The main thing to think about is why are you wanting to detox?
1)Is it to rid your body of certain toxins or drugs?
These days, the term “Detox”, means the removal of all toxins from the body – everything from the toxins we take in through the air we breathe to the pesticides we ingest from vegetables we eat.
2)or is it to make you just feel healthy and full of life?
3)or is it to lose weight?
If you know why, you can plan for it. Detoxing is not easy and you definitely need to have a plan. Detoxification is a primary function of the body — and the body’s most energy-consuming metabolic process. Your body is detoxifying all the time; it has its own body-cleansing system consisting of enzymes, hormones and lymphatic fluids that rid the body of unwanted materials or chemicals. Your liver and gastrointestinal (GI) tract are the major organs responsible for detox.
Symptoms of Toxicity
These can be as varied as the individual, but generally speaking they manifest as:
- Headaches, fatigue, weakness, muscle and/or joint aches and pains
- Brain fog, poor concentration, irritability, depression, mood swings
- Allergies, stuffy nose, coughing
- Rashes, itching, hives
- Digestive symptoms – IBS/GI upset
- Sensitivities to chemicals, foods, drugs
Toxicity may also play a role in the following diseases and conditions:
- Cancers, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases
- PMS, infertility
- Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia
- Psoriasis, eczema, acne
Often, symptoms of toxicity first arise as digestive disturbances (bloating and gas after eating, foul-smelling stools, diarrhea and/or constipation), bad taste in mouth, acid reflux and heartburn. This usually indicates a growing food sensitivity or allergy that may be the first indication of a breakdown in your detoxification system. We become so used to feeling slightly ill after we eat (or all day long) that we mentally override our early warning systems and thereby further irritate our bodies.
Just starting off on your own without really knowing what you are doing is not likely to produce the results that you are seeking. Once toxins enter our bodies, each individual responds differently depending on genetically-determined available enzymes, nutritional status, how many toxins you have been exposed to over the years and the state of your detox system. That’s why, ideally, it is best to work with a practitioner knowledgeable in the subject to determine your unique needs.
How to detox your body naturally
Most detox programs treat the gut and the liver first, moving into detoxification of the blood and kidneys only after the GI tract and liver are functioning properly. I personally don’t recommend extreme fasts or harsh colon cleansers as they tend to shock your other systems by releasing too many toxins too quickly. This can leave you physically incapacitated and mentally discouraged. Here are 6 “R’s” to help you stay healthy.
- Take Responsibility for your health. This means paying attention to your intuition when you think something is not right. It means working to find a holistic practitioner you can trust to monitor your detox program.
- Remove toxins and decrease your toxicity load. This usually begins where most toxins enter our system, in the gut and liver, but importantly includes decreasing exposure to environmental and emotional toxins. Studies have shown that most people are likely to have the greatest contact with toxic pollutants inside their homes and offices.It is important to drink filtered water, wash all your produce, and, when practical, eat organic food. Several hidden sources of toxins are cosmetics, lotions, and other body-care products. Creating a healthy home environment is essential.
- Recognize your unique dietary needs. Follow a detox diet that substitutes lean, organic meats, whole grains, and fresh vegetables and fruit for foods high in chemicals, artificial additives, transfats and sugar. If your symptoms are extreme, you may need to follow a strict elimination diet that removes the most common allergens from your diet (dairy, wheat, eggs, peanuts, yeast, shellfish, beef, pork, veal, soy products, citrus, strawberries, nightshades, corn and chocolate) for a certain period of time and then slowly reintroduce them. Treating GI conditions such as parasites, yeast overgrowth, or unhealthy bacteria through nutrients and diet is also part of recognizing what are your individual digestive requirements.
- Replenish nutrients and balance hormones.
- Release tension and relieve stress.
- Revitalize with a strict liver detox. You can’t be truly healthy if your liver isn’t functioning properly. Think of your liver as your body’s chemical plant.
Based upon the various chemicals in your blood and lymphatic systems, your liver reacts to stabilize you. If you overwhelm it by ingesting harmful chemicals, it damages the liver’s ability to bring stabilization. Your gut is connected to your liver directly through the bile ducts and indirectly through the blood system. If your GI tract is dysfunctional, toxins can overwhelm your liver.
Liver overload occurs when the liver is exposed to more toxins than it can handle, you’re lacking or inhibiting critical nutrients and enzymes necessary for liver function, or you have a genetic predisposition. Once you have incorporated the first five steps of renewal into your life, you may be ready to go further with a one to three week liver detox plan. Follow these steps:
- Follow a liver cleansing detox diet/doubling your intake of filtered water
- Support your liver nutritionally
- Neutralize free radicals
- Pursue additional detox measures (sauna, steam bath, etc.)
- Get lots of sleep and make time for relaxation
If you have followed all of these steps and still feel terrible, you may be experiencing heavy metal toxicity. This is best treated through a responsible healthcare practitioner with knowledge of biodentistry, chelation therapy, and specific detox procedures. See your Physician but continue to work the listed items.