Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Why You Need to Detox

To achieve health in the office, our goal is to get rid of toxins and with the right nutrition, the body can heal.  Healing is all about detoxing.  There are two types of toxins: external toxins (exotoxins) and internal toxins (endotoxins).  It is normal to have a certain amount of toxicity in the body.   A healthy body, toxins in, toxins out for we have our natural detox pathways where toxins end up in urine, bowel movements and sweat.  But when these pathways get overloaded by too many toxins and we can't eliminate them fast enough an imbalance occurs.  It first occurs as inflammation at the cellular level.  If this imbalance is not fixed at the cellular level then it increases to inflammation of the tissues and then inflammation of the organ.  When the organ is inflamed we start feeling symptoms. All disease starts with inflammation.  High toxicity can cause any symptom, it just depends on where it is in the body.  Manifestation also depends on the person's weak link which is determined by genetics.  Most commonly toxicity can cause digestive issues, skin reactions, feeling tired or unfocused or headaches.

Endotoxins are by-products of normal, everyday metabolic activities, but they can also be the result of destructive thoughts, emotions or stress.There are fleeting thoughts and then there are those bigger, all-consuming emotions you push aside.  You think they're gone because you're not actively thinking about them, but in fact, they may be impacting your immune, digestive or nervous systems.  Stress, anxiety and other negative emotions have a real impact on your health and so a key part of detoxing is not only nourishing the body, but also nourishing the mind.  

What creates endotoxins?

anger and resentment
bacterial end products
bowel toxins
free radicals
metabolic waste

Exotoxins enter your body when you ingest them in food or drink, or inhale them into your lungs.
What creates exotoxins?
air pollution
skin care
cleaning supplies
food sensitvities
heavy metals

We know these toxins come out through the urine, bowels and skin but how do they get there?  Through the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a complex network of vessels and nodes that carry lymphatic fluid throughout the body, like the way arteries and veins circulate blood.  In fact, lymphatic vessels flow alongside your blood vessels.  Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump (the heart).  Instead it relies on muscle movement to push fluid through its channels.  This means exercise and massage aren't just important for soothing your mind and muscles; they're also essential for a healthy lymphatic system.  

Lymphatic fluid carries white blood cells called lymphotcytes.  These cells disable harmful foreign invaders picked up from your blood.  When you are sick your lymphnodes can be swollen because they are working overtime to rid your body of foreign invaders.  

Your GALT is also part of the lymphatic system.  The GALT is the intersection of our gastrointestinal system, immune system, and nervous system and it is made up of a network of immune cells and membranes that line the inside passages of our body.  Think of it as our "inside skin".  The functions of the skin are to absorb nutrients and provide a barrier that protects toxins from getting into the body.  The GALT works similarly, but it lines the inside passages of our body including the sinuses, nose, lungs, mouth, esophagus, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, colon, vagina, urethra and bladder.

So your GALT protects you from toxins leaky from those areas into the rest of the body but when the body is overloaded with toxins the GALT barrier won't work well and toxins start to leak out in other areas of the body.  When this happens to the digestive system it is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome.  

More on the GALT and Leaky Gut Syndrome next blog.