Why Detox is So Important
Do you have any of these common symptoms of toxicity?
Headaches, Pain, or Fatigue
Allergies or Sensitivities
Weight gain or Fluid retention
Metallic taste in the mouth
Hormonal imbalance, PMS, Low libido or Infertility
Skin issues or Yeast overgrowth
Autoimmune related symptoms
Depression and anxiety and insomnia
Indigestion & Bowel issues
As you can see by the above list of symptoms, toxic overload in the body can be similar to the symptoms of many illnesses.
This is why I feel that regular detoxification protocols for my patients can play an important role for achieving and maintaining good health.
Later in this article I will describe the methods that I have found the greatest success with in my practice, for promoting improved detoxification, recovery, and overall health.
Knowing that toxicity may cause or worsen just about any symptom in the body, detoxification can be a vital tool for any of my patients.
What is a Toxin?
A toxin is a poisonous substance that creates harmful effects on the body.
In our modern world, the number of chemicals and pollutants in our environment, seems to be on the rise.
Taking action to improve the body's detoxification has become more important than ever.
What are Common Symptoms of Toxicity?
The symptoms I described at the beginning of this article, are symptoms that I have personally seen affecting my patients due to toxic overload.
In my clinical practice, there are many symptoms I use to gauge a person's toxicity.
The most common are changes in short-term memory, poor focus and concentration problems, brain fog, word searching and low energy.
The fatigue experienced by my patients can be very gradual at first, and seems to be worse in the morning and afternoons.
What is ironic, is that many of these patients can have more energy in the evenings.
While this may sound like a good thing, the consequence of this is that they may experience difficulty sleeping and insomnia.
What is Detoxification?
Detoxification is a process within the body that involves the elimination of stored toxins that may be poisonous to our bodies.
If these toxins are not properly removed, then our bodies may experience organ and system dysfunctions.
The good news is that there are many effective ways to help ensure that the body can effectively remove these toxic substances.
I will discuss some general techniques later on such as lifestyle and dietary options and supplements.
Make Detoxification a Priority
First, I want to stress how important it is to make detoxification a priority.
Most people that I see are not aware that they have a toxic overload situation within their body.
They may have no symptoms at all while those toxins build up internally.
In my experience, those with the weakest detoxifying potential, tend to experience earlier symptoms.
Detoxification protocols can be an important way to address this toxic build up before it causes an outward symptom or a diagnosed disease.
I have found that detoxification does not have to be difficult, painful or expensive.
How Does Toxicity Happen?
A frequently asked question is how does the body get overloaded with toxins in the first place?
The short answer is that it all has to do with the body's inability to properly flush out toxins that we absorb.
Year after year, and without proper detoxification, our bodies continue to store toxins faster than we can eliminate them.
A person can absorb toxins from their food, water, air, and environment.
Common environmental toxins can include smoke, smog, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, radiation, bacteria, viruses, preservatives, pesticides or any chemical.
Chemical toxins can even be found in common household products such as soap, perfume, shampoo, air freshener or deodorants.
Why Toxins can be Difficult to Eliminate
Most toxins are fat soluble and not easily flushed from the body.
They often accumulate in fat cells or in fatty organs and build up over time.
The major function of the detoxification system is to change these fat soluble (or lipophilic) toxins into water-soluble (or hydrophilic) ones, so that the body can more easily flush out these toxins.
Mobilized toxins can be removed through the detoxification pathways in the liver and flushed out going to the bathroom.
Toxins can also be passed through the skin via perspiration.
This is why healthcare practitioners generally recommend individuals drink adequate amounts of filtered water and get sufficient physical activity that makes a person sweat, all in order to help the body release more toxins.
One of the biggest detoxification challenges, is the first step where toxins are mobilized from the cells.
This requires sufficient amounts of energy to perform essential chemical reactions.
The problem in toxic patients is that their energy system is less efficient, making cellular detoxification more of a challenge.
Normally cells derive their energy from a process that uses essential fatty acids as an energy source.
But for those who are toxic, a shift in the cell metabolism may occur, reverting to a less efficient system, which uses sugar and salt to produce energy.
This change to using sugar metabolism for energy can cause fatigue, muscle and joint pains, sugar and or salt craving, or increased acidosis and yeast overgrowth like Candida.
In this vicious cycle, toxicity may result in fatigue, which then causes decreased detoxification, and then more toxicity.
