuals need to remain fully abstinent from alcohol for a set period of time to be eligible for the procedure.
2. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Along with alcohol abuse, obesity is a major risk factor for liver disease, which often begins with a condition known as hepatic steatosis or fatty liver disease.
If excess fat is present in the bloodstream over a long period of time, or the liver’s ability to properly process fat is disrupted (as with chronic alcohol consumption), fat can build up in the liver tissues, resulting in inflammation that is damaging over time.
Intentional, healthy weight loss can help combat this trend and improve your overall health as well.
3. Stop Smoking
Cigarettes contain a variety of toxins that stress the liver and intensify existing liver damage. The same is true of many other common residential toxin sources like spray paint, pesticides, and more. So use proper safety gear.
4. Eat A Balanced & Nutritious Diet
Sugars, saturated fats, cholesterol, and processed food stress the liver. A healthy diet with natural foods like lean meat, whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruit, however, are easier to process and give the liver and the rest of the body the essential nutrients you need.
While exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, it also benefits immune system function and lowers inflammation in the body. This reduces your risk of liver cancer and improves nearly every organ and system inside you.
6. Use Medications Cautiously
Be careful when taking any unnecessary medications, as even common cover-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol (acetaminophen), and many others can cause liver injury, especially if used for a long period of time or in high doses.
7. Avoid Behaviors That Pose A High Risk To Your Liver
Alcohol-induced hepatitis is another major cause of liver damage related to substance abuse. Avoid it by not engaging in risky sex, getting tattoos only from sterile tattoo parlors, and not engaging in recreational drug use or sharing needles, straws, or razors.
Note that many types of illicit drugs, including cocaine, steroids, and potentially cannabis, can cause or contribute to liver damage.
Supporting Addiction Recovery
If you’ve experienced liver damage due to alcohol addiction or dependency, or if you are worried about the damage your drinking or drug use might have on your health now or in the future, addiction treatment services may be able to help.
Contact us today for more information.
Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
This page does not provide medical advice.
American Liver Foundation - 13 Tips on How to Have a Healthy Liver
Johns Hopkins Medicine - Detoxing Your Liver: Fact Versus Fiction
Mayo Clinic - Liver problems - Diagnosis and treatment
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