We live in a toxic environment. Toxins are found everywhere (e.g. in the air, food, water we intake) as well as within ourown human metabolic processes (e.g. bacterial byproducts in the intestines).
As our external environment has radically changed so has the internal environment of our bodies. Exposure to toxins such as chemicals, heavy metals (e.g. lead, mercury, cadmium) and pathogens such as parasites, viruses, bacteria and fungi have become impossible to avoid and even more difficult to remove once they have embedded themselves in our tissues. Last year alone, more than 7 billion pounds of chemical pollutants were released into the environment. Over the course of a lifetime, we will be exposed to thousands of foreign compounds that can enter our bodies through the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and directly through our skin or eyes. To make matters worse, many of us have substituted healthy meals with a poor diet that lacks nutritional value to fuel to body’s detoxifying capacity. All of these factors contribute to an accumulation of toxins or what is simply called “toxicity.”
Are you feeling tired or out of sync? Suffering from fatigue, brain fog, headaches, difficult sleeping, depression or anxiety? Skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema or acne? Joint or muscle pain, stomach issues such as gastric reflux, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea or irritable bowel syndrome? Have you been diagnosed with medical conditions such as migraine headaches, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, depression, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or chemical sensitivity syndrome? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it may be time to consider detoxification as the key to unlocking the door to health and wellness.
What Is Detoxification?
Detoxification is about removing and eliminating toxins. It is about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. Detoxification works because it addresses the needs of the individual cells, the smallest units of human life. Detoxification allows toxins to be eliminated from your liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system and skin.
The term ‘detoxification’ refers to the body’s natural ability to transfer and eliminate toxins. Only substances that easily dissolve in water can effectively be excreted from the body. Toxic compounds are typically stored as fatty molecules and, therefore, do not mix well with water. The process of detoxification transforms toxic, fat-soluble substances into harmless, water-soluble molecules which can be excreted from the body through the kidneys, bowel, skin or lungs.
Most of the body’s detoxification in done in the gut (intestine), kidney and liver. The skin and lungs also play a significant role. Overall detoxification is heavily nutrient dependent whereby key steps are fueled by vitamins, minerals and other major food components. Some of the key nutrients involved with detoxification include: zinc, pantothenic acid, vitamins, amino acids, L-glutamine, taurine, N-acetylcysteine and many others.
A comprehensive detoxification program can assist the body’s natural cleansing process by:
* Elimination of toxins from the diet and environment
* Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body
* Promoting elimination through the intestine, kidney, skin and lung
* Improving circulation of the blood throughout the body
* Refueling the body with essential key healthy nutrients
Reduce Your Toxic Load
So, where do you begin? First, lighten up your toxic load. Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugar and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to your natural healing processes. What you eat will define how well you are able to detoxify. Foods that contain wheat (gluten) and dairy (milk, cheese) often cause allergy problems and inflammation in the stomach and intestines. Sugar has a tendency to cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and increase your resistance to insulin promoting body fat formation (obesity). Meats often contain hormones and antibiotics that are difficult to digest and eliminate. Caffeine has ill effects on the body’s digestion. Refined, processed and junk foods all impair your body’s ability to detoxify efficiently.
Eating a wholesome diet, rich in whole grains, plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits is key to long term health. All of the deep colored fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients critical to detoxification. Try and eat a rainbow of colors each and every day with the fruits and vegetables you chose. Eating organic foods, especially meat and dairy, will also reduce your toxic burden. Drinking ½ to 1 gallon of purified water daily will assist you body in eliminating toxins.
Let Your Skin Help
Detoxification should include some type of skin cleansing. The skin in one of the best eliminating organs we have. Heavy metals are actually released through the skin’s pores when we sweat. Sauna baths and steam rooms are great for removing toxins from the skin and regenerating one’s health and energy. Infrared Sauna is a great way to eliminate toxins through the skin. Infrared sauna is different from a typical steam sauna and benefits the cardiovascular system. Infrared sauna therapy will also increase the ability to loose weight. The results can just be amazing. Massage therapy will also stimulate the flow of lymphatic fluids and promote the elimination of toxins.
Good skin care is also in order. Even the chemicals in soaps, shampoos and moisturizing lotions will make a difference in our health. Most people do not see the ill effects of these subtle chemicals, because their liver is able to metabolize these substances. Individuals who are environmentally toxic will see a great change in their health by using natural soaps, shampoos and natural skin products.
A Healthy Gut Is The Secret
Our bowel flora (the bacterial balance in our colon) is very important for detoxification and normal health. Probiotics is the term given to the normal, healthy, beneficial bowel bacteria. Probiotics may be taken as a supplement or found in many fermented foods. These healthy and beneficial bacteria will defend the body from the pathogenic species of bacteria and perform many vital functions such as the detoxification of toxic chemicals and the making of valuable vitamins.
