“You don’t need to “detox.” Your body has a liver.”
— Bad internet advice.
Hard Detoxing Has Consequences
Nutrients Are Rapidly Lost
When detoxification ramps up in intensity — nutrients are used at an increased rate.
The liver suffers when adequate nutrition is not available to meet demands. We can even develop a fatty liver due to lack of nutrients — and a sluggish, fatty liver is not good for detoxification.
Detoxification requires adequate minerals, B-vitamins, protein, and fatty-acids. When gut health is poor, deficiencies in these nutrients will already be widespread.
Gut Health Suffers
Toxins in liver bile don’t want to stay in the gut — and in poor gut health, they are easily reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. They’ll then cause inflammation and overwhelm the liver & kidneys.
To combat this, it’s common to take “binders” to sop up these toxins, trapping them in the gut.
However, harsh binders are bad for the gut microbiome, and commonly cause severe constipation.
To combat constipation, laxatives are typically prescribed (via prescription or high-dose magnesium), all of which can have negative impacts on gut health.
Perhaps worse, harsh binders can trap nutrients in the gut — including the b-vitamins, minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins as well. This can make any pre-existing nutrient deficiencies even worse.
Ironically, the harsh binders used to facilitate detoxification can rob the body of necessary nutrients required for detoxification.
Harsh binders, themselves, have negative effects on the microbiome.
How To Take Binders
First, choose more gentle binders, such as chlorophyll and chlorella. These are super gentle on the gut, and may even improve the gut microbiome — without causing constipation.
Second, if using pharmaceutical binders (cholestyramine, etc), or even activated charcoal, use very small, infreqent doses.
The best method is to rotate on & off. Take a binder for several days to0 a week, then go off of it for the same amount of time. This will allow your body to continually improve its nutrient levels and organ health before you begin a next round of binders.
If the liver lacks any nutrients, it is being harmed.
As nutrient supply drops and gut health suffers, sleep A main characteristic of heavy detoxing (and worsened gut health due to binders) is terrible sleep — and for quite obvious reasons.
When inflammation is high, gut health is low, nutrients are being lost — sleep is less likely to happen.
Sleep is an extremely hormonal process, and hormone production requires nutrients. Minerals, b-vitamins, and fat-soluble vitamins — as well as caloric energy — are all important for sleep.
Years of depletion — due to excess toxicity and poor gut health — will leave the body depleted; harsh binders can exacerbate this effect by preventing the body from absorbing nutrients from food.
Yet, decent sleep is of utmost importance for your healing.
Restorative sleep is necessary for detox and healing.
Slow Detox? How & Why
Too Much Detox Is Bad For The Liver
An overburdened liver needs to be supported: by nutrients, by an improving and function digestive system, by optimal circadian rhythms, and more.
Therefore, detoxing needs to be done slowly over time — in a healthy and improving system. It’s an ongoing process that can — and should — last months or years, even.
This doesn’t mean we can’t start feeling better quickly. In fact, that’s a main reason to detox slowly! We focus on restoring bodily function as a means of facilitating detoxification.
I believe this represents the best scenario for your recovery of health. The body’s energy and healing power improve together: nutrient levels rise, sleep improves, gut health improves… and the body’s total function improves. At this point, detoxification naturally rises, along with thyroid function and every other marker of health.
Does undercutting crucial bodily functions help the healing process? Maybe not.
How To Detox Slowly
Heat certainly feels good, but its benefits in the body go even deeper.
The most basic source of detoxing power is heat (infrared light) — especially when it’s strong enough to force your body to sweat.
Heat is infrared light — always — and infrared light is among the most powerful therapeutic substances health science has found.
Infrared light supports every biological action:
…and yes, infrared light supports liver detoxification.
Light treatment for 18 days in acutely diabetic rats resulted in the normalization of hepatic glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase activities and a significant increase in glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S transferase activities.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19202557
The best ways to obtain infrared light.
Sweating Is Restorative
Sweating is a proven method to remove toxins from the body.
It’s an essential component of recovering from chronic illnesses of every kind.
