We live in an increasingly toxic environment. There’s pollution in the air. There are chemicals on and in our foods. There are toxins in the cleaners we use for ourselves and our homes. All of these chemicals create a toxic environment that work against our health.
Thankfully, our bodies have a built-in way of continuously detoxifying our system. There are several organs that are involved in the detoxification process. The primary organ involved is our liver. The liver preforms roughly 500 tasks in the body. Anything that is consumed (including toxins) gets filtered by the liver. The liver then ushers the toxins out of the body through our stool, while storing nutrients and releasing them back into the blood when needed. Next are our kidneys which filter waste and extra fluid from our blood and turn it into urine as a way to remove toxins from the body. And, last, is our skin which is our largest organ and very porous and breathable. While not the primary way that our body removes toxins, it does offer the ability to absorb and release whatever is applied or pushed out of the skin.
Our bodies are beautifully designed to remove everyday toxins without even having to think about it. So why is toxic overload an issue? As the amount of toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis continue to rise, our perfect filtration systems are just not able to keep up – much like a bathtub that can’t hold any more water with the faucet turned up full blast. The water will overflow just like the toxins in our bodies. The result is specific signs and symptoms that indicate an over-worked, overloaded system.
One of the clearest signs of toxic overload are excessive skin blemishes. Acne is a great example. While common in pre-teens and teens as their hormones are working to regulate, acne continued into adulthood can be an indication that your liver and kidneys are not able to handle the current toxic load. Those toxins not being filtered out in the traditional way need to find other ways of exiting the body. Think of it as pressure build up in the earth like a volcano releasing lava. Just the same, acne can erupt on the skin when the toxic pressure becomes too strong. Liver spots are another sign of toxic overload on your liver (likely where they get the name).
Medication is a common cause of toxins on our system day in and day out. Medication can be lifesaving in emergency situations, however, if you take a healthy individual and give them a handful of medications, you can’t expect them to get healthier – it will either keep them the same or make them more unhealthy because of the toxic overload. Every medication does have a side effect and it has an impact on your system. That’s why the body tries to process it out. And that’s why you need to continue to take a medication if you are trying to mask a symptom (rather than getting the root of the problem) in order for it to have a sustained effect. The body sees medications as a toxin and filters it out.
Other signs that you have a toxic overload on your system include consistent bags under your eyes, the feeling of poor mental clarity or brain fog, sluggishness or lack of energy, and poor digestion including indigestion, reflux after you eat, and constipation.
In regards to digestion, another common sign of toxic overload is very bad breath. Picture having a compost pile in your stomach. When things are running smoothly, that pile turns and breaks down, flows through the intestine and out through the filtration system of the liver and kidneys without any indication of the messy work it does. But when there is too much toxicity in your system, it just sits there and it builds up. And up. And up. And if you’ve ever been near a compost pile that needs attention, you know that it doesn’t smell like roses. That’s where the bad breath comes in.
That’s what could be going on in the top half of the system if you’re dealing with toxic overload. But you can also run into trouble in the bottom half. Constipation can be an indication of toxic overload as it’s a sign of poor activity in the colon. And if your body is not regularly evacuating the toxins filtered by the liver and kidneys, they can actually leech back into your system as they sit waiting in your colon. That, obviously adds more toxins back into an already overloaded system and can lead to a cycle of uncomfortable symptoms and poor body function.
The big question is: What can we really do about it? Some things are nearly impossible to avoid; exposure to environmental pollution on a daily basis is somewhat out of our control. While we can do our best to choose natural products to put in and on our bodies and care for our homes, you will still experience toxins in your life. But there are other steps that we can take to make sure that our bodies are filtering and functioning at their best.
Here are four proactive steps that you can start today to support your body’s natural detoxification process.
2) Get Enough Salt in Your System. We’re not talking about iodized table salt. Instead, you want to be using a Celtic sea salt, mineral salt or pink Himalayan sea salt. These salts have a wide spectrum of the micronutrients that you need in your system, especially magnesium and iodine.
3) Exercise Every Day. The more your exercise, and the higher your activity level is, the more your blood is pumped through your body. And that means that the blood has to go through the liver and the kidneys which are your body’s primary detoxification organs. So by pushing the blood through your system a little bit faster each and every day through a period of higher activity, you’re helping the body detoxify naturally.
4) Stop Putting the Toxins In. One of the easiest and most important ways to detoxify your body and manage toxic overload is to stop putting the toxins in in the first place. Be conscious of what products you use in your home and on your body. Consider the quality of the water you drink and what you can do about it. If you are an individual that enjoys a lot of caffeinated beverages on a daily basis, maybe take a break from them for a day or two so that your body can process the excess. If you have a sweet tooth, taking a break from sugar for a week will give your body time to catch up. High fat diets that contain partially hydrogenated oils or trans fat are some of the worst stresses on your entire system. Consider removing things from your daily diet that are highly processed (think from a box or a bag) or those cooked in vegetable oil at excessive high heat (think any fast food) to eliminate trans fat in your diet.
Please understand – it’s fun to have a piece of candy now and again. It’s nice to have a piece of pizza or fast food, as a celebration here and there. But it’s the constant toxic overload day in and day out that really has a massive impact on your body, your hormones, your health and your well-being. Being cognizant of the impact that your daily choices have on your overall health is the first step to moving from a place of symptoms and dis-ease to a place of better function and health. And if you need support in making these changes, or figuring out where to start, we’re always here to help you get healthy and stay healthy for life.