Toxins. You can’t escape them!
You may have noticed that we live in a toxic world. (It’s kinda hard to miss!)
You probably know about the variety of external environmental pollutants and chemicals you encounter daily and their potential impact on your health.1 But, guess what? Some toxins are produced right inside of you.
In fact, the traditional definition of the word “toxin” is: “A poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues…” 2
Thus, toxins are both outside of us and within us – affecting us daily.
Two types of toxins
Based on their source, toxins are generally categorized into two groups:
1. Exotoxins – inhaled or ingested from surroundings
- Examples include: pesticides, fertilizers, food preservatives, artificial perfumes, plastics (BPA and BPS), heavy metals, drugs, and various chemicals from industrial waste
2. Endotoxins – produced inside the body itself, either by cells or bacteria and fungi living in the gut and other parts of the human body
- Examples include enzymes and substances produced by bacteria or fungi living within our gut/sinuses (also referred to as “biotoxins”) or those produced by infectious bacteria, viruses, or fungi. These biotoxins can often cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and sinus congestion.
Therefore, the aptest definition of a toxin in this context would be a substance that is “containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation.” 3
Sound morose and depressing? Don’t be discouraged! There is a solution.
But first, a little discussion on how to know when you need to take action against toxins.
Have you exceeded your toxic load?
The total amount of toxins your body is dealing with at any given point is often referred to as your “Toxic Burden,” and there are tests that can determine it.4
However, even without testing, your body will typically tell you when the demand on your detoxification processes becomes excessive. The effect shows up in the form of either acute or chronic symptoms.
These symptoms are often a side-effect of the body trying to excrete toxins. Here are some common things to watch for:
- Excessive gas
- Rashes/hives not managed with antihistamines alone
- Body aches or malaise
Your body is built for detox
Perhaps not surprisingly, the human body is designed to deal with toxins on a regular basis. The detoxification process is constant and ongoing, though you can’t see or feel it. This is true even when you are not actively participating in a detox program.
If you do participate in a detox, the goal of a good program is to support these inherent detoxification pathways to do their job extra-efficiently (for example, with the use of herbs/supplements). This works best when you simultaneously and consciously work on reducing your toxic burden by things like avoiding processed foods, getting adequate rest, reducing stress, moving your body, and using binding agents.
What are binders, and how do they help?
Binding agents are a combination of natural substances that adhere to toxins. They prevent them from being absorbed into the bloodstream and tissues and assist in eliminating them from the body, leading to symptom relief.
Binding agents such as zeolite clay and activated charcoal have been used for decades, if not millennia (in the case of activated charcoal). Compounds rich in humic acid have also been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.
Other natural ingredients are also helpful when addressing toxins. Research supports the use of apple pectin and aloe vera to support gastrointestinal motility and prevent constipation. They have also been shown to support healthy inflammatory response and immune system function.5,6
A game plan for tackling toxins
Staying ahead of toxins by maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle to support your body’s natural detoxification processes is ideal. But real life happens. Tackling toxins with the help of binders used by healers throughout the ages and verified by modern science is a great option!
As always, if you have symptoms accompanied by fever, it is best to speak with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. It is also important to note that binding agents can bind to minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc, as well as medications. Therefore, they must be taken at least 1 hour away from supplements, medications, or food.
How can you make toxin removal safe and even comfortable?
Pull out debris. Intercept and eliminate unwanted toxins and microbial byproducts.