Hitting a Weight Loss Plateau? It May Be Fatty Liver Disease: Heavy Metal and Liver Detoxification Defined
Many patients come into my office struggling with losing weight. They have often plateaued after losing 15 to 30 pounds and say they can’t get more weight off. After a case history, I usually explain they have a fatty liver condition. Fatty liver is a long-term inflammatory condition characterized by fat deposition in the liver caused by dysfunction and damage to liver cells. In its early stages which can last for a decade or more, no symptoms are obvious. Consequently, millions of people are living with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) without even knowing it. There are many causes for NAFLD but for this article we will focus on one of the major causes: heavy metal toxification. Higher levels of chemicals, especially heavy metals, definitely cause serious harm to the liver.
The healthy liver is a highly organized filter which cleanses the bloodstream so that healthy clean blood can return to the heart. If the liver’s ability to filter is blocked with insulting unhealthy toxic fats, the blood cannot flow easily through the liver and cannot be cleansed, returning blood to the heart that is full of unhealthy fats and toxins. This also leads to heart and immune system damage.
When we overload our systems with toxins such as alcohol or are exposed to increased levels of heavy metals, the liver’s ability to detoxify the blood eventually reaches its limit. When healthy liver cells go into dysfunction or die, fat cells are then deposited into the liver to replace them. A "fatty" liver is the result.
There has long been evidence that mercury, lead and PCBs(1) can cause liver damage and recent studies prove their association with fatty liver disease.
Mercury. We can become exposed to mercury from contaminated seafood(2). It has toxic effects on the human nervous system, developing fetus and kidneys. It causes depletion of the master antioxidant glutathione, increases LDL (bad) cholesterol, constricts the liver's blood vessels and produces chronic fatigue.
Lead. Lead exposure usually enters the respiratory and digestive systems from lead paint dust, air pollution, and food chain contamination. The present generation is known to have approximately 20 times the level of lead stored in body tissue than their grandparents' generation and 500 times the amount of our forebears from the Middle Ages. Lead overload causes enlargement of the liver (hyperplasia) and the initiation of tumors in the liver. Like mercury, lead causes inflammation, oxidation, and increased blood LDL cholesterol. With lead exposure, liver cells die more rapidly to be replaced by fatty cells.
Cadmium. Cadmium comes from sources like industrial emissions and tobacco smoke. The scientific study, Cadmium Exposure and Liver Disease among U. S. Adults, concludes that environmental cadmium exposure is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Exposure to these heavy metals helps explain why fatty liver is diagnosed even in people who are not overweight, alcoholic or do not have chronic liver disease. NAFLD is common and may progress to advanced liver disease and the conditions associated with it.
At Wagner Chiropractic, we offer a holistic approach to combatting NAFLD. If we suspect fatty liver disease, we may initially screen for heavy metal toxicity.
Very importantly, we must understand that the nerves that control the liver come from the spine. If the spine is misaligned, the nerves cannot support good liver function so we work to adjust and realign the spine when necessary.
We also help you provide support to your liver detoxification pathways with ensuring you receive 1) certain powerful chelating tools which capture mercury, lead, and other heavy metals and gently take them out of the body, and 2) glutathione, the master antioxidant detoxifier of the body which can regenerate itself in the liver.
Nutritional counseling and shifts in your diet will probably also come into play. People with fatty liver disease who follow a predominantly organic foods diet that limits fatty foods and dairy and focuses on herbs like cilantro and vegetable juices like carrot juice seem to have the best results for treating fatty liver.
The raw diet benefits leading to improved liver include:
cleansing of the entire body
weight loss, one of the most important remedies for fatty liver
intake of far less poisonous substances for the body to process because the food is more pure
access to more vital nutrients and fiber
We may urge you to complement your elevated diet with liver healing herbs and oral chelation. We may also look at properly hydrating your body and support your ability to sweat, one of the body’s ways of detoxifying itself. At Wagner Chiropractic, we have realized excellent success with helping many people reverse fatty liver caused by heavy metal poisoning by employing a short program for fatty liver detoxification that is easy and gentle with medical laboratory testing (urine tests) to measure heavy metals in the body. Call us for a consultation for fatty liver disease and weight loss.
Polychlorinated biphenyl: an organic chlorine compound once widely deployed in electric insulation coolant fluids, carbonless copy paper and heat transfer fluids still widely in use but whose use has declined drastically since the 1960s. They are environmental “persistent organic pollutants,” resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological, and photolytic processes (decomposition by the action of light).
Mercury enters the aquatic food chain through the release of water-form mercury from the drains of coal-burning factories. The fumes from coal-fired stations also release mercury pollution into the air.
cholesterol present in the blood as high-density lipoprotein(4), a relatively high proportion of which is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease
any of a group of soluble proteins that combine with and transport fat or other lipids in the blood plasma.
“Treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.” Postgraduate Medical Journal, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2006, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563793/
Cabot, Sandra, and Thomas Eanelli. Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It. S.C.B. Inc. International, 2016.
Hyder, Omar, et al. “Cadmium Exposure and Liver Disease among US Adults.” SpringerLink, Springer, 1 May 2013, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11605-013-2210-9.