Toxins are external or internal substances that are irritating and harmful and can cause major damage to all systems of the body. Today, toxins are everywhere; air and water pollution, radiation, chemicals, heavy metal exposure, bacteria and parasitic overgrowth, poorly digested foods and even stress.
The body is constantly trying to find ways to down regulate the toxic burden it is undergoing; detoxification is the process of clearing these toxins from the system.
It is through detoxification that the body is naturally able to heal and repair itself; an internal process that takes place continuously, and has taken place since time began.
Increased toxicity can be directly related to poor digestion, colon and liver dysfunction, and poor elimination through the kidneys, respiratory tract and skin. Therefore it is vital to address the nutritional foundations and promote proper digestion and elimination before initiating a detoxification protocol.
The body has many systems of detoxification which all play a vital role in maintaining optimal health. They include the Cardiovascular System, Lymphatic System, Digestive System, Urinary System, the Skin and the Respiratory System.
These systems filter and neutralise toxins and eliminate/excrete them and also other unusable substances from the body. The intestines, liver and gallbladder are very important organs related to the detoxification process.
The intestines contain 'good' bacteria that assist in the detoxification of many substances as well as providing a barrier to stop foreign molecules and chemicals from entering the blood stream. It is when these systems are not functioning correctly that we can run into trouble while initiating and implementing a detoxification program.
Proper digestion and the proper macro and micro nutrients play a huge role in the body's ability to detoxify. Even when a person is consuming the healthiest diet, if the body is experiencing digestive dysfunction, the detoxification pathways will be clogged. It is imperative to maintain a healthy diet, but we also need to ensure the detoxification pathways are functioning correctly before starting any form of detoxification program.
The liver, one of the body's main detox organs, can become clogged and stressed through poor fat digestion and blood sugar imbalances. When we do not digest fats properly or consume too many poor fats (such as hydrogenated oils), the liver becomes stressed and we do not create healthy bile. When we do not have free flowing, thin bile it becomes increasingly difficult for the body to begin mobilising toxins through the body for excretion.
High blood sugar can create a build-up of free radicals which in turn can rob the body of the nutrients needed to properly detoxify.
We need the correct amount of minerals in our diet in order to aid detoxification processes, activate metabolic and detox enzymes, contribute to healthy liver detoxification and help keep healthy balances between minerals and heavy metals.
Proper hydration also allows the body to flush toxins through the kidneys and skin, and allows for toxic material to be delivered to the lymph and liver for detoxification.
Detoxification protocols are fantastic ways of cleansing, healing and provide support to the digestive organs, enabling the body to expel wastes and toxins that have accumulated in the tissue. However, it is vital to make sure all detoxification systems in the body are functioning correctly; otherwise there is great risk in damaging the body further.
Making sure the body is functioning optimally will allow a client on a detox protocol to appropriately heal and cleanse their body, benefiting from the numerous effects of detoxification, while properly supporting the body through the experience of positive possible reactions of the protocol.
Morgan is a graduate FNTP of NTA Australia's Class of 2015. From North Queensland, she is part of the team at Pure Core Nourishment in Townsville.