How to Detoxify Yourself

Why Do We Need to Detoxify 

© Peter Smith

Our bodies are used to dealing with toxins. Every cell in our body produces toxic waste that has to be eliminated as part of normal metabolism, and we have in built mechanisms to deal effectively with these waste substances. 

This is nothing new, but what is new is the increased level of toxins we have to deal with in modern polluted post industrialised world. 

In the last 200 years since the industrial revolution our environment has become increasingly polluted with toxic chemicals. There is nowhere on earth you can go to avoid a certain amount of pollution. In the last 50 years especially, we have contaminated ourselves with thousands of new toxic substances since the rise of the petrochemical industry that manufactures organophosphates, insecticides, pesticides, preservatives, synthetic hormones, solvents and plastics. These chemicals can accumulate in the fatty tissues of our bodies. 

Evidence abounds about the damaging effects of even tiny amounts of some of these toxic chemicals. Just a few parts per million of some compounds has been shown to increase birth defects, the incidence of cancer and to reduce immune function and have many other harmful effects. Our bodies in-built detoxifying mechanisms will deal with most of these new compounds. However, there are limits and there is growing evidence that we have exceeded our total capacity to deal with the toxic load we live with. 

The end result is that toxins get deposited in the tissues of the body, and over time build up, increasing your chances of illhealth. Studies confirm this showing that the older you get the more toxins you have accumulated. In this paper we look at how to reduce the build up, and protect ourselves in the future.

Where Do We Get Toxins from And How Do They Enter a Bodies

Pollution enters our system via several routes: Air: the fumes from solvents in the home, office and industrial pollutants are absorbed directly into the blood via the lungs. Other fumes get deposited on the mucous lining of the lungs and as the mucous drains down the throat, the toxins eventually find their way into our digestive system where they are absorbed into the blood. 

The average surface area in the lungs is the size of a tennis court, imagine collecting all the dust and debris falling on to a tennis court and swallowing it. This is not unlike that which you do every day. This is a major way we take in lead from car exhausts.

WATER - Our drinking water supplies are contaminated with pollution, including nitrate and synthetic hormone residues.

Non-organic food is heavily contaminated with pesticides, nitrate, fertilisers, and meats with antibiotics and hormones. Even organic food grown naturally will contain some pollution from fallout on the soil.

See later

PRESCRIBED DRUGS - Many of the drugs used in medicine have toxic side effects which we still have to break down and eliminate even though it is a from a medicine.

DENTAL FILLINGS - Many of the materials used to make dental fillings are quite toxic. Silver fillings are known to leak mercury, which is a very poisonous metal. This dental material is no longer used in Germany, and Sweden no longer uses it in pregnant women.

BACTERIA AND VIRUSES - can live in pockets of infection in our bodies, in the gums underneath a tooth, or in the sinuses for example. These low-level persistent infections create toxins. These toxins can cause rheumatism and post-viral fatigue.

BOWEL TOXINS - This can become a really major source of toxicity, especially when the healthy bacteria in the gut have been killed by antibiotic use. In France, GP's routinely prescribe a course of acidophillus bacteria to repopulate the gut with the healthy non-toxic bacteria after antibiotic use.

In addition to the above there are of course the toxins made naturally by every cell, and health foods contain natural toxins.

How Do We Get Rid of Toxins

We excrete toxins through our organs of elimination:
The skin eliminates about a pound in weight of toxins every day.
The lungs eliminate gasses.
The kidneys excrete toxins via the urine.
Tears, sweat and mucous are routes for toxic elimination.
The liver is the main organ that has to take the brunt of all the new toxicity. The problem is that we have essentially the same liver we had before the earth became polluted since it takes thousands of years to evolve new biology.

So What Can We Do?

Think of toxins in terms of a balance sheet. Ideally we want the elimination of toxins to be equal to or greater than intake.

Each day we have to deal with natural toxins from our cells, and man-made toxins. There is a limit to how much your body can eliminate each day, and if the total combined burden is greater than your capacity, then you are in 'negative balance' and accumulating toxins. In naturopathic medicine this is considered to be what causes chronic ill health.

Of course we cannot stop the production of natural toxins by your cells, but we can reduce the consumption of the man-made ones. We can also stimulate and help our organs of elimination such as the liver.

How Do We Detoxify

To reduce intake of toxins: -

Don't smoke

Don't eat food additives - except E101 (Vitamin B2), E106 (Vitamin A), E300-304 (Vitamin C), E603, E322, E375 and E440 which are OK. Check the ingredients on your food labels.

Don't Drink tap water; use a filter, distiller or bottled water. A filter is cheaper than bottled water, but you wash the collecting container regularly because the filtered water has the chlorine removed and bacteria could grow in the collecting jug.

Don't exercise near busy roads.

Avoid buying unwrapped fruit and vegetables exposed to street traffic, unless they can be peeled.

Wash all fruit and vegetables ideally in a bowl of water with two tablespoons of vinegar to acidify the water and dissolve the heavy metals.

Discard the outer leaves of leafy green vegetables.

Avoid fish skin, and ideally obtain fish from distant non-coastal polluted waters.

Avoid foods touching aluminium foil.

Avoid anti-acid medication, which contains aluminium, try the herbal/homoeopathic alternatives.

Don't use aluminium pots and pans, including worn enamelled or non-stick pans.

Eat organic foods - this really makes a big difference to your consumption of toxins, and helps the environment.

Brush and floss your teeth regularly, this reduces nitrate toxins made in the mouth by bacteria which are a risk factor for cancer.

Don't eat excessive protein and avoid processed meats, which are full of additives.

Use fruit and vegetables in season. Non-season crops are sprayed to delay ripening, preserve the colour etc.

Avoid fried foods.

Avoid mucous forming foods: wheat and dairy.

The above measures reduce your toxic intake and lighten the workload on your organs of elimination.

Not everyone can be expected to strictly adhere to all these guidelines but you can benefit immensely from following as many as possible.

As well as reducing the amount of toxins you take into your body you can undergo a cause of treatment using natural medicine remedies and methods which stimulate the body to through out toxic accumulations. 
Be Well
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Hi my name is Peter Smith I specialise in treating and coaching people how to live well with mental health problems, digestive health problems/IBS, sleep problems and type II diabetes using natural therapies.
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