What is a Toxin?
A toxin is defined as any compound that can harm the structure or function of body cells and tissues. Toxicity occurs when we take in more or produce more toxins than the body can eliminate. Even with a healthy diet and only moderate intakes of substances such as caffeine and alcohol, our bodies are exposed to a cocktail of toxins on a daily basis.
More than 2 million synthetic substances have been identified as toxic to the human body and up to 25,000 new toxins are added to that list each year. Everyday 700,000 tonnes of chemicals and toxins are released into our environment.
How Can Toxins Affect Us?
Toxins can slowly accumulate in the body over time and overload our internal detoxification systems. They can enter the body through the skin, lungs or can be ingested with food and drinks. Our body also produces toxins as part of normal metabolic processes.
Toxins cause damage to our cellular DNA and long term exposure can result in metabolic and genetic alternations. This can affect cell growth, behaviour, hormonal balance and immune response and often results in increased sensitivities, allergies and other health problems.
One of the body’s defense mechanism’s when faced with toxicity is to store the harmful chemicals in your fat tissue. This means that these poisons can be stored for many years in our body, becoming an ongoing source of ill health.
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What are the Symptoms of Toxicity?
Toxins start to overload our internal detoxification systems, often resulting in many of the symptoms below:
- Lethargy and low energy
- Recurrent headaches
- Skin problems such as dryness, psoriasis, eczema or acne
- Hormonal problems (including PMS and Infertility)
- Abnormal body odour, coated tongue or bad breath
- Adverse reactions/sensitivity to chemicals and odours
- Difficulty losing weight
- Frequent allergies and infections
- Poor memory/concentration
- Digestive problems/constipation
- Muscle aching and weakness
- Generally feeling unwell
NOW is a perfect time to rid the body of accumulative toxins and to increase our vitality, rejuvenate the body and lose a couple of those extra festive kilos! A Clinical Detoxification Program is a great way to achieve this
So What is a Clinical Detoxification Program, and Why Should I do one?
A Clinical Detoxification Program, supervised by a professionally qualified practitioner, is a safe and highly effective way to eliminate toxins and strengthen our organs of detoxification and elimination (bowel, liver, kidneys and lymphatic system). The clinical program places significant focus on providing the body with the specific nutrients to assist with the removal of toxic substances, inoculation of the gut with beneficial bacteria, provide nutritional factors that feed and sustain the growth of this beneficial bacteria and provide nutrients to help repair the lining of the gut, therefore decreasing its “leakiness”.
What Is Optimal Digestion?
Optimal digestive health should involve opening our bowels ‘fully’ every day to eliminate our toxins and wastes. Our stools should be long and formed (not pellets or loose) with minimal odour and the colour should be mid-brown. We should not experience heartburn, reflux, excessive belching, excessive wind, bloating, abdominal cramps/pain, irregular bowel habits and bad breath. If you experience these symptoms on a regular basis, it is a strong indication that your digestive system is not functioning optimally.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
When the membrane that lines the gut is healthy, it can be selective about what it absorbs. Under these circumstances nutrients are absorbed through the membrane as needed into the lymphatic system and the blood stream, while microbes, toxins and larger molecules are too big to pass through and are eliminated.
However, this layer is only one cell thick and can be easily damaged. If the stresses on the cells are too high, gaps begin to form between the cells. These gaps allow the unregulated entry of partially digested proteins, fragments of bacteria and other waste from the gut back into the lymphatic system and the bloodstream. This is referred to as “leaky gut syndrome”.
Diseases Associated With Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Inflammatory Bowel Disorders
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Attention Deficit Disorder
The Liver is the body’s number 1 detoxifying organ. There are two phases involved in liver detoxification known as Phase 1 and Phase 2.
Phase 1 uses enzymes to ‘bio-transform’ the toxins, for the purpose of making them less toxic and water soluble, increasing the success of their elimination or excretion from the body. After processing by Phase 1, the toxin actually becomes highly reactive, and can act as a free radical . These toxic molecules (free radicals) cause health problems if they are not dealt with promptly.
Ideally, Phase 2 will act on the reactive intermediate (toxin) as quickly as possible, reducing the time available for it to react with body tissues and create damage to cell membranes or DNA. Therefore, it is critical for effective detoxification that Phase 2 keeps up with Phase 1, so that there is no accumulation of these reactive substances.
As you can see, our gut and liver are our body’s primary defence barriers for protection from reactive toxins and infectious organisms. Defective function of these organs directly increases the toxic burden and this affects our immune and nervous systems, producing inflammatory reactions and neurological dysfunction.
What is Involved?
Lina Capovilla one of our fantastic naturopaths and Detoxification expert will tailor an individual dietary guideline for you to follow throughout the program. The objective with dietary intervention is to reduce your exposure to reactive foods and chemicals that induce leaky gut syndrome and liver, digestive and immune dysfunction.
A detox program increases your intake of foods and drinks that will cleanse your body and help repair the natural processes of detoxification as well as provide protective antioxidants. It will simultaneously cut out those habits that rob you of nutrients and optimal health.
Many people incorrectly think that fasting solely on vegetables and fruit is a healthy way to “detox” the body. This is untrue and can actually do more harm than good. It is the amino acids derived from protein foods that drive detoxification (particularly liver detoxification). Vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants and therefore protect and safeguard the detoxification process. In addition to a special detox diet, specific nutritional and herbal medicines are prescribed to speed up and support the detoxification process.
Once you have finished your Clinical Detoxification Program, your Vitalchi naturopath will then tailor a maintenance program for long-term health and wellbeing.
Benefits of a Clinical Detoxification Program
- Prevention of many chronic diseases
- Digestive tract is cleansed of accumulated waste
- Liver, kidney and blood purification
- Mental clarity is enhanced
- Reduced dependency on habit-forming substances
- Stomach size is returned to normal
- Weight loss
- Hormonal system is enhanced
- Immune system is stimulated
- Healthy skin
- Increased energy, wellbeing and longevity