Liver cysts: What they are and what to do about them
Liver cysts are also known as hepatic cysts. They are fairly common and can be detected by ultrasound or CT scan. One or two liver cysts usually do not cause any problems and do not require treatment, however, sometimes the cysts are numerous or grow very large and require medical attention.
One or more large liver cysts can cause pain or discomfort in the right upper abdominal region. If they cause significant discomfort, cysts can be drained or removed in hospital. Ideally you would address them before they reached this level of severity.
There are several types of liver cysts:
Polycystic liver disease (an inherited condition)
Cysts caused by parasites (such as hydatid disease)
Cysts occurring in conjunction with liver cancer
What causes simple liver cysts?
These cysts usually arise when a small area of liver cells dies or degenerates. The most common cause is advancing years and poor diet and lifestyle. Sometimes these cysts can be full of “fatty material” in those with a fatty liver. At other times the cysts are filled with fluid or mucus. These cysts do not represent liver disease because the liver, being such a huge organ, has plenty of other areas containing healthy cells to enable liver function to remain normal.
Natural remedies for overcoming liver cysts
If your doctor finds that you have one or several of these degenerative types of liver cysts (simple cysts), do not become alarmed. Obviously you do not want to develop many more of these cysts and thankfully it is easy to stop them from multiplying. In many cases it is possible to gradually shrink the cysts using nutritional medicine.
I recommend the following:
- Remove dairy products from your diet. The hormones naturally present in all dairy products encourage the growth of cysts and mucus in the body.
- Avoid or minimise exposure to substances that cause damage to liver cells, such as alcohol, some medication and drugs, environmental chemicals and sugar in excess.
- Follow the eating principles in The Healthy Liver and Bowel book.
- Take a good quality liver tonic. This will help to protect your liver cells from harm and help to repair damaged liver cells.
- Take a selenium supplement. Selenium is required in order for your liver to manufacture the powerful antioxidant glutathione. Selenium helps to protect liver cells from damage.
- Drink raw vegetable juices regularly. You will find recipes specifically for the liver in my book Raw Juices Can Save Your Life. The best vegetables for a healthy liver include kale, broccoli, radishes and onion. Include a carrot and apple in the juice to make it more palatable.