I have been dedicating the last year of my life to healing my liver. This, for some people, may seem a little extreme, but it is exactly what I needed to do before my liver forced a permanent reboot in my 30’s.

I had been putting a lot of performance pressure on my liver since I was in my teens and it had begun to talk back.

Our liver is responsible for performing a zillion tasks at once. It is El Capitano of the Detox Team within our intricate bodies and humans, in general, do a really good job of asking it pull in extra hours without getting paid overtime.

We often do this without even knowing depending on our job, the air quality we breathe, the furniture we sit or sleep on, the cosmetics we use and the list goes on. Quite often, however, we make a conscious choice to re-tox our systems on the daily.

This is often done in the name of fun and games and in the form of alcohol, drugs and caffeine.

Now I’m not condemning a life of leisure and laughs, nor am I saying I no longer partake in these activities once in a while (we are all allowed to be dirty little fun havers once in a while). What I am saying is that it is important to choose our battles, and take breaks every once in a while so the liver doesn’t experience performance anxiety and stop working as hard!

In my twenties I became really good at abusing my body and ignoring the signs that were telling me to slow down.

I would experience terrible blackouts after binge drinking and forgot to ask myself what the point of enjoying a night on the town was (or an upcoming Christmas or New Years party) if I didn’t remember all the good times that were had the night before with friends or colleagues?

Waking up with a killer hangover should not be a regular occurrence on weekends, nor should a pending apology to a friend or loved one for acting like a total jerk. This happened to me quite often and in those moments I was embarrassed. I didn’t know how to deal with the next five minutes, let alone devote energy to mending relationships or apologize for my lapses in judgement.

Stuck in a toxic cycle my body was overloaded, it was sick, and just simply trying to survive.

It took me years to admit that my liver was more Toxic than a Brittany Spears song and realize that although I was still a highly functioning individual I needed to cut out the crap and make my health a priority.

Since I’m a huge nerd, I needed the inside scoop on what occurs inside the body when we consume alcohol so I could really understand what I was doing to myself, so here’s a little non-science fiction of sorts:

  • The more alcohol you drink the more antioxidants (AO’s) our body requires. Our liver depends on a steady supply of Vitamin C, A, E, Selenium, Zinc, NAC, and the king of AO’s, Glutathione (him and the liver are besties for life).
  • Alcohol is detoxified by the liver using an specific enzymes. Normally alcohol is metabolized to acetaldehyde by the enzyme acetaldehyde oxidase and alcohol dehydrogenase, which neutralizes the chemical so it can be excreted from the body. But when we consume more alcohol than these enzymes can handle, we end up with too much circulating acetaldehyde which leads to ketoacidosis (our blood becomes too acidic from the alcohol metabolites) equalling what we call a “hangover,” producing nausea, headache, mental and physical tiredness, aching muscles, and can even cause us to pass out (which is very dangerous).
  • Along with the above facts, alcohol can act as an intestinal irritant, increasing the risk for “leaky gut” leading to increased risk for inflammation, allergic reactions, and larger food particles passing into the body. It can act as an “antinutrient,” destroying some of the essential vitamins and minerals that are essential to our health such as B vitamin, magnesium (hello post party headache), zinc, iron and vitamin C and cause our health to suffer. We may not see the negative effects right away, but left to accumulate over time this does a lot of damage to our cells, ones that can even lead to premature aging and wrinkles (oh no!).

When we become drunk it means that we have exceeded our bodies’ ability to detoxify, and in due course our capacity for alcohol and our ability to avoid hangovers diminishes (the reason our hangovers get worse as we get older).

Plus get this…that Tylenol we take the morning after to curb our pounding head and aching muscles ties up the livers ability to detoxify further, utilizing up precious glutathione stores and exacerbating the issue! Plus, as we all know, alcohol makes us pee A LOT, thus dehydrating our cells and stealing energy that could be used to help heal and detoxify.

“The liver is the chemical brain of the body, recycling, regenerating, and detoxifying in order to maintain your health.”   – Patrick Holford

So, why should YOU care about all this liver support non-sense?

Well, through supporting MY liver nutritionally and with supplements I have become the ultimate socializer! I no longer have the post party blues or experience the associated morning after nausea, headache, or brain fog.

Plus, my poop no longer smells like a winery the next morning (seriously).

Best of all, I no longer require a full day to recover from sleep deprivation and hangover symptoms nor do I experience embarrassing blackouts or memory lapses! For me, that is my biggest win!

These days, when I fall asleep after a party it is because I choose to (after drinking a big glass of water) not because my body is shutting down due to being in toxic shock. If I wake up feeling sore it is because of the hard-core workout I did the day before, not because of overconsumption.

If I choose to go out for drinks I can quit at 2 glasses because I still have my wits about me. I no longer have to brush my teeth three times a day for fear of breathing foul breath in public, nor do I have to change my shirt twice a day because my underarms got stinky from sweating out toxic metabolites.

Best of all I feel more alive and alert than I ever have before and that excites the heck out of me!

Even if you are not a big drinker your body may be in need of a Liver Reset too. We live in a toxic world.  It may just be the key to making you that fun and flirty social butterfly this holiday season…and your colleagues and friends will be asking how you’re still standing!

Check out our 14 Day Liver Reset program to hear more about this type of program can totally transform your life for the better!

Katie Israelson

Certified Nutritional Practitioner at Refresh Natural Health
I like to bring an organic and honest yet humorous approach to my counselling and writing. I believe in the importance of nourishing the soul and body, and hope to provide support for those open to my quirky yet insightful anecdotes. By embracing my own challenges with food sensitivities, hormone balancing, and weight management (believe me, this is an ongoing battle) I hope to connect with my readers on a personal level.

As a newbie blogger, I am here to let you know we are not alone in our struggles, challenges or successes. Everyone has a story. Regardless of setbacks we are powerful human beings, capable of achieving greatness. So may we rise up, and walk this road together.
Katie Israelson