You’ve likely heard about the dangerous toxic loads our bodies carry from absorbing the manmade chemical substances that pervade our modern world. Toxins surround us – they’re in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.
Some notable contributors to toxicity include pesticides on produce, car exhaust and microparticle pollution in the air, preservatives and other manmade ingredients in processed foods, heavy metals including arsenic and mercury in our soil and additives including fluoride and chlorine in our water. Not to mention the host of unnatural products many of us slather daily on our skin, teeth, hair, fingernails and under our arms. Sunscreen? Lotion? Deodorant? Bug spray? These are sometimes thought of as necessary items, but the chemicals they contain can create problems in our bodies.
Every day we’re exposed to chemicals including lead, perchlorate, phthalates, chlorine, polychlorinated biphenyls, fluoride, cyanide, formaldehyde, pesticides, antibiotics, steroids and hydrogenated fats and oils—all of which are associated with adverse health consequences.
The Good News
Our bodies have built-in detoxification methods that are hard at work each day. So, when you breathe, eat, drink or absorb toxins, your kidneys, liver and skin go to work immediately to sort, process and removed them from your system. It’s quite incredible that our bodies can process so many foreign substances and continue functioning despite the significant amount of toxins we’re exposed to.
How the Human Body Detoxes
You were born equipped with a four-tiered internal detox system which involves four critical organ and glands:
- The Liver. It’s your first line of defense against toxins, filtering toxic substances ingested with foods and drinks (including medications) and preventing them from entering your bloodstream.
- The Colon. The colon’s primary function is to eliminate toxic chemicals before they can harm your body. The bacteria that inhabit our colons produce both good and unhealthy chemical byproducts, which is why it’s critical to keep your elimination system moving with regular bowel movements.
- The Kidneys. The world’s hardest-working filtration system continuously filters your blood and eliminates toxins in liquid form via urine.
- Sweat glands. While sweat is 99% water, toxins including heavy metals and BPA, the toxin found in plastic bottles, are often found in sweat.
Are you ready for a detoxification program?
The human body is indeed equipped to detoxify itself, but never before in the history of humankind have we consistently assaulted our bodies with so many foreign substances that it considers poisonous:
- plastic from water bottles and food containers
- flame retardant on clothing, mattresses, carpets and bedding
- dry cleaning chemicals on our clothes
- car exhaust
- artificial sweeteners, colors and preservatives in food
- genetically modified foods
- pesticides on produce
- fluoride and chlorine in our water supply
- antibiotics and steroids in meats
- hundreds of chemical ingredients in our daily soaps, lotions and personal care items
- aluminum and parabens in our antiperspirants
- alcohol, nicotine and medications
And those are just a few of the toxins you’re exposed to every day. The list is vast, and the sad truth is that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, most Americans have at least 212 environmental chemicals in their bodies, many of which have been identified as toxins that disrupt specific bodily functions or have been linked with diseases or disorders.
Let’s face it: Even the most clean-living among us likely has more toxins entering the body than our liver, colon, kidneys and sweat glands can remove. Have you ever experienced symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, poor sleep, skin issues or irritability? While these could be attributed to a number of things, a congested elimination system is one possible reason for feeling unwell. Providing your body with a ceasefire in the toxic assault so it can catch up and even achieve a new level of detoxification is a very positive step toward feeling better.
There are a large number of detoxification diets, programs and cleanses available. It’s important to ask your healthcare provider which one they recommend to address your specific situation and goals—especially if you’re being treated for an ongoing medical condition or take any medications. While detoxification programs involve discipline in what you eat and drink for a time, think of it as an opportunity to make positive choices that will benefit the body that works so hard so that you can enjoy your life every day. The positive results you’ll experience from completing the program are well worth it!