Always tired, sore, bloated with weird bowel movements (like spinning a roulette wheel every morning) then a swollen pain on my right side at the base of my ribcage. Right where my liver is.
Despite the cost, I went to a western medical doctor. I hadn't gone Number 2 in nearly a week.
He did an x-ray, said I seemed normal, and suggested I try a variety of over-the-counter laxatives, plus drink more water and eat bananas. Then he billed me something fierce for a diagnosis my mom could've yelled at me for free.
I didn't drink booze or do drugs anymore, although I had partied like an '80s frontman in my youth. So no obvious immediate cause for the perpetual stomach/liver pain.
The laxatives were nothing productive. Bananas and water helped a little. Still feeling lousy as ever.
I started getting hives, runny nose, swollen lymph nodes, stomach pain, headaches, bloating and gas from all kinds of food. So I took a blood test to search for allergies. Apparently I was suddenly allergic to cinnamon, coffee, wheat (gluten), dairy, soy, and almonds. Try living without any of those delicious things!
I begrudgingly redefined my diet. I started cooking more at home, only eating what I made. Organic veggies, fruit, meat, eggs. Got into a workout routine, 3-4 days a week.
After a year, although I lost a good 15 pounds, and gained a bit of muscle, my side still hurt. Still had a bloated gut (which constantly made boiling burbly noises), and pain at the base of my ribcage on the right side.
Then I had a chat with Dr. Jing Liu. I told her what my symptoms were, and she nodded like she'd heard this story a million times. Dr. Liu said my problem was in two parts.
1. My gut bacteria was way off, as typical for an American diet. Laxatives would only make that worse. So even if I ate healthy food, I wasn't absorbing and digesting it properly. This led to deficiencies and stressors spreading all over, thus the strange new "allergies".
2. My liver had taken a lot of damage over the years from medications, vitamin deficiencies, microplastics, bad food, booze, and so on. It was time to pay up, in a sense, and thus the liver pain and symptoms.
Dr. Liu said this was common, and she gave me Belly Reset and Healthy Liver. I took 2 capsules from each bottle in the morning, and again before I went to bed. By the end of the first week my side didn't hurt nearly as much, and bowel movements were regular.
By the end of the first month, I ate a cinnamon roll and felt fine afterward. Absolutely no allergic reactions like before.
Still, this didn't mean it was party time again. I kept to my healthy diet and regular exercise. The Belly Reset and Healthy Liver became part of my daily routine. Dr. Liu recommended I keep on them for 90 days. I'm about halfway there now.
Some days I feel absolutely no pain in my side at all. Sometimes just a little bit. My energy is higher, I sleep better, workouts improved, I'm thinking clearer. It's incredible how much of an impact your gut and liver have on you.
Over Christmas dinner, members of my family commented at how much better I looked. We brought up old pictures, and indeed, my skin had more color to it. Eyes clearer, standing up a little straighter.
So how do you know if you have a similar issue? Even if you live a healthy lifestyle, there are still countless stressors on your internal systems.
The first thing would be to minimize liver damage, or at least be aware of common sources. Check your medicine cabinet. You may be required to take some of these medications, just be aware that your liver will need some assistance to counter the strain being put on it.
Are you taking any of these?These are the top 10 medications associated with liver injury.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
A common fever reducer and pain reliever, but also the top cause of medication-related liver failure. Keep your Acetaminophen use to under 2g a day. Also keep in mind that cold and flu products frequently contain acetaminophen (Nyquil, Dayquil, etc)
- Amoxicillin/clavulanate (Augmentin)
A common antibiotic used to treat infections of the throat, sinuses, and lungs. Liver damage from this antibiotic can occur shortly after taking it, and prolong even after you stop taking the medication.
- Diclofenac (Voltaren, Cambia)
The NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) class of drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen can cause liver damage - although rarely. The drug with the highest risk for causing liver injury in this group is diclofenac.
- Amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
Used to treat atrial fibrillation. After taking amiodarone for weeks to months, patients may have signs of liver cell injury.
- Allopurinol (Zyloprim)
Often used to prevent painful gout attacks, allopurinol can cause liver injury in a matter of days. If you're prescribed this drug, your doctor will likely recommend regular lab tests to monitor liver health.
- Anti-seizure medications
Anti-seizure medications are generally a problem for the liver. Dilantin, carbamazepine, depakote, and lamotrigine can cause liver injury. If prescribed any of these medications, keep an eye on your liver health.
If you have a positive tuberculosis (TB) skin test, you may be prescribed 3 to 6 months of isoniazid (isonicotinylhydrazide or INH therapy). INH is well-known for causing acute liver injury, so avoid alcohol entirely if taking this medication.
- Azathioprine (Imuran)
A medication used to control the immune system to treat autoimmune conditions like Crohn's disease and autoimmune hepatitis. Can cause liver damage, so if prescribed this medication, be extra kind to your liver.
Methotrexate, used for conditions like certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, and ectopic pregnancy, requires regular lab tests to monitor the liver. Liver toxicity is a common side effect of this medication.
- Risperidone (Risperdal) and quetiapine (Seroquel)
Both used as antipsychotics and antidepressants, and have the potential to cause liver damage. These medications block bile from leaving the liver, leading to a condition known as drug-induced cholestasis.
What are you eating?The next task would be to help your liver with the right foods. We want HDLs (good cholesterol) to make the liver's job easier. Clean up your diet! Here's a helpful article on foods with good cholesterol. I personally eat more salmon and berries, but avoid soy for other reasons.
Have you exercised today?
A huge help not only to your liver, but everything else in your body, is getting in some decent exercise. We want to reduce unhealthy fatty buildup all over. Find something you enjoy doing and stick to it! Consistency is key.
The older you get the more important exercise becomes. You want to feel better? Get moving.
Some help from Sol NutritionSol Nutrition's clinically proven herbal supplements have helped me reach a happier, healthier life.
The capsules alone won't solve your problems, but they certainly put a dent in them. You have to finish the job yourself by making smarter choices in your daily life. Fix your diet, exercise regularly, take the herbs, get some sun.
Sol Nutrition's goal is to heal you. So do everything you can to heal yourself as well, combining efforts as a team!
These statements have not been evaluated by Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.