We are continuously exposed to toxins, not to mention the ones that have accumulated in our bodies, mainly in adipose (fat) tissue, over time. Non-specific symptoms of toxicity are wide ranging and include tiredness, allergies (including food and seasonal allergies like hay fever and asthma), indigestion, heartburn, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea, bad breath, skin complaints such as eczema and acne, excess mucus and sinus congestion, muscle cramps and joint pain, poor circulation and fluid retention, and even premenstrual syndrome. Whilst we cannot purely ascribe all these symptoms to poor detoxification alone, liver and gut dysfunction are recognized as the root cause and reason for manifestation of many diseases using functional and alternative medicine tools.
EXPOSURE TO TOXINS
Internally generated toxins include those that are produced by the body’s own metabolic processes, as well as derived from pathogenic gut bacteria.
External toxins cover a whole gamut from environmental chemicals such as plastics, heavy metals and pesticides that aggregate throughout the food chain, to pollution fumes, as well as from medications.
Some of the most prevalent and concerning environmental toxins concern endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), dioxins, bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, pesticides, fungicides and certain pharmaceutical agents. These toxins not only place a heavy burden on detoxification systems, potentially leading to the sub-clinical non-specific toxic symptoms previously described, but EDCs have also been linked to a variety of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, PCOS, breast and prostate cancer, obesity, thyroid disruption and both male and female reproductive impairment. Unfortunately, EDCs are now ubiquitous in industrialized countries and place a far heavier load on the human body’s detoxification systems than we have evolved to handle.
Modern lifestyles, including stress impacting on the gut microbiome and hormone balance, and poor nutrition leading to nutrient deficiencies add to the body’s toxin burden, over and above the ever-accumulating environmental toxic load. This in turn can eventually overwhelm the body’s natural detoxification processes. This chronic congestion and detoxification dysfunction are therefore a key barrier to short and long-term good health.
We therefore believe that the true nature of detoxification is so much more than fad weight loss diets and the practice should be incorporated as part of preventative measures and a healthy living lifestyle.