Never before in human history have we been exposed to such high levels of toxins. There has been an explosion in the number of studies showing the effects of these environmental chemicals on human health. There are estimated to be approximately 100,000 chemicals now in commerce, 30,000 of which are in common use and only 3,500 of which have been safely tested. Throughout our daily life we are in constant contact with environmental toxins. It isn’t hard to believe they are playing a role in modern illness like birth defects, nervous system disorders, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, and cancer.
Where are these toxins coming from?
We absorb toxins through our skin, from the air we breathe, the chemicals in our foods, and from the chemicals released in our homes and workplaces. They all add to our body’s toxic load. Ideally, on a daily basis, our bodies break down these toxins and clear them away. Detoxification is simply normalizing the body’s ability to process and excrete toxins.
To support the detoxification process, the body requires a variety of nutrients. If these nutrients are in low supply, the toxins re-circulate. These unneutralized, fat-soluble toxins can be stored in body tissues such as fat, brain and nervous system causing systemic symptoms and future disease processes.
POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH INEFFICIENT DETOXIFICATION PATHWAYS
When the body fails to properly clear out toxins, symptoms of impaired detoxification occur. Some examples are:
- Digestive problems such as Constipation, Gas and/or Bloating
- Skin Rashes
- Headaches and/or migraines
- Weight Gain
- Cognitive Problems: Brain Fog, Memory Problems
- Excessive Mucus
- Poor Body Odor or Bad Breath
POSSIBLE HEALTH ISSUES RELATED TO TOXICITY
- Chronic Fatigue
- Allergies and Asthma
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Leaky Gut/Malabsorption/ GI Inflammation
- Obesity or Poor Weight Management
- Hormone Issues
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (adverse reaction to presence of a chemical smell)
- Fertility Problems
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
HOW THE BODY DETOXIFIES
The liver is the most important organ when it comes to detoxification. It transforms a fat soluble compound such as a toxin into a water soluble compound. This allows the compound to bind with various nutrients to carry it out of the body through our excretory organs. These harmful substances are thus eliminated through urine, sweat and bowel movements. Detoxification (keeping our clearance pathways open, clear, and moving) is a key in building our foundation for optimal health and wellness.
Since it isn’t possible or practical to eliminate all toxins from the body, some professionals suggest that the question is no longer IF we are toxic….the real question is HOW toxic are we?
WHAT CAN WE DO TO IMPROVE OUR CAPACITY TO DETOXIFY
The following is a list of things you can do to improve your body’s ability to clear toxins:
- Drink purified water in glass bottles instead of plastic bottles that contain Biosphenol A (BPA). Use stainless steel or glass drinking containers, reduce or eliminate all plastic utensils, drinking containers, plates and storage containers.
- Store food in non-plastic containers and bags when possible.
- Don’t heat your food in microwaves, especially in plastic containers.
- Avoid fried foods. Carcinogens can be formed when carbohydrate foods are cooked at high temperatures. Don’t cook or fry foods in non-stick pans coated with chemicals.
- Use chemical free products in your home (soap, detergents, cleaning products, dryer sheets, natural insect and weed killers, etc).
- Purchase a water purifier and put a filter over your faucets and shower heads. This may reduce chlorine exposure (Chloroform is released when chlorinated water is heated.)
- Buy wholesome, organic fresh foods in a variety of colors.
- Choose free-range, hormone, anti-biotic free dairy, meats, and eggs whenever possible
- Eat liver and kidney enhancing foods: beets, artichokes, dandelion greens, leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, burdock root, and milk thistle.
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL DETOXIFICATION
When undertaking a detoxification lifestyle, you may experience the benefit of resolving unhealthy thought and emotional patterns that affect us on a cellular level. The build-up of hurtful emotions is common and often binds to our cells like plaque.
Cleansing can help rid our system of any toxic chemicals that formerly played a part in controlling and dulling our emotions. Many people believe that eating a diet free of toxins makes them more sensitive to their emotions. The reality is that since the body isn’t overloaded with the constant task of removing toxicity, your cells begin to function more efficiently. Once your cells are functioning optimally, a whole new world of love and light is available to you.
Courtney Jonson, L.Ac practices a new model of medicine, sometimes referred to as “functional” or “systems” medicine. Functional medicine is neither conventional nor alternative medicine. It’s a combination of the best elements of both, and it represents the future of medicine. Functional Medicine is “investigative” and treats symptoms by addressing the underlying cause of the problem which leads to more profound and longer lasting results. She believes strongly that the body works in concert, with one system affecting the rest. Understanding how to treat the body as an interconnected whole and recognizing the importance of these connections in health and disease are her priorities. Treatment often includes nutritional medicine, dietary strategies, and lifestyle therapies. Visit her website at http://www.courtneyjonson.com/.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.