Signs That Your Detoxification capacity Might Be Impaired
How Toxins Affect Your Body:
There are a plethora of signs and symptoms that can result from toxins hanging around in your system, or your homeostatic balance not being optimal because of a poor diet and such. Problems include digestive issues, esophageal reflux, upset stomach, bloating and gas, diarrhea and constipation, low energy, PMS, headaches, irritability, skin rashes and conditions, chronic aches and pains, high cholesterol, food intolerances, alcohol intolerance, arthritic symptoms, weight gain, hormonal imbalance and more. Of course, any of these signs and symptoms may have nothing to do with toxin accumulation in the direct sense and more to do with poor homeostasis, too much stress buildup, or even disease, but you must be ready to think about detoxification as part of your optimum lifestyle.
Where Do Toxins Come From?
Toxins typically come from the world outside of us. They create physiological stress. However, mental and emotional stress can also lead to toxic body conditions. As well, normal metabolic processes can leave toxic residue behind if the liver and other excretory organs are not working up to speed. Simply put, our external and internal world has become a hazardous wasteland in which we must breathe polluted air, drink chemically polluted and “treated” water, eat processed and altered foods devoid of all nutrition or worse, take daily medications and synthetic hormones, and react to daily stress that is part of our culture. Technology and industrial advancement may have led to wonderful improvements to our lives, but they have also caused the toxins in our lives to increase dramatically.
Role of the Liver, GI tract, and Kidneys in Detoxification
Simply put, your liver is a vital and necessary part of your health. The liver’s job is to detoxify your blood. All of the blood in your body runs through the liver, where it is cleansed. The liver is like an air conditioning filter. If you haven’t changed your AC filter lately, you will notice that it is very dirty with a lot of dust and lint stuck to it. If you don’t clean or change your filter regularly, your AC unit will become dirty, inefficient and possibly even break down from the stress. Your liver is no different. It filters and detoxifies the blood, and if it is not kept “clean” and functioning normally, it begins to break down and your body suffers due to the accumulation of toxins.
The liver has two detoxification phases. In Phase 1, a toxin is altered into a less harmful, intermediate metabolic product. However, undesirable free radicals form during this phase. Your body must supply an adequate amount of anti-oxidants to neutralize the free radicals. This rids the body of unnecessary toxic activity. But without an adequate supply of anti-oxidants or a properly functioning liver, liver cells can be damaged from the presence of the free radicals.
In Phase 2 of the detoxification process, a substance is added to the less harmful, intermediate product to form a water-soluble substance so that it can be moved out of the body via the colon or the kidneys. The result is an end of the toxic activity and a cleansing of the body. For this phase to work, the liver, gastrointestinal tract, and kidneys, and other excretory systems all have to be functioning well.
The gastro-intestinal (GI) tract works in conjunction with the liver in the detoxification system by providing a direct portal of exit for unwanted waste. The problem today is that the average American has a dysfunctional GI tract. From improper digestion to improper absorption of nutrients to improper elimination of waste, GI problems are pandemic. Acid-reducing medications such as the “Purple Pill” are advertised to “relieve” all problems associated with upset stomach and heartburn. The problem is that the stomach requires acid to digest food properly. By taking these meds, digestion is greatly hampered if not halted. Improper digestion leads to improper nutrition and consequently lower-bowel problems including constipation, IBS, ulcers, and in extreme cases, cancer of the colon. Easy, basic steps can be followed to avoid these pitfalls and the need for such medications. They can also ensure proper GI function and detoxification.
The kidneys further aid in detoxification by filtering out toxins and waste from the blood and eliminating them from the body through the urine. Simply drinking the right amount of water and avoiding the types of drinks discussed above can help the kidneys work efficiently and effectively.