Detox has been a hot topic and it’s not just for the super-health-conscious folks or the crunchy people who eat only quinoa and kale anymore. Toxins affect all of us and just by changing a few things to clean up your life, you can see dramatic differences in your health and well-being.

The question is no longer IF we are toxic. The real question is HOW toxic are we.

Everyone in this world has detectable level of toxins in the body.

  • Studies have shown that every organism on the planet has a detectable level of Teflon in the body.
  • 287 chemicals were detected in umbilical cord blood of newborns. They include pesticides, consumer product ingredients, waste materials from burning coal, gasoline, or garbage.
    • 180 of the 287 chemicals found are known to cause cancer in human or animals.
    • 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system.
    • 208 of those are shown to cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.
  • Our babies are born with toxic substances in their bodies, even before being exposed to the toxins. A benchmark investigation of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in umbilical cord blood by the Environmental Working Group (an American watch dog group) back in 2005 showed that 287 chemicals were detected in umbilical cord blood of newborns. They include pesticides, consumer product ingredients, waste materials from burning coal, gasoline, or garbage.

Sources of Environmental Toxins – and how harmful they are

Among the 212 chemicals tested and found in the blood and urine of most Americans, six of them, in particular, are found in virtually every person, and they were identified by the CDC as probable health hazards!

  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) – used as flame retardant and found in virtually every building. It can cause damage to the nervous system, liver, and kidney.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) – found in plastic products, can linings. It is a reproduction, developmental and systemic toxicant in animal studies and is weakly estrogenic – which can impact our reproductive system.
  • Perfluoro octanoic acid (PFOA) – also known as Teflon, it affects liver, immune system, and reproductive system.
  • Acrylamide – chemical carcinogen formed when carbohydrates foods are cooked at high temperatures. Exposure can lead to cancer and neurological dysfunction.
  • Mercury – most common route of exposure is seafood. It is associated with neurological dysfunction.
  • Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) – gasoline addictive linked to neurological and reproductive problems

Symptoms of Toxicity

Sometimes symptoms of toxicity can be quite non-specific and therefore hard to pin down. We are all different genetically, so we react to toxins differently and at different dosage. Toxic exposure can manifest itself very differently in different people. If you have systemic or atopic health issues that have been lingering for a while, it’s worth looking at toxicity being the root cause.

Common symptoms of excessive toxic burden can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Cognitive problems: brain fog, memory problems
  • Neurological issues: balance problems, tremors

Although toxins don’t cause the following conditions, they do affect the expression of the symptoms, so lowering toxic load may help alleviate symptoms:

  • Allergy and asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Chemical sensitivity (any adverse physical, mental, or emotional reaction to the presence of a chemical smell)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fertility problems and birth defects
  • Parkinsonism
  • Bone marrow cancers – lymphomas, leukemia, multiple myeloma
  • Auto-immune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Hasimotos thyroiditis, etc.

5 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Toxic Exposure

Reducing your toxic exposure can lead to a lot of health benefits, including:

  • weight loss
  • clear skin
  • mental acuity
  • reduced stress
  • more energy
  • improved immune function
  • better digestion
  • reduced cravings

Here are 5 tips to reduce your toxic load:

  1. Use herbs that support our detox organs – liver, kidney and colon. E.g. milk thistle and dandelion.
  2. Encourage elimination through skin, our largest organ for elimination. E.g. sweating and dry brushing.
  3. Buy and eat organic food as much as possible – learn about the “Dirty Dozen” list and try to shop organic for this produce.
  4. Reduce processed and packaged foods, which are loaded with chemicals.
  5. Replace household and personal products with a lot of chemicals with those made with natural ingredients.

How to Detox Safely

Detoxification is a process during which you normalize the body’s natural ability to process and excrete toxins that are stored in our fat, while you temporarily reduce the amount of incoming toxins.

There are a lot of detox protocols, facts and myths out there. If you jump into detox without prior experience (meaning that you probably have a high toxic load and will release a high level of toxins) or proper supervisions, it can backfire:

  • Severe detox symptoms including headache, lethargy, and skin issues
  • If the body cannot process the large amount of toxins that are suddenly released into the bloodstream, the toxins will get re-absorb into the fat tissue

When looking for a safe detox protocol and program, you should pay special attention to:

  • A gradual approach that can minimize withdrawal, sudden toxin release, and increase success rate
  • Enough calorie intake to support the body’s detoxification and elimination process
  • Addressing issues of addiction prior to start of the program

Also, if you are looking to start a weight loss program, it’s best to go through a supervised detox program first so fewer problems will arise when toxins are released as fat cells are burned off.