I am often asked about detoxing. Healthy detoxing does not have to be drastic and can help cleanse the body gently and effectively. If you would like to look at a natural detox please contact me at the Brisbane Naturopath clinic on 07 3172 6690.
What does detox mean?
Short for detoxification, which means:
1. Process of removing or transforming poison:
the process of removing a toxic substance from something or counteracting its toxic effects
Where do toxins come from?
A toxic substance is anything the body does not require for normal and healthy functioning.
Toxins generally fall into two broad categories:
- Environmental (external / exogenous)
- Those made in the body (internal / endogenous)
Environmental toxins are particularly troublesome in modern society and include:
* Heavy Metals
* Plastics, solvents, paint fumes
* Hormones, drugs, amalgams
* Exercise, sun exposure, drinking, smoking
* Bacterial & microbial toxins that are present in the air, water and food that we consume.
The body does have mechanisms in place to process and eliminate toxins however, if toxin exposure becomes too great it can lead to symptoms such as:
* Fatigue or lethargy
* Bloating or abdominal discomfort
* Weight gain
* Poor concentration and memory
* Allergy symptoms – food or environmental
* Skin rashes, irritations, acne
* Muscle and joint pain and weakness
* Depression, anxiety, melancholy
If exposure continues to be greater than clearance this can then lead to a number of disease and illnesses such as:
* Autoimmune disease
* Chronic fatigue
So why “do a detox”?
Often we will “do a detox” to hasten the removal of toxic substances within the body and therefore eliminate some of the associated signs and symptoms. It is also a great way to learn new dietary and lifestyle habits that will encourage and support natural detoxification processes throughout your life.
Do I need Herbs and Supplements?
Ideally, our aim is to provide all our nutritional requirements through the diet. Unfortunately, many foods are lacking in essential nutrients and most people do not obtain their daily required nutrients. This is part of the reason for the initial build up of toxins in the body.
If the recommended food list is followed, and all processed and artificial foods eliminated, then your body will naturally begin the detoxification process. Remember, this is actually the ideal way of eating – as a general guide and not just during a detox.
Herbs and supplements are often prescribed to provide your body with all the nutrients it requires to function optimally, and hence the detoxification process will occur more quickly when using these products.
Are there any side effects?
Occasionally you may experience some symptoms such as headaches, tiredness, changed bowel habits etc. This is known as a healing crisis and is because the body, and particularly the liver, are beginning to process and eliminate toxins more efficiently.
As much as possible we encourage you to rest, drink lots of filtered water or herbal teas and be gentle on yourself as your body goes through the changing process. This usually subsides within a few days but if you are at all concerned get in touch with me to discuss ways to manage your detoxification processes.
The Detoxification Process
As we are all unique the detox process will be different for each person. As a general guide detoxification aims to support key enzymatic reactions in key detox tissues and organs, whilst also providing you with dietary and lifestyle guidelines to follow to decrease your overall toxic load.
Generally, there are 3 stages involved:
Stage 1: Remove – The aim of the first stage is to remove or dramatically reduce the level of dysbiotic bacteria, fungi and parasitic organisms that may be present in your gut. This stage is also aimed at removing waste and toxins being produced by dysbiotic organisms.
Stage 2: Renew – Once the load of dysbiotic organisms living in the digestive system has been reduced, the main aim is then to re-inoculate the digestive system with beneficial (probiotic) bacteria and to support the integrity of the gut lining with glutamine and other nutrients. In the second stage of the Detoxification Program you will be:
- Renewing and repairing the gut lining
- Renewing gut flora
- Renewing tissue health by helping to clear stored heavy metals
- Renewing and restoring the acid/alkaline balance of the body
Stage 3: Release – The final stage of detoxification is designed to enhance the capacity and function of the body’s waste removal systems – predominantly the liver, gall bladder and kidneys. In this stage the focus is on increasing the release of toxins stored in the body, as well as increasing the release of bile to facilitate excretion of waste via the faeces.
Contact me at the Brisbane Naturopath clinic, 07 3172 6690 to start your natural detox today.