Updated: Apr 9
When I talk about the liver (and I talk about it a lot!) I realise women don't understand the long term importance of why we need to look after it, cleanse it, and give it a rest at times. In fact why am I talking about your liver when this blog is about your cardio vascular health in the years to come?
I talk about the liver, as your heart health starts in your liver!
What? That doesn't make sense.... or does it?
POST MENOPAUSE HEART HEALTH
I'm sure you've heard by now that 2 of the major concerns for women in post menopause is not getting Osteoporosis (where your bones are brittle) and avoiding heart disease. These are such major health issues for women that it's what HRT promotes itself for being ideal for. Today I'm going to give you the outline of why looking after your liver will ensure you have a healthy heart in the years to come, and it comes down to how clean your blood is.
The heart pumps the blood around your body, this we know is pretty vital, but the blood that is being pumped isn't cleaned by the heart, this is the work of the liver. When your liver is struggling to cleanse your blood in the middle of the night , it roughly has 2 hours to do this around 1 to 3am, it calls on the heart to help it move the blood a bit faster... you may recognise this as palpitations when you're having night sweats.
The liver is the 'governor of blood' in Chinese Medicine, this means everything that goes into, or filtered out of happens in the liver, and never is there a time that highlights this more than when we start our menopause transition. The liver is an amazing organ, it governs over 300 processes within your body, from extracting sugars (with insulin from the pancreas) to turn into energy, removing toxins (free radicals) to wee out via your kidneys, processing fats (with bile from the gallbladder), and it's a giant dense filter.... that gets clogged up.
When it's clogged up, this tends to happen in your 40s, you'll recognise it as night sweats, it's not working so efficiently now, so processes are struggling and you start to get more moody, your skin gets worse, you feel nauseous, your digestion is sluggish, fatty foods may make you ill, you can't tolerate sugar , alcohol or caffeine; these are all indicators your liver is struggling.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT MY CARDIO VASCULAR HEALTH?
The processes in your liver govern your cholesterol levels, these are good and bad in proportions and it works to keep these in balance. You may have heard of free radicals, these are foods that are irritants to your system, and these play a part in the toxicity of your blood (and acidic blood is not good for blood vessels or joints) and the health/ flexibility of your arteries. One of the signs that your arteries are becoming inflexible is the intensity of hot flushes.
Keeping the liver happy and healthy will also impact on the smoothness of your emotions. If you have a tendency to 'flare up' this will be exacerbated by a 'stuttering' liver, it's not working smoothly, and in turn your emotions won't either, over time this could result in high blood pressure, another health condition to be prevented.
HOW DO I LOOK AFTER MY LIVER?
Look to your food and drink to support the liver. It relies on getting nutrients from foods we call anti-oxidants, these are foods that battle the 'free radicals', in short, vegetables, and some fruits (like blue/purple ones!).
Cut down on sugar and alcohol, take some days off a week this will allow the liver to cleanse your blood more effectively, and reduce night sweats.
Add in supplements that help the liver, like a probiotic that will help grow good gut bacteria, which will break down and extract the micronutrients that the liver can use. Magnesium and multivitamins for the nutrition you're missing, vitamin C with bioflavonoids to aid vascular health and a Liver cleanse product 'CytoProtect Liver' for support; you can see more here.
Yoga - there are certain stretches that trigger the chinese meridians for liver/gallbladder, this is extremely effective to aid detoxing and to calm you down and relieve the moodiness. Shiatsu, my therapy is another excellent way to keep your liver in great shape, as it's not only the physical side of liver health but also the emotional side. If you find yourself getting angry easily or bursting into tears without reason these are the emotions that can really be evened out.
On the exercise front, doing some cardio to get the heart rate up is great, it keeps your heart muscle working well, we need this too. Just remember though that cardio vascular health is about the quality of your blood, and the flexibility and health of your arteries.
Looking after your liver will help your blood (and emotions) flow smoothly, it will help your blood cleanse efficiently, remove the organ damaging toxins and keep your arteries in a top health; and all of this adds up to good vascular health for your menopause and beyond.
ARE YOU READY TO GET STARTED?
If you're new to my site download your free copy of 'How to have a successful natural peri/menopause' a starter guide to the 7 major symptoms and how to relieve them. Packed with useful tips and next steps.
'UNDERSTANDING YOUR MENOPAUSE'
Now available in paperback too! If you want to really understand what is going on with your health, hormones and emotions and in depth supplement advice for your symptoms. Read more and shop here.
NEED FURTHER HELP?
Had a go and still finding you haven't resolved stubborn issues, or you have more complex health issues, then book a consultation with Andrea - Read more here.
I want you to know that you really don't have to put up with any symptoms, the stress that the change of hormones puts on your body puts your health under a magnifying glass. The symptoms you're experiencing are your body screaming in 'pain', telling you things are wrong, put these health imbalances right and you will feel the relief.
'til next time, I wish you well!