When should you think about doing a detox?
I have created a functional medicine health pyramid and the 2nd level of this health pyramid is detoxification. The 1st level of this pyramid is the digestive tract and nutrition. Why would gut health and nutrients come before detoxification?
#1 Your body is constantly being exposed to toxins; some of these come from the environment and the rest are originating inside your own body.
#2 everything that gets absorbed from the digestive tract is taken to the liver so it can be “cleaned” before going to the rest of your body. Your liver is the main organ of detoxification in your body.
#3 If you want to help your liver effectively detoxify your body, you can’t keep loading it with large amounts of toxins from the digestive tract.
Detoxing is not something you do for a week or two and then forget about it. Your body needs to be able to effectively detoxify itself every minute of every day. Doing an occasional detox is like going to the gym occasionally. Will you get a better result of your went to the gym 3x/week or if you went twice in a year? The same applies to detoxifying your body. A functional medicine doctor who understands how the body works, gets this concepts and would not only support your liver so it can detoxify your body, but fix your gut so that the burden placed on the liver is reduced significantly.
What you need to know about effective detoxification:
- Reduce external toxin sources: this would include reducing your intake of foods laden with herbicides and pesticides, reduce/eliminate GMO foods, not using toxic chemicals in your home, don’t use toxic products on your body, don’t use toxic cleaning chemicals and reduce toxin sources such as mold.
- Fix your gut health: get your digestion problems fixed. If you don’t know how to do this, contact a functional medicine doctor in your area. For more information on your gut see my blog “Functional Medicine Health Pyramid #1 Digestion” and the other numerous blogs I have written about digestive health.
- Nutrients required for detoxification: the next piece of the detoxification puzzle is to make sure your liver has the nutrients it needs to take toxins and convert them into safe chemicals that can now be eliminated from your body. Nutrients are any vitamin, mineral, amino acids, etc. that your body MUST HAVE in order to function properly. Your brain, heart, kidney and yes, your liver all have specific nutrient demands if you want them to work properly. If you want to know more about the liver and the nutrients it needs, see my blog “Do you need to detox?”
When should you detox?
Then answer? Today…tomorrow and every day for the rest of your life.
There is nothing wrong with doing a short detox program, but if you don’t change he conditions (1-3 above); then you only become toxic again and again…you will spend most of your life burdened with toxins. Detoxification is like scrubbing the inside of your body clean. How often should your brush your teeth or take a shower? These activities are scrubbing the outside and visible parts of your body clean. How often should you be supporting the scrubbing clean the inside of your body?
Just by fixing digestion and dietary problems you instantly take toxic stress off the liver and you become less toxic. You can even work on both your gut and your liver at the same time, but if you neglect your digestive health, you are fighting a losing battle against toxic overload.
You can’t avoid all of the toxins in the environment, but you do have the power to reduce that toxic load, fix your gut and support your liver…that is the most anyone can do on this planet right now.
Next week I will cover the importance of Blood Sugar management and how it can prevent you from reclaiming your health.
I wish you health, happiness and a better quality of life!
If you would like more information about functional medicine and integrative medicine or Dr. Sexton go to www.napervilleintegratedwellness.com
Do your own research, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. When collecting information, you MUST consider the source. There is no shortage of false, misleading, outdated, profit-driven and utterly biased information in healthcare today; even from the most respected sources and organizations.
This approach to healthcare is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease. Why? The FDA enforces its position that these words can only be used with drugs. This approach does not use drugs.