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Do We Need To Detox?

Do We Need To Detox?

We have some wonderful detox organs within our body – we are constantly detoxing. However, evidence is mounting that never before in history have our bodies been exposed to such a large number of toxic chemicals both endogenous (from within our bodies) and exogenous (outside of our bodies). These toxins accumulate in our environment, our drinking water, food and in the air we breathe – so it is now almost impossible to avoid exposure, especially if you live in a big city.

 

 

The body largely eliminates toxins by excreting them in the urine or faeces, and to a lesser degree through the skin, hair and lungs. Toxins the body cannot eliminate (due to overload or compromised detox organ function) will accumulate in tissues, typically body fat.

A well-functioning liver filters about 2 litres of blood every minute, and clears 99% of bacteria and other toxins from the blood before it re-enters circulation. Possibly these days with the amount of toxic exposure we experience, the liver could do with a little extra support.

 

Symptoms of toxicity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These can be as varied as the individual, but generally speaking they can manifest as:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Muscle and/or joint aches and pains
  • Brain fog
  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Allergies, stuffy nose, coughing
  • Rashes, itching, hives, acne
  • Digestive symptoms, constipation, IBS
  • Sensitivities to chemicals, foods, drugs

Sources of Toxins within us

  1. Cortisol produced during stress
  2. Hormones
  3. Gut bacteria, especially when there is an imbalance producing endotoxins, which have been associated with depression, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel and atherosclerosis.

Note: Phase 1 liver detoxification can produce toxic substances (often more toxic than the original toxin), which then needs to be processed quickly by phase 2. If there is an imbalance or a delay between phase 1 and phase 2, free radical damage may result from these toxins.

Sources of Toxins outside the body

  1. Plastics, think BPA – drink bottles, take away cups, microwaving in plastic, till receipts
  2. Benzene from smelling petrol
  3. Formaldehyde – off gassing from some new furniture, new carpet, particle board
  4. Pesticides on foods
  5. Chemicals in skin care products and household cleaning products

Heavy Metals (some examples)

  1. Exposure to Mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems, and is a threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life. Possible sources are from amalgum fillings, fish higher up in the food chain such as Tuna and breaking of eco lightbulbs.
  2. Lead – can be passed on to the foetus. Passed exposure from lead petrol, accumulates in tissues.

Note: Heavy metals and our own minerals compete with each other. So if your own mineral status is low, this gives these heavy metals a chance to bind to receptors within our body.

 

But It Is Not All Doom and Gloom!

There is so much we can do to assist our body and its detoxification processes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First it is critically important to

  • Reduce Toxic Load

Remember our toxic load goes up and up and up until you reach tolerance level and then you may begin to develop disease.

So,

  • Avoid as many as possible, by throwing out those plastic drink bottles, not cooking in plastic containers, use keep cups instead of plastic take away cups (this also helps save the environment), only handle till receipts if absolutely necessary.
  • Stand upwind when filling up with petrol so that you are not inhaling any fumes.
  • House cleaning products – be careful with chemicals, use eco friendly ones or you can even make your own with essential oils baking soda and white vinegar.
  • Have a fibre rich diet. Dietary fibres help bind onto toxins and keep things moving through your bowels for elimination.
  • Keep well hydrated, again this helps flush toxins out – start the day with two large glasses of water you may wish to add a little apple cider vinegar/lemon juice – as this may also help with regularity (brush teeth afterwards).
  • Exercise – this helps flush out toxins, move bowels and stimulate the lymphatic system.
  • Good bowel movements are essential – you don’t want things backing up and sitting there for long periods of time. The majority of toxins leave your body via the bowel.
  • Finally, sweating is also a great way to eliminate waste and toxins, and is especially good for some metals and BPA. Infrared Saunas heat up the body much like the sun on a hot day. This dry heat is generally more easily tolerated and therefore may assist with a deeper more profuse sweating experience.
Let the Healing Power of Nature do its stuff!

Let the Healing Power of Nature do its stuff!

Embrace Nature, Embrace Health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to autumn – not a time to be sad that summer is over, but a time to admire the beauty of nature all around us. This is the season of stunning autumnal colours. Stop and take a moment from your busy life to enjoy what nature has to offer..

Nature truly has healing powers – from the wonderful plants that nourish us through the food we grow and eat, to the beautiful herbal tonics we can make using plants to help support organs and body system. Who hasn’t tried echinacea when struck down by the cold or flu? (By the way echinacea has many other uses too). Come and see our Naturopaths and Herbalists at Simply Great Health here on the North Shore to find out more.

Just being outside amongst the plants has healing powers too. A number of studies have found that by getting into nature, and better still, living in close proximity to “green space”, a number of health benefits may be experienced. A recent Spanish study published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 2018, found that “Greenspaces have been associated with reduced cancer mortality among young women. Mechanisms explaining the beneficial effect of green spaces include increased levels of physical activity and reduced exposure to air pollution, which have been both associated with cancer development” (2018).

A study published in BJ Psych Int. found that “Individuals have less mental distress, less anxiety and depression, greater wellbeing and healthier cortisol profiles when living in urban areas with more greenspace” (Barton & Rogerson, 2017).

The Japanese have taken the natural healing of nature a step further and have what they call Shinrin Yoku, which translated means forest bathing. A practice of being connected with nature, recognising and utilising this wonderful health resource provided by our forests and countryside. It is a place where we can engage all 5 of our senses as we wonder through the bush. It would seem to not only help with blood pressure, memory and concentration but also seems to support a good night’s sleep. What a great way to unplug from technology, reconnect with our senses while at the same time getting some exercise and fresh air.

So as we are still enjoying such fine weather, why not take some time to get out into nature, enjoy some of our wonderful bush and give yourself a health boost at the same time. The best part is it won’t cost you anything. Give it a try this weekend and enjoy the benefits!

 

References:

O’Callaghan-Gordo, C., Kogevinas, M., Castano-Vingals, G., Aragones, N., Delfrade, J. Fernandez-Villa, T., … Nieuenhuijsen, M.J. (2018). Residential proximity to green spaces and breast cancer risk: The multicase-control study in Spain (MCC-Spain). Int J Hyg Environ Health, 221(8), 1097-1106. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2018.07.014

Barton, J. & Rogerson, M. (2017). The importance of greenspace for mental health. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5663018