By: Gleason Center Editors, Dr. Daniel Gleason DC
Many people think of alcohol or drug rehab when they think of detox, often associated with in-patient care or hospitalization. This is detoxification in the extreme.
Detox is our birthright; a process that our bodies constantly perform. It is how we rid ourselves of those nasty chemicals that are in our environment. Without it we would soon succumb to toxic overload. While your liver and kidneys do most of the work, your skin, lungs, and intestines also do their share.
How do we accumulate toxins on the first place? Our industry produces thousands of different chemicals, most of which have not been tested for safety. Our air, water, food and skin-care products are full of chemicals that are foreign to our bodily systems. Luckily we are like self-cleaning ovens and are able to excrete most of these poisons as fast as we take them in.
I like to divide toxins into two major categories: 1) Major; because we consume them in quantity and 2) Minor; because even small amounts cause severe problems. Major toxins include refined sugar, refined grains and refined fats.
Refined sugar includes:
• Fruit juice
• Dried fruit
• High fructose corn sugar
Refined grains include:
• Commercial bread
Refined fats include:
• Margarine and Crisco
• Deep-fried foods
• Vegetable oils
• Bottled salad dressings
• Many prepared foods
Avoiding the major toxins will reduce the load on your body. This means making major changes in what you eat. This is complicated and affects us financially. In the short-term healthy, organic foods are more expensive but in the long run they are our best investment. There is an emotional price to pay too as often these are our favorite foods; we crave them and we are addicted to them. Making the required changes can take weeks, months and years but it is the only way to enjoy vibrant physical and mental health into our later years.
Minor toxins include chemicals like DDT, Dioxins, PCB’s, heavy metals and parabens. Bacteria, yeasts and parasites in our GI tract also produce minor toxins. To be healthy and avoid diseases requires their removal by our detox systems. Reducing our exposure to these insidious compounds requires change in what we eat, use on our skin, what cleaning products we use and water we drink. Recent stories of lead contamination in Flint and other Michigan cities are just one example. Another recent example is the Scotch-guard toxins found in well water in the Rockford area. Read the label of your shampoo or lotion and you will see ingredients that you can’t even pronounce, much less excrete.
There are tests to determine how toxic you are and how effective your detoxification system is. Heavy metals can be measured in your blood, urine and stool. Chemicals can be detected using a test for porphyrins. Symptoms of toxicity include most of the major chronic conditions involving fatigue, pain, digestive upset, allergy and auto-immunity.
There are a number of foods that naturally enhance detoxification. They include:
• Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels
Many herbs help detox including:
• Milk Thistle
Amino acids help the liver with this process including:
• N A C
At our center we have been teaching detox classes for many years. Participants commit to a three-week diet and supplement program. They learn how to prepare to make a major change in their life, what to eat, how to shop, what skin-care and cleaning products to use and how to periodically detoxify. In our class, we also focus on mechanical means like exercise, massage, and sauna to enhance this cleansing process.
Detox is not just for alcoholism and drug addiction. It is something that our bodies are doing at every moment. We can help by avoiding major and minor toxins and consciously enhancing our detox ability.
Dr. Gleason & Dr. Weessies
If you like this article, you might also enjoy: THE DETOX PROGRAM