When saunas are used to reduce blood pressure and enhance blood flow and cardiac functioning, only short sauna sessions (15 minutes) are necessary. When one wants to enhance the mobilization of heavy metals and chemical xenobiotics, longer sessions are needed and those should be medically monitored.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=sweating+detox
Supplemental Heat… & Blood Sugar
When beginning, infrared light will almost always cause a blood sugar crash (as metabolism and detoxification ramp up).
Be sure to eat more food to compensate and, if necessary, replace lost minerals: sodium, potassium, calcium, & magnesium. (Pay extra attention to sodium if you’re hypothyroid.)
Smart nutrient balancing can both help the body detox and reduce symptoms.
The secret is to know how much your body needs:
- smaller amounts, daily
- excellent balance
Wise nutrient supply — when balanced well — will help you sleep, improve gut function, and restore detoxification.
It’s important to protect sleep and gut health; the two are essential for restoring healthy detoxification. Low-dosed, balanced nutrient supplementation are essential to protect sleep and gut health.
Remarkably, up to 70% of the brain’s power goes to maintaining sodium/potassium balance in cell membranes.
Therefore, any steps we can take to supply nutrients in the safe, manageable doses is of utmost importance when restoring bodily health.
Design a smart nutrient regimen.
For proper detox, the work of improving gut health must begin as quickly as possible.
Attempts to detox with poor gut health are bound to fail, and potentially cause more problems than are solved.
Daily full bowel movements are necessary for detoxing.
Constipation and diarrhea both mean toxins (from the liver) are not being trapped in the gut for excretion.
You desperately need daily, effortless, healthy bowel movements to detox your body. Constipation causes all toxins in the body to stay in the body indefinitely.
Toxins, therefore, should be exiting the body daily — so they stop overwhelming the liver and being stored in fat cells.
A harmed liver slows down every bodily function, and toxins becoming stored in fat cells can make fat burning very stressful on the body.
Don’t depend on laxatives — or nutrients/herbs with laxative-like effects — to facilitate regular bowel movements. These are not helping the gut in the long run, and some can create dependencies or nutrient imbalances.
Healthy Gut Function
Restoring the gut barrier is absolutely paramount to recover from chronic illness.
The gut barrier is a robust defense against pathogens. When weakened, the body is susceptible to invading organisms — and that means chronic inflammation, histamine responses, and mast cell hyperactivity. A chronic immune response interferes with healing.
A compromised gut also struggles to absorb nutrients properly. Pathogens in the gut release toxins, stimulate inflammation and steal nutrients from food.
Improving your gut’s nutrient absorption is critical for detoxification.
To restore nutritional levels, the gut must be always improving.
Use these binders with caution and don’t rely on them to heal you.
Binders are merely a tool, and in many cases will not improve the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is improved by feeding and supplying healthy microbes.
Many binders have negative side effects on gut health.
With a few exceptions, binders tend to destroy the gut microbiome, making it difficult to make substantial, lasting progress on gut health while taking them.
The Circadian Rhythm’s Role In Gut Health & Detox
An essential part of optimal recovery, sleep has a profound effect on gut health.
As gut health improves, immunity improves, so the circadian rhythm directly improves the immune response — lowering pathogenic load and, therefore, inflammation in the body.
To unlock life-changing detoxification, explore and cherish the role of the circadian rhythm — for its benefits on inflammation, nutrient absorption, metabolism, & immunity.
Any detox program will be greatly enhanced — or held back — by the quality of the circadian rhythm.
Environmental toxins can halt the body’s detoxification in its tracks.
By contrast, when the body stops being assaulted by environmental toxins, it will begin to dump its toxic load.
This is widely reported among folks in the mold community — and I’ve personally experienced this many times as I’ve relocated and even been temporarily exposed to environmental toxins.
Once the body has become quite toxic, it will respond more aggressively in response to exposure.
Examples of environmental toxins include:
All can become disruptive to the body’s nervous and endocrine systems through ongoing exposure.
Body odor can change rapidly upon new exposure to an environmental toxin. The compounds in the environment can influence body odor.
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