Low Glycemic Diet with No Trans Fats
To correct the toxic situation, the cells need more energy.
This requires a healthy diet with a very strong emphasis on low glycemic foods, or foods that have little or no immediate impact on blood sugar.
Eating refined sugar products and trans fatty acids can make toxicity worse and complicate the situation.
On the positive side, eating essential fatty acids (healthy fats) has been known to help support healthy detoxification.
Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are known to help provide more cellular energy and enhance cell membrane efficiency.
How Best To Detoxify?
The body's natural detox pathways eliminate toxins through the liver, kidneys, urine, bowels, through the skin via perspiration, and our breath.
In the body of people with too many toxins, these pathways can become less efficient and result in elimination issues.
This is why I feel that effective detoxification protocols that support the body's natural cleansing process are a priority for my patients who need them.
Common detox techniques that I have found to be effective, include ones that:
Promote Improved Elimination through the Kidneys, Liver, Skin and Intestines
Provide the Body with Healthy & Supportive Food and Nutrients
Rest the Organs Through Fasting or Elimination of Unhealthy Foods
Improve circulation of the blood and kidneys
Ensure that adequate amounts of filtered water is consumed and
Physical activity that makes the body sweat in order to help release more toxins.
Natural agents that may inhibit the toxic effects on cell membranes could include magnesium and the herb Sophora.
Herbs have actually been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to support the body's natural ability to properly flush stored toxins.
Sophora is one of the most valuable herbs in supporting the body's ability to slow down cell membrane hyper-excitability, and to make the cell membrane work more efficiently.
Two other herbs that also effectively support detoxification are Smilax and Dandelion.
These herbs have been used in Eastern medicine for hundreds of years as blood and liver cleaning agents.
Diet & Lifestyle
In my practice, I often discuss dietary and lifestyle suggestions with my patients in addition to taking EFA's, magnesium and herbal supplements.
When toxicity symptoms are present, I usually recommend that they stop any activity that may be increasing toxins in their body, since it may be hindering their healing.
To lighten the toxic load within their body, here are some of my recommendations:
Eliminate alcohol, refined sugars, cigarettes, coffee, and chemical based household and personal products
Removing themselves from a moldy environment
Stop drinking unfiltered water and showering without a shower filtration system
Stop eating too many foods known to have preservatives, chemicals or heavy metals such as arsenic, lead or mercury
Reduce exposure to pesticides and other chemicals
To further enhance detoxification, I often recommend that my patients identify and avoid any further toxic exposure in the following ways:
Eat a healthy low-sugar, low-salt diet
Chew slowly and take a probiotic, like lactobacillus
Drink plenty of clean filtered water (to flush toxins out of the kidneys)
Eat foods that support regular bowel movements to further enhance flushing of the toxins since constipation naturally impedes detoxification
Eat foods that best support liver detoxification. That may include garlic, onions or cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, bok choy and cabbage.
Among the detoxifying supplements, Glutathione is probably one of the most important nutrients for supporting the body's ability to neutralize and remove toxins.
Glutathione is known to enhance the immune system and protects cells against free radicals that can cause oxidative damage.
It is important to note that not all Glutathione products are effectively absorbed and utilized by the body.
From my experience, I have found that liquid "Liposomal" Glutathione, is the most easily absorbed form of Glutathione available today.
This is the dietary supplement form I generally recommend and is also known as Lipoceutical Glutathione.
As I stated before, when the body begins to release previously stored toxins from its cells, these toxins are eventually flushed out, by going to the bathroom, through the skin via perspiration, or our breath.
While elimination of toxins in general is extremely healthy and natural, toxins can cause symptoms on their way out, known as detox symptoms.
Common symptoms of detoxification could be skin rash, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, or smell changes in one's body odor, urine, breath or waste.
While the removal of toxins is extremely important for our health, it is important to be aware of detoxification symptoms.
Healthcare professionals generally recommend that a person reduce or stop whatever product or program they are on if they ever feel any unwanted symptoms of detox.
In conclusion, detoxification is a natural process that is vital and essential for the healing process, as well as our long term health.
I strongly encourage you to investigate all the natural methods that support the proper elimination of toxins from the body.
Simple steps including drinking filtered water, eating healthier foods or taking effective supplements, are all methods that have helped my patients become less toxic.
For best results, consult with a knowledgeable healthcare professional before starting a detox program.