Liver health: 11 signs your liver needs a detox

The liver performs various important functions so, you need to keep it healthy. Here are signs to know your liver needs a detox.
View All Images Woman holding human liver model with fresh food on the table
Your liver also needs a detox. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 26 Mar 2024, 03:45 pm IST
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The liver is a very crucial organ, as it performs various important functions. It plays a central role in maintaining metabolism, breaking down nutrients from food into energy and synthesising important molecules like proteins and cholesterol. The liver detoxifies the blood by filtering out toxins and metabolising drugs and alcohol. It produces bile, essential for digesting fats, and stores glycogen for energy reserves. It is also responsible for regulating blood sugar levels by storing or releasing glucose as per requirement. But your liver also needs a detox to stay healthy.

What are the signs that indicate your liver needs detoxing?

Signs that indicate your liver may need detoxing include the following:

1. Fatigue

When there is an excess of toxins in your body, it can burden the liver. This can result in fatigue, as it finds it difficult to perform its functions, says
gastroenterology and hepatology expert Dr Pawan Rawal.

A woman having abdominal pain due to liver disease
If your liver needs a detox, you will have digestive issues. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Digestive issues

Digestive issues are not always related to the foods you consume. If there is liver dysfunction, it can cause bloating, constipation, or diarrhea because of impaired bile production.

3. Jaundice

Yellowing of the skin and eyes indicates liver damage or dysfunction. It is typically due to excess bilirubin, which is a yellowish pigment made when there is breakdown of red blood cells.

4. Dark urine

When you don’t consume much fluids, you would notice the colour of your urine turn darker. But dark urine also indicates liver problems. Increased bilirubin levels can cause urine to darken, signaling liver problems.

5. Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain is often associated with menstruation. Discomfort in the upper right abdomen can also indicate liver inflammation or enlargement, says the expert.

6. Unexplained weight loss

Liver issues can disrupt metabolism, resulting in unexplained weight loss.
Your body will find it difficult to process nutrients if there is a liver problem. This will lead to weakness as well as weight loss.

7. Skin issues

Liver dysfunction can show themselves in the form of itching, rashes, or acne. These skin issues are due to toxin buildup.

8. Mood swings

Toxins can affect neurotransmitter balance, says Dr Rawal. This may lead to mood swings or irritability.

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9. Poor appetite

Liver dysfunction can cause reduced appetite. There will be nutrient absorption issues too.

10. Fluid retention

Liver damage can cause fluid buildup in the abdomen or legs. Fluid retention will result in swelling in these parts of the body.

A woman saying no to alcohol for healthy liver
Drink less alcohol to prevent liver damage. Image courtesy: Freepik

11. Increased sensitivity to alcohol

Reduced liver function can lead to alcohol intolerance in some people. There may be heightened hangover symptoms too.

How to detoxify liver?

To detoxify the liver, you can adopt several lifestyle changes and dietary habits. Here are some ways:

  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water to help flush toxins out of the liver and kidneys.
  • Eat a balanced diet full of colourful vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains for essential nutrients and antioxidants that support liver function.
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption to prevent further liver damage.
  • Refrain from consuming processed foods high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and additives that can burden the liver.
  • Engage in regular physical activity to support overall health and metabolism, that helps in liver detoxification.
  • Limit exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals like cigarette smoke and pollution.
  • Get sufficient sleep.

You must focus on keeping your liver healthy. Obesity and excess body fat can increase the risk of fatty liver disease, so try to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise, suggests the expert. Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B to prevent viral liver infections. Also, use medications only as prescribed and avoid excessive use of over-the-counter drugs, because some medications can be harmful to the liver.

How long does it take to detoxify liver?

The duration of liver detoxification can vary depending on factors such as the individual’s overall health, the extent of liver damage or toxicity, and the specific detoxification methods employed. In general, a liver detoxification programme may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, says the expert. However, the liver doesn’t undergo a complete detox in a short period; instead, lifestyle changes and dietary habits contribute to ongoing liver health and function. Consistently following a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, hydration, exercise, and stress management, supports the liver’s natural detoxification processes over time.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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