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Sluggish liver means that the liver is working inefficiently.
Persons most commonly affected: Adults of both sexes.
Organ or part of body involved: Liver
Symptoms and indications: Intolerance of alcohol and/or fatty foods;
Constipation; Nausea; Obesity, PMS, Headache; Indigestion; Acne and other skin conditions such as psoriasis; and High cholesterol and blood lipid levels.
Other more serious symptoms may indicate the presence of more complex conditions requiring professional treatment (such as hepatitis). These include: Jaundice; Fever; Nausea and vomiting; Loss of appetite; Severe generalised pain in the abdomen, or localised to the liver region; Swelling and hardness of the liver (hepatomegaly); Dark urine with a strong smell; Stools may be unusually light or dark in colour; floating stools may indicate that fats are not being properly broken down by the liver and gall bladder; Hair loss; Swollen feet or legs; Red palms; Confusion, sleep disturbance, and occasionally mental disturbance; and Generalised itching over the whole body.
Causes and risk factors: One of the main causes of sluggish liver function is ongoing poor dietary habits such as eating too many foods which are high in fat or are heavily processed.
Excess consumption of alcohol and recreational drugs is also a common factor, which in extreme circumstances may lead to cirrhosis (the progressive replacement of liver tissue by scar tissue).
Additionally, certain prescription medications may affect liver function.
Surgical removal of the gall bladder, which normally occurs due to problems with gall stones, also increases the workload of the liver and may lead to a reduction in its function.
Prevention: Eat a diet low in fat and high in fibre and water. This will assist your body in processing stored wastes and assist with detoxification processes. Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs as well as heavily processed or "junk" foods. Plenty of fruits and vegetables in the diet are essential, along with lean protein foods such as fish, tofu and legumes (beans, lentils etc).