Functional Medicine Starts with Good Detoxification
A lot of people think that a detoxification means that you take some supplements and then run to the bathroom all day, I am here to tell you that is not what this is and not what I’m going to talk about. That is not a detox, it’s a colon cleanse aka “colon purge”. That is a short term solution to a specific problem, there are no long term benefits when you go that particular route. What I am talking about here, is giving the support your body needs to clean out toxins and impurities and function the way it needs to. The toxins inside of you come from your own body as well as the out side environment. If you do not remove them, they will cause your body harm.
Getting back to basics
Now that we have lined out exactly what detox is not, let’s talk about what it is. And it makes more sense to talk about it from a functional medicine stand point. As in, we need to support the functions of our bodies, by using detoxification as a medicine. If you look at it from that perspective it means going back to basics. You cannot realistically expect your body to function well when it is overrun with toxins.
Toxins come from many sources. Most realize that toxins can be found in the air and water. However, a lesser known source includes food, and not just the chemicals on it, but in the case of genetically modified food, the food itself. Additional hidden sources are also new carpet, paints and common household solutions. The point that I am making here is that toxins are ubiquitous in our environment. Here in Houston, we are not only a metropolitan area, but also close to the petrochemical industry. Toxins lurk around every corner. If nothing else, they are in the air you breathe. You cannot run from them. Likewise, we also make toxins internally daily. So even if you are in an ideal environment free of toxic burden, you still need to have an adequate detoxification system. Adequate detoxification should be part of any health maintenance strategy.
What is detoxification
Yet, detoxification is not a guaranteed process. It can become sluggish. This is where functional medicine and detoxification meld. Detoxification as the term is commonly used implies a theoretical process that the body must undergo for a defined period of time to rid itself of a buildup of toxins. It assumes that once the detox process is complete, the body will have rid itself of the toxic accumulation. In reality, this is not the way in which detoxification functions. Detoxification is about taking a fat soluble substance and modifying it to water soluble, thus made easier for excretion. This process happens daily and is dependent on having adequate nutrient availability, specifically B vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids. However, hindrance of detoxification can be secondary to thyroid dysfunction, poor sleep habits, and hormones just to name a few.
Detoxing is a lifestyle not an event
When you go through a poorly executed detoxification, there are usually symptoms present. These usually include headaches, skin problems and hormone imbalances. Underscoring function as the primary importance in human biochemistry, functional medicine ideally the best route to go when you are wanting to realign your systems functions and overcome impaired detoxification systems. There are a plethora of reasons. As I practice functional medicine, I am thinking big picture not thinking of 1 single system. It takes many systems functioning together to make a proper detox happen. If you are only looking at one system from a reductionist’s standpoint you are singling out the other systems that are just as important in the process. Also, functional medicine as an approach, can help guide you in many aspects of your life while trying to learn to detox your body, because it affects more than just your diet. When you start thinking along the lines of a science based approach, the impediments and causes of impaired detoxification can be addressed completely. What this mean is that you will learn to support your detoxification daily not just for a short period of time. This is a lifestyle. The best part about it is that you won’t be falling for those “detox” gimmicks that claim they will detox you, you will actually be taking care of your body all of the time so that you will not get to a point where you feel the need to detoxify yourself. You will be caring for your body the way you are supposed to.
We have a 14 day Detoxification kit available that I recommend. It is comprehensive and includes everything but the food. It even has a meal plan to help aid your body and the supplements in the detox process. This can jump start you into a new healthier lifestyle. Please contact our office if you would like to set up an appointment to discuss this with me.