There are relatively easy ways to rid your body of toxins. It is important to do so to stay healthy. If you’re not motivated to do some form of detoxification, it may help you to learn a bit more about our present day exposure to toxins and how they affect our health.
You might ask, how do I know that I’m toxic?
I’ll answer that by saying you likely are, it just depends to what degree. That is, if you’re living on earth in the 21rst century there is little doubt. I’m sure you’ve been hearing about it in the news for the past several decades.
- Heavy metal toxins like mercury in fish, arsenic in fish, lead in pain and gasoline.
- Toxins from the plastic in water bottles, in that convenient plastic wrap and zip-up bags that we store food in.
- Toxins in our water from industries in our area.
- Pesticides in our water and food from our agriculture.
- Even pharmaceutical drugs in our water from the pills that our neighbor flushed down the toilet (or urinated into the toilet).
They’re everywhere!!! They’re everywhere!!! (And they’re affecting your health).
The Center For Disease Control, the health agency of the United States government assigned to monitor and protect the health of US citizens has done a number of studies of the toxins that are accumulating in our bodies. It is tested the urine and blood of Americans on four separate occasions between 2000 and 2009. Each time it tested about 2500 Americans for anywhere from 212 to 287 known chemical toxins of concern.
What it found is consistent with other studies done by non-governmental groups. Our bodies are full of toxins. The average American contained a wide spectrum of toxic chemicals in their tissues, including mercury, arsenic, lead, fire retardants, pesticides, PCB’s and many more. Other comparable studies found that the average American has over 100 toxins in their body. The problem is that these studies can only test for a small percentage of the toxins that we know are in our environment–in the air we breath, the water we drink and the food we eat.
There are many more toxins that are almost certainly circulating in our bodies that we don’t know about–what their effects are individually, and also what the cumulative effect of so many of them together may be. What we do know is that human health is declining in spite of massive expenditures on health care. It’s because we have yet to address some of the real causes, one of them being our toxic environment.
When we’re overwhelmed by something a common response is to do nothing.
We become paralyzed in the face of overwhelming information, feel hopeless and do nothing about it. I believe this is a universal response. At least, at first it is. Often the next step is learning about the problem and then finally we devise the best strategy to deal with it.
My goal here is to define the problem of body toxicity clearly enough so that you’ll stop denying that it exists. I’m going to give you the bad news with the hope that it will motivate you to take action and detoxify your body before there is a large impact from these toxins on your health.
The bad news is that every living thing on our planet earth is full of toxic chemicals.
This is not something that any body is arguing about any more. The argument is more on the line of how much are these toxins affecting our health and what can we do about it? You have to realize that this is a completely unfamiliar territory that we’re in. There is no precedence. Our planet’s industry is dumping untold tons of toxins into the air and water daily.
Fortunately toxins are not new to our bodies. We do have defenses. What is unprecedented is the total toxic load of all of these chemicals in our food, our air and our water. It has been called the “body burden”. It’s a body burden because our detox system can only take so much. When it becomes overwhelmed our health begins to pay the price.
Think of what happens when you come down with a cold or the flu. If your body’s immune system is strong, you’ll fight off the cold or flu virus quickly and you won’t be out of commission too long. Toxins are dealt with in much the same way. The body’s primary organ of detoxification is the liver. Toxins are routed to the liver where they are modified (neutralized as much as possible) so they are less toxic and also so that they can be excreted more easily. They are excreted in the bile which is secreted by the liver into the gall bladder and passes out of the body through the stool. Or they are secreted in urine after being filtered out of the blood by the kidneys.
Our body’s detoxification system doesn’t have unlimited resources. Just as the immune system struggles to contain a virus when you have a cold or the flu, your body’s detoxification system now struggles constantly to keep up with the load of toxins coming in through our food, air and water. It’s not great news.
What are the toxins that we’re being exposed to?
Toxins come in many shapes and forms. Toxicology is an entire area of study within medicine. When I allude to toxins here, I am referring to environmental toxins. These toxins are unique to modern life, to life in an industrialized society. The scary part is that it no longer matters where you live on this earth, in an industrialized nation or otherwise. Atmospheric air currents carry air pollution across the globe. Ocean currents carry toxins dumped in one area across the ocean. No one is immune to exposure to toxins anymore. Having said that, there are certainly places that are more toxic than others.
Toxins can be classified in a different ways. One way to classify them is based on how they affect our body. This is based on the different ways in which toxins can impact our health.
- Toxins can be carcinogenic or cancer causing. Toxins damage the DNA or genetic material in our cells. The DNA controls things like when the cell divides or reproduces itself. When the DNA is damaged by toxins, cells may start dividing out of control which is a cancer.
- Toxins can be teratogenic, meaning that they can cause birth defects. Remember thalidomide? It was prescribed to pregnant women suffering from morning sickness by doctors in the late 1950′s. It caused sever birth defects in babies (it was teratogenic).
- Toxins can interfere with normal development in childhood, or can lead to damage of the reproductive organs and the ability to reproduce.
