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Detoxifying For Better Health - The Problem of Toxicity

myfrienddebbie.com      The increased and escalating level of toxins building up in our bodies largely accounts for the diminished levels of health and vitality experienced by many people today.

     Unprecedented amounts of these toxins, imposed on us by our modern environment and food supply, make it increasingly difficult for our bodies to function well, so that we are able to enjoy vibrant health as God intended us to have.

    Every health issue of the body traces back to the function of cells, the basic units of life. Our bodies are in a constant state of regeneration, with old cells dying off and new ones being created.  When we ingest chemical-laden foods that are low in vital nutrients, the body must work extra hard to break down the food into its usable components (amino acids, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, etc.). This is because nutrients are required for the body’s built-in detoxification mechanisms to do their job.  Nutrients used up in the process create additional metabolic wastes that add to the toxic load. The more toxins the body has to deal with, the fewer nutrients are made available for cells to use for energy. myfrienddebbie.com

     Health is compromised when one of two situations occur in the body – either basic nutritional elements do not get into the cell (deficiency) or metabolic waste products (including toxic residues) are not efficiently removed from the cell (congestion).  A build-up of toxins can literally clog the works. Just as a vehicle won’t run at maximum efficiency with a clogged oil filter or carburetor, the body cannot operate at peak level when it is overloaded with toxins. Excess waste generated by too many toxins overburdens the body’s channels of elimination (colon, kidneys, lungs and skin,).  When these organs of the body are overworked, excess toxins are reabsorbed into the bloodstream, where they either create various types of damage or accumulate in the fatty tissues and organs of the body (which is damaging in itself). 

 myfrienddebbie.comLiving in a Toxic World

      Besides the internal toxins produced by metabolic waste created as the body processes what it ingests, there are countless external toxins found in our environment. The vast increase in the numbers of these toxins contained just in the very basic elements of the air, water and food everyone needs for health is staggering compared to what it was only 50 years ago.

     According to the book Toxic Deception:  How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law, and Endangers Your Health, at least 70,000 chemicals are used in industry today, with about six trillion pounds produced annually for use in plastics, glues, fuels, dyes, and other products. Even more disconcerting is that no toxicity data is available for 80 percent of them, plus 95 percent of these chemicals have not been tested for long term effects on human health.

myfrienddebbie.com     Unless you buy organic, the food you are getting contains trace amounts of agricultural chemicals sprayed on crops in the form of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Just the use of pesticides has risen more than tenfold since the 1940’s, according to the Natural Resource Defense Council. That amount translates to over 1.3 billion pounds used in agriculture annually, or about 10 pounds per person per year. Of the pesticides tested, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified more than 55 that can leave carcinogenic residues in food.

     That is just the beginning of the chemical contamination of our food supply.  Processed foods are loaded with over 3,000 different chemical additives, used for such purposes as preservatives, artificial flavorings, colorings, emulsifiers, anti-caking agents and texture enhancers.

     Drinking water from the city reservoirs, springs and wells are not exempt from this epidemic of contagion – the EPA has identified as many as 700 pollutants that regularly occur in water from these sources.  According to numerous published reports, many of these pollutants can still be detected even after treatment, including traces of various pharmaceutical drugs. Chlorine, an inorganic chemical that is commonly added to municipal water supplies, often combines with organic materials to form carcinogenic substances known as trihalomethanes.myfrienddebbie.com

     Along with what enters our body through what we eat or drink, countless toxins in our environment are inhaled from the air or absorbed through our skin.  Air pollution from industry and vehicle exhaust, along with chemicals in cleaning products, personal care products, cosmetics, air fresheners, fabrics, carpets, furniture, paints, glues and various building materials are examples of common sources of these types of toxins.

 How Much Can the Body Handle?

myfrienddebbie.com      Assuming the body is healthy with an immune system and eliminative organs that function well, built-in detoxification mechanisms can easily handle a certain amount of everyday exposure to toxins. The body either neutralizes them or biochemically transforms them into waste products that can easily be excreted. The problem today is that the volume and type of toxins surrounding us in our modern world overwhelms these coping mechanisms of the body.

     Even though government watchdog groups such as the EPA or the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) deem a chemical’s toxic levels to be safe, that “assurance” means very little when you consider that chemicals are tested in isolation in order to determine the safe level.  No testing for safe limits is generally conducted that reveals the cumulative effects on the human body of these toxins when combined with hundreds of other chemicals people come in contact with on a regular basis.  In fact, out of 80 thousand synthetic chemicals used in homes today, only seven percent undergo complete toxicity testing to determine the full extent of how their use will affect people’s health.    myfrienddebbie.com

     If you consider the potential sum total of every type of chemical a person ingests today through eating or drinking, inhaling the air, or absorbing through the skin, it is no wonder that the body’s capacity for detoxification is overwhelmed. When that happens, the buildup of toxins typically manifests in some type of symptom, pain or inflammation that eventually leads to some form of a disease or degenerative condition, unless measures are taken to cleanse and detoxify the body.