Antibiotics kill off the good bacteria as well as the bad bacteria that may be causing disease. This allows the bad organisms, such as yeast, to overgrow and leads to a myriad of gastrointestinal problems. Replacing the natural flora (healthy bacteria) is a good step for preventing disease and keeping the bowels healthy and populated with normal flora. Taking probiotics containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidophilus can help detoxifying and improve your health.
The use of enzymes in detoxification is important. The body needs an adequate supply of enzymes, not only for digestion, but also for detoxification. Enzymes are best obtained from fresh raw fruits and vegetables, but may also be taken daily as nutritional supplements.
Enzymes are used by the body in the detoxification of toxic substances. The liver is the source of most detoxification enzymes, which it must make, or store. Enzymes also help the bowels in cleansing. The role of enzymes in digestion is to break down food for digestion and absorption. When foods are broken down they become more liquid and the bowels move much easier and faster. Transit time is decreased and our health is increased when toxins are removed and eliminated quickly. Digestive enzymes are one of the keys to breaking problems with chronic constipation, diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Keeping the bowels clean and moving is a major step in regaining our health. The bowels are crucial in the elimination of toxins especially those processed by the liver. The easiest way to get the bowels moving is by eating a high fiber diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables. Extra fiber may be added with a number of natural fiber additives. Drinking plenty of purified water is a great help in keeping your bowel moving efficiently.
Colon hydrotherapy is another great way to facilitate elimination of toxins from your gastrointestinal tract. Colon hydrotherapy sometimes referred to as a “high enema or colonics” is performed under the supervision of a trained colon hydrotherapist. Complete evacuation of the bowels helps restore and maintain gastrointestinal health and helps the liver and biliary system cleanse by eliminating stored toxins. A healthy gastrointestinal tract may be the most important way to promote overall healthy detoxification.
There are many herbal supplements that assist in bowel function. One should try and not become dependents on herbal laxatives or colonics to maintain normal bowel function. Finding the correct balance with diet, fiber, supplements or defining underlying medical problems such as hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalance or vitamin/mineral deficiency is a better step to long term health and wellness.
Supplements Are Key
The use of key vitamins and minerals are important to detoxification. The use of antioxidants, such as vitamins A, E and especially C, are essential for detoxification since they are involved with the detoxification of toxins. These antioxidants are involved with helping cells to neutralize free radicals that can cause cellular mutations and damage.
The function of antioxidants is so important that any deficiency may be catastrophic to one’s health. When antioxidant levels are low, energy is not available and detoxification can not take place in a normal fashion. Therefore, toxins accumulate or are stored until they can be processed. The liver and many other organs are compromised in terms of normal function when antioxidant levels are low. Just the lack of energy is enough to cause the body to have compromised or poor health, because it is energy that is required for the removal of toxins and waste.
Detoxification is essential for good health to exist. Our body must eliminate toxins daily or will simply die. Since our environment is more toxic today, our organs are over stressed with environmental toxins to deal with daily. We must give our bodies the critical tools to complete the detoxification process efficiently.
Regular exercise helps our bodies to detoxify. Exercise promotes increased blood flow to our tissues bringing more of the needed critical nutrients to the cells. By breathing fresh air and using our lungs we are able to eliminate through our lungs various toxins that are accumulating.
There are many methods to assist you body in detoxification. Medical food programs such as Metagenic’s Ultra Clear in one that supports healthy metabolic detoxification by assisting the liver’s ability to excrete toxins. Ionic foot bath treatments, intravenous vitamin and mineral infusions, ultraviolet blood irradiation and low dose allergy immunotherapy are just a few options that can improve your ability to detoxify and improve your health and wellness naturally. Colon hydrotherapy and infrared sauna therapy may also be beneficial.
The way we live ultimately determines our health and how well we are able to detoxify. Detoxification is easy if we eat a wholesome natural organic diet and live life in a more natural way. But for those who want their cake and eat it too, detoxification may be compromised. A change in your lifestyle may be needed and detoxification will be forthcoming. Nature has afforded us the chance to live in a toxic environment and not be adversely affected. Of course, you have to live right to get that chance. Without detoxification you may not get a second chance!
Good health and long-term wellness is within our reach, but first we must cleanse the ‘temple’ we have been blessed with and eat a wholesome natural diet that provides us with maximal nutrients critical for vitality. Herbs can help stimulate the liver, lungs, kidneys and bowels when needed but diet is the first priority. Many people living today have never know what good health ‘feels’ like. They survive with an abundance of toxins and live an existence much less than healthy. Understanding detoxification is the key to unlocking the door to great health and natural wellness!
The Wycoff Wellness Center carries a number of product to support detoxification including:
* UltraClear pH
* UltraClear Renew
* Renagen DTX
Just click on the specific product along the left hand column to find detailed information about the specific products.