Spring Cleaning…the Liver?

by Deanna Woodroffe, WHNP-BC

Severe fatigue, irritable bowel, chemical & food sensitivities, headaches, joint pain, fibromyalgia, depression, irritability, hormone imbalance, PMS…

This list of symptoms that I encounter with patients every day is endless. Patients experiencing symptoms like these have often visited multiple doctors and specialists only to be told that everything is “fine.”

Everything is NOT fine! You wouldn’t feel terrible if everything was fine! Unfortunately it is often difficult to pinpoint the cause of these symptoms. It takes time and effort on the part of both the physician and the patient.
One tool we use to help find root causes for abnormal symptoms is liver detoxification. Think of your liver literally as a giant filter. We are bombarded daily with toxins from our environment, our lifestyle choices and even our internal physiologic functions. As the primary organ involved in detoxification, our liver can become overburdened, leading to chronic symptoms like the ones listed above.

A comprehensive approach to liver detoxification can quickly reduce symptoms and help patients tremendously in the search for root causes of any remaining symptoms. A nutritionally supportive liver detox can reveal food sensitivities, improve hormone balance, reinforce healthy lifestyle patterns, eliminate chronic symptoms and drastically improve our health and vitality.

“Detox” is often confused with colon cleanse. A liver detox does not include laxatives, enemas or diuretics. A liver detoxification program includes necessary vitamins and minerals to support optimal function of the liver; supplements to encourage each phase of liver detoxification; adequate intake of pure water, and avoidance of known toxins and food allergens. While fasting is sometimes suggested for 1-2 days, it is not essential. Most detox programs encourage adequate food intake in the form of whole, unprocessed foods.

Good candidates for liver detox are those who struggle with any of these “difficult to treat” symptoms, those who suspect they may have food allergies, have recently lost significant weight or those just interested in overall health improvement and illness prevention.

If you want to learn more about liver detoxification, and it’s role as a preventative health tool or if you have symptoms that you have been unable to address, join me for a group event on this subject. We will discuss toxins and where they come from, the fundamentals of liver detoxification and the benefits of detox programs. We will also offer recipes and other ideas to support healthy detox. For those interested, we will start a seven day detox program as a group. Having the support of a group can increase our motivation and make lifestyle changes easier.

Our “Detox with your Doctor” group event will be on Wednesday, May 30th at 6:30 pm. See the “Healthy Planet Happenings” for all the details.

Deanna Woodroffe is a board certified women’s health nurse practitioner with Women’s Health Specialists of St. Louis. She is currently accepting new patients. Visit their website at www.whs-stl.com or call the office at 314.292.7080 for more information.