Are you ready to detoxify your body? We are all exposed to chemicals and toxins daily – through the water we drink, food we eat, air we breathe and so very much more. Our bodies were designed to be able to gently detox some toxins daily. The problem is that we were not designed to be able to handle the daily onslaught of man-made chemicals and poisons that exist today (pesticides, pharmaceuticals, make-up, food coloring, fake sugars and more).
Programs designed to detoxify your body are becoming very common. But many people are not prepared to do a full on intensive cleanse as their detoxification pathways are not working properly. When your body stops being able to detox, either due to your pathways or liver being impaired, it is unwise to try to do an intensive cleanse as you can cause toxins, chemicals and heavy metals to be freed from some parts of your body…only to be redistributed to others, including your brain.
How do you know if your pathways or liver are impaired? There are standard lab tests to check liver function and there are functional lab tests to check for nutritional and detoxification markers. However, if any of the following describe you, your ability to detoxify your body is likely struggling:
- Long term prescription drug use
- NutraSweet (aspartame) consumption
- Sensitive to chemicals (tobacco smoke, fumes, perfume, cleaning agents, etc.)
- Pain between the shoulder blades
- Stomach upset by greasy foods
- Greasy or shiny stools
- History of nausea, motion sickness, or morning sickness
- Light or pale colored stools
- Headache over the eyes
- Gallbladder attacks
- Bitter taste in the mouth (especially after meals)
- Easily hung over
- Pain under right side of rib cage
- Hemorrhoids or varicose veins
- Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
Gentle behaviors to detoxify your body can do wonders to help when your body is “stuck.” Following are a number of gentle detoxing behaviors that you can do, ranging from daily to weekly or monthly.
- Each morning, on an empty stomach, drink hot/warm lemon water each morning (1/2 – 1 organic lemon squeezed into warm or hot water)
- Stop drinking alcohol
- Stop taking any medications that are not required for your health
- Drink 2-3 liters of water
- Eat as many fresh vegetables and fruits as possible (9-10 servings per day suggested); especially brassica vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel sprouts)
- Remove dairy products
- Consume less animal-based proteins (meat, fish, etc.)
- Walk 15-30 minutes (increase amount of time gradually, up to 2 hours if possible)
- Infra-red saunas or Biomat (start slowly and build up time and temperature)
- Take Magnesium chloride or Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) baths and/or foot baths
- Coffee enemas
- Do a castor oil pack
- Consider doing a liver flush
There are nutrients that you can take to help support your liver and aid in being able to detoxify your body. Be certain to discuss your testing and treatment options with your functional medicine practitioner.