Curious about what a detox program is and why it is necessary? Let’s start with what the term detoxification really means. The process of detoxification is actually a normal physiological process that the human body uses to remove toxins and waste products from the blood stream.
In fact, the body does this process on a daily basis with the help from detoxification organs. These organs include the liver, the kidneys and the skin. The liver is arguably the most important detoxification organ in the body as it works around the clock to clean and filter our blood and to break down or transform substances like ammonia, metabolic waste, drugs, alcohol and chemicals, so that they can be excreted.
The kidneys filter metabolic and toxic waste out through the urine and maintain a regular pH of the body. The skin is the largest detoxification organ and it uses the process of sweating to excrete toxins.
So, if the body has this amazing detoxification system in place, why is it necessary to undergo an additional “detox”? The answer is that today’s world is filled with toxins. From the lotion that you put on your skin to the chemicals in the plastic water bottles that we drink from, it is hard to avoid toxins.
Many of these toxins are referred to as POPs, or Persistent Organic Pollutants. POPS were introduced into our environment in the last 30-40 years and have drastically affected our health in that time period. These POPs and other toxins were NOT designed to be broken down by the human body. In fact, most of these toxins can actually inhibit the body’s natural detoxification and elimination processes.
Toxins such as pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and BPAs can be extremely detrimental to your health and without proper detoxification these toxins will build up in the tissues and can cause everything from weight gain to cancer. Some common symptoms of toxic overload include: headache, fatigue, acne, skin rashes, insomnia, PMS, chemical sensitivities, allergies, constipation, weight gain, memory loss, anxiety and depression.
The main goal of a detoxification program is to give the body a break from exposure to toxins of any kind. A good detox program should also stimulate the liver to drive toxins from the body, promote elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin and support the body with proper nutrients during the period of detoxification.
While you can do them more often, undergoing a detox program 1-2 times per year is a good way to ensure that your organs of detoxification are in tip-top shape. Typically, the spring and the fall are the best times to follow a detox program and give your liver, kidneys and skin a good cleanse.
While detoxification can benefit most everyone, pregnant and or breastfeeding women should not undergo them. Certain groups of people need to consult with their doctor before doing a detox program including: persons suffering from mental illness, persons in the advanced stages of any serious disease, persons suffering from eating disorders, persons on prescription medication and children.
Interested in learning more about whether a detox program is right for you? Call today and schedule a free 15-minute consult with one of our naturopathic doctors!