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Posted Sep 21 2009 1:37pm

What is Detox?

Over time, our body builds up toxins and natural waste products. Detox is the process of cleansing the internal system, to help rid the body of harmful chemicals that may be contributing to fatigue, illness, pain, and poor digestion. Some toxins are produced by our body during normal functions (such as the ammonia produced during the breakdown of protein), but most are chemicals that we are bombarded by on a daily basis, such as pesticides, household cleaners, food additives, drugs, pollution, cigarette smoke, and heavy metals like lead that enter our body when we ingest or inhale them.   During “detox”, toxin-laden foods are removed from your diet. The body’s resources are freed up to remove toxins that have been building up in the body, often for many years, by chemically transforming built-up toxins to less harmful compounds and eliminating them the same way it always does, through the skin, bowel, urinary tract, etc.There are many different ways to detox. Generally, a detox is a short-term diet that:o      Minimizes the amount of chemicals ingested (for example, by the use of organic food).o      Emphasizes foods that provide the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification.o      Contains foods, such as high fiber foods and water, which draw out and eliminate toxins by increasing the frequency of bowel movements and urination. 

Why detox

Each year over 6 billion pounds of chemical pollutants are released into the environment in which we eat, breathe, and live.Many of the these chemicals become deposited in fat cells in our bodies. A diet that lacks certain nutrients may also impair our natural ability to detoxify chemicals, which further leads to their build-up in the body.The cumulative load, called the “body burden”, is thought to lead to illness and has been linked to hormonal imbalance, impaired immune function, nutritional deficiency, and an inefficient metabolism. It is no wonder your internal cleansing system (i.e., the kidneys, liver, and intestines) become overwhelmed and therefore sluggish and less efficient. In the long run, this may cause more pathological conditions to arise. Listed below are some common symptoms and conditions associated with metabolic toxicity:
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Eczema
  • Allergies
  • Gastrointestinal conditions
  • Alcohol & chemical dependency
And the list continues—but now there is natural support that can reduce the symptoms associated with toxicity. A leader in natural health sciences has developed a healthy and easy way to assist in full-body rejuvenation. Metagenic’s UltraClear 10-day Express Detox Program is scientifically formulated to nutritionally support people suffering from symptoms or conditions associated with toxicity. 

Benefits of a detox

People often report improved energy, clearer skin, regular bowel movements, improved digestion, and increased concentration and clarity after a detox diet. Many people will lose a significant amount of weight when detoxifying.Who Shouldn’t DetoxAnyone considering a detox diet should consult a qualified health professional or their medical doctor first. Pregnant or nursing women or children shouldn’t detox diet. People with anemia, eating disorders, diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, terminal illness, and other chronic conditions should detox only under the supervision of their primary care provider.

Side Effects

Fasting often produces the most dramatic detoxification effects, as the body is finally able to cleanse its digestive tract from years of toxin and mucous build-up. Beginning a detox diet is often initially accompanied by cold or allergy-like symptoms, particularly the production of phlegm. This is temporary. The mucus your body is expelling is literally garbage that you’ve been carrying around in your tissue for a long time. Once it’s out, it’s out, leaving your detoxified body in a much healthier, cleaner, efficient state.Other side effects of detox range from bad breath, to a pasty, white coating of the tongue, to scary-looking things in your bowel movement. Nasty, to be sure, but that’s precisely why we want to get this gunk out of our systems. When the detox symptoms disappear, your body is clean.

Another common side effect of detoxifying is a headache within the first few days of starting the detox diet, often due to caffeine withdrawal. For this reason, I suggest that you gradually decrease the amount of caffeine prior to starting a detox diet. Other side effects might include diarrhea or constipation (if you consume excess fiber without increasing your fluid intake), tiredness, irritability, acne, weight loss, and hunger. Any worsening of symptoms or new symptoms that occur during a detox diet should prompt a visit to a qualified health professional.

Devine is a chiropractor who practices in Downtown Seattle. For more information, visit his website  
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