Spring is usually a perfect time of year for detoxification. As the seasons change, most of us are motivated to do ‘spring cleaning’ in our homes and gardens. The same need is applicable to our bodies. When the body is detoxified, it can function more efficiently and acquire resilience.
Physicians have been seeing increasing signs of toxicity in their patients over the last few decades. Hormone imbalances, obesity, mental fog, memory loss, fatigue, lack of vitality, metabolic syndrome, sleep disturbances are all signs of a toxic body.
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Conventional medicine does not see toxicity as an important health issue, but numerous studies indicated this to be the underlying cause of many chronic symptoms seen today, including the rising rates of cancer over the past two decades. A November 2015 article in the NY Times talks about the major risks of every day contaminants in our bodies and a statement made by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics claims that these toxins are interfering with reproductive health.
“Emerging conclusions ties endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure to two of the biggest public health threats facing society — diabetes and obesity,” the Endocrine Society said in announcing its 50-page “scientific statement.” It included that “mounting evidence also links endocrine disrupters to infertility, prostate cancer, undescended testicles, testicular cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and neurological issues. Oftentimes these problems apparently happen in adults because of exposures decades earlier in fetal stages.”
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that are found in plastics, cosmetics, synthetic hormones injected into factory farm animals, as well as pesticides, which when consumed, mimic hormones that disrupt endocrine function in the body.
Compare these toxins to dirt in an engine. An engine cannot function well with dirt in it since its parts cannot make contact with one another. Our bodies can be likened to a biological engine. The collaboration and communication between four major systems in the body is important to its proper function. These four systems are the endocrine or hormonal system, the immune system, the liver, and the gut. If any of these systems is not working fine, the “bio-engine” will not operate well. Toxins and hormone disruptors are like dirt in the engine of the body which interferes with the communication and collaboration between its major systems.
The liver is the detoxifier of the body. When it is overburdened with toxins, it cannot function to its maximum capacity – it cannot produce the anti-oxidants it is responsible for, that keep cancer at bay – nor can it detoxify fat soluble hormone disruptors easily. It cannot breakdown hormones like estrogen or insulin efficiently and their levels start to build in the body. Furthermore, when it is busy detoxifying alcohol, it cannot carry out its functions well either. It has been indicated that women who drink one glass of wine per day have a ten-fold higher incidence of breast cancer than the general population. The incidence of many other cancers can also increase with alcohol consumption. This is so since the liver becomes toxic with alcohol use which reduces its production of antioxidants. When the liver is overburdened, and fat soluble toxins accumulate in fat, they produce more fat. Many people in the U.S. have difficulty losing weight despite exercise and diet because of these fat soluble toxins that the body cannot easily release.
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Toxin release by the body involves a process known as glucuronidation, where toxins are let out of the cells and made water soluble and eliminated by the kidneys. Without this situation, toxins that are fat soluble remain in body fat. Although some detoxifying cleanses release these from fat, they are not able to eliminate them out of the body (as they do not engage the process of glucuronidation). This causes them to re-sequester in fat creating rebound weight gain. The most effective detoxifying cleanses engage the process of glucuronidation. They can kill toxins from the body for months at a time.
A diet that supports detoxification consists of plenty of organic, fresh vegetables and fruits and a moderate amount of water. Aerobic exercise is equally a great detoxifier as well as a good night’s sleep. During sleep, the body regenerates itself. A broad spectrum probiotic, with at least 8 to 10 strains of organisms, enhances the process of nutrient absorption and is vital in decreasing inflammation in the body and stimulating serotonin production. Healthy gut flora has been indicated to be critical for preventing inflammation and dementia, and can enhance healing when combined with detoxification.
Much of the information detailed above has to become a common part of our pursuit of health. It can have great impact on the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases in our country and the world at large.
I encourage you to detoxify your body and take this very important step forward in reclaiming your health.