by Richard C. Gerardo, D.C.
The Liver: The #1 Health Challenge
The Major states in his CMRT manual "Symptomatically the liver is a liar.” The patient does not complain of a liver pain, he complains of a torticollis one day, a lame knee the next day, painful leg or foot on some other day or multiple and shifting pains affecting the various body areas". He also states that there are other complaints from the patient. Including the following, "The patient acquires stiff muscles when he rests and requires a warm up period to get going. Nausea, weakness and general loss of pep is always a suspicious sign and points to sugar shortage, or glycogen storage faults and liver disease seldom manifests severe symptoms until the pathology is grave".
Liver disease is our most
treacherous Twentieth Century problem.
This is a belief system that we all need to acquire as the environment and lifestyles of our patients have become more compromised. The quality of most municipal water is unacceptable. The food supply is less nutritious and MORE contaminated with herbicides, pesticides and pollutants than ever before. The high use of prescription and nonprescription drugs and the associated deleterious effects on the liver is at an all time high.
Our society is at our unhealthiest level ever with the highest percentage of overweight or obese individuals ever. National figures are:
- Overweight - over 1/2 population
- Obese - about 1/4 population
- 1/4 to 1/3 of all teenagers are overweight, clinically.
Our primary detoxifier and our most resilient regenerative organ in the body is the liver. The liver can effect almost every metabolic function in the body and has some part of every enzyme pathway in the body.
In textbooks many of the lab tests that I am going to mention are only mentioned in severe liver and gallbladder disease. But, I have found them to be relevant to the chronic and degenerating health conditions of present day.
We have insulted or assaulted our livers our whole lives and I believe we have created a chronic sub clinical hepatitis condition. The cumulative effect from all these offensive elements from our lives is taking its toll insidiously.
The following lab tests can and will be altered by chronic or acute liver disease. Some test values higher, some lower -
- WBC, RBC
- SGOT (A.S.T.)
- URIC ACID
- A/G RATIO
- ALKALINE PHOSPHATE
- SGPT (A.L.T.)
- IRON BINDING CAPACITY & % SATURATION
- CHOLESTEROL, H.D.L.
- CHOLESTEROL/HDL RATIO
- BILIRUBIN IN URINE
- BUN/CREATININE RATIO
- ALL MINERAL LEVELS
- PH OF URIN
Systems tests that can be altered by liver function:
- ANA, ANTI NUCLEAR ANTIBODIES
- R.A., RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
- CRP, CARDIAC REACTIVE PROTEIN
Symptoms of liver disease from Mercks Manual include:
Muscular wasting, hair loss, Dupuytren's contracture, clubbing of fingers, gynecomastia, parotid gland enlargement, spider veins, hemorrhoids, testicular atrophy, osteoporoses, steatorrhea, osteomalacia, xanthoma lasma, skin xanthomas, anorexia, malaise - fatigue, nausea, vomiting, fever, urticarial eruptions, arthralgia distaste for cigarettes. Many of these symptoms are transient and reoccurring depending on the current state of the liver.
The two tests I want to focus on are. LDH and ALBUMIN.
1. LDH- Lactic dehydrogenase relates to cell tissue breakdown and is my marker for liver dysfunction. I'm not looking for disease but for degeneration of tissue which would correlate to the liver function. The 14th edition (1982) of Mercks Manual range for LDH is 60-120 where as today ranges are 100-190 or 0- 250 at different labs.
These increased lab values are a statement of the increased demand on the system, and inability of medicine to do anything to stabilize the deterioration or breakdown of tissue in our bodies.
A high LDH level above (ideal range 100-130) would indicate the liver needs to be addressed with nutrition both dietary for macro-nutrition and supplementation for micro-nutrition.
- Albumin range - 2.8 -5.0
- Ideal range Albumin 4.6 and above.
This test is a marker of liver function, because of production of albumin by the liver, the most important protein in the body.
- Albumin is the most important plasma protein maintaining Colloid Osmotic pressure.
- It is the most important transport protein in the system as it transports bilirubin, minerals and other nutrients.
- It takes part in the production of all of the following physiologic process, WBC, RBC, HDL cholesterol, hormones and enzyme pathways, and liver metabolism.
- Albumin is the main protein in the protein buffering system.
When the liver is damaged or diseased, it affects the protein levels in the blood, Albumin will drop and is a dramatic sign of poor health. When albumin drops under 3.8 there is a slowing down of liver function and increased probability of loss of metabolic processes, it will also increase the likelihood of muscle wasting, loss of vitality and will affect any of the systems which are trying to compensate for the decreased liver function.
Easily digestible albumin protein becomes paramount in all compromised states of health as they will provide the necessary building blocks for all of the above metabolic pathways. The higher the consumption of easily digestible albumin protein the faster the system can regenerate as this reduces the physiologic demand on the liver to manufacture it. The foods that are high in albumin protein are: FISH, FOWL, SHELL FISH, AND EGGS.
In the Major's 1981 CMRT book he recommends nutritional supplementation to help repair and regenerate the liver. He states that you should give, VIT A, METHIONINE, INOSITOL, CHOLINE to this you should add a liver glandular. In the case of any signs of significant compromise of liver function check Albumin levels and support the system with a high grade whole Albumin protein powder. To increase bile production and flow of bile reducing congestion and increasing cleansing. Use a supplement with bile salts.
Recommendation for liver restriction diet:
NO: caffeine, alcohol, mayonnaise, brown beans (anything that causes bloating and gas) fried foods, nuts, any partially hydrogenated oils, chocolate, corn, white flour products, dairy (except yogurt).
Patients symptoms with liver problems can be transient as the liver will normalize function which is obvious if you use standard lab and test values. SGOT,SGPT, GGT Which are accurate only when there is active severe liver disease, dysfunction and on going degenerative processes. Remember the liver is a liar. In dealing with chronic difficult patients you should always look to the liver. Remember patients with cirrhosis of the liver can be normal on standard lab tests.
Most of our patients are deficient in protein stores and have suppressed or deficient liver function and have become carbohydrate and/or sugar addicts. The most dramatic nutritional therapy that you can offer is to increase liver function and ability to produce albumin protein which will increase vitality as well as decrease cravings for the sugar and carbohydrates in fast food and junk food. We are albumin protein based organisms and our generation has been led away from the truth as we have become fatter and less healthy than ever before.
- Merck Manual 14th Edition: Diagnosis and Therapy, Robert Berkow, M.D., Editor-in-chief. Merck & Co., Inc, Rahway, N.J. 1982
- Textbook of Medical Physiology 16th Edition: by Arthur C. Guyton, M.D. W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, PA 19105. 1981.
- Textbook of Medicine 16th Edition: by James B. Wyngaarden, M.D., and Lloyd H. Smith, Jr., M.D. W.B., Saunders Company, Philadelphia, PA 19105. 1982.
- Pathologic Basis of Disease 2nd Edition: by Stanley L. Robbins, M.D., and Ramzi S. Cotran, M.D. W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, PA 19105. 1979.
- Current Medical Diagnosis Treatment: Marcus A. Krupp M.D., and Milton J. Chatton, M.D. Langel Medical Publications, Los Altos, CA 94022. 1983.
Oct. 1998: Dr. Gerardo Presented a clinical research paper on "Liver and Protein Metabolism" at the Annual Sacro Occipital Technique Research Society International Conference, Omaha, Nebraska.