Throughout the centuries, health experts have extolled the value of spring-cleaning the body. Just as you need a holiday (a break from your work), your body needs a break from its work. One of the traditional methods for purifying the body is detoxification. The fact that many people report feeling so much more vital after a detox is a testimony to the fact that health and vitality is as much a result of improving the body’s ability to detoxify as it is about eating the right foods.
However, not everyone feels better from a detox protocol and not always right away. A common occurrence is the so-called ‘healing crisis’ when a person feels worse for a few days and then feels better. What we are learning about detoxification processes suggests that some people may be experiencing a crisis, not a healing crisis. Once the body starts to liberate and eliminate toxic material, if the liver isn’t up to the job, symptoms of intoxication can result. So modern-day detox regimes tend to use modified fasts in which the person is given a low-toxin diet, plus plenty of the key nutrients needed to speed up the body’s ability to detoxify. Doing this once a year, for a week, can greatly increase your health and vitality.
Chronic fatigue, multiple allergies, frequent headaches, sensitivity to chemicals and environmental pollutants, chronic digestive problems, muscle aches, autism, schizophrenia, drug reactions and Gulf War Syndrome are just some of the conditions that can be caused by a breakdown in the body’s ability to detoxify.
Once too many toxins and large molecules start ‘gate-crashing’ through the digestive tract, the body has to work overtime to detoxify and deal with them. Before long, the body’s ability to detoxify all the uninvited guests starts to weaken, resulting in compromised liver function. By this stage, even the slightest increase in toxins results in a whole host of symptoms such as fatigue, drowsiness, headaches, body aches and inflammation. For example, when we exercise, muscles tend to produce a toxin called lactic acid which is what can make them a bit stiff the next day. This is no problem normally, but if a person’s detox potential is poor even a brisk walk can trigger symptoms.
Prevention, however, is better than cure, so if you are basically healthy and want to promote and maintain optimal liver function the best advice is to develop and implement a regular detox protocol.
Check Your Detox Potential
Complete this questionnaire to discover whether you need to improve your detoxification potential.
- Do you often suffer from headaches or migraine?
- Do you sometimes have watery or itchy eyes or swollen, red or sticky eyelids?
- Do you have dark circles under your eyes?
- Do you sometimes have itchy ears, earache, ear infections, drainage from ears or ringing in ears?
- Do you often suffer from excessive mucus, a stuffy nose or sinus problems?
- Do you suffer from acne or skin rashes or hives?
- Do you sweat a lot and have a strong body odour?
- Do you sometimes have joint or muscle aches or pains?
- Do you have a sluggish metabolism and find it hard to lose weight, or are you underweight and find it hard to gain weight?
- Do you often suffer from frequent or urgent urination?
- Do you suffer from nausea or vomiting?
- Do you often have a bitter taste in your mouth or a furry tongue?
- Do you have a strong reaction to alcohol?
- Do you suffer from bloating?
- Does coffee stay in your system for a long time?
If you answer ‘yes’ to 7 or more questions you need to make improving your detox potential a priority.
If you answer ‘yes’ to between 4 and 7 questions you are beginning to show signs of poor detoxification and need to improve your detox potential.
If you answer ‘yes’ to less than 4 questions, you are unlikely to have a problem with detoxification.