Person preparing a green detox shake in a blender

Detox or Die!!

Life on today’s planet earth is not the same as it was for our ancestors. There are more chemicals, more exposure, and higher levels of contamination. Even umbilical cords of newborns test positive for 100s of chemicals and pesticides that are present in our environment. Our DNA is under constant assault from the world around us. To soften the hits from thousands of assaults from environmental toxicity, a proper detox is necessary at least once a year, possibly more based on the state of the metabolic drive. If you notice you are feeling tired, gaining weight and just generally feeling off it may be a total toxic body burden that is just too high! A detox primes those 1000s of metabolic reactions that are occurring daily in our system and can rev us up when we are running low.
So how do you go about detoxing? Depending on how many toxins you’ve been exposed to and of what types, it may be as simple as a detox diet, supplements that may help chelate toxins, sauna use, and/or exercise. For more major exposure, chelation by IV may be warranted. You could start by assessing your toxic load through a heavy metals test like the Comprehensive Heavy Metal Test , which can be ordered by a provider. This test will assess toxic metal exposures. Integrative and functional medicine practitioners often assess heavy metals and nutrients in patients with neurological conditions, fatigue, headaches, heart disease, and even behavioral and learning disorders. This test can be run with a chelation challenge agent to detect total body burden of heavy metals. Urine analysis without a chelation agent gives information about everyday heavy metal exposures, such as arsenic from dietary sources.Practitioners can also request nutrient elements in addition to toxics, to determine if the patient has adequate stores of protective nutrient elements. With regular testing, treatments to remove toxic metals can be carefully tailored so that treatment is effective, gentle, and only lasts as long as it is needed. Restoring a balance of nutrient elements and ridding them of harmful toxic metals can turn around illnesses that have been treatment resistant and dramatically improve quality of life.

Analysis of the levels of toxic metals in urine after the administration of a metal detoxification agent is an objective way to evaluate the accumulation of toxic metals. Acute metal poisoning is rare. More common, however, is a chronic, low-level exposure to toxic metals that can result in significant retention in the body that can be associated with a vast array of adverse health effects and chronic disease.

Toxins in the body can cause a host of problems, especially as they accumulate. They can affect virtually every bodily system. “Chemical compounds ubiquitous in our food, air, and water are now found in every person. The bioaccumulation of these compounds in some individuals can lead to a variety of metabolic and systemic dysfunctions, and in some cases outright disease states. The systems most affected by these xenobiotic compounds include the immune, neurological, and endocrine systems. Toxicity in these systems can lead to immune dysfunction, autoimmunity, asthma, allergies, cancers, cognitive deficit, mood changes, neurological illnesses, changes in libido, reproductive dysfunction, and glucose dysregulation.” (Crinnion WJ. Environmental medicine, part one: the human burden of environmental toxins and their common health effects. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Feb;5(1):52-63. PMID: 10696119.)

With the types of impacts that we’re talking about from constant toxic exposure, it seems obvious that you’d like to avoid them. But how? Avoiding known toxins as much as possible by choosing organic foods, foods without excessive additives and preservatives, living mindfully and as cleanly as possible, and avoiding harsh cleaners and chemicals are all a good start. The problem is that this may not be enough. Despite our best efforts at avoiding toxins, environmental exposure almost guarantees that toxins of some type will accumulate in our bodies. This is where detox comes in. Detoxifying diets, detoxifying with saunas and exercise, and with supplements can all contribute to flushing toxins out of our bodies. Sometimes just with sweat, sometimes by substances in foods and supplements binding to metals and other toxins in the body until they are flushed out. These treatments can be effective, especially when done consistently. Schedule a consult today to speak to one of our nutritionists about constructing a detox diet that’s right for you.