My health journey has taken some interesting twists and turns of late, the new area of interest being the liver.
For the majority of my poor health I have had a gnawing ache under my rib cage on the right side. Twice my liver enzymes registered as normal and I dismissed it as a consequence of generally being fatigued and secondary to other health concerns.
I'm now starting to give the liver a little more thought, interested by the traditional chinese medicine view of 'liver qi ('chi')' and it's impact on general health.
After getting nowhere using adrenal supplementation I decided to trace back my steps starting with digestion. Perhaps I'm not absorbing nutrients effectively? After all most nutrients will pass through the body if the liver is weak - were my thoughts. Trying to boost the adrenals when your digestion is so poor must be akin to skating uphill..on ice.
And so I made some observations.
1 - Direct bowel support - colonics, probiotics, fiber, herbal cleansers, clean diet etc have not helped me get regular or ease the ache from my side.
2 - My stools are often pale and poorly formed, which in part from what I've read can be a bile issue, and lack thereof. This can contribute towards constipation.
3 - The chinese view IBS related symptoms as a problem with liver qi stagnation and fundamental problem for overall poor health. I'm not quite fully grasping the lingo but TCM is incredibly interesting, and by the looks of things very helpful to many people.
I undertook some changes as a result of these thoughts, with variable results. The first was to supplement directly with additional bile acids. I opted for a fairly potent formula which I used in proportion to how much fat I was consuming during the meal used. The results were positive, my stools were well formed, a darker brown and I've been fairly regular since.
I combined this with digestive enzymes and what I previously thought to be my arch nemesis, betaine HCL. The liver plays a fundamental role in digestion and almost certainly mine is impaired significantly. My reaction to HCL with or even towards the end of meals has been positive, giving me no immediate side effects. The effects of digestive enzymes are a little harder to trace without drawing up a detailed food diary and analysis of feelings but I think they are doing me some good.
So I'm eliminating well and will pursue this path a littler further. My most immediate health goals are consistent bowel movements and regular sleep, the later needing some significant work. Also on the supplemental menu is chinese bitters, to cleanse the liver. These apparently can pack a bit of a punch in terms of boosting and purging the liver of toxins, as well as aiding digestion. I've built up a nice collection of partially used herbs and supplements during my health journey such as turmeric, milk thistle, lecithin, dandelion and artichoke and it may be time to dust off the cobwebs and consider them for there liver regenerative properties.
I'll see how things go as I continue to learn about the body and it's many functions. Give me a few years and I reckon I'll have most of it covered ;)