What is detoxing and why it’s vital to your health? Toxins are found throughout our environment – in our oceans, drinking water, air, soil, our foods and the things in our homes. Some of these toxins, such as lead, naturally occur on earth but our exposure to them has increased due to human activities such as mining and manufacturing. Other toxins, such as BPA, are man-made.
In the last 50 years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the production and use of chemicals in the United States. Today there are over 84,000 chemicals registered for use on the market. Toxins have found their way in beauty products, household cleaners, carpets, furniture, mattresses, food and house dust. Concurrently, there’s been an increase in the incidence of cancers, diabetes, mood disorders and obesity.
Most Commonly Found Toxins
- Heavy metals like mercury, lead, radon, bismuth and arsenic. These heavy metals are prevalent in drinking water, some seafood, rice, vaccines, pesticides, preserved wood, antiperspirant, building materials, dental amalgams and paints. Even in trace amounts, heavy metals can pose significant health threats.
- Bisphenol A (BPA). About 93% of Americans have BPA in their bodies. BPA sources include plastics, canned goods, meat packaging, and printed receipts. BPA has been recently replaced in many consumer products with other bisphenols like BPS, which studies are showing to be just as toxic.
- Chlorinated plastics. PVC is commonly referred to as vinyl – and it’s used in vinyl flooring, wall paper, carpet backing, resilient flooring, siding, window treatments, acoustical ceiling surfaces, upholstery textiles, waterproofing, pipes.
- Phthalates. Phthalates are a class of chemicals mainly used in scented products to lengthen the life of fragrances and used to make plastics more soft and flexible. Like in toys, plastic bottles, food packaging, shower curtains, blow-up mattresses, carpeting, vinyl flooring, cosmetics and perfumes, candles, air fresheners and sprays. Phthalates affect the reproductive system, contribute to obesity, diabetes, and thyroid irregularities. The US does not currently regulate phthalates.
- Parabens. Parabens are commonly used as preservatives in skin and cosmetics products including many expensive “anti-aging skin products” and almost all personal care products that contain water. They are also found in store-bought food. It’s a known endocrine disruptor known for mimicking estrogen, linked to breast cancer.
- Triclosan. Triclosan is a chemical added to antimicrobial products, and is a known endocrine disruptor that affects thyroid function as well as liver toxicity. It is commonly used in body washes, antibacterial soap, and antibacterial toothpaste, tile and grouts, toilet seats and shower curtains.
- Mold and mycotoxins. Mold can cause a range of health problems with exposure to only a small amount. Mold grows in warm, moist, indoor areas, and thrives on moisture (humidity and water) and cellulose (wood and paper), thus are most common in showers, behind walls, in crawl spaces and attics. Mold can also be present in foods, like nuts and legumes (especially peanuts), grains like wheat and corn and dairy products (except cultured dairy like yogurt and kefir).
- Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is commonly found in composite wood products (like particleboard, plywood, MDF, and paneling) as well as manufactured wood products (like desks, bookshelves, beds, kitchen cabinets), car exhaust, industrial pollution, carpets, insulation, paint and varnishes, adhesives, permanent press fabrics and dry cleaning.
- Pesticides, aka persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These are the most commonly used pesticides in commercial agriculture. According to the EPA, 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides and 30% of insecticides are known to be carcinogenic. Alarmingly, pesticide residues have been detected in 50-95% of U.S. foods.
- Flame Retardants. Flame retardants are found not only in upholstered furniture, but in electronics, inside the plastic casings for tvs, computers, etc. They’re often used in insulation, polyurethane foam, carpet cushion, paint, textiles (including children’s pajamas), furniture, mattresses and electronics. Unfortunately, they do not stick to the materials, but filter into your environment. Flame retardants can cause disruption of the endocrine, reproductive, and immune systems, neurobehavioral toxicity and cancer. Flame retardants are bromide based chemicals and are almost impossible to wash out of clothing.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are a group of chemicals that become gas as room temperature, thus easily bringing gas pollutants into the home from a variety of sources. We call this “off gassing” There are over 400 compounds in the VOC family which have been identified in the home and of these over 200 can be found in carpeting! According to the EPA, VOCs tend to be 5X higher in indoor air than outdoor air, likely because they are present in so many household products.
The Effect of Toxins On Your Health
Over time, chronic and daily exposure to toxins add up – like tiny drops in a bucket – contributing to your body’s toxic load, eventually interfering with its ability to function optimally and subsequently leading to harmful effects on your health.
Research is now showing us that toxins play much more of a driving role in creating disease than we realize. According to the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences data, environmental factors cause between 80-90% of all cancers.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, one of the world’s leading authorities on science-based natural medicine calls “Toxicity is the primary driver of disease.” Tracey Woodruff, director of UCSFs Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, was quoted in an interview, saying the environmental toxins might be a missing factor in the cause and prevention of disease.
When your cumulative toxic burden is left unaddressed, it may lead to health challenges. If you’re struggling with a health condition or unexplainable symptom and you don’t know the root cause – toxic overload may be the culprit. See these common symptoms of heavy metal toxicity.
Chronic toxic exposure can be indicated by such symptoms as:
- Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation
- Mood issues, anxiety or depression
- Brain fog or memory loss, attention disorders
- Asthma or other respiratory issues
- Headaches and migraines
- Unexplained pain and soreness
Why Toxins Are Stored In Fat
When toxins enter the body, they will be flagged as intruders. Some of the toxins are eliminated through our body’s natural detox pathways – our sweat, urine and stool – but our body has a limited detox capacity, so what the body is not able to remove, it stores.
