Sunday, August 20, 2006

Do you need to detox?

Nehehmahnyah Ben Shaleak,
KNN Staff Researcher/Writer

Are you overweight or tired all the time? Do you have headaches, other aches and pains, frequent colds and flu’s, constipation or digestive problems, high blood pressure, allergies or sensitivities. Do you often drink too much alcohol, drink caffeinated beverages, smoke cigarettes, use over-the-counter or recreational drugs, or eat fast, fried or refined foods?

Overweight? If you're overweight, you have more toxins in your body than a thin person because the body stores excess toxins in fat cells. But don't despair– one of the great additional benefits of detoxing is losing weight!

Tired all the time? According to noted biochemist Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., "toxicology textbooks list the first symptoms of chronic poisoning as low energy, fatigue, muscle weakness, inability to concentrate and intestinal complaints."

-Headaches? Food additives, sugar, alcohol, caffeine withdrawal, constipation, hormonal imbalance and exposure to irritants such as pollution, perfume or after-shaves are all causes of headaches that can often be relieved by detoxification.
-Other aches and pains? Holistic practitioners are finding that several forms of arthritis can be significantly relieved by a detoxification diet, plus proper supplementation. Drs. Barrie and Bennett, state, "Arthritis pain may be related to a toxic reaction to specific foods (food allergies), dehydration from inadequate intake of water, a very common problem, and bowel toxemia."

Frequent colds and flu? Frequent colds and flu are signs of a suppressed immune system. Detoxification, appropriate nutritional supplementation, improvement in diet– improved stress management and regular, but not overly strenuous exercise are part of a comprehensive plan for improving your immune system.

Constipation or digestive problems? A healthy digestive system eliminates its contents one to three times daily. If you do not have at least one bowel movement a day, or if you have flatulence or chronic indigestion, a detox program as part of a larger change of diet and awareness about food can often change those problems rapidly.

High blood pressure? James F. Balch, M.D., and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., authors of Prescription for Nutritional Healing recommend fasting (an ancient, but what we consider extreme, form of detox) for three to five days a month for those suffering from high blood pressure. Caution must be exercised: High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and for those who suffer from it, there are many specific guidelines in reference to over-the-counter medications, supplements, herbs, foods, and food additives that must be observed to prevent stroke and heart attack. You need to be under a doctor's care, but we encourage you to work with a holistically oriented physician who can support you in lifestyle changes that will address many of its risk factors.

Allergies or sensitive’s? By and large, conventional health care only deals with masking the symptoms of allergies and food sensitivities, rather than attempting to resolve them. Higher levels of detoxing, as well as additional immune support through nutritional supplementation, have been known to help many allergy sufferers. Allergies are, however, almost by definition, a very individualized condition.

Drink caffeinated beverages? Most Americans do. And with the stress of our society, it's hard not to. Even if you're not ready to quit for good, a spring and fall detox can give your liver a chance to rest from detoxifying all that caffeine every day, and that can have tremendous physical benefits in terms of more energy, better sleep and reduced stress which in turn can also make it possible to cut down significantly on caffeine after your detox.

Smoke cigarettes? Surely no one has to tell you they're toxic. But unless you're one of the few people who only smoke a couple at parties now and again, you've got an addiction that is not only expensive, but stinky, and truly unhealthy to others. One great way to look at this is if you can kick this habit (and you can) which is detoxifying in itself, other health improvements are going to be easy by comparison.

Eat fast foods, fried foods or refined foods? In addition to having very little, if any, nutritional value, fast foods, fried foods and refined foods have to be processed by the liver and take its energy away from other detoxification work it has to do. A low fat diet, with lots of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables supports the liver with nutrients and easy-to-digest food. Switching to such a diet is the first step in an over-all detox program that can give you more energy, help you to lose weight and feel years younger.

If you have answered yes to any of these, you can significantly benefit from detox. Even if you haven't, detox can help you feel even better, and help you protect your health to an even greater extent.

No comments: