DETOXIFICATION - WHAT REALLY IS IT?
Posted on September 12 2014
In our busy modern world, toxins are very common. Environmental toxins include things like heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals, food additives, drugs and pollutants, which are present in the air, water and food that we consume. Toxins do not only come from our external environment; toxins can also be generated internally by 'bad' bacteria, yeasts and parasites in your digestive system. These internally generated toxins are then absorbed into your bloodstream, affecting your health and vitality.
A good, supportive detoxification program can be one of the most effective strategies for rapidly improving the state of your health as it may help clear toxins out of your body and leave you feeling healthy and energetic.
Your health practitioner can help recommend a safe, gentle detox program that may help clear your body of accumulated toxins. Natural supplements may be recommended to support your body and help it detoxify, allowing your body's detoxification and repair systems to function efficiently, without causing any undesirable side-effects.
Detoxing consists of:
• Lessening the burden on the detoxification organs by reducing the body’s exposure to pollutions and toxins for a set period of time.
• A restricted, healthy diet accompanied by certain supplements to help us eliminate the toxins in our body.
Reasons why a detox may be worth considering:
• Recurrent headaches
• Muscle aching and weakness
• Nerve pain or numbness
• Poor short term memory and concentration
• Adverse reactions / sensitivity to environmental chemicals, odours
• Chronic fatigue and lethargy
• Depression, anxiety and or mood swings
Most people with toxicity develop a problem called ‘leaky gut syndrome’ (intestinal permeability). In a healthy digestive system, the lining of the digestive system is a very good filter, allowing beneficial nutrients like vitamins and amino acids to pass into the blood stream, whilst keeping toxic bacteria and waste products of digestions within the bowel.
This filter is easily damaged by infection, medications and toxic bacteria, which then leads to the unregulated transport of large quantities of partially digested foods and bacteria in the body. Some of this debris is transported to the liver where it has to be processed and removed.
This places huge stress on the liver, and eventually a percentage of this material escapes capture but the liver and it ends up entering the general circulation, where it can lead to many symptoms of toxicity. As a result ‘leaky gut syndrome’ results in a great deal of stress upon the immune system, the liver and virtually every other organ of the body.
This means you cannot successfully detoxify the body (or cleanse the liver) without having treated the digestive system and repaired the lining of the gut. This is like replacing the oil in your car without replacing the filter; the oil is going to be ruined very quickly.
The goals of a detoxification program should be to:
• Removing toxin exposure through dietary and lifestyle changes;
• Removing bad bacteria and waste from your digestive system;
• Renewing your digestive lining and the healthy bacteria to improve your digestive function; and
• Releasing your body's toxins so they can be eliminated.
Benefits of Detoxing
Potential benefits of detoxing include:
1. The elimination of toxins and poisons that have been running through your body. The positive side effects of this varied, with the most obvious being dramatically increased feelings of vitality and well being.
2. A cleansed colon that prevents constipation that may cause fatigue, lethargy and bloating.
3. A reduction in food consumption. Whilst the amount of food is generally unlimited on a detox, many experience a decrease in appetite that may be attributed to the limited food types.
4. Weight loss that may be contributed to a healthier diet and the flushing of retained water and fat cells.
5. A strengthened immune system that is freed from dealing with everyday toxins.
6. The clearance of congestion, mucous, gastrointestinal inflammation and fermentation.
7. The reformation of bad lifestyle habits such as junk food addictions, smoking and alcohol consumption.
Disadvantages of Detoxing
• Lowered Immunity
• Some individuals experience limited weight loss, or weight that quickly returns once the detox is over once old habits return.
• Pregnancy: Detoxification should not be attempted during pregnancy; however, it is ideal as a preconception program. If you fall pregnant while doing a detox you should stop the program and contact your Practitioner.
• Medication: Detoxification has the potential to change the way some medicines work. If you are taking prescription medications then discuss this with your Practitioner.
• Side-effects: Occasionally people may experience adverse symptoms during detoxification such as nausea, changes in bowel function or headaches. Generally these are short-term and will resolve without any intervention; however, you should discuss them with your Practitioner if they are severe or last for more than a few days.
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