Everyday our body works to detox which is an ongoing process. Detoxification (detox) means to cleanse the blood of toxins. Our blood is cleansed through multiple organs: liver, kidneys, intestines, skin, lungs and lymphatic system.
A large amount detox occurs in the liver in 2 phases. In phase I liver detoxification toxins, hormones, etc. are complexed with an oxygen molecule (oxidation) by system of enzymes called the P450 enzymes. Phase I byproducts can settle in body fat if they are not effectively cleared by phase I. In phase II liver detoxification, the byproducts of phase I are conjugated (bound) with a neutralizing molecule such as a sulfur group or glycine. At this point the toxins are water soluble, allowing for excretion from the body by the kidneys, intestines, and skin. Specific nutrients are need for both phases of liver detoxification.
There are many environmental toxins. Sources of environmental toxins include, however are not limited to:
- Toxic bacteria & yeast.
- Heavy metals.
- Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
- Food preservatives and additives such as food dyes, flavorings.
- Water additives.
- Cosmetic products.
- Cleaning products.
- Chemicals in fabrics.
- Air pollutants: smoke, exhaust.
While our bodies are continuously detoxing all day long, there are a few factors that play a role in the amount of toxic burden a person can experience:
- Genetic predisposition. Our genetic code has multiple enzyme systems that are coded for in our genes. Some individuals with certain genetic variants may not be able to efficiently make the enzymes our body needs to process substances.
- Nutrition. Our body needs vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in order for the body’s enzymes to function properly.
- Toxin exposure. The more we expose ourselves to toxins, the higher our toxic burden will be and the harder it will be for our body to process and eliminate those toxins.
Ways to minimize intake of toxins include:
- Filter water.
- Purchase organically grown produce & animal foods (meat, dairy, etc.).
- Remove pesticides from produce with a biodegradable produce cleaner or pure castile soap.
- Avoid processed foods and cosmetic products which contain dyes, preservatives: sulfites, parabens, phthalates, BHA (beta hydroxy acid), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
- Cook with non-toxic pans.
- Use biodegradable household cleaners or pure castile soap to clean.
The goal of a clinically directed metabolic detoxification protocol is to provide nutritional support for facilitating the pathways involved in the processing and excretion of toxins. A detox program can result in improved most individuals.
Some potential benefits of clinically directed metabolic detoxification are improved:
- Fatigue and energy levels
- Pain levels.
- Cognitive function.
- Weight loss and weight loss plateaus.
- Blood sugar levels.
It is very beneficial to complete a Medical Symptoms Questionnaire (MSQ) before and after a clinically directed metabolic detox. The MSQ assess symptoms and health complaints and scores them on a scale. If the MSQ score is higher than a certain number or certain clinical patterns become evident this could provide clues to your physician about root causes to health issues and guide the necessity for detox, dietary needs, and other treatments.
NOTE: Undergoing intensive detoxification is a very sensitive and individual process. Please consult with your physician before you start this or any other detox plan. You may require special preparation for or alteration of the specific detox plan.
Detox plans are available through consultation in our clinic. Make an appointment and find out which detox plan would be best suited for you.
Linette Williamson MD is a Functional Medicine and Integrative Medical Doctor, who specializes in helping her patients identify lifestyle factors that affect their everyday medical issues. Dr. Williamson uses cutting edge testing to find imbalances that are related to your health problems. She will spend time with you to find out what specific issues you have and help you develop a specific plan that is unique to you.