Is Your Body Overloaded with Toxins? What is the Best Detox Solution?
Your body is a miraculous thing. For all its parts and abilities there are corresponding systems designed to monitor what they’re experiencing. Your body can decide whether what it is experiencing is beneficial or detrimental and then make appropriate adjustments to maintain balance.
You may mention your circulatory, digestive, endocrine, immune, integumentary, lymphatic, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, musculoskeletal, or urinary system in conversation when someone asks how you are. Symptoms from these systems give us a sense of how well we are (or are not) at any given time.
What’s Happening When You’re Not Feeling Well?
When you’re unwell, understanding systemic symptoms can help you to determine where to look for the underlying issues. Skin breakouts, hair thinning or falling out, or nail splitting can be signs of poor digestive or liver health. Signs like feeling sluggish, heavy, uncomfortable, or constipated tell us that there’s something less than ideal going on in your body. It becomes important to look at the organs that support our body and keep them functioning optimally, especially when they’re showing us signs that all is not well.
Your organs help your body to maintain overall health, and of course organs like the heart, brain, and lungs are responsible for some of the most vital functions of life. Without them, well – we wouldn’t be here! But, your organs do other important jobs as well, such as neutralizing and eliminating toxins and irritants. The organs that help the most with these functions are the lungs, the skin, the digestive tract, and most importantly: the liver and the kidneys. When you start tracing symptoms to the organs that should help prevent them, you can start to make the connections to underlying organ weakness.
How Does Your Body Cope When Faced with Toxins?
The simple answer? Detoxification. One of the things your body is especially good at is sweeping out any toxic elements and chemicals that can compromise your health. That’s a big part of what your organs are designed to do.
However, not all toxins are equal and of course, there are many factors that can affect how the body responds to them at any given time. Also, toxins don’t come from only one source. In fact, the definition of a ‘toxin’ is surprisingly simple and broad: anything that the body doesn’t find useful or that harms its integrity is toxic to the body. The fact is, we’re combating toxins all the time.
The most common types of toxins we all encounter regularly come from poor diets, poorly digested, fermented food, medications, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, environmental toxins like air and water pollution, smoke, pesticides and herbicides. This toxic burden is an inescapable part of urban life, and we know it can sound pretty depressing!
When subjected to all of these forms of toxins at once – as most of us are – it’s easy to see how our bodies can become inundated with chemicals that need to be removed. It’s also easy to understand why, even though we might be doing everything we can to sustain a healthy lifestyle and keep our toxin-fighting organs in prime condition, our bodies sometimes need help in this respect.
How Do I Know if I’m Overloaded with Toxins?
As we said before: the body is constantly detoxifying – day in, day out, all day and all night! Our organs are designed to do just that to keep us healthy but who hasn’t been super stressed out and resorted to a poor diet or more frequent glasses of wine? Who hasn’t experienced an illness that compromised their health to the point where they just don’t seem to fully recover? These are just some instances when toxin overload may contribute to ill health. Sometimes toxins that we experience daily become a combined, overwhelming force while at other times we experience a mix of toxins in particularly high doses. Ongoing situations like this can lead to chronic toxin overexposure and inadequate elimination.
Are you overloaded with toxins? Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have persistent brain-fog, lack of focus, mental clarity, or migraines?
- Do you have ongoing fatigue, muscle aches or pains, general lack of motivation or feelings of depression that just won’t go away?
- Have you noticed an increase in body odour, foul fecal odour, pungent or bad breath?
- Are you experiencing skin reactions or acne in ways you haven’t before?
- Have you recently become newly sensitive to chemicals, fragrances, or scents?
- Have you developed new allergies of any kind?
- Are your periods excessively heavy or painful?
These are just some of the common changes that you might notice and they’re some of the ways your body is trying to tell you that it’s overwhelmed with toxins.
Do Detox Diets Work?
A handful of clinical studies have shown that commercial detox diets enhance liver detoxification and eliminate persistent organic pollutants from the body. Better quality studies still need to be done, but from our clinical experience, we’ve seen numerous patients improve by assisting their bodies to remove toxins. Organic pollutants have been implicated in the development of inflammatory conditions, obesity and diabetes.
What is the Best Detox?
Some basics for the healthy ongoing elimination of toxins:
- Stay hydrated. Water intake helps your body flush waste out through your kidneys.
- Increase your fibre intake. Consuming lots of vegetables and legumes and moderate amounts of fruit help your body to excrete toxins through regular bowel movements.
- Lemon water. Drinking a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning helps to get bile moving that carries waste out of your liver.
- Eat a healthy, whole foods diet including organic foods as much as possible to reduce your toxic burden.
Advanced liver detox techniques
Healthy liver detoxification requires specific vitamins and minerals to allow for efficient function of phase I and phase II liver detoxification. These include indole-3-carbinol, vitamin B6, B12, magnesium, L-5MHTF and calcium-d-glucarate. Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts help supply these nutrients. Our naturopathic doctors can provide expert advice about dosing for these and other natural supplements for doing the best detox cleanse.
Accessory nutrients that are also needed for healthy liver detoxification include alpha lipoic acid, n-acetyl cysteine, Vitamins A, C and E, glutathione, selenium, glycine, taurine and glutamine.
When you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to toxins, it’s the right time to visit our clinic for help. We can help reactivate your body’s natural defence mechanisms so that you can experience optimal health every day. Sometimes, our organs need extra help in their work combatting toxins. We have lots of solutions to help you ensure that toxins are kept at bay and that your organs are happy, healthy, and strong.
What About Those Detox Kits?
A detox kit would not be what we would recommend to support healthy liver detoxification. Mainly these kits contain fibre supplements, laxative herbs and small doses of herbs like milk thistle and dandelion. Fibre supplements and laxative herbs only make you poop more. More frequent bowel movements do not mean more efficient liver function. Milk thistle is useful for regenerating liver cells when your liver has been injured, think of conditions like cirrhosis or hepatitis. Rebuilding your liver won’t hurt, and may help, but as a low dose ingredient in these kits, it’s not enough to accomplish much. Dandelion is used to help your liver make more bile and empty that bile out of your gallbladder into your small intestine. This helps to carry waste out of your liver. But, in order for there to be waste to carry out, your liver has to break toxins down, that is where we want to support the liver in phase I and phase II liver detoxification so that you can carry waste out through bile. If you have regular bowel movements, you are making and excreting bile. Bile is part of the process that helps to keep bowels regular.
Looking for the best detox diet?
You can download a free 6-day meal plan by clicking here.
Call or email us at 416-481-0222 or Info@ForcesofNature.ca and we’ll be happy to have a detailed consultation with you to find the right pathway to your optimal health.
The Team at Forces of Nature Wellness Clinic
Klein AV, Kiat H. Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2015 Dec;28(6):675-86. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12286. Epub 2014 Dec 18.