Detoxification and Cleansing
Chemicals in the environment can disrupt the normal activity of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and other hormones in women and men. These chemicals are known as “hormone” or “endocrine disrupting compounds”. We are exposed to endocrine-disrupting compounds every day, often without knowing it. The exposure to chemicals is coming from numerous sources including;
1. Pesticides on found on fruits and vegetables
2. Non-organic meat and dairy products tainted with dioxins
3. Fish that have high levels of mercury and pesticides
4. Bisphenol-A and phthalates in plastic beverage bottles, tablecloths, shower curtains, and plastic food wrappings, and plastic food storage containers
6. Unfiltered well water and city water
7. Household cleaning products, cosmetics, perfumes, dry cleaning, carpet, and vinyl floors
8. Furniture air fresheners, mattresses, and shampoos
9. Personal care products
10. Hobbies and jobs
Studies have shown that low-dose daily exposure to these chemicals can affect our health. These chemicals affect the hormonal system leading to such conditions as breast cancer, prostate cancer, BPH, infertility, fibroids, endometriosis, dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson, fibromyalgia, thyroid disease, and more. For many, they cause vague symptoms of fatigue, muscle aches, brain fog, numbness, abdominal pain, and poor digestion.
Chemicals that build up in the body will start to affect health if they are not removed. The basic principle behind detoxification is to remove the toxins stored in your body. This is done by releasing chemicals from fat tissue, organs and extracellular spaces that have been stored for years. Once they are released, they will re-enter the bloodstream and will be metabolized through the liver. This is where it is critical to support liver phase-one and phase-two detoxification pathways. Next, the organs of elimination need to be supported to get the toxic byproducts produced from the liver out of the body.
The four steps in detoxification include mobilizing stored toxins, supporting liver metabolism, elimination from the body, and avoid re-exposure to chemicals in the environment. The first part of detoxification involves getting the stored toxins to be released back into the bloodstream.
Methods used to mobilize pesticides, solvents, and other fat-loving chemicals include:
1. Caloric restriction
Caloric restriction can release chemicals stored in adipose tissue back into the bloodstream but they don’t get eliminated from the body without support for liver metabolism and excretion. These chemicals can then get redistributed to other organs and tissues. Sauna therapy can also be used to mobilize and excrete chemicals that are stored in the body. Chelation is the pharmacological mobilization of heavy metals from storage sites and is another method for mobilizing toxins. The three main chelating agents in the U.S. are calcium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (CaEDTA), dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), or 2,3-dimercapto-1-propane sulfonic acid (DMPS).
Once the chemicals are released from storage, they need to be broken down so they can be eliminated from the body. Liver phase one and phase two metabolism need to be supported with nutrients, herbs, and amino acids. Once the liver breaks down the released chemicals they need to be eliminated from the body through the kidney and bowel. Methods to support elimination include; castor oil packs and sauna therapy, fiber, coffee enemas, and colonics. Lastly, it is important to educate people on how to avoid re-exposure to chemicals in the environment.
How to avoid toxins in your daily life:
1. Buy only organic fruits and vegetables that are free of pesticide residues.
2. Buy hormone and antibiotic-free meats and dairy products.
3. Buy fresh or frozen foods and avoid canned foods lined with plastic.
4. Eat wild fish low in mercury, such as wild Alaskan salmon, flounder, haddock, and pollack
5. Do not store or heat food in plastic containers; use glass.
6. Buy in bulk to decrease plastic packaging.
7. Store food in glass jars when you get it home.
8. Drink water out of glass containers rather than plastic.
9. Filter your own water.
10. Use a home air filter.
11. Use earth-friendly, detergent, cleaners and soaps.
12. Try to rework your conception of what looks beautiful, and avoid herbicides and pesticides.
13. Use natural pest control instead of insecticides.
14. Replace vinyl mini blinds, shower curtains, and placemats with fabric.
15. If you’re building a home or remodeling, use earth-friendly, non-toxic materials.
16. Use a non-toxic dry cleaner, or air out dry-cleaning before bringing it into the home.
17. Use natural, organic, non-bleached tampons without a plastic applicator.
18. Avoid the use of fragrances, and remember that unscented is not fragrance-free.
19. Use only non-toxic cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, deodorant and other products.
20. Remove your shoes when you enter the home.
It is important to be guided through a proper detoxification/cleansing plan by an expert in environmental medicine, such as Dr. Marianne Marchese. Many supplements promoted for detoxification in fact do not help remove chemicals from the body. Also, there are numerous drug-supplement interactions. Even though we all are exposed to chemicals at a low level on a daily basis, not everyone's health is affected. Genetics play a role and treatments need to be specific for each person’s genetic make-up, exposure history, current health status, and symptoms.
Come see Dr. Marchese for your individualized detoxification plan.