“Why we should love our Liver more”

I have been wanting to write about this beautiful organ of ours for a while now, it is such an important part of our body’s detoxification process and we need to look after it so much more than we do. I am constantly blown away by what our body does for us and we take it for granted every single day. My mission is to help remind us all what we have and how we can look after it better. In this blog I am going to explain briefly how our liver detoxifies, the importance of supporting it and how we can do that.

The liver is the second largest organ in our body and sits just below the right ribcage. It performs many functions, such as the synthesis and secretion of bile, maintenance of blood glucose levels, regulation of hormones, and producing blood proteins just to name a few. However its main role is detoxification. I am only going to go into this briefly as there are many complex processes which involve the detoxification role.

The liver is made up of liver lobules which contain millions of liver cells or hepatocytes. As blood flows through the liver carrying substances such as pathogens, cell debris, inactive hormones, heavy metals, and pesticides, the liver cells start to alter these substances before they can safely enter our bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream our other detoxifying systems such as the digestive, urinary and respiratory systems then remove them permanently from our body.

If you hold up your hand you see that you have 5 fingers, imagine your fingers are the pathways out of the liver (Stage 2), the palm of your hand is the road in (stage 1). The liver is constantly having things enter at stage 1 to start to detoxify but what can happen is stage 1 and 2 get backed up with liver loaders, such as caffeine, sugar, fatty foods, and alcohol for example and the efficiency of this process starts to decrease, actually over time the small liver cells begin to die. Thankfully this wonderful organ can regenerate these cells however long term they begin to be replaced by fat globules which is where we hear the term “fatty Liver”.

The liver is pretty smart so will always get rid of the nasty things first for example alcohol,our body sees this as a poison so it must get rid of it straight away. So what can happen day in and day out is all the nasty things start to get stuck at stage 1 and stage 2 or in between both. Other substances that our body actually makes, for example cholesterol has it’s own metabolism system so any extra cholesterol we don’t need has to be detoxified through the liver and then excreted out of the body as well as everything else.

However if the liver is not working efficiently this extra cholesterol has to go somewhere and since the body recognises it, the liver thinks well your safer than this pesticide for example so I will dump you back into the bloodstream even though you have been slightly altered for detoxification. So here we have extra “recycled” cholesterol in our blood which our body doesn’t need and not in it’s original form. This can lead on to potential serious health issues.
On a side note our bodies actually make 80% of the cholesterol in our bodies, our diet makes up the other 20%. We need it to make our sex hormones. (I will focus more on cholesterol in a future blog)

.Liver Photo

Some Signs that your liver may be struggling

Food intolerances
Acne/Skin breakouts
Waking around 2-3 am with a racing heart rate feeling hot
Irritable
PMS
Heavy clotting periods

So what can we do about it.

Fistly the most imperative thing is to reduce the liver loaders that you are consuming so that it can do it’s job efficiently and effectively…think about how much processed foods you are eating, how many coffee’s or energy drinks are you drinking a day, what is your alcohol consumption like? Can you eat foods with less pesticides on them (if you cant afford our don’t have access to organic check out the clean 15 and the dirty dozen)….

Eat foods that are liver healthy. For example for your liver to work effectively it’s important to have Vitamins B so adding more wholegrains in your diet. Sulphur rich foods like broccoli, kale, cabbage, are also a good addition. Increase the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids and zinc (this is essential to convert cholesterol to our sex hormones)

I am also a firm beleiver that we as humans on this planet are unable to get all the nutrients we need every single day so that our bodies perform the way they were designed to. Bridging the gap between the diet we eat and the nutrients we need is in my opinion a necessity. Specifically for the liver I recommend Usana’s Hepa Plus, It contains scientifically selected liver cleansing ingredients such as milk thistle, tumeric, Alpa lipoeic acid and many more. I provide this and many other supplements through my clinic.

I hope this has shed some light on this wonderful organ of ours! Look after it beautiful people you only have one. If you think your liver may be struggling or you would like some more information or guidance on this please contact me via email wendy@wellnessbywendy.co.nz for a free health consultation.

