Time for a Detox? How to Get It Right

When it comes to your health – forget the calendar! Your body knows when it’s time to take action, and that’s not confined to any one month of the year. 

Pay attention to physical cues – symptoms that are uncomfortable and, perhaps at times, even a bit embarrassing.

Do any of these strike a chord?

  • Digestive issues (gas, bloating, heartburn)
  • Bad breath (or even worse – particularly pungent bowel movements or sweat!)
  • Sugar cravings
  • Anxiety, mood swings, depression
  • Brain fog, fatigue
  • Chronic headaches
  • Frequent skin outbreaks

Good news! There’s a solution

But first, let’s talk about what’s going on with your body. Toxins, toxins everywhere! It’s sad but true. 

We live in a toxic world. You’re exposed to toxins every day. Believe it or not, some estimate the number is as high as 700,000 different environmental toxins daily! 

In addition to the toxins you inhale or ingest from the outside world, known as exotoxins, you are also exposed to toxins produced inside your body – endotoxins.  

Endotoxins are produced by cells or microorganisms (such as bacteria and fungi) living in your gut microbiome and other parts of the body. 

A thriving microbiome is vital for your health and well-being. Your gut microbiome is constantly doing a balancing act!

The goal? Microorganisms in balance

When well-supported and in balance, the microorganisms in your digestive tract do a variety of things for you:  

  • Digest food
  • Support the absorption of vitamins and nutrients
  • Help balance blood sugar
  • Play a role in immune defense
  • Help hormonal balance
  • Support a healthy inflammatory response
  • Help detoxification

However, when your gut microbiome is out of balance – a state known as dysbiosis – your health can be compromised. That could explain the gas, bloating, headaches, etc. 

Suppose your microbiome has an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. In that case, it can slow down your body’s natural ability to detox the environmental toxins you’re exposed to daily. Microbial imbalance can also produce additional toxins, increasing your toxic burden

To detox or not to detox. Is that the question?

An annual or semi-annual detox can help resolve the symptoms that occur when your digestive system is out of balance. But it’s essential to choose the right approach. 

Detoxification programs typically focus on supporting the liver, gallbladder, and kidneys – our main detoxification organs – to help the body break down toxic substances and remove them from the body. 

But don’t forget about the gut microbiome!

There is a bidirectional relationship between the gut and the liver governed by the microorganisms living in your digestive tract. It’s called the gut-liver axis. This explains why you’ll see deeper cleansing when your detoxification program supports microbiome balance. 

Additionally, biofilms – communities of microorganisms that stick together and attach to surfaces in and on the body – can be an ongoing source of toxins. If left unaddressed, biofilms can create a continual source of toxic exposure and an obstacle to sustainable results. For maximum results, choose a detox program that addresses biofilms and strengthens the health and diversity of the gut microbiome. It’s all about balance!

Supercharge your detox!

In addition to selecting the right detox program, you can maximize results with a few fundamental lifestyle changes.

Get adequate sleep, manage your stress, and find activities you enjoy so that you can be successful in exercising regularly. Movement is so important, and most of us don’t get enough! 

I also recommend the following dietary guidelines:

  • Fill up on prebiotic foods (apples, asparagus, garlic, onion) 
  • Focus on healthy fats (coconut oil, avocados, olive oil)
  • Eliminate gluten and dairy during your detox, and continue to limit them afterward if you find you feel better
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store 
  • Prepare your own meals
  • Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • Focus on lean, free-range, grass-fed meats

If you choose to detox, an ongoing commitment to a healthy diet and lifestyle will enhance your hard work and increase your chances of lasting results!