The Down and Dirty on Detoxing
By Mila McManus M.D.
Your body normally performs detoxification functions every day. There are five primary exit pathways for removal of toxins. They are:
- 1. Sweating through the skin
- 2. Urination
- 3. Bowel movements
- 4. Mucus formation to then blow, cough, or swallow
- 5. Exhaling from the lungs.
Internal organs that also play a critical role in the removal of toxins include the liver, kidneys, and lungs. Any activities that promote sweating, urination, bowel movement, thinning of mucous, or deep breathing will assist in promoting detoxification. Also, hydration is essential for detoxification.
Intentional promotion of detoxification has become a necessary lifestyle habit as a result of our increasingly toxic world where our food, water, air, chemical, and heavy metal exposures have exponentially increased over the last 60-80 years. The toxic burden on the body is significant and contributes to chronic inflammation, congestion, and disease.
The FIRST and BEST line of protection is to avoid as many toxins as possible in the first place!
Trying to detoxify by overcompensating with excess sweating and over-supplementation can be harmful. Improve what goes in by:
- Eating organic food
- Filtering the water you drink and in which you bathe
- Filtering air and circulating fresh air in the home
- Using chemical free personal care and laundry products
- Using chemical free household products (cleaners, candles, fragrances, pesticides)
- Turning off Wi-Fi and electrical circuits in the bedroom at night while sleeping (electropollution)
- Eliminating the use of as much plastic as possible, especially as it relates to food storage and preparation. (plastic water bottles, straws, microwave containers, storage containers, clingwrap)
It is also wise to intentionally and regularly employ lifestyle choices that promote detoxification.
Each of these options promote and encourage gentle detoxification:
- IR Sauna
- Quality detoxification dietary plans such as Black Box Detox, Designs for Health 14- and 21-day programs, Core Restore 7- and 14-day programs and Prolon. (All available at TWIHW)
- Dry Brushing
- Short instructional you-tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJfFe18L7pQ
- Supplementation as recommended by your functional medicine specialist. Some possible choices include glutathione, N-acetyl cysteine, sulfur, chlorella, charcoal, and protease.
An increasingly useful approach is to test the body to determine what toxins are present so that optimal detoxification protocols can be precisely implemented.
- Heavy metal testing
- Environmental toxin tests
Both of these urine collection tests are available at TWIHW.