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Connection between brain fog and liver health

Dec 18, 2013 - 5 comments



brain fog

I found the below article and thought it might help someone

Most of us take our ability to think, remember and process information for granted. We consider our brain to be the headquarters of our intelligence and personality, that is, unless something interferes with our mental acuity. Generally termed ‘brain fog,’ the dulling of cognitive function is a familiar, but unwelcome sensation to a majority of people. For some, brain fog is a mild, transient occurrence; but for others, brain fog can be a major source of strife. Although there are several possible reasons for this condition, those with chronic liver problems are especially susceptible to brain fog.
What Is Brain Fog?

Despite the lack of information in most medical and psychological texts, brain fog is a valid, sometimes debilitating complaint. Describing mental confusion or a lack of mental clarity, brain fog can include feeling spacey, forgetful, lost and fatigued. It is also associated with having trouble thinking, concentrating and focusing. The frequency and severity of someone’s brain fog can vary significantly – and have a host of different causes.

Although the following three etiologies are not the only reasons someone experiences cognitive impairment, they do account for a sizeable proportion of brain fog episodes:

    Low on Fuel – Requiring a lot of energy, the brain consumes approximately 30 percent of our caloric intake. Anything that impairs energy production can lead to insufficient fuel for optimal brain function.
    Low on Fluid – As a major constituent of the human body, nearly every human function requires water. About 70 percent of the brain is composed of water. If the brain’s cells are not properly hydrated, cognitive function declines.
    Excess Toxins – The brain requires a lot of blood flow to function, making it one of the first organs to be affected by toxins in the bloodstream. Any condition that impairs the filtering of toxins out of the blood encourages brain fog.

Liver Disease and Brain Fog

Despite being frequently dismissed as a vague, unimportant complaint, brain fog is one of the more common symptoms of chronic liver disease. This is likely due to liver disease’s tendency to impair energy production and blood detoxification.

    Detoxification – One of the liver’s most vital responsibilities is filtering toxins out of the blood. When battling chronic liver disease, the liver can accumulate scars – some of which may become permanent. The more scarred a liver becomes, the less effective it is at removing toxins from the blood supply.
    Energy Production – Another prime responsibility of the liver is its role in carbohydrate metabolism. The liver converts carbohydrates into glucose and glycogen. Glucose is used instantly for energy and glycogen is stored by the liver to be used later for energy. The more damage to the liver incurred from chronic liver disease, the less able this organ is to produce and store energy.

A combination of toxins in the bloodstream and lowered energy levels make brain fog a likely consequence of chronic liver disease. Thankfully, there is hope for those affected. For the majority of folks, strategies to stay properly hydrated, minimize toxin exposure and provide the brain with sufficient energy are crucial to having a clear head. In addition, those with liver concerns can benefit from supporting the liver’s ability to detoxify and produce energy – a solid recipe for easing the fatigue, disorientation and frustration characteristic of brain fog.

“Sa1059: The Experience with Telaprevir-Based HCV Therapy in Community Practice Does Not Mirror the Clinical Trials Data,” at Digestive Disease Week 2013.

Nov 12, 2013 - 0 comments






I was looking for help with tx for another member here and came across this. It is a poster from the EASL 2013.  It was s a small study

Best 4 foods for detoxing the liver

Nov 09, 2013 - 5 comments

liver detox

I found this on the Liver support group

By Nicole Cutler L.Ac.

Every branch of natural healthcare seems to have its own perspective on how to help detoxify the liver. Ranging from juice fasts to herbal supplements to saunas to enemas, there is more than one route for helping the liver eliminate toxins from the body. Although several different approaches can be beneficial to the liver’s well-being, it is easy to overlook the fact that certain everyday foods aid in liver detoxification.

The practice of detoxifying the body to rid it of unhealthy toxins has been around for centuries. Technically, toxins are anything that can potentially harm the body, including waste products that result from normal cell activity, such as ammonia, lactic acid and homocysteine, and human-made toxins that we are exposed to in our environment, food, and water. The liver is the body’s first line of defense against toxins, functioning as a filter in preventing toxic substances from accumulating in the blood stream. Unfortunately, a sluggish liver impairs this organ’s vital cleansing function – causing a backup of toxins, a potentially harmful situation.

