Saturday, June 29, 2013

Public Health: How to Protect Liver from Alcohol

I thought I would share some information and ideas I had, that might educate some or explain what to do or not do for health while drinking alcoholic drinks. 

I came across the idea in a combination of noticing something with me and also because I read some information about Hepatitis C and how certain drugs slow the metabolism and muscle function of certain organs.  I don't have Hep C but I heard about someone, not in the area, so I looked it up.

Basically, I did research and found out how the liver is affected, muscularly, by some drugs.  Not just as a nervous system response from what gets sent as a signal to the brain, but just coming into contact with certain substances can affect how it works too.  One substance that affects the liver and how well or quickly it works, are anti-depressants.  If you have to have them, have them.  But if you have a liver problem, or possibly prostate or Hep C which affects the liver or is affected by the liver and how well it's working, antidepressants will stun the liver into not working as quickly.  This means toxins can accumulate, which you don't want to happen.

So then I had a few drinks or one drink each night for a few days in a row, trying some things I read used to be used for medicinal reasons (i.e., scotch for phlegm or mucus production and colds, vermouth for appetite enhancement, etc.)  I drank water, separately, but I didn't mix my drinks with any water.  I had club soda on hand but just bc I like it plain sometimes.  Basically, what I noticed is that alcohol caused water retention in my body.  I actually still had to go, basically, but it decreased thirst and the need or feel of need for water.

So I thought about how alcoholics get cirrhosis sometimes, of the liver, and I realized, this must have something to do with the accumulation of alchol in the liver, even in small amounts, because it tends to be retained there longer and can slow down how it works for other things.  Not only that, it most likely decreases the natural thirst.  Suddenly, you feel like you don't need to drink as much water, milk, juice or other things and it's not a replacement by alcohol quotient, it's that it literally makes the body feel it has enough hydration.

So drinking water while having an alcoholic drink isn't just to keep from being intoxicated, it's to prevent liver damage.  However, you could probably have a night of alcohol and then be sure the next day to hydrate and/or take something that is diuretic, and this will counter the effects of the body wanting to store something longer or being slowed down mechanically in some way. 

So you might try lots of water, double the amount as usual, for this, or try coffee or tea or something with caffeine, along with water, and other diuretics are dandelion, Siberian eluethero, and I'm sure someone can look up more.  Milk thistle is also a diuretic. 

This is a way to prevent potential future damage to your liver and to drink while maintaining health of the organs.

My opinion is that is has to be a conscious effort because your body will think it's hydrated enough.  Also, I would use a diuretic of some kind to undo the slowing done to the liver. 

So it's not just to not be too intoxicated, or to prevent getting sick, but to counter the effects that occur.

Also, some medications like antidepressants, which slow down certain organs, might not be great for those with prostate and liver problems or Hep C or anything to do with the liver.  Maybe it says that somewhere on their labels, but I would not be prescribing that to someone with problems involving the liver.

Unless it's life-threatening and they'll kill themselves, but there are other kinds of things that maybe wouldn't affect the liver, that are not pharma, and I haven't checked on it, but I would maybe try other things.  Obviously, exercise is one of the most beneficial.

Another thing about prostate problems, supposedly milk thistle maybe kills or prevent prostate problems, but one of the main actions, aside from a potentially beneficially compound, is as a diuretic. One problem for some, that I've read, is it can occasionally cause enlargement of breast tissue in men (rare I think) and that's possibly because it even has the ability for women to produce milk.  So it does have some effect on hormones, but at the same time it seems to be protective of the liver for the silymarin component and, not to forget, the diuretic action.

When I drank some of my milk thistle tincture, I went all the time, constantly.  When I drank other things, it was like I didn't have to go as much and also, I didn't feel the need for water as much either.  So having a combination of something that is diuretic along with alcohol, before after or during, is probably good for you. 

Also, what goes through the liver gets sent out of the body different ways.  So most goes out of the body as a fluid, but some of it gets stored in the colon and leaves the body as a semi-solid, which is why having that toxic material in the colon, can contribute to cancers associated with liver problems.

Sometimes the body uses the nervous system to tell it when to do things and sometimes it is a storage capacity matter that tells the body when to do things and other times it's the regular muscular actions and operations.  What would regularly occur, is the normal metabolism and statis of the organs (sort of like the automatic response).  What is controlled by storage, such as the bladder, tells you when it's full and then it goes to action.  But also, even if the bladder is not full, you can go if the nervous system sends the signal to go.  So different things control when and how your organs work, which is why some substances will affect your brain and nervous system and tell your body what to do, and other times, it's more of a muscular automatic action. 

Your bladder might say, "I'll go now" while your brain could be saying, "I feel fine the way I am right now" depending on the chemical or substance you ingest or use.  Or it might say, "I can wait". 

You can manage your own body like a controller if you want to.  Well, co-pilot.

I think some things are told to us by our bodies, through cravings and things we lean toward, and being in tune with that is important and then some things our bodies do not tell us, we tell our bodies.    You could crave a food for the reason that it has a nutritional content your body wants, or if you grew up with something specifically you might crave it for an emotional-level reason.  I think all of it can be balanced for the most part, but it helps to know how things work and how you react to them.  Some of us have things that work better for us.  Redheads have a gene that tells their bodies to reject anaesthesia, while the rest accept it and are knocked out with a smaller amount.  It's gene-specific for that one, and there are other things which are probably gene specific and work for your body and brain a little better than it works for someone else, or in a different form.

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