Ascites & Healing the Liver

One of the most common question we are asked is: “How did Ryan’s liver heal?”

Throughout his adventure with cancer Ryan experienced ascites (the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, causing painful abdominal swelling). He had unconfirmed lesions in the liver (unconfirmed as we weren’t specifically told if they were malignant or not). He was also diagnosed with non-alcholic fatty liver. His liver enlarged to over 20cm (normal is 15cm). Prior to cancer, Ryan had horrid eczema on his face, legs and arms. He is now eczema free and all liver function is normal.


So what did we do? For me, as a blogger, I am always cautious to share what I believe helped to heal his liver because I don’t do recommendations and medical advise, but I have come to realize that many are seeking answers that took me years to find, money to ask and stress was prolonged. So, below is what we did.

First things first: We met with doctors in naturopathic care, MDs, NDs and functional medicine doctors. It is of utmost importance that someone having liver issues work with a professional who can assess the condition, understand the symptoms and create a treatment plan.

Ryan’s healing strategies changed throughout the two years of healing, so please keep that in mind. What worked for him, may not work for you. He also battled cancer when he experienced ascites so it is prudent to say that reducing the cancer load has a direct affect on organ function, and at the same time even when cancer was regressing and 70% reduced Ryan still had ascites.

Diet: We learned that the easier we made it on the liver the better. Foods can have a healing impact or foods can cause the liver to work harder and foods can bring toxicity inducing even more damage. Ryan chose to eat a diet HIGH in plant based foods. He ate minimal gluten products (we are mostly gluten free now), little to no animal products, gave up fried foods, and overcame his fast food addiction over time. It is quite easy to google all kinds of foods that can help the liver. Here are some of our favorites: avocados, garlic, green tea, berries, grapes, and green juices containing beets and leafy greens (see for the greatest juice/smoothie concoction). (This is the juicer we love.) I also believe that drinking things like the Organic Greens Powder (that we still drink to this day) are very beneficial as it contains an amazing amount of organic, great for you, greens, roots, herbs and more. The Organic Greens 365™ provides the foundation for CHIPSA Hospital’s Whole Body Support System that is designed to help optimize overall health by promoting liver detox and much more.

Ryan was tested for micro nutrients and organ function many times throughout the journey. Those tests were very helpful in determining his unique needs. These are the supplements he specifically used that seemed to help his liver.

For the summer of 2016, the supplement combination of N-Acetyl/L-Cysteine + Choline & Inositol + Milk Thistle + Alpha Lipoic Acid Capsules was recommended by the naturopathic doctor. Ryan started with this combination May 2016 when the ascites worsened and it sure seemed to help as the ascites regressed in the first week of July 2016.

During the Fall of 2017 he switched to the Sanjevani Liver Forte Formula + Powdered IP6-Gold as it was simpler. (Ryan did take IP6-Gold capsules, but we transitioned to the powdered form as it was less pills to swallow.)

Ryan also ingested certain essential oils, took essential oil capsules like JuvaCleanse and topically applied essential oils that show benefits to liver function.

While Ryan had ALA IVs, at different times he also ingested Liposomal Alpha Lipoic Acid. Liposomals seem to be absorbed better by the body, but they are also pretty nasty as they are liquid. Ryan did what he had to do.

It should be notated that as one heals the liver it is important to also help the overall body and organs. Ryan was on gallbladder and kidney support. He also took supplements such as Turmeric-CurcuminMagnesium, Vitamin D, Zinc, B-Vitamins and many more for overall health and digestive support. There are studies that do show that turmeric-curcumin is beneficial for anti-inflammatory effects for the liver.  (You can also refer to the page Most Viewed Blogs for a recap of which blog posts discuss Ryan’s protocols.)

IV Therapy:
Ryan was tested for micro nutrients and Alpha Lipoic Acid always showed up as deficient when his liver functions were abnormal. IV therapies of Alpha Lipoic Acid and at times Poly-MVA (as it contains lipoic acid) were administered. While ingesting ALA is beneficial, due to Ryan’s ascites condition the doctors recommended an IV regimen for a series of months both during the summer of 2016 and the summer of 2017.

Glutathione IV pushes were given at crisis times. (Glutathione is a bit controversial because some believe certain cancers can be accelerated by glutathione. Ryan’s RGCC blood test said he was on the lower spectrum of that possibility so we chose to do glutathione pushes on a as needed basis when his organs were struggling.) Glutathione can be very beneficial at times hence it is important to consult with a professional.

It is now being acknowledged in the western world how our emotional well being is tied to all sorts of disease and overall body function. We found that the liver tends to hold the emotion of anger. Ryan went thru months of diving into his own awareness of emotions, diving into his past and where he could feel emotion rise up and dove into the forgiveness of himself and others. There was anger hiding deep inside that he wasn’t even aware of. He also had to work thru resentment, frustration and envy. I have found that when others are open and vulnerable they too will reveal there is emotional healing that needs to be addressed.

According to
Liver, Gall Bladder: Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder, which makes these two organs vulnerable to negative Choleric emotions like anger, irritability, frustration, resentment, jealousy and envy.

As you can see, just like with any disease, it requires a full, whole body approach. I hope this recap is beneficial. I know when I was given information it gave me the confidence to have discussions with doctors, to ask more questions and to dive into my own personal healing.

Here’s some final thoughts from my blog A Year in Review: The 2017 Dream Team

-Ascites: Blessed to be seeing this retreat. If you have never had ascites, count your blessings. We approached this early on with a variety of foods, supplements, and IV’s to try manage the ascites. We were even beginning to explore prescription aquaretics, but fortunately the more ‘wholisitic’ approach began yielding results. But it has been the whole of the approach and never one single thing that made a difference. There have been no magic pills or overnight wins. I wish there was a package, kit or protocol I could offer another ascites sufferer. I saw how individualized approaches and support brought Ryan relief. Inflammation management, addressing specific deficiencies, diet, supplements, tumor reduction and even IV’s. We were working on gut health at the same time. So it is hard to isolate the handful of things that maybe had the greatest impact. We both think that providing liver support with the supplements above, Poly-MVA (liquid and via IV) and IP-6 (both in capsule and powder forms) were at the top of the list. Ryan showed an Alpha Lipoic Acid deficiency, but he couldn’t tolerate ALA IV’s anymore. Like I said, it was a whole approach and wasn’t a generic, one size fits all approach.

May you heal. May you love yourself for the amazing human being that you are.
Every one, including YOU is worth every bit of self love and self care.

Live Loved,
Live Free .  . . because YOLO!
~Caroline Luelf

LAST UPDATED October 18, 2018
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