Do you need a detox?
As we all know the body naturally detoxifies itself on daily basis.The large intestine, the lymph system, the liver, the kidneys, the lungs, the skin, all these organs are all designed to expel waste from the body.
despite us having so many organs of detoxification, now we live in the world of today, health impacting toxins come in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, in the food we, eat, in the products we put on our skin and hair, and in the way we live our stress filled lives.
Here are the reasons why we are bombarded with more toxins now than ever before:
- Drugs and Alcohol Use.
- Chemicals in the water and food supply.
- Household and personal care products. Some toxins found in sundry products include phenoxyethanol, parabens, and formaldehyde.
- Negative thoughts and emotions.
Detoxing is a Necessity of current times
Many people are still of the opinion that detoxifying the body is a luxury, like going to the spa or getting a pedicure. Unfortunately, this is also the view of many professionals in modern medicine as well.
Many of the scientific discoveries that formed the foundation of our conventional medical system occurred over 100 years ago. A lot has changed since then, including steep rise in toxic risk.
Signs You Need to Detox
So how do we know when to start detox ? Body constantly gives signals , here are some common ones to watch out for:
Brain Fog: Perhaps the most unknown yet most common indication that a detox is in order is cognitive impairment. This can be anything from simply not thinking clearly (also known as “brain fog”) to a lack of motivation that persists for more than a day or two to severe anxiety and/or depression.
Why would what we digest and what we do or do not expel from our body affect our brain? “The more we research neurotransmitters… the more we discover that most of them are manufactured in the digestive system and then transported to the brain to be used,” says Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of The GAPS Diet.
Fatigue: Besides cognitive effects, the other common warning side that you may have an overburdened detoxification system is fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain. Again, this can be felt as anything from general malaise and lack of energy, to severe pain and even chronic fatigue syndrome-like symptoms. In fact, a 2013 joint investigation found that the presence of mycotoxins (stemming from water-based mold) was a factor in over 90% of chronic fatigue cases they studied.
Body Odor: Another not-so-pleasant side effect of toxic build-up (especially in the liver), is increased body odor, increased fecal odor, and bad breath. The main way that toxins get excreted from inside your body is through the bowels and through urination. When these pathways become “clogged” by too many toxins or they are not working properly for other reasons, your sweat (as well as your urine and feces) can take on an acidic smell.
Another indication that your liver may need a detox is a furry coating on the tongue, which can also be the cause of bad breath. Eating too much red meat can often leave bacterial residue in the gut which can then “ferment,” leading to bad breath, body odor, and extra pungent-smelling bowel movements as well.
Chemical Sensitivities: Chemical sensitivities are becoming increasingly common in our modern world, so much so that the National Institutes of Health have a word for it: multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). The cause of MCS may be toxic build-up.
Automobile exhaust, pesticides, tobacco smoke, synthetic perfumes, and other artificially-scented products are just a few of the categories that may contain harmful toxins. Remember that many manufacturers of products that contain fragrance, such as laundry detergents and hand soaps, do not need to list the majority of their chemical ingredients. If they did, you would find that many of these substances have not been tested for safety.
Symptoms of toxic overload
These, of course, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the signs and symptoms of toxic overload. Others include:
- Bloating and gas
- Skin issues, dryness, melasma, acne
- Food Intolerances and cravings
- Frequent headaches
- Irregular bowel movements
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Pain during menstruation, PMS
The good news is, once you begin on your “Detox Journey,” the amount of energy, vitality and good-feeling emotions you may feel (for some, on the very first day!) will get you hooked on this healthy habit for a lifetime!
Dr Kalpana Shekhawat M.D.
Functional Medicine Specialist