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Saturday, November 26, 2011

ARE YOU TOXIC?: The benefits of a DETOXIFICATION PROGRAM

ARE YOU TOXIC?: The benefits of a DETOXIFICATION PROGRAM

When considering the different toxins out there, there are four types of toxins, environmental toxins, lifestyle toxins, internal toxins and emotional toxins.

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS

Environmental toxins are mainly due to pollution. During the past 100 years, approximately 75,000 new chemicals have been released into the environment. Unfortunately very few long-term safety studies have been done on these chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for keeping a safe watch. Industrial and technological advancements have resulted in many new and stronger chemicals that pollute our air and water such as radiation pesticides and herbicides. Certain types of meats that we consume contain hormones that are used to fatten up cattle and poultry as well as antibiotics that can cause hormonal disruption in the body.

LIFESTYLE TOXINS

Lifestyle toxins are due to unhealthy lifestyle habits. Today more prescription drugs are being used than ever, these agents metabolize and some by-products may be toxic in higher levels. Some diets are based mostly on sugar and highly processed foods which are acidic. Substances such as caffeine and alcohol and tobacco become toxins that the body needs to deal with. Over processing and the addition of ingredients used to help make food appear more attractive, and have a longer shelf lives have contributed to increasing the burden of lifestyle toxins. Examples of these include food additives, artificial colors, artificial flavors and preservatives.

INTERNAL TOXINS

Internal toxins can be created by metabolic reactions inside our body at a molecular level. These toxins are byproducts of the metabolism and breakdown of proteins, fats and sugars. Examples of these toxic byproducts of metabolism include carbon dioxide and ammonia. Another important example of internal substances that can become toxic include hormones such as excessive estrogen and androgen byproducts. If these substances are not properly broken down and excreted, hormonal imbalance results causing symptoms such as weight gain, skin disorders (such as acne) and blood sugar imbalance.

Another source of internal toxins include byproducts of intestinal microbes such as bacteria and yeast. When in balance, the intestinal microflora is extremely beneficial. They assist in the digestion and production of vitamins and play an important role in the body's immune response. Bacterial overgrowth as well as excessive yeast can be harmful to your health. They will constantly absorb nutrients and produce waste that may even be absorbed into the blood circulation. Long-term production of these toxins can lead to inflammation, a weak immune system and slow metabolism.

Byproducts of poor digestion are another source of internal toxins. Poor or low hydrochloric acid in the stomach as well as decreased enzyme activity that digest foods will produce an excess of undigested particles that can become toxic.

EMOTIONAL TOXINS

Emotional toxins are related to emotional stress and have a direct effect on the body. Research has shown that there is a connection between our emotions and our health and well-being. For example a traumatic or stressful event which usually triggers anger, fear, grief, sorrow, resentment and other related emotions, have a direct effect on the nervous and hormonal systems. Ignoring or suppressing these emotions will not make them go away and may prolong toxic environments in our bodies. Mastering these emotional toxins is under your control and can be managed.

THE DETOXIFICATION PROGRAM

Detoxification is defined as the removal of toxic substances from the body. In scientific terms it's called biotransformation. The first organ that we address will be the liver. The liver takes unfiltered blood from the entire body, mainly coming from the gut. This blood is unfiltered, and full of harmful toxins.

When the gastrointestinal system is toxic a person can feel and, or present with heartburn, excessive acid, changes in bowel habits, constipation, diarrhea, food allergies, inflammation in the bowel, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, malabsorption, celiac disease, and problems due lack of digestive enzymes.

There are different detoxification programs, there are ones that you can do at home, with some recipes, and there are some that can be bought commercially. There is another way to detox. That is with the supervision and help of your care provider. This way, you can monitor your weight, blood pressure and even see how your laboratory tests change with the program and your overall health plan.

Choosing a detoxification program can be confusing and can be expensive. It is best to get informed and get the most benefit for your efforts.

BENEFITS OF A DETOXIFICATION PROGRAM

1. Improved physical appearance

2. Reduced bloating

3. Improved appearance of healthy skin and complexion

4. Less eye swelling and puffiness

5. Improved immune system (less colds)

6. Reduced eczema, hay fever, stomach cramps, diarrhea, headaches

7. Improved sleep

8. Less daytime fatigue

9. Improved mood and inner balance

10. Weight loss


A proper detoxification program will help restore healthy digestive system function by removal of harmful toxins promoting healthy nutrient absorption. Most of the toxins that we are exposed to are fat soluble. This means that they will accumulate in our fat storage rather than being excreted in water-based urine. Toxins that accumulate in our fat tend to stay in our systems for a very long time and negatively affect the liver, kidney, heart, brain, lungs, skin and endocrine system. A good detox program should assist the liver in changing harmful fat-soluble toxins into a water soluble form so they can be easily eliminated from the system through the kidneys or colon.

The liver eliminates toxins through a two-step enzymatic process known as phase 1, and phase 2 detoxification pathways.

Phase 1 detoxification at the liver involves a series of enzymes called cytochrome P450 that chemically change harmful fat-soluble toxins into what is called an intermediary metabolite.

Phase 2 detoxification then takes this intermediary metabolite and makes it non-toxic and water soluble so that it can be eliminated through the kidneys in the form of urine or through the bile and stool.

WHY IS DETOXIFICATION IMPORTANT?

For centuries different therapies have been used to cleanse or detoxify the body they can start from simple water fasts to elaborate regimens of bowel cleansing steams and saunas.