Wendy xxxx

References
Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology Frederic Martini
American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 2012
Beauty from the inside and Out Dr Libby Weaver
http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php ( information on the dirty dozen )


Why I decided to kick coffee to the curb

Seriously I never thought in a million years I would give up coffee. In the past many people have outlined the benefits to me of giving up the black beast but my attitude was I would rather cut off my right arm than stop drinking one of my favourite beverages. I am sure there are a few of you out there who feel the same. I definately saw coffee as a necessity to “wake me up” and could not go a day without it. I always felt like I craved something else whether it was another coffee or something sweet, especially in the afternoon.

During the year I have become more and more in tune with my body, thinking about what I was putting in it and how I was being effected by it, there was this little niggle in the back of my mind “coffee” so one day I decided to take the plunge. I made a decision that I would give it up for 4 weeks to see how it would go. We all know that when you tell yourself you can’t have something you want it even more so this seemed like a reasonable thing to do. Without be over dramatic I was seriously blown away with the difference I felt. Mostly the sugar cravings completely disappeared, I am not so irritable in the mornings, daily headaches which became the norm disappeared, I sleep better, I have more energy and my skin is clearer and brighter.

I have also noticed how much of a habit it was. The early part of my morning would be dictated by where I would get a coffee from. On the weekends if we were on our way to kids sport we would most likely be running late but I would still have to stop and get a coffee which would drive my kids absolutely mad. it seems insane now and writing this I am quite shocked at how much coffee was a part of my life and I only drank two cups a day but also at how much my health has improved! There are biochemical reasons why this has happened to me and many others who have given up coffee. I have outlined a few below so you can get some insight into what is going on in your beautiful body.

1. Coffee stimulates the release of stress hormones adrenaline and/or cortisol. We rapidly produce adrenaline when we get a fright, our body thinks we need to get out of danger fast so immediately tells our liver and muscles (which stores glucose) to dump glucose into our bloodstream as our bodies need instant fuel to get ourselves out of the “perceived” danger. Due to the spike of glucose in our bloodstream our pancreas has to release insulin ( a fat storing hormone ) to bring it to a safer level. This up and down of glucose and insulin production can make us tired and/or crave sugar as when our blood sugar dips we need some thing to make it come up again which is why the intense sugar cravings occur or we reach for another coffee. By the way if we are constantly pumping out glucose we do not utilise our fat stores which is why you may be eating all the right foods but can’t seem to lose weight.

This constant release of adrenaline and the long term stress hormone cortisol does not just happen when we drink coffee, for some people it happens all day every day. Like Dr Libby Weaver calls it the ” Rushing Woman Syndrome ” we are so busy rushing around and/or constantly stressed, all the while our poor adrenal glands (where these stress hormones are made ) are getting a hammering. What can happen long term is the adrenal glands start to protest and slow down production which we call adrenal fatigue. This is a very common issue for a lot of people and can cause a deep ingrained fatigue which is unrelenting. Cutting out coffee for people with adrenal fatigue is vital.

2. Coffee is also a liver loader. Our beautiful liver is our second largest detoxifying organ in our body, everything that goes into your mouth or absorbed into your skin the liver has to alter it so that it can be safely removed from your body. Pesticides, chemicals, medication, alcohol, toxins, trans fats, refined sugar and caffeine are all liver loaders.  What can happen is when the liver gets backed up with all the junk ( liver loaders)  it starts to dump molecules that it recognises back into the bloodstream for example cholesterol and oestrogen, these molecules have already been slightly altered and we now know can lead to high cholesterol in the blood and developing reproductive cancers. ( In the coming weeks I will be doing a blog on our liver as it is such a massive component to our health and we need to love it a whole lot more than we do )

3. Coffee can also effect our skin, hair, nails, digestive and reproductive system. This is directly related to the constant increased blood flow taken away from those vital areas so the body can get extra oxygen to our arms and legs. Ever noticed tingly in your hands when you get a fright? The body sees the need to “get you out of danger ” as a priority so over time this constant biochemical action draws nourishing nutrients away from those areas causing problems.

