Why Detox?

Daily our bodies have to contend with a barrage of toxins in addition to its normal daily task of supporting your health.  We live in a polluted environment that affects the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.  It is in our homes, our work environment, our cars and even the “fresh air” we breathe as we enjoy the great outdoors.  It is a curse of the modern conveniences we enjoy today.  It is fueled by the surge in population and the demands of a life of convenience that propels this industrialized nation.  The toll on human health here in the U.S. and in the world is staggering.  It is the target of environmentalists, naturopathic and other natural health care physicians and the people who are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

In the U.S. we allow over 10,000 chemicals to be added to our foods.  The Average American consumes over 14 pounds of additives per year, 160 pounds of sugar and 8 pounds of salt – just for a start.

Our homes are a veritable garbage dump of toxins from the gassing off of carpets, to deodorizers, plastics, and the cleaning solutions we use, etc.

It isn’t the once-in-awhile exposures that necessarily make us sick (unless of course you were exposed to known devastating toxins such as Agent Orange) – it’s the ongoing onslaught of tiny amounts of toxins that accumulate in the body, disabling the body’s natural abilities to detoxify them that make us sick.  It’s the cumulative effect of everything we’re exposed to.  Symptomatically it may be as innocent as fatigue, or as major as Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.  Either way, if not dealt with, you can expect to live a life always combating its effects.

So what is a toxin? Any substance that is harmful to the body.  It is simply a poisonous substance, especially protein in nature that either comes from an external source (i.e. pollutants) or internal source (yes, our bodies make their own toxins).  They are capable, if not removed, of causing disease – illness or death. They are produced by living organisms, by man-made synthetic chemicals or bodily-produced as part of normal metabolic processes in the body.

Man has made over 120,000 chemicals in billions of combinations that are continually being introduced into our water, air and soil at an alarming rate.  Normal microbial toxins being influenced by these toxic chemicals are being mutated and poisoning our cells contributing to the skyrocketing degenerative diseases we experience today.  Our bodies produce free radicals as a byproduct of decomposition of foods in the digestive tract.   We also produce bacterial toxins and toxins as a byproduct of yeast overgrowth. 

We have fortunately been given many avenues of elimination of these toxins – such as urine, feces, exhalation and perspiration.   But also other organs are used to neutralize these toxins as well.  Our immune system contains white blood cells designed to neutralize microbial toxins.  The liver is supposed to break down normal byproducts from the metabolic processes in the body which are then eliminated through the stools or urine.  However, if these systems become overloaded, they become ineffective at maintaining healthy levels.  This overload causes destruction of tissues and function, and disease results.

How do these exogenous toxins enter the body in the first place?  Through skin penetration, through the lungs, and through our digestive tract.  Toxins which have not effectively been removed will cause tissue irritation and inflammation which leads to tissue destruction, fatigue as the body tries to contend with them, and deflection of normal biological function as the body prioritizes the toxins.  The body in its attempt to deal with it may wall it off (create a tumor, cyst or boil), dump it in fat cells (making it difficult to lose weight), or dump it in weakened areas, creating diseases such as arthritis.

To deal effectively with the onslaught of all these toxins, we need to do two primary things.  First, we need to prevent the external toxins from entering our bodies to the best of our ability.  This means eliminating things like air fresheners, toxic cleaning fluids, and gassing out the house properly when freshly installing carpeting, flooring or painting the walls.  There are many, many things we can do to effectively eliminate toxins in our environment, once we are aware of all the sources. 

The second way to deal effectively with the onslaught of all these toxins is to regularly engage in a detoxification (or purification) program.  There are simple things you can do on a daily basis to support healthy detoxification.  There are also 3 day cleanses, week long or even 3 week long cleanses or “detoxes”.  The 3 week purification program we offer is easy, leaves you feeling energized and assists in jumpstarting weight loss.  There is no shortage of programs available.  Just be sure you get a quality program that ensures both Phase I and Phase II of the liver detoxification pathways are activated.  If you need help (which I would advise, especially if you have any health challenges), seek the services of a competent natural health care provider who is skilled in guiding you through a purification program.

©2008 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Dr. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Dr. Carling considers herself a “professional student” – she has attended more than 600 post-secondary education courses related to health and healing. Dr. Carling gives lectures here in the U.S. and internationally and has been noted as the “Doctor’s Doctor”. When other healthcare practitioners hit a roadblock when treating their patients nutritionally, Dr. Carling is who they call. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’ Alene clinic.

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Medical/Health Disclaimer:

The information provided in this article or podcast should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this article or podcast. Readers/listeners should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the author, but readers/listeners who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

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