The reasons a detoxification program should be considered include chronic fatigue, metabolism problems, gastrointestinal problems and then a preventive health program.

The main goals of the detoxification program are meant to remove the incoming burden of toxins from your diet and lifestyle, restore the system by supporting the processing and elimination of toxins and revitalize through drinking purified alkaline water and eating the right foods that will help with the detoxification process.

PREPARING TO DETOX

In order to make sure your detox program is successful, it is useful to prepare yourself, your kitchen, and your bathroom to facilitate your routine.

For the kitchen:

1. Clean up, donate or eliminate toxic foods that can interfere with your plan

2. Air tight containers, ideally glass and preserving jars

3. Steamer to cook vegetables

4. Food processor or chopper

5. Salad spinner to shake excess water off lettuce

6. Juicer

For the bathroom:

1. Skin brush with natural bristles

2. Luffa or flannel mitten

3. Exfoliating scrub

4. Essential oils

COUNTDOWN TO DETOX:

1. Wean yourself from alcohol - reduce liver workload

2. Wean yourself from caffeine- coffee, tea and sodas

3. Drink more water, at least 8 glasses a day

4. Start an exercise routine, and build up the time you dedicate over time

5. Keep a food diary, and write down what you eat and drink

6. Focus on more vegetables and fruits

7. Cut down carbohydrates, and eliminate processed, focusing on natural fiber

WHAT TO AVOID WHEN DOING A DETOX PROGRAM

Successful detoxification depends for the most part on your choices. It is best to avoid these widely recognized foods:

1. Cow’s milk products increase the production of mucus in the body. Enzymes such as lactase (needed to digest lactose) are sometimes deficient in people causing significant toxins in the system.

2. Caffeine is a diuretic and may lead to dehydration. It is also a stimulant and can lead to increased stress, and insomnia. It can also prevent the absorption of some vitamins and minerals.

3. Alcohol is known to damage the liver, muscles, brain, and contains high levels of sugar. It is metabolized into other toxic particles that interfere with and deplete the body of essential nutrients.

4. Wheat can irritate the colon. Wheat protein is also called gluten. It is difficult to digest, causing bloating, constipation, and or diarrhea. Gluten is also present in oats, barley, and rye. Some people are intolerant and some people are out right allergic to gluten.

5. Fast foods, fatty and fried foods are difficult to digest, and require high levels of stomach acid and bile acid. Overproduction of either stomach acid or bile acid can cause heartburn, and other gastrointestinal problems. These substances also have high levels of additives and contain hidden sugars.

6. Meat creates extra work on the digestive system, and may contain a lot of saturated fat. Eggs, wild fish, and soy are good alternatives.

7. Salt and sugar require a great deal of fluid to metabolize these foods, causing water retention, and increased insulin requirements and levels which can in turn increase the risk of diabetes.

DETOX SUPER FOODS THAT YOU CAN MAKE A PART OF YOUR DIET

Apples: Help excrete heavy metals and cholesterol, and is cleansing to the liver, and kidneys

Artichokes: Purifies and protects the liver, has diuretic properties

Asparagus: Has a diuretic effect, helps maintain healing ‘good’ bacteria in the intestines

Broccoli, Sprouts, Cabbage: Increase levels of glutathione a key antioxidant

Carrots: Rich in beta carotene- antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal

Cranberries: Antioxidants, destroy harmful bacteria in the urinary tract

Fennel: Has diuretic effect, and helps eliminate cholesterol and other fats

Garlic: Powerful antioxidant, helps reduce blood pressure, and helps eliminate toxic gastrointestinal microorganisms

Ginger: Relieves abdominal bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. Aids in digestion by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes

Lemon and Limes: Stimulate the release of enzymes- helps the liver detox, alkalinizes system

Onions: Rich in quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant, and protects against free radical damage, enhances good bacteria in the gut, and is antiviral

Parsley: Powerful antioxidant, Has diuretic effect and helps kidneys and liver flush out toxins

Quinoa: Easily digested cleansing grain, good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and high fiber carbohydrate

Rice: Brown shelled rice is rich in fiber, and helps prevent constipation

Salad greens, Arugula: Antioxidant helps cleanse the digestive tract

Seaweed: Rich in iodine, alkalinizes the body, and powerful antioxidant

Tomato: Rich in lycopene a powerful antioxidant

Watercress: Purifies the blood and expels waste from the body

SUGGESTED DETOX SCHEDULES

DAILY SCHEDULE

1. 5 minutes dry skin brushing

2. 20 minutes stretch and exercise

3. 10 minutes meditation, visualization and relaxation

4. 5 minutes shower bath

5. 5 minutes Breathing exercises

6. 4 oz of lukewarm water and fresh squeezed lime juice

7. Detox diet as planned

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

1. Whole body Exfoliation

2. Homemade Facial

3. Scalp massage, homemade hair mask

4. Hand and foot massage by you or your partner

5. Aromatherapy steam inhalation with your favorite essences

6. Reflexology therapy

7. Yoga- get a video or join a class


At Advanced Health and Wellbeing, PC we have a program that may work for you. Please call us or email us if you are interested. We have our contact information in our web site: www.AdvancedHealthNH.com.

Thank you for reading and have a BLESSED HOLIDAY SEASON!

Margarita Ochoa-Maya, MD
www.AdvancedHealthNH.com
www.FreedomToHeal.org

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