Supporting the liver’s detoxification ability will increase its ability to perform, keeping the toxins in the bloodstream to a minimum. Regular incorporation of the following four foods into your diet will boost the liver’s detox capability:

    Apples – Benjamin Franklin likely didn’t realize how accurate he was when his phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” was coined. Apples are one of the top detox foods because it contains fiber, vitamins, minerals and many beneficial phytochemicals such as D-Glucarate, flavonoids and terpenoids – all of which are used in the detox process. One apple flavonoid, Phlorizidin (phlorizin), helps stimulate bile production, which helps the liver get rid of some toxins through the bile. In addition, apples are also a good source of the soluble fiber pectin, which helps eliminate metals and food additives from the bloodstream. Because conventionally grown apples contain a great deal of pesticide residue, experts suggest consuming only organic apples.
    Lemons – This common citrus fruit stimulates the release of enzymes and helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be easily excreted from the body. Lemons are rich sources of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which stimulates the production of glutathione. Glutathione is the primary antioxidant your liver needs during both phases of detoxification. In addition, Vitamin C helps to thin and decongest bile, enabling the liver to more effectively break down fats. Experts suggest squeezing fresh lemon into a glass of water and drinking it first thing in the morning for the most liver support impact.
    Seaweed – Also known as sea vegetables, seaweed is an amazing detox food. Besides containing the broadest range of minerals found in any food (10 to 20 times more than in vegetables), the sodium alginate (algin) in seaweeds absorbs toxins from the digestive tract. An element capable of removing radioactive particles and heavy metals from the body, kelp is particularly high in algin. Green seaweed contains chlorophyll, which is a potent detoxifier. Chlorophyll contains special fibers that bind to and remove numerous unwanted substances from our bodies, essentially aiding the liver with its detoxification responsibilities.
    Broccoli Sprouts – Broccoli contains valuable phytochemicals that are released when they’re chopped, chewed, fermented, cooked or digested. The substances released are broken down into the sulphorophanes, indole-3-carbinol and D-glucarate, which have a specific effect on detoxification. While broccoli is a good detox food, broccoli sprouts are even better because they contain 20 times more sulfurophane than regular broccoli.

Incorporating apples, lemons, sea vegetables and broccoli sprouts into your diet does not take a great deal of effort, but it can have a significant impact on your liver. Because they supply your liver with the nutrients it needs for various aspects of detoxification, consuming these four foods ranks among the top strategies for liver detoxification.

Diabetes and the Liver

Nov 08, 2013 - 0 comments

I found this on Liver Support website, thought it might help someone

Mass education campaigns have helped increase our awareness of the connection between poor lifestyle habits and Type II Diabetes, but few realize how they also affect the liver’s health. The association between diabetes and liver disease is not coincidental; in fact, the two health conditions may just be different sides of the same metabolic coin.
Type II Diabetes

Also referred to as adult onset diabetes and non-insulin dependent diabetes, Type II diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body metabolizes sugar (glucose).

Those with Type II diabetes have a problem with insulin – a hormone released by the pancreas that regulates the movement of sugar into the cells. Type II diabetics belong to one of the following two categories:

    Their body resists the effects of insulin.
    Their body doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.

Diabetes leads to high blood glucose levels, a problem that can have a wide range of consequences, and some are life-threatening. Several examples include:

    Cardiovascular disease – which can lead to heart attack or stroke
    Nerve damage – which can lead to sensation loss and/or dementia
    Kidney damage – which can lead to kidney failure
    Eye damage – which can lead to blindness
    Infection of the foot – which can lead to amputation

Those who have Type II diabetes must monitor their blood glucose levels and may need medication to keep those levels steady. In addition, lifestyle factors like eating healthy and exercising regularly are crucial for a diabetic’s wellness.
Liver Disease

Located in the upper right abdomen, the liver is our body’s largest internal organ. The liver is responsible for an estimated 500 jobs in human physiology; its ability to function is a requirement for life. Besides being our body’s detoxification center, the liver is also involved in fat digestion, hormone production and making and storing glucose.