Common Symptoms of Toxicity

      Long before a condition develops into a full blown disease, the body sends signals that something is wrong.  Below is a list of symptoms that numerous people experience on a regular basis that indicate the presence of toxicity.

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches or joint pain
  • Sinus congestion/excessive sinus problems
  • Postnasal drip
  • Puffy, dark circles under eyes
  • Bloating, Gas or Heartburn
  • Constipation or Diarrhea
  • Foul-smelling stools
  • Sleep problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Food cravings
  • Water retention
  • Trouble losing weight
  • Skin problems – acne, rashes, eczema, psoriasis
  • Premenstrual syndrome or other menstrual disorders
  • Canker sores
  • Bad breath


 Damage and Disease Associated with Toxins

      Moreover, exposure to certain types of toxins generates an excess of free radicals in the body which damage the structure of cell walls and disrupts its internal mechanisms and communication systems.  Free radicals are unstable, highly reactive molecules that have lost an electron and seek to “steal” an extra electron from another molecule, producing a chain reaction that damages cells.  Free radical damage is thought to mutate the blueprints of DNA and RNA leading to genetic damage and accelerate the aging process (loss of tissue elasticity and increased wrinkling) as well as the process of cell division that results in cancer.  It is also thought to contribute to the formation of cataracts, macular degeneration, arthritis, heart and other degenerative disease conditions.

     An overload of toxin substances in the body also irritates and causes inflammation in the mucus membranes that line the digestive tract and lungs. Intestinal inflammation, in particular, causes increased absorption of toxic materials into the blood and lymph streams, which paves the way for the development of leaky gut syndrome, various types of inflammatory bowel diseases, food allergies and other related health problems. A toxic internal environment also becomes a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria, yeast and parasites.

     Toxins are believed as well to be a significant factor in mental and neurological disturbances such as depression, bipolar syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and even mood swings and irritability. Other common conditions connected to toxins in the body are autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia as well as menstrual issues like heavy bleeding, cramps, PMS, menopausal symptoms, mood changes and hot flashes.

 The Boundless Benefits of Detoxification

myfrienddebbie.com      People tend to put up with many symptoms of toxicity as if they were an inevitable part of aging.  Since most people have some degree of toxic overload and experience similar type symptoms as they age, low levels of health and the absence of boundless energy and vitality simply becomes “part of life”.  They become resigned to think little can be done but to mask their symptoms with various medications.  What they may not realize is that drugs not only significantly add to the toxic load but suppressing symptoms drives the toxic waste deeper into the body where it may easily lead to more serious conditions.

     Besides helping to prevent and heal serious degenerative diseases, detoxification enables people to experience rejuvenation and regained levels of energy and well-being that they had never thought would be possible.  Here are some additional benefits experienced by those who have taken steps to eliminate sources of toxins and assist their body in the processes of detoxification.

  • Improved digestion and intestinal health
  • Clearer mind and sharpened mental focus
  • Stronger immune system and resistance to disease
  • Reduced aches and pains
  • Reduction in allergies and allergy induced symptoms
  • Greater hormonal balance
  • Healthier skin
  • Fewer mood swings
  • Diminished cravings

 Concluding Thoughts

      The role of cleansing and detoxification to improve health is largely overlooked in modern medicine. It is primarily thought of in terms of drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs rather than a way to benefit overall health. However, throughout history it has played an important role in the prevention and healing of diseases in many cultures. Nowadays people seem more focused on making sure their bodies are clean externally rather than consider doing anything about the amount of “sludge” that may be piling up inside.

     Regardless of whether or not you are currently experiencing manifested symptoms of toxicity, freeing up your internal system of harmful toxins and the waste they produce will keep all the cells, tissues and organs of your body functioning optimally and spare you the downward spiral of degenerative conditions and disease.  Removing the obstacle of toxicity by periodic cleansing and detoxification enables the body’s systems run more efficiently to promote greater health and energy.

 Next month’s focus:

     Before true detoxification can occur, all the organs of the body involved in eliminating toxins from the body must be open and functioning effectively.  Next month’s article will deal with how these different eliminative organs work to keep the body free of toxins and practical ways you can assist their function to prevent any “back-up” of toxins in your system.



Copyright © 2008-2015 Lucinda Bedogne, CNHP, CNC

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