Do you want to Detox ?
Many people ask me how to detox? My answer is what are you detoxing from ? Do you have a leaky gut, metabolic, energy and sleep issues or hormonal imbalances ? Acute and chronic stress both create inflammation and therefore affect the way which we need to detox. I believe that detox is an ongoing process and because the body is capable of self regulation , it is essential that the body can detox from toxic substances daily!
However, before considering detox, let's look at the non negotiable factors which include blood sugar balance, sleep and pooping. These are essential features affecting overall health. Other factors include our social networks, hydration status, stress levels and our emotions. Diet and nutrition play an important role in modifying anybody's health condition. Toxins are created internally (endotoxins) or come from external (exotoxins) sources. They predominantly get eliminated through the skin ( via sweat), lungs (breathing), bowels (stool), and kidneys (urine), and via the lymphatic system. The problem arises when someone is eating good quality foods, taking good supplements including probiotics, but they just don't feel well . The blood work done by your doctor is essentially normal but there may be complaints of low energy, anxiety, and stress and/or gas and bloating. So what's really going on here ?
Many chronic health issues can be examined utilizing a model of three roots and many branches. The roots are Genetics , Digestion, and Inflammation. Each root has a circle of influence of factors that can modify theses roots. Every symptom or diagnosis is a branch. If you think of a tree with three roots and many branches, the soil and the environment can affect the overall growth of the tree. It isn't what you eat necessarily , but what your body can assimilate.
Digestion is affected by chemical, structural, mechanical or microbial factors. Questions to ask.. Are you chewing your food enough to break it down? Is there a blockage somewhere in the intestines? Do you have an imbalance of good and bad microbes in the intestines(the microbiome)? Do you produce enough stomach acid? Can your body break down the proteins, and fats so the body can utilize the nutrition? Microbial factors include food quality, purity, variety, timing and the amounts of exercise and sleep . Disrupters of the microbiome include NSAIDS, Antibiotics, antacids, chronic stress, eating foods that you might be allergic to (dairy, gluten, alcohol), eating processed foods with hydrogenated oils, and lacking fermentable plant fibers in the diet.
Genetics factors include Movement , Mindset , Food , and Environment. Questions to ask.. what kind of exercise do you do ? Are you doing too much or too little ? How do you relax and de-stress? Do you have anxiety or depression? What external toxins are you exposed to via air, water, or personal care products? What is the quality, quantity, and timing of the food you eat?
Inflammation occurs when the body is affected by toxins, foods, environment, sleep, ability to relax, stress levels, immunity and the ability of the body to adapt to changes? Influential factors affecting inflammation include enhancing or modulation of the immune system, clearing the body of potential triggers and avoidance of toxins. If there is overreaction of the immune system, then we might be dealing with chronic diseases like Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease or Alzheimer's Dementia . If there is an under reaction of immunity, then we might be dealing with Cancer .
There are three phases of detox: Phase 1, Phase 2 and Elimination or Phase 3 .
Phase 1 occurs in the liver and the breakdown requires a functional healthy liver and gallbladder. The byproducts of breakdown create substances which are very toxic and need to be eliminated by phase 2 processes. This also occurs in the liver. There are multiple processes in phase 2 that direct the substances produced to be eliminated through the bowels, urine, or via the skin and lungs. If these chemicals are not eliminated by the body, they get reabsorbed and we feel sick. It's important to be able to have healthy, regular bowel movements so toxins can be reduced. All phases of detox require certain nutrients like vitamin B , C, Zn, and magnesium to name a few. If there is a deficiency of these nutrients, then the detox pathways will be ineffective.
I now come back to the question of what are we detoxing from ? Do you have a digestive system that is unable to process toxins and there is constipation ? Are there any infections , toxic mold, yeast or heavy metal accumulations ? The best place to start is the digestive system . We can heal a leaky gut, and provide good bowel function with proper nutrition and hydration . We can establish ways to rest and relax utilizing vagal nerve maneuvers and deep breathing techniques. We can enhance elimination of toxins and improve the function of the liver using castor oil packs and coffee enemas. Blood sugar balance can be improved with consuming plant starches, fruits and vegetables, avoiding sugar and processed foods eliminating trans fats. Microbiome support will be assisted by the above as well as adding prebiotics and probiotics, ensuring proper sleep and adding mild to moderate exercise.
Further testing may be needed if necessary after that.
A good place to start is by eliminating all dairy , gluten , sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods with minimal animal fats eating mostly organic plant foods if possible and keeping yourself hydrated with good clean filtered water for at least 3 weeks. You can support elimination of your bowel function and your liver with what I mentioned above. I generally do not recommend supplements early on . There are products to support your gut depending on your particular gut issues ie a leaky gut. After the three weeks then slowly reintroduce food groups one at a time separated by 2 or 3 days to identify if there are any food allergies or sensitivities.