By Nutrition Consultant, Jess Robinson
4000 years ago, the Chinese noticed the connection between our emotions and our liver. When your liver is hot, you can become quite fiery, and when your liver is settled, you are calm and collected. If you notice you suddenly become extremely moody and tense for no particular reason, this could be an indicator that your liver needs some TLC (Tender Loving Care). Holding on to anger and stress can also create a never-ending cycle by disrupting other body systems and further inflaming the liver.
The relationship between the liver and moods is an interesting one, and can often be connected to our hormones. Although the liver does not produce many hormones, it plays a significant role in hormonal imbalances as it is the liver’s job to break down hormones once they have been used by the body. If you have a sluggish liver, not only can it cause easy weight gain, but you are more likely to feel moody and out of sorts.
The liver breaks down the hormones known as the steroid hormones which include:
- Aldosterone – Which balances the minerals sodium and potassium and water in the body.
- The sex hormones – Which control our sex life and body shape.
- Cortisone – Which controls the immune system.
If your liver function is not optimal, it will not be able to sufficiently break down these hormones and they can build up in the body and cause hormonal imbalances.
If aldosterone is not broken down properly this can cause fluid retention, and this is a common issue for many women. Fluid retention can cause uncomfortable puffiness, aggravate cellulite and lead to weight gain.
The sex hormones we will be discussing are oestrogen and testosterone. In women, if the female hormone oestrogen is not metabolised properly, it can cause excess levels of oestrogen in the body (oestrogen dominance). Excess oestrogen can cause breast pain and lumpiness, heavy painful menstrual period and weight gain around the hips, buttocks and thighs.
If women are not able to properly metabolise the male hormone testosterone, this can cause excess testosterone in the body which can cause weight gain in the upper part of the body on the trunk and abdomen. Excess testosterone can also result in excess facial and body hair, oily skin, acne and hair loss from the scalp.