So ever since that day I decided to “give it a go” I haven’t had a drop of coffee. I have found that a lovely cup of tea does the trick especially herbal teas so I actually do not miss it. It was no where near as hard as I thought it would be and I consider it to be one of the biggest gifts I could give to my body. Sometimes if I smell the lovely aroma I get nostalgic but for me the benefits I feel far out way a fleeting moment of a perceived need.

I am not going to tell you to stop drinking coffee, believe me I have been there. All I ask of you is to listen to your body. What is it telling you? Those niggly ailments that have always been there, regular headaches, fatigue, loose bowels, decreased appetite, sleep issues, PMS issues, or those insatiable sugar cravings. If any of what I have talked about resonates with you ask yourself can I give something up for just 4 tiny wee weeks? If so I challenge you to give it a try and see what you body tells you. You may just surprise yourself.

Wendy xxx

 

 

 

 

 


Feel the fear and do it anyway

This is it, my first blog post…I have been thinking about this first post for weeks now…and putting it off….thoughts of self doubt and what shall I write about, what should my first post be have plagued my mind..I have all these things I want to talk about but at the end of the day it should really start with my story…So I decided to feel the fear and do it anyway…So here goes

About 2 and half years ago I decided to leave my career in nursing. I had gone straight from high school at the age of 17 to begin my nursing training, registering in 1995 at the ripe old age of 21…I then began a nursing career at Starship Children’s Hospital over the next 16 years in between working overseas and starting a family. I loved being a nurse, I loved working with families, the children, teaching junior nurses, learning and growing. However it was a physically and emotionally draining job…I started to wonder “is this what I am going to do for the rest of my life”. My husband Mike was a long haul pilot at the time ( he is now domestic) and going away for long periods. By the age of 32 I had three kids under 4 and trying to manage my part time shifts. It was challenging!

Over the next few years I climbed the ranks as a staff nurse and went on to do a post graduate certificate in health science, I knew the next step for me was to move into a charge nurse role or nurse specialist role but I was starting to feel torn..was my heart really in it? I had to make a decision, carry on and do my post graduate diploma then onto a Masters degree or leave nursing and do something else.

I decided to leave. During the year of 2012 I started a business distributing health products made to a pharmaceutical standard by a company called Usana. This literally changed my life, suddenly I was around passionate, health conscious motivated people, I was so excited I was jumping out of my skin. I could do this business from home and around my families schedule. I slowly built my business and my income and by October 2012 I worked my last shift at the hospital. During this time I was learning about health, preventing degenerative disease,how to heal your body from the inside rather than being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff ie the health system. I started to see things differently. What can I do for myself and my family to improve their health, I wanted my kids to grow into healthy adults and have healthy children of their own. My appetite for knowledge was growing and growing.

In early 2013 we were told our oldest son Ethan may have Celiac disease. It was a huge shock for us and for him and it took us a long time to come to terms with it. ( this story I will save for another day )
Ethan has been gluten free for 18 months now and is in great health, the reason I mentioned it is because this started me on a new journey, one of knowledge, learning and put me on an undoubted path of what I wanted to do with my life.

Early this year I came across a course through a school in New York called the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. This was it, it was an online course learning not only about nutrition and dietary theories but about how I could actually help people. As a certified holistic health coach. The year so far has been amazing, I have learnt things about my own body in relation to food I didn’t know. I have learned to intuitively listen to my body and consciously connect with it. I have made so many positive changes to my life and my families it makes me so excited.

So that takes me to here, to this blog, with you. I started my Facebook page about 3 months ago and now this blog to connect, help and educate people about how they can get massive health benefits by just making small, manageable changes to the things they already do in their lives.

That is what I have done and I can’t wait to help others do the same.

Wendy xxxx