When talking about anything hormonal, the thyroid, the ovaries and perhaps the adrenal glands may be the first organs than most will think of and with good reasons: these hormonal production sites control a majority of very important functions in our body. However, our body organs do not work in isolation from one another, on the contrary organs are connected to facilitate each others functions. The liver is well –known for its cleansing properties in removing toxins such as medications, pollutants and alcohol from our system, yet its connection on the hormonal system is not so well known.
While the liver doesn’t produce hormones as such, it helps with the smooth processing of hormones. The liver dispenses them into the bloodstream whenever various parts of the body need them. Thus, the liver is somewhat like a hormone holding tank that is on call to supply necessary hormones at proper levels whenever needed.
Some of the crucial metabolic activities that are made possible by these timely secretions are: blood glucose levels, amino acid levels, circulatory functions, the strength of the immune system, blood clotting and bone marrow formation amongst many others. For example, thyroid hormones are being converted in and around the liver 1 and healthy cholesterol levels are being produced. The liver is also a storage place for Vitamin D (which is actually not a vitamin but a hormone!).
One of the main roles of the liver is to also excrete excess hormones; some hormones are not needed by the body after being used up and therefore have to be deactivated by the liver in order to be eliminated (mainly via urine and bile). These include insulin, glucagon, cortisol, aldosterone, thyroid and sex hormones 2. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver organ does most of its work at night between 1-3 am. Therefore, any sleep disturbances seen at around this time slot can be linked to liver dysfunctions. For example, it is very common to support liver function for hot flashes at night since it is directly related to excess hormonal levels build up in the liver .
A person with a sluggish liver, which is not always seen in blood test results, would be quite affected by the hormonal imbalance and would shows symptoms such as:
- Sleep and mental disturbance, in particular between 1-3am.Mental confusion
- Sensitivity to medicines
- Heavy or clotted menstruation in women
- Irregular periods
- Fibroids in breast or uterus
- Hot flashes
- Cysts on ovaries
- Mood swings or any menopausal problems
The good news is the liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself! This process can be quick if given specific dosages of nutrients, herbs and a bit of TLC.
Here is what you can do to regain a healthy functioning liver and therefore a balanced hormonal system:
- Cut out processed food , alcohol and tobacco exposure
- Drink ½ fresh lemon squeezed in pure water first thing in the morning, and have fresh water throughout the day
- Increase fruits and vegetables intake; foods which are bitter in taste in particular
- Avoid pesticides and pollutants as well as toxic cleaning products
- Take a good quality herbal supplement and specific dose of nutrient prescribe by a qualified health care professional
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Adv Dip of Naturopathy, Dip of Herbal Medicine – College of Naturopathic Medicine in London
Audrey grew up in Provence, South of France where she developed her passion for Herbal Medicine from an early age. She is passionate about helping people gaining optimum health and energy to able them to live a fulfilling life. She understands how Endocrine hormonal balancing is a beautifully complex and essential system for providing a healthy state to our bodies. Audrey has since moved to Canberra and completed an accreditation course at CIT in order to comply with Australian regulations and standard. Next, she is planning on studying for the Bachelor in Health and Sciences in Complementary Medicine.
Restoring full health and attaining wellness is an exciting process; Audrey is dedicated to working with customers, supporting and guiding them to archive the best health they possibly can. Audrey has experience both in Pharmacies and Health food store where she has developed a strong understanding of a united system of health care with the management of allopathic and Complementary medicines. Audrey has also previously worked as a Nanny in England for many years where she has gained knowledge on infants and children’s health.
She is registered practicing member of the Australian Natural Therapist Association.
- The thyroid summit, 2015. On line webinar
- Ross and Wilson: Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness, p.307. Churchill Livingstone, 10th 2006.