by Dr. Bradley Shapero
As a wellness doctor I have found that in addition to proper nutrition our body needs a good cleaning from time to time. I am not referring to the outside. Although that is important; I am talking about the inside.
To give you a picture of the toxic burden your body deals with, consider this:
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency 4 billion pounds of chemicals were released into the ground last year and about 260 million pounds of chemicals into the oceans. With all the food additives, pesticides, and cleaners we use our bodies are bombarded with chemicals like never before.
Unfortunately there are as many fad cleanses as there are days in the year and most likely many more. Additionally these can be as harmful as the toxins themselves. In my 20-plus years of wellness care delivery I have come across only a few that truly do the job without creating further damage to the body.
A salient point to remember is that one program does not fit all. It is true that the physiology of the body is the same; however, the exposure of toxins are different. The rates at which one person detoxifies the body is not the same from person to person and the lifestyles and health status is vastly different in many cases.
When choosing to cleanse the body on the inside here are some key points to remember:
Just because you get a rush of energy does not mean you are cleansing. There are two reasons for a rush of energy. On the positive side, the body may be cleaning out and you are ridding yourself of toxins. However, one of the reactions to mild poisoning is also
increased metabolism to help the body get rid of the offending substance quicker. Both instances give you more energy in the short run.
The way we confirm a person is detoxifying is through functional testing. This testing measures the function of processes in the body. The first step in choosing the program that is right for you is to determine what area you want to focus on. Are you interested in detoxifying the digestive tract primarily, or are you concerned more with the liver? Is the skin a problem? Do you want to help the body get rid of residues of medication, radiation or heavy metals such as the amalgam used in dental fillings? Perhaps you had some chemotherapy and are working on restoring the body. Each one of these has a different focus and can have very different procedures associated with them.
For purposes of this article I will give you a brief overview of the three major phases of detoxification. The first phase deals with the liberation of toxins from the stores in the body and using enzymes to change the toxins into an intermediate compound. In many cases fatty tissue is used to hold onto toxins to protect the rest of the body from its toxic affects. However as stores fill up, if the body is unable to neutralize the toxins they will slowly poison the body. Unfortunately many of these intermediate compounds can be more toxic or volatile than the original.
This is where phase two comes in, which takes the intermediate compounds using other enzymes to convert these into harmless molecules that can be eliminated by the body. It is important to note that the intermediate compounds can be highly toxic as well and must be converted rapidly to neutralize the toxic effects. Much of phase one and two are handled with the liver and are both incredibly nutrient and protein dependant. I would like to interject here that if certain nutrients are missing, the job may only get half done or not at all. Further, if the body needs protein, which is not available in the diet, the protein will be taken from the body. The protein is taken by breaking down muscle and in some cases the organs themselves.
Lastly the body must eliminate these phase two compounds from the body before they break down and create additional problems. Elimination occurs through the circulatory system and then filtered out through the kidneys.
All systems must be working properly to handle the job. Be sure and ask questions, figure out what your purpose of cleansing is before you jump into some fad program that at best would not work.
One more tip in cleansing, and this is for everyone. Make sure you are drinking enough water. Be sure and have at least half your body weight in ounces of water to assure the body is well hydrated to run the processes.
So if you’re looking over those New Year’s Resolutions making sure you are on track, or have been feeling a little sluggish lately, or whatever the reason you have decided to cleanse the body, be sure you look for a program tailored to your needs. b