Liver disease is a broad term that covers all the potential problems causing liver cell damage, which can impair the liver’s ability to perform its designated functions. The liver is the only organ in the body that can easily replace damaged cells. However, repeated liver cell damage can result in permanent injury to this valued organ. Liver tissue scarring is known as fibrosis, while fibrosis that has permanently hardened and shrunk is called cirrhosis. Not a condition to be taken lightly, cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death by disease in the U.S.

Some of the more common culprits of liver disease include:

    Hepatitis C – One of the types of viral hepatitis that is not preventable via vaccination and can lead to chronic liver disease, Hepatitis C is spread primarily via infected blood-to-blood contact. An estimated four to five million Americans are currently infected with the Hepatitis C virus.
    Non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) – Also referred to as a fatty liver, NAFLD describes the accumulation of fat within the liver that can cause inflammation and a gradual decrease in liver function. An estimated 25 to 30 percent of American adults have some degree of NAFLD.
    Alcoholic liver disease – One of the most common causes of liver disease in North America, alcohol kills liver cells. Alcohol is directly toxic to liver cells and its repetitive, over-consumption prohibits new liver cells from replacing injured ones.

Connecting Diabetes and Liver Disease

The co-morbidity of diabetes and chronic liver disease is much higher than most people fathom. In a March 2007 edition of the journal Diabetes Care, American researchers found the following:

    The prevalence of NAFLD in those with diabetes is estimated at 34–74 percent and, in diabetics who are obese, at virtually 100 percent.
    The association of cirrhosis and diabetes is complicated by the fact that cirrhosis itself is associated with insulin resistance. Impaired glucose tolerance is seen in 60 percent of those with cirrhosis and diabetes occurs in 20 percent of patients with cirrhosis.
    There is a fourfold increased prevalence of hepatocellular carcinoma (primary liver cancer) in people with diabetes.

Although there are many possible risk factors for developing Type II diabetes and NAFLD, consistently high blood glucose levels can cause both. There is no medication for the treatment of a fatty liver, but the most important course of action is:

    Losing excess weight with lifestyle modifications
    Eating well – consuming a low-fat, high-fiber, low-sugar diet
    Exercising regularly

All three of these steps also help prevent diabetes because these steps help maintain steady blood glucose levels, improving the body’s ability to metabolize sugar. In addition, some healthcare professionals suggest natural supplements like Clinical Metabolic X that are intended to support healthful insulin function, minimize liver cell damage and promote ideal blood glucose levels.
The Insulin Link

Insulin is a major factor in understanding why diabetes and liver disease are linked. The liver is an insulin-guided organ, its behavior changes depending on:

    the level of insulin in the body
    how sensitive the liver is to that insulin

Normally, blood glucose levels rise after eating, triggering the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream.

    Insulin signals the body to absorb glucose from the blood.
    When glucose levels are high in the blood, the liver responds to the insulin by absorbing glucose and packaging it into glycogen bundles.
    When glucose levels are low in the blood, the liver sends glucose back into the bloodstream.

In people with diabetes, the liver is not able to package, store and release glucose normally, adding to the challenge of blood glucose control. Although experts believe there are many different ways NAFLD can begin, one theory blames it on insulin resistance in the liver. An insulin-resistant liver ignores the hormone’s signal to stop sending glucose to the blood, raising blood glucose levels and increasing the likelihood of localized inflammation and fat accumulation. Anyone at risk of insulin resistance, when the cells lose their ability to respond to insulin, is at increased risk of developing Type II diabetes and NAFLD.

When the liver’s ability to metabolize glucose suffers, insulin resistance, fat accumulation in the liver and diabetes can result. The clear solution to these related problems is to improve the liver’s metabolic health – a feat that is attainable with a healthful diet, regular exercise and natural metabolic support.