What is a Detox and why should I do one?

Our body has a built in detoxification system that allows us to get rid of unwanted particles that build up from our own natural processes – examples include using our muscles, hormones and other naturally occurring duties that our body performs. The goal of a detox is to reduce the amount of toxins we put into our body and thus optimize our bodies own detoxification system.

Why should I Detox?

Doing a detox periodically or setting habits that help you eliminate waste on a daily basis has been found to be essential and only becomes more critical as we have more and more toxins that bombard our bodies in our modern lifestyles. There are also periods of time in our lives where a detox is needed to clear out hormonal changes (menopause, postpartum, puberty) Here is a small list of common items that can cause an increase in toxins within our body that are part of our everyday lives:

  • Plastics
  • Meats – even organic animals will still contain hormones which may be greater than our bodies needs)
  • Rubber
  • Cosmetics and lotions
  • Household products
  • Construction materials
  • Fungus and Mold
  • Pesticides
  • Carpets
  • Dry cleaning
  • Burning Fuels
  • BBQ food

And the list goes on.

What are the different types of detox?

  • The different types of detox’s depend on which organ you are targeting. Here is a list by organ:
    Liver – this is the main blood cleaner in your body so any hormone or metabolite that is in the bloodstream will pass through the liver. This is the main reason a liver cleanse is the most common. Detox’s rich in antioxidants are the best choice.
  • Kidney – Cleanse both blood and urine of toxins allowing things to be processed out through our urine. Detox’s that include drinking lots of water are always a good choice.
  • Gallbladder – This is where bile is stored which breaks down fat and allows it to empty. A detox for this has to contain a good oil most commonly used is olive oil.
  • Intestines – They process food as well as hormones and other metabolites, which clear through the feces. Detox’s that focus on herbs that have a mild laxative effect as well as high fiber are a good choice.
  • Lungs – Lungs are important as they filter anything that we breathe and some of these things can go into the bloodstream. Doing a lung detox is about learning how to do quality breathing using oregano or eucalyptus stems and perhaps a change of location to a place such as by the ocean that has very clean air.

These detox’s can be made more efficient by adding herbs and other vitamins and minerals. Please contact our office so that one of our doctor’s can help you choose a cleanse that is right for you.

How often should I do a detox?

Without knowing each and every one of my patients’ cases, the answer is generally 1-2 times per year, but this number can go up drastically if you have hormone imbalances, illness and disease currently attacking your body. This is something to talk to your doctor about. There are daily detox practices that we do recommend and they are listed below:

  • Exercise – it pumps out waste in your bloodstream and allows you to sweat releasing more toxins
  • Eating Veggies – eat as many as you possibly can forever and always
  • Drinking Lemon Water – start the morning with hot water and fresh squeezed lemon
  • Drink more water
  • Reduce smoke exposure
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Reduce meat consumption

What are the common Detox myths?

  • Liquid diets can push out toxins faster – they can but they are a quick fix so make sure you are doing a long term daily detox.
  • Drinking tons of water will detoxify your body – while it is good for the kidney and liver you can actually over do water leading to fatigue and vomiting.
  • Replacing meals with powdered drinks is a good detox – while smoothies and juices can help. Increase the green veggies which helps detox many of the premade detox powders don’t actually help you achieve body balance.
  • Detoxing means not exercising – while this can be true for a day or two, detoxes that are so harsh that you aren’t able to allow your body to naturally sweat eliminate one of the best ways to release toxins. This method is not generally recommended.

When should I Not detox?

Here is a small list of some conditions that are not recommended to detox:

  • Chemo Patients
  • Major illness
  • Around your period
  • Under weight
  • IBS, Diverticulitis, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis (many cleanses may cause pain and irritation but not all)

Whatever detox method you use, always use common sense and if you need help, our office can help you select a detox that is right for you.