Detoxing has been widely known to be good for your body; it removes toxins and bolsters your immune system, making you healthier however it can also make your body more toxic and make you feel worse if not done correctly. So how are all these people detoxing and feeling great?
Most toxins are stored in our fat cells since most toxins are fat soluble which means, there are over 200 times more toxins in your fat cells than in your blood. As you begin your detox and start to eat light, you rest the systems taking a load off of them. The energy that is normally spent in digesting food is now being utilized to move out toxic waste - this is where the danger comes in.
As toxins move out of fat cells and travel into your blood stream through your body to your vital organs, they have the potential to wreak havoc. They can invade your joint tissues, trigger pain, headaches, create hormonal imbalances, eye problems and of course, digestive problems. Most often, when people do detox programs on their own, they create more health problems than they solve.
Since these toxins do not dissolve in water, the body cannot easily eliminate them. Your liver therefore has an important role to play in making these toxins water soluble so that it can be excreted via the urine or through bile. The bile goes to the intestines, where it needs to be bound by fibre for it to be excreted in the form of stool. Without enough fibre, toxins may be reabsorbed through the intestines and sent back to where they came from! This is true even if you eat a diet high in fibre, as your body dumps a lot more toxins than normal during a detox requiring more to bind them for excretion. Introduction of alcohol and refined carbohydrates (especially post detox) into the system can interfere with the general detoxification process and further aggravate the situation.
Despite these negative consequences, one does need to detox. The only safe way of doing this is by either going to a professional who can recommend a supplement protocol that supports the detoxification pathways so the toxins are not circulating in the system. A guided reintroduction of the right foods once the detox program is over is also necessary so that you know what to eat and what's right for your body's unique biochemistry.
Other than diet, a way to detox safely would be to use a complete infra-red sauna. When combined with massage and exercise, the body fat melts and the toxins are rapidly released in the sweat. Colonics also works well for detoxing, but they mainly take care of the digestive rather than all the detoxification systems.
A comprehensive detox should include a stress free environment where you have time to process your thoughts and emotions, combining spiritual elements with the physical detox you are doing, helping to work on the entire being.
Written by: Sheeba Majmudar, Naturopath and Nutritionist at Verita
© 2012 Verita. This article has been published with the permission and courtesy of Verita, a partner of Great Eastern Live Great Programme.