Regular cleansing of our bodies to get rid of toxins has become an absolute necessity. Explore ways in which you can minimise the effect of our toxic environment.
No matter where we live and how healthy we think we are, we cannot get away from our toxic environment. It’s important to be mindful of what we are exposed to, in what form it is found and to commit to living a clean life. It is wise to detox at least twice a year, or as soon as you have been exposed to environmental toxins, become aware of a parasitic load or your body starts to do so naturally. Often regular headaches and or nausea, may be a sign that the liver is struggling.
Ideally a detox programme should be undertaken in consultation with a health-care practitioner and developed individually, determined by your gender, genetics, lifestyle, nutritional status, the medication you are taking and the environment you live and work in. If you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, auto-immune disease or cancer, detoxing with the help of a medical professional is essential.
Women particularly need to test and evaluate their hormonal system because of the chemicals in the environment that mimic hormones. In general, meat and dairy products will concentrate hormone disruptors. It is so important that detox is done right, and in a specific order, i.e. supporting the liver and kidneys before detoxing the connective tissue.
BODY BURDEN AND DETOXIFICATION
Toxins don’t weaken only our immune system, but also our cells’ immune protection against cancer. For example, biological mycotoxins from mould are being increasingly implicated in the development of certain cancers.
Detoxification takes place via the liver (bile), the kidneys (urine), the lungs (evaporation), the skin (sweat), the gut (stools), the genital organs (menstrual blood and semen) and, last but not least, via the hormonal system and brain in the form of emotion.
Cortisol, the chronic stress hormone, suppresses that part of the immune system which should destroy cancer cells. Detoxification is dependent in part on the rhythm of cortisol that is often disrupted by our stressful lives. Stress therefore not only weakens the immune response, but also interferes with the body’s ability to detoxify.
Should the body burden be too high, and the kidneys and other organs not able to take over the load, the body will store waste in the connective tissue, located in-between the cells. Connective tissue is made up of sugar-protein complexes, which can bind certain toxic substances causing them to remain in the body for decades. Deficiencies in certain nutrients can result in the storing of more toxins in the connective tissue. The signal that switches on cellular growth is located in the connective tissue and can therefore be distorted, resulting in abnormal cellular growth (cancer). This is only one of the mechanisms by which toxins can cause cancer.
The liver is responsible for dealing with much of the internal waste our body produces, for instance the excess histamine or excess adrenalin. What is interesting here is that as a result of inhaling irritants in the form of chemical cleaning products, and surrounding ourselves with pet dander of feather pillows, dust mites and other airborne allergens, we don’t just suffer from hay fever, but in addition, our liver is being taxed. This in turn causes not just an allergic reaction, but a burden the body struggles to cope with that can express itself in the form of anxiety and burn-out.
Other signs of toxicity include (but are not limited to) fatigue and sluggishness, headaches, irritability and food cravings. I recently did a 5 day detox and prepared for a week before the actual detox, by eliminating coffee, dairy, alcohol, sugar and any unnecessary body, face or hair products. If you eat meat, then stop before a detox. I felt absolutely awful with terrible headaches and nausea. I don't smoke or drink and don't take any drugs except an asthma pump, and still, my liver released so much. On the day of the liver flush I was so angry and cried in the evening. The liver is the seat of anger and it is not surprising that during a liver flush, if done properly, one would feel angry. And overly emotional in general. The joke is that I moved house in the pouring rain as well on the day, and broke my toe! So if you plan on doing a liver flush and detox, don't move house on top of it. That was very silly!
Interestingly, it has been 2 weeks since my detox and I still have no need for the asthma pump. My sinuses are clear, I can smell again for the first time in years and I have seen an improvement in my vision.
It is not possible to list here all the various toxins by chemical name and where they can be found. It is however important to mention a few specifically as I am of the opinion that the body burden can be remarkably reduced by implementing changes.
- Avoid enclosed shopping malls. Yes, I know… but we have more and more online shopping options and this is an additional reason to convenience, as these malls are very toxic, plus they overstimulate our nervous system. Alternatively, choose an open-air shopping centre or markets.
- Eat organic wherever possible and eliminate or limit dairy and meat, or at least choose pasture reared. Exclude Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and processed food. GMO food crops now contain bacterial genes that produce natural toxic herbicides and pesticides, and when ingested, we end up with our gut bacteria producing herbicides and pesticides right in our own intestines!
- Avoid plastic-wrapped food – just cut it out. Think about the unnecessary heat and seal plastic wrapped around a cucumber! You will be doing the environment a favour by saying no to plastic altogether. The same goes for aluminium foil and Styrofoam trays. Packaging contains and outgases dangerous phthalates, bleaching agents and other chemicals.
- Be mindful of toxins in your home and office, for example household cleaners, laundry detergent, ‘air fresheners’, electromagnetic fields, carpets and even the paint on your walls!
In one study, the Environmental Working Group found that new-born babies begin their lives with exposure to as many as 287 toxic chemicals (including 180 known carcinogenic compounds). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shared their findings of chemicals stored in human fatty tissue: dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorobenzene and xylene (dioxins and PCBs are among the most potent causes of cancers known to man).
The micro-organisms in mould interact with and disrupt our immune system, causing an inflammatory response. In addition, consider that your anxiety, depression, poor vision, weight gain or irritable bowel syndrome could be a reaction to mould! Mould (bioTOXIN!) is not always visible, but clues include a leaky roof, air-conditioning ducts, or trapped moisture under a carpet or inside a cupboard. Mould will eat any building part that has cellulose, but mould can also thrive on metal air ducts – it just needs plenty of moisture and food. If mould is not cleared from the body, it can cause lifelong trouble.
ROUNDUP – A SILENT KILLER
Glyphosate (Monsanto’s RoundUp) is found everywhere. Our children play sport on school fields sprayed with glyphosate – and then they bring it into our homes. Could glyphosate be the reason that there are so many young active teenagers with cancer? Independent scientists have reached the conclusion that glyphosate can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
KEEP AT IT
We actively need to fight for our health. Being passive in good health is not going to ensure we stay healthy and disease-free. Being aware of what surrounds us helps protect us against harmful toxins – when we act on what we know, we are making a difference, step by step.
Editor’s note: For more articles on how to detox, read: Detox with the Docs, Detoxifying Health Techniques, Detox Done Right – the purification process and Acudetox for Addiction. And if you enjoy spring cleaning, keep it free of toxic cleaning products. For guidance, read our article: Uncovering the Dirt on Cleaning Products