Many environmental chemicals are lipophilic, which means they get stored in fat tissue. This is a brilliant defense mechanism our bodies use to prevent toxins from freely circulating, but it’s also not a healthy long-term solution for toxins to be stored in our bodies in this manner, where they gradually accumulate over time and eventually cause disease.
And while the body can burn fat, it can’t burn toxins. So during weight loss or detox protocols for example, these previously sequestered toxins begin entering the bloodstream so they can be expelled from the body, however the process can be uncomfortable. People often feel feverish, achy, irritable, etc. This is referred to as a “Herxheimer reaction” and is also the reason why we recommend using binders to help usher these toxins out of the body. This is why safe and effective detoxification is crucial.
Increase Your Toxicity IQ
When it comes to toxicity, the more you know, the less toxic you’re likely to be. Once you’ve taken stock of the toxins in your life, there are actionable steps you can take to minimize further exposure, detox and create a less toxic home and lifestyle, ultimately leading to a reduced toxic load and better health!
Step 1: Remove non-essential toxins from your environment, like non-stick cookware, antiperspirants.
Step 2: Replace these items with safer alternatives, like cast iron pans and non-toxic deodorants
Step 3: Reduce exposure where removal of toxic exposures is not possible. For example, hardwire internet cables instead of using WIFI.
Step 4: Avoid future exposure by making safer purchasing decisions. Research items before making purchases, to make sure you know ingredients and whether there are safer, less toxic alternatives available.
Step 5: Detoxing!
My favorite Non-Toxic Items
How to Tell If You’re Toxic
For starters, read this article on how to know if it’s time to detox?
Second, take this toxicity self-assessment:
I use scented body lotions and/or wear perfume/cologne.
I use toothpaste with fluoride.
I dry clean my clothes.
I live in a newly built home (within the last 5 years) OR I live in a home that has new carpet, floors, cabinets, paint or furniture.
I’ve had a flood, roof, window or pipe leak, water damage, wet carpet or have visible water stains on the ceiling or walls.
I drink unfiltered tap water or bottled water.
I cook with non-stick pots and pans, like Teflon.
I use a weed killer like RoundUp in my yard.
I buy conventional produce, meats and poultry.
I use candles or air freshening products like plug-ins, sprays, sticks, like Febreze, Glade
If you answered YES to more than 4 of these statements, it might be time to take a serious look at the toxins in your environment and to do a deep detox.
Many clients ask me if we can test toxicity. While you can’t test your “toxic load” per se, we can test for heavy metals in the body. Be aware that simple blood work measures the level of certain toxins circulating in the blood. Remember, toxins get stored in fat. What we do in our clinic is a provoked urine test, which is when a chelating agent is introduced to trigger toxins to be released into the urine to give you an idea of the metals dormant in the body.
While testing can provide us with valuable data, it’s relatively safe to assume most people can benefit from a deep detox that will clear out your ‘toxic bucket’ and reset your health.
Natural Detox Strategies
- Here are my favorite detox strategies which include avoiding toxins, fasting, eating the right foods that support detoxification and stimulate glutathione.
- Watch this video with Dr. Daniel Pompa on how to safely and effectively detox.
- Fasting and keto diet are incredibly helpful to assist with detoxification, as it helps the healthy cell regenerate and detox the mitochondria in our cells.
- You can read my Beginner’s Guide to Fasting here.
- We love using the infrared sauna to support detoxification. Sweating is one of our biggest detox organs and pathways. During a detox protocol, I recommend all my clients use the infrared sauna to help usher toxins out of the body through sweat. We have a Sunlighten infrared sauna in our clinic, you can book a session here.
- Opening up the skin and lymphatic drainage pathways is also a great way to assist the detoxification process.
How To Detox
Option 1: Do an “out of the box” detox from Systemic Formulas. You’ll want to follow this 3-phase detox program, which involves a prep phase, body phase, and brain phase. There are so many detox programs out there, but few live up to the quality and effectiveness of Systemic Formulas. It is what I use with my clients and in my Toxin Reset programs. Here is a detailed video on everything you need to know about heavy metal detoxing and another useful one on the safest way to detox heavy metals.
Option 2: Join a group detox program. Most of my clients are nervous about detoxing, or need help and support during the detox process. If this is you, you’ll want to join my 90-Day Toxin Reset program. It is an amazing way to reset your health with me as your guide!
Join our Detox Program: Toxin Reset
The intensive group detox is designed to go upstream and straight to toxins, such as heavy metals and environment chemicals. These toxins get stored in some of the most critical areas of our body, such as our glands, organs, brain tissue, and cells. When this happens, we experience a variety of symptoms like brain fog, weight gain, insomnia, fatigue, gut issues, inexplicable pain, etc. that can later lead to diseases like cancer, Alzheimers, diabetes, and obesity.
We take a 3-phase approach to detoxing that includes a Prep Phase where we support the body with vital nutrients to strengthen the detox organs, preparing them for the upcoming detox. In Phase 2, aka the Body Phase, we take methylation to the next level, pushing toxins from the body and capturing the toxins so that they can be fully eliminated from the body. In Phase 3, aka the Brain Phase, we focus on cleansing the brain at a cellular level, while nutritionally nourishing the brain’s natural energy system.
What’s included in the detox:
- Expert guidance and education
- Weekly Q&A Calls
- All supplements for the 3 phases of detoxification (U.S only)
- Comprehensive detox manual
- Additional resources to get the most out of your detox
- Small group setting
- Community Support
- Plus, how to detox your home and mindset too!
Check here to join our Toxin Reset group!