How to stay healthy - part 4 - Detoxification
In recent history, mankind has managed to drastically change the chemistry of our environment.
A report in 1989 stated, ( I wonder about the stats now) that a grand total of 5,705,670,380 pounds of chemical pollutants were released into the environment we eat, breath and live in ......
.... all in just One year.
To compound the problem of our toxic environment, we have refined away much of the nutritional value of our food supply and replaced it with artificial colourings, preservatives, flavourings, conditioners, etc..
Unfortunately, our Diet, combined with extensive use of Antibiotics, Hormones in medicine and agriculture, may have predisposed many of us to experience a kind of "Internal Pollution".
Internal pollution occurs when the healthful bacteria in the intestinal tract are overcome by unhealthy bacteria. But toxins not only come from external sources (referred to as exotoxins); they are also produced from within the body (endotoxins). For example; intestinal bacteria may release specific metabolic by-products, that when absorbed, have toxic effects, negatively impacting overall health...
Consequences of Toxicity...
When the body experiences an overload of toxic substances, the consequences can manifest in a number of ways: headaches; muscle and joint pain; fatigue; irritability; depression; mental confusion; gastro-intestinal tract irregularities; cardiovascular abnormalities; flu-like symptoms or allergic reactions, including hives, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and coughing and even more serious; autoimmune disease, including inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
The Role Of Intestinal Permeability...
From the body's point of view, the digestive tract, starting at the mouth and ending at the anus, is one long pipe and even more important, it is to be recognised as an "outside" surface. In other words, we may compare ourself to a doughnut, lots of body and a hole in the middle. Before material (food, toxins, bacteria, anything) enters the body, it must cross the gut-mucosa by either active or passive means.
The gut, acting as a selective barrier, absorbs needed nutrients, water, electrolytes and vitamins and should exclude anything else. If the bowel is unable to exclude non-nutritive material, then toxic, antigenic material can cross the mucosa and enter circulation.
All material that crosses the mucosa is inspected by the immune system. Individuals with an abnormal or "Leaky Gut", may develop an abnormal inflammatory response to these Antigens, be they dietary (insufficient digested food particles, macromolecules), bacterial, viral, chemical or endotoxins in origin, could produce either local or systemic diseases, such as Allergies or even Autoimmune Diseases.
What causes the Intestinal Mucosa to become more permaeable (leaky)?
Permeability changes occur as a result of irritation of the gut lining (alcohol, smoking), overgrowth or imbalance of intestinal flora, chronic nutritional insufficiency, and/or exposure to bacterial, viral and chemical toxins. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin have also reported to cause gastrointestinal damages. Ironically, many people who have an inflammatory joint disesae are prescribed NSAID'S for inflammation and painrelief, which may exacerbate the problem of both gut permeability and the inflammatory disease itself.
Further complication, > low gastric acidity and malabsorbtion...
Gastric acid secretion is a fundamental step in digestion and assimilation. Many clinical conditions originate with decreased gastric acidity, such as: bloating, belching, burning, and flatulence immediately after meals; a sense of fullness after eating; indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, allergies, nausea after taking supplements; rectal itching; weak, peeling or cracked fingernails; dilated capillaries in the cheeks and nose (in non-alcoholics); post-adolescent acne; iron deficiency; chronic intestinal infections - parasites, yeast, bacteria; undigested food in stool; malabsorbtion in general and of fat, characterised by steatorrhea (floating stool).
Acid secretion decreases with age...
Gastric Acid secretion prevents excessive growth of bacteria in the small intestine and is the main barrier for any organism to travel up or down the digestive tract. Bacterial overgrowth interferes with digestion and irritates the intestinal mucosa, a strong factor in bowel permeability. A number of important clinical diseases are strongly associated with low gastric secretion and malabsorption, such as: Addison's disease, Allergies, Asthma, Coeliac, Chronic autoimmune disorders, Dermatitis, Diabetes mellitus, Eczema, Gallbladder, Gastric carcinoma, Gastritis, Glossitis, Graves disease, Hepatitis, "Leaky Gut" syndrome, Lupus erythematous, osteoporosis, Pernicious anaemia, Psoriasis, Rosacea, Urticaria, Vitiliga, Weightloss or gain.
Food Intolerance: Allergy or Intestinal Disorder?
Recently, it has been suggested that specific food intolerances are not true allergies, but rather are related to metabolic toxicity and leaking bowel syndrome, as discussed above. This has been shown in patients who, after going through detoxification and re-establishment of an intact mucosa and a healthy intestinal flora, have had far less allergy reaction or even non, depending on the length of the program. (Ask about allergy and phenolic's info)
Understanding Detoxification, in the Past and Now...
In the past, detoxification included the water and juice fast. Today however, we know methods such as these may do more harm than good. These fasts work under the principle that the body will heal itself when the "stress" of digestion and the insulting agents are eliminated..
However, the different processes of detoxification are not only energy intensive, but are dependent upon adequate levels of supporting nutrients. A water fast, being totally devoid of energy sources, may infect suppress detoxification rather than enhance it. (Fasts work well for healthy people who have enough energy reserves)
Detoxification programs that use a broad-based nutritional approach are advantageous for a number of reasons. These programs, while detoxifying, supply the Liver with the right nutrients to enhance the de-toxification processes and at the same time prevent muscle tissue catabolism; build up a healthy intestinal flora and regenerate mucous linings. Additionally, fructo-oligosacchaides may enhance detoxification by stimulating the growth of Bifidobacteria, a friendly bacteria.
To put it all into a nutshell; our environment has become toxic, so have our bodies. Combine this with; a leaky bowl, bacteria or yeast overgrowth and top that up with low gastric acid production and you have created a perfect condition to set yourself up with about any disease you could think of.
Although that may sound rather negative, we have at least now the understanding and the means to correct this condition; a personal tailored detoxification program, monitored with toxic bowel test's and symptom charts.
Detoxification can be adminestrate in various degrees.
For the chronic ill person, who has suffered from a cocktail of diseases, symptoms and illnesses, there is only one way to go, a step by step detoxification program, eliminating all possible disturbances to the system. Such a full fledged program can easily take one year of work, which should come not as a surprise, considering the length of time a patient had a chronic illness.
For the fit and healthy person, detoxification is just a matter of prevention and may involve a simple program lasting for a week. I personally recommend for everyone at least 1 week each year, to go through a mild Detoxification Program, including prevention techniques and re-establishing intestinal flora , which I call the Personal Wellness Program.
It's much more fun to work on your "wellness" than on your sickness...
How to Stay Healthy ... detoxify ....
By the way, detoxification is certainly not new ... people have detoxified forever, most cultures have their own traditional detoxification methods ...
.. feel free to share some of yours ..
Here are some more information for people wanting to know more about detoxification, prevention or starting a weight loss program.
Weight loss is greatly benefited by a detoxification program.
... How to stay healthy ... to be continued ... go back to the >> How to Stay Healthy Menu
Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.