Welcome to Week Six of our journey to UltraWellness.
Last week, you learned why your digestive system is so important to creating UltraWellness.
Are you ready for the next step?
Today, I'm going to teach you how to optimize your detoxification system so you can achieve good health -- and avoid becoming a toxic waste dump!
**Remember, the entire video course on the 7 keys to UltraWellness has started and is available to you right now at no charge by going to the website below:
Back to today's topic -- toxins -- this is NOT something you'll hear about from many doctors.
That's because the role of toxins and detoxification in health is often ignored by conventional medicine.
Thankfully, both scientists and practitioners are starting to recognize its importance in health.
For example, last year I spoke at the 13th International Symposium on Functional Medicine, where leading experts from all over the globe came together to present the data on the role of toxins in health and how we can detoxify.
You can read all about it in the March/April 2007 issue of the journal I edit, "Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine."
So what exactly does detoxification mean?
When you hear the word "detox," you might think of drug or alcohol detox or wheatgrass enemas. That's not what I am talking about.
Instead, I am referring to the science of how our bodies get rid of waste.
==> It's simple: If waste builds up, we get sick.
One key to UltraWellness is to figure out how to enhance your body's capacity to detoxify and get rid of waste while minimizing your exposure to toxins.
To understand toxicity, you must understand the concept of "total load."
This is the total amount of stressors on your system at any one time.
Think of a glass of water.
It takes a certain amount of water to fill the glass. After that, any more water you put in will cause it to overflow.
A lot of things can contribute to your total load, including:
* Heavy metals, mercury, lead, petrochemicals, residues, pesticides, and fertilizers
* Food allergies, environmental allergies, molds, and toxins from molds
* Unhealthy diet
* Stress. This includes the mental, emotional and spiritual toxins that affect us, like isolation, loneliness, anger, jealousy, and hostility, which all translate into toxins in our system
* Bacteria, fungus, yeast that are inside your gut, as well as hormonal and metabolic toxins that we need to eliminate
When your detoxification system is overwhelmed and overloaded, that's when you start getting symptoms -- but it may take years of accumulated stress and toxins to get to that point.
And when symptoms do appear, they're often so vague and common that you might not even recognize them as a problem. They include:
Some people are better than others at getting rid of toxins.
I'm one of those people who isn't good at it.
That's why I developed chronic fatigue syndrome.
I became overloaded with mercury and I couldn't get rid of it because I am missing a gene for GSTM1, a critical detoxifying enzyme for mercury.
And I'm not the only one whose body was toxic.
==> Here are just some of the diseases that are linked to toxicity:
* Parkinson's disease
In fact, problems with detoxification are a major root of illness.
And your detoxification system is one of the core systems in the body that must be working well for you to be healthy.
==> If you feel lousy, it's likely you're toxic!
(For a much more detailed and in-depth look at how to eliminate these deadly toxins from your body and the other 6 keys to UltraWellness, please go to http://www.ultrawellness.com/p?i=41 -- remember, the course is available right now.)
But how can you know for sure?
For starters, take this quiz.
If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, you may be toxic.
1. I have hard, difficult-to-pass bowel movements every day or every other day
2. I am constipated and only move my bowels every other day or less often
3. I urinate small amounts of dark, strong-smelling urine only a few times a day
4. I almost never break a real sweat
5. I have one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, and concentration and memory problems
6. I have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome
7. I drink tap or well water
8. I dry clean my clothes
9. I work or live in a "tight" building with poor ventilation or windows that don't open
10. I live in a large urban or industrial area
11. I use household or lawn garden chemicals or get my house or apartment treated for bugs by an exterminator
12. I have more than 1 to 2 mercury dental fillings
13. I eat large fish (swordfish, tuna, shark, tilefish) more than once a week
14. I am bothered by one or more of the following: gasoline or diesel fumes, perfumes, new car smells, fabric stores, dry cleaning, hair spray or other strong odors, soaps, detergents, tobacco smoke, and chlorinated water
15. I have a negative reaction when I consume foods containing MSG, sulfites (in wine, salad bars, and dried fruit), sodium benzoate (a preservative), red wine, cheese, bananas, chocolate, even a small amount of alcohol, garlic, or onions
16. When I drink coffee or caffeine-containing substances, I feel wired, have an increase in joint and muscle aching, or have hypoglycemic symptoms (anxiety, palpitations, sweating, and dizziness)
17. I regularly consume any of the following substances or medications: acetaminophen (Tylenol), acid-blocking drugs (Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, Prilosec, Prevacid), hormone-modulating medications in pills, patches, or creams (birth control pills, estrogen, progesterone, prostate medication), ibuprofen or naproxen, or medications for colitis, Crohn's disease, recurrent headaches, allergy symptoms, nausea, diarrhea, or indigestion
18. I have had jaundice (turning yellow) for any reason or I have been told I have Gilbert's syndrome (an elevation of a liver test called bilirubin)
19. I have a history of any of the following conditions: breast cancer, smoking-induced lung cancer, other type of cancer, prostate problems, or food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances
20. I have a family history of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or other motor neuron diseases, or multiple sclerosis
So what's next?
Well, being toxic isn't the end of the world.
You CAN get better.
Remember my experience?
By learning to support my system and learning how to detoxify, I was able to cure myself from what I'd been told was an incurable condition.
==> You can get healthy, too!
The comprehensive program outlined here will help to correct problems caused by toxicity, maximize your body's own detoxification capacity, and help you safely eliminate stored toxins.
1. Drink plenty of clean water, at least eight to 10 glasses of filtered water a day.
2. Keep your bowels moving, at least once or twice a day. If you can't get going, try taking two tablespoons of ground flax seeds and supplementing with acidophilus and extra magnesium citrate (check with your doctor first).
4. Eat eight to 10 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables every day, specifically the family of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, collards, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi. You should also eat plenty of garlic and onions, which help increase sulfur in the body and help detoxification.
5. Avoid stimulants, sedatives, and drugs such as caffeine and nicotine and try to reduce alcohol intake.
6. Exercise five days a week, focusing on conditioning your cardiovascular system and doing strengthening exercises and stretching exercises.
7. Get rid of the "white menace," which means white flour and white sugar.
8. Sweat profusely at least three times a week, using a sauna, steam, or a detox bath.
9. Take a high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement.
10. Relax deeply every day to get your nervous system in a state of calm, rest, and relaxation.
Of course, everyone has their own individual needs.
Depending on your symptoms, genetic predispositions, and environmental exposures, you may need different levels of nutrients and types of treatment than the next person.
But remember, getting rid of toxins and learning how to optimize your detoxification system is essential for creating UltraWellness.
That's all for now.
Next week, I'll explain why so many of us have trouble creating energy -- and show you how to boost your energy metabolism to help achieve UltraWellness.
Now I'd like to hear from you...
Do you have any of the signs and symptoms of a toxic body?
What have you done to try to detoxify and how has it worked?
Why do you think conventional medicine has been slow to embrace the idea of detoxification?
Please click on the Add a Comment button below to share your thoughts.
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, M.D.