“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 — it will use up nutrients at an increased rate.
The liver suffers greatly when adequate nutrition is not available to meet its demands. We can even develop a fatty liver due to lack of nutrients — and a 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.
Remember, if your liver doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to detox, it is being directly harmed. Give your body better gut health, nutrients, and sleep by cycling the low-dose binders.
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.
Learn more about optimal sleep:
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.
How does crippling our crucial bodily functions make sense in the healing process? Maybe it doesn’t.
How To Detox Slowly
Detox PATH #1
Infrared Light & Sweating
The most potent source of detoxing power is infrared light — especially when it’s strong enough to force your body to sweat.
Heat feels good, but it does much more.
Heat is infrared light — always.
And infrared light is among the most powerful therapeutic substances health science has found.
Infrared supports every single biological action:
- Directly stimulates thyroid function.
- Pathogens cannot tolerate infrared light.
- Stimulates hormone production and balance.
- Synchronizes the circadian rhythm.
- Boosts mental function.
- Improves skin health (it’s great for skin immunity!)
- Boosts digestion and gut health.
- Improves enzyme function.
- Lowers stress.
- Improves brain chemistry.
- Accelerate wound healing.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Supports sleep.
What’s the best way to get infrared light? There are several ways, actually, and it’s best to use them all.
4 Infrared Options
The premier source of light for health — and the science completely supports this idea.
An incredible, way to supplement all of sunlight’s wavelengths — with very little blue / no UV.
The traditional sauna is time-tested and proven to help detox. However, far-infrared saunas lack optimal wavelengths.
Red LEDs offer super-narrow wavelengths. Quite beneficial, but incomplete compared to full-spectrum sources of light (like sunlight and heat lamps).
Get Your Sweat On
Sweating is a proven method to remove toxins from the body, and its 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
WORD TO THE WISE
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.)
DETOX PATH #2
Low-Dose Minerals & B-Vitamins
Smart mineral balancing can help the body detox — with reduced adverse symptoms. You need to see how much of these your body needs. When you need any of these nutrients — and you put these nutrients in your body, it will help you feel and function better.
These nutrients — when balanced well — will also help you sleep, restore gut function, and yes… all while detoxing along the way.
Up to 60% of the brain’s power goes to maintaining sodium/potassium balance in the cell membranes — keeping these nutrients balanced is of utmost importance.
Again, Reduce Your Environmental Exposure
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 it happened to me, as well, in a very big way. This will require more nutrients (especially minerals) and may require some extra focus on gut health.
UV light is actually a powerful agent for detox, as well — the UV light helps break down toxins for easier detoxification.
First, The Gut
Gut health must be restored (or improved) as quickly as possible. The gut is the “pipe” through which all toxicity must travel — if it’s going to ever leave your body.
Daily bowel movements are necessary for detoxing. Taking loads of binders and high doses of magnesium to facilitate bowel movements may not be a great combination for your gut health (or overall health).
Improving your nutrient absorption is critical for detoxing.
Restoring the gut barrier is absolutely paramount to recover from chronic illness. This cannot happen while gut health is under assault. Restoring any amount of proper, healthy gut function is the first thing you need to do, if detoxification is going to be robust and sustainable.
Bowel Regularity Is Essential
You desperately need daily, effortless, healthy bowel movements to detox your body. Constipation causes every single toxin in your body to STAY in your body — indefinitely.
Toxins need to be coming out every single day so they can stop overwhelming your liver and becoming stored in your fat cells.
Many binders have negative side effects on gut health (this includes charcoal) and can cause constipation.
Use these binders with caution and don’t rely on them to heal you — they are merely a tool.
If you want to use a binder that is safer and effective, use the following binders — and use them in moderation, at most.
- modified citrus pectin
- apple pectin
Each of these is excellent for gut health and will encourage proper microbes to flourish in the gut — rather than harming them.
Eat Enough Calories
If you eat fewer calories than your body needs to function — you are sabotaging your ability to recover.
Your body needs energy. Prolonged starvation dieting will only slow your thyroid (leaving you feeling AWFUL and more likely to gain weight, too) AND nutrient deficient (which will also make you feel AWFUL and more likely to gain weight). Gut health doesn’t often improve on restricted dieting, either.