- Toxins can act like hormones in the body and disrupt the body’s inherent hormonal balance. With hormone balance thrown off, many health problems can result.
- These are just a few of the categories of how toxins can impact our health. Toxins impact our health in many ways that we are just learning about. There are neurotoxins (brain, nerves), immune system toxins (weaken our immunity), kidney and liver toxins (damage our detox organs lessening our ability to detoxify) and more.
There is good news too-you can help your body detoxify itself.
The good news is that holistic health providers are finding very effective ways to detoxify the body. The trouble is that people don’t bother to detoxify their body until their health begins to suffer.
If the Weather Channel announces that there is a tornado or hurricane coming, you probably wouldn’t wait for the wind to pick up before going into the house and taking cover. But this is what most people are doing. We are playing croquet our in the yard while the storm clouds move in. Wouldn’t it be better to go inside and make sure that the flashlight has batteries? Or that the storm windows are securely fastened?
Wouldn’t it be better to detoxify your body now and improve the chances of remaining healthy until a ripe old age? Why pay in premium for health insurance every month but do nothing more? In this day and age, one must be proactive to live a long and healthy life. Take the time to learn how to detoxify your body today.
A Short Lesson In Detoxification.
Detoxification is a huge topic, but it can be understood simply. Here’s a brief explanation. Your body is exposed to toxins through the air you breath, the water you drink (and bathe in), and what you eat. Your body is prepared to deal with and neutralize toxins.
Your liver filters toxins out of your blood. It neutralizes them to the best of its ability and secrets them into the bowel (in the bile) for expulsion via the stool. Many detoxification regimens include special nutrition for the liver. The liver uses specific nutrients in its process of neutralizing toxins. If these are in short supply its ability to neutralize toxins can be hampered.
Up until the 1980′s it was common for alternative health practitioners to recommend a complete fast (water and lemon juice, or water and vegetable juices) for a week as a detoxification. Such fasting promotes release of toxins from tissues so that they could be neutralized and expelled. Since the 1980′s, as the toxic burden in our bodies has increased, most alternative health practitioners recommend only a partial fast. With the heavier toxic burden of today, it is essential to provide the liver with optimal nutrition so that it can effectively neutralize toxins during any detoxification period.
The liver itself can get backed up or congested. Bile salts can precipitate out of solution within the livers internal secretory ducts causing such congestion. Gall stones can also form in the gall bladder and bile ducts, hampering the secretion and excretion of bile. Alternative medicine looks to the “liver flush” and “gall bladder flush” to wash the liver and gall bladder clean of these precipitates that can block the pipes and interfere with the body’s detoxification processes. These flushes rely on juices that soften or loosen the precipitates (lemon juice, apple juice), the mineral magnesium to relax and dilate the smooth muscle lined bile channels and ducts, and olive oil to stimulate a surge of bile release to flush the system. You can find a number of liver and gall bladder flush protocols online. I would recommend doing such a process with the help of a knowledgeable health practitioner.
The Kidneys and Skin.
The liver returns some of its end products, the neutralized toxins, to the blood so that they can be filtered out by the kidneys and expelled in the urine. Toxins are also secreted through the skin in our perspiration. When the body is overburdened with toxins the skin can suffer as the body attempts to rid itself of toxins through the skin.
Because the liver secretes its toxins into the bile for expulsion from the body through the stool, problems can develop if these toxins accumulate in the bowel. Like a sewer pipe, the bowel can get plugged up so that we don’t expel the toxins as well as we could. Numerous protocols are used in alternative medicine to clean the bowel. Colonics are high enemas that flush the bowel with water, thereby cleaning out debris. Herbal emetics and fiber products stimulate activity of the bowel and roto-rooter the bowel with lots of roughage. Again the aim is just to clean the pipes.
The Detoxification Alternative — The Sponge.
A relatively new method of detoxification is found in zeolite. Zeolite can be likened to a sponge which absorbs toxins in the body tissues. It is an inert mineral which selectively sponges up toxins in the tissues, carrying them out as it is excreted in the urine. While all of the detoxification procedures mentioned above are invaluable, it is my experience in clinical practice that very few people actually carry them out. On the other hand, taking drops of zeolite by mouth and having it detoxify your system is something that most people can do.
What is Zeolite?
When hot lava flows into cold ocean water it crystalizes in a unique way. It creates (microscopically) what has been referred to as a cage like structure, similar to the carbon structure of a diamond. In zeolite the molecular cages are negatively charged. This negatively charge cage has been shown to bind to heavy metal toxins, to viruses, and to organic toxins selectively. Once bound to the zeolite cage the toxins are carried out of the body when the zeolite is filtered into the urine by the kidneys.
For More About Zeolite.
Click this link for more information on detoxification with Zeolite.
Dr. Harlan Mittag is a chiropractor in St. Louis Park and Minneapolis, MN and owner of Mittag Holistic Chiropractic. He is a chiropractor, nutritionist and acupuncturist who specializes in the treatment of natural pain and natural pain remedies. A graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern College of Chiropractic, he has had a clinical practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the past 25 years.
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