Detoxes: The Good, the Bad, and the Unnecessary

This week we are talking about Detoxes, do they work? 

👉🏻What you need to know about detoxes
👉🏻Why they may not work for you?
👉🏻Is there a connection to tics and what does this mean for you?

Hey there, health warriors! If you’ve been hanging out on the internet lately, you’ve probably seen a million and one articles touting the miraculous powers of detoxes. But before you start chugging that celery juice, let’s take a closer look at what detoxing really means (and if it’s even necessary).

The Detox Myth 

Picture this: you eat nothing but kale and quinoa for two weeks straight, and suddenly, your body is a pristine temple, free from all toxins and impurities. Sounds great, right? Too bad it’s total BS.

You see, our bodies are already equipped with a pretty impressive detox system. Your liver, kidneys, lymph, and even your poop chute are all working 24/7 to keep you squeaky clean on the inside. So unless you’ve been subsisting on a diet of lead paint chips and asbestos, chances are, you don’t need a fancy detox protocol.

The Three-Phase Liver Detox 

But let’s say you do have a legit reason to detox (more on that later). How does it actually work? Well, it all starts in your liver, the ultimate multitasker.

Your liver’s detox process has three phases:

  1. Phase 1: Fat-soluble toxins are converted into water-soluble ones.
  2. Phase 2: Those newly water-soluble toxins are conjugated (aka bundled up) with nutrients like glutathione, folate, B12, and magnesium.
  3. Phase 3: The conjugated toxins are shipped out via your pee, poop, and sweat.

Sounds simple enough, right? But here’s the catch – if you don’t have enough of those crucial nutrients, your liver’s gonna be like, “Sorry, bro, I’m on break.” And that’s when things can get ugly.

The Endotoxin Equation 

But wait, there’s more! Toxins aren’t just coming from the outside world (although, let’s be real, there’s plenty of those too). Your body can actually make its own toxins, called endotoxins.

Remember that moldy bucket you found in your garage? When you breathed in those spores, they turned into mycotoxins in your body. And if you’ve got an imbalance of gut bacteria or an overgrowth of candida, you might be brewing up a whole host of other endotoxins too.

Fun fact: if you’ve got leaky gut and you’re constipated, those endotoxins are just gonna keep recirculating through your system like a bad game of telephone. 

The Toxin Exposure Equation

Of course, we can’t forget about all the toxins coming from the outside world. From the fluoride in your toothpaste to the flame retardants on your couch, it’s like a chemical minefield out there.

And let’s not even get started on the food storage situation. If your spaghetti sauce is turning your Tupperware red, you better believe those plastic chemicals are leaching right into your leftovers. Yum.

The Testing Conundrum 

So, how do you know if you actually need to detox? The answer, my friends, is testing. And no, I don’t mean taking a quiz on Buzzfeed.

Legit functional medicine practitioners (like yours truly) can run tests to see what kind of toxins you’re dealing with. We might look at things like:

    • Heavy metal exposure (hello, lead and mercury)
    • Mold and mycotoxins
    • Pesticides and herbicides (glyphosate, anyone?)
    • Gut bacteria balance
    • Candida overgrowth
  •  

Once we know what we’re working with, we can create a personalized detox plan that won’t leave you feeling like roadkill.

The Slow and Steady Approach 

But here’s the thing – even if you do need to detox, it’s not something you just jump into willy-nilly. Your body needs to be primed and ready, with all the right nutrients and support systems in place.

That’s why, when I work with clients, we always save detoxing for the last phase. We start by balancing gut health, reducing inflammation, and making sure all the detox pathways (liver, kidneys, lymph, etc.) are open and ready for business.

And when we do detox, we do it gently, with the right combination of targeted supplements, sweating, exercise, and maybe even a lymphatic massage or two (if you’re lucky).

The Bottom Line 

So, do detoxes work? The short answer is yes, but only if you do them right. And for most people, they’re totally unnecessary.

Your body is a detoxing machine all on its own, and with a little love and support (and maybe a few less late-night Taco Bell runs), it can keep you feeling fresh and clean from the inside out.

But if you do suspect you’ve got a toxic load that needs lightening, work with a qualified practitioner who can test, not guess. Because when it comes to detoxing, slow and steady wins the race. 

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