When we ask how toxic are you? We’re not insulting your personality. We’re asking if you know what sort of toxins (and how many) are lurking in your body, potentially causing health problems. It’s an area our functional medicine team specializes in.
How Do Toxins Enter Your Body?
The fact is, you’re exposed to harmful chemicals (toxins) every day – through the air you breathe, the products you use, and the food you eat. Once these chemicals enter your body, we call them xenobiotics. Xenobiotic means foreign to life. Examples include heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, food additives, plastics, carcinogens, and drugs.
Your liver, kidneys, large intestines, lymphatic system, and sweat glands all work together to excrete these chemicals and try to prevent a toxic buildup. This natural process is called detoxification or detox. Of these organ systems, your liver plays one of the largest roles.
How Toxic Overload Can Affect Your Health
Some of the most common symptoms that may indicate your total body is suffering from toxic overload include:
- Irritability, anxiety, and depression
- Brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hormonal imbalance
- Sugar cravings
- Weight gain
- Skin issues (acne, pigmentation, etc.)
- Chronic digestive issues
We all have a different toxin exposure and genetic ability to produce the enzymes that help regulate the natural detoxification process. While you can’t change your genetics, you can change your toxin exposure through lifestyle changes. The biggest lifestyle change is eliminating toxic foods from your diet and increasing your intake of foods that support your body’s ability to process and eliminate toxins.
Take the Toxic Load Quiz to get started on detoxing and restoring your health.
How to Detox Your Body with the Help of Cima Health
In functional medicine, we take a nutrient-based approach to heavy metal detox and full body detox. Before we make any recommendations to you, we will perform a comprehensive medical exam, ask you questions about where you live, where you work, your typical diet, and more.
We’ll complete a full blood chemistry analysis which will help identify the root cause of your symptoms. This includes:
- A metabolic panel, including 52 separate blood tests
- A urinalysis, including 11 separate tests
- A hormone profile, including 10 separate tests
This comprehensive testing will help identify toxins in your body, nutrient and vitamin deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and more. Based on your specific situation, the doctor will curate a detox protocol to help you with detoxification. This can include an elimination diet as well as specially-formulated shakes and supplements.
Good Nutrition to Support Your Detox
Once we’ve identified some of the problem areas, we’ll recommend a series of lifestyle and nutritional changes to support liver function and a full-body detox. You’ll minimize toxic exposure and eat healthier. You’ve heard of a detox cleanse – but functional medicine does more than that. Rather than a one-time cleanse, we help you make changes that provide restorative, lifelong solutions.
Minimize Toxic Exposure
The first order of business is to minimize your toxic exposure. This can take many forms:
- Avoid air pollution
- Stop smoking
- Avoid plastic altogether
- Drink filtered or purified water
- Eat fresh food (not canned and not in wrapped in plastic)
- Eat organic foods
- Minimize alcohol consumption – it’s metabolized through your liver
- Use natural makeup, hair products, and skincare products
- Minimize stress
- Get plenty of exercise
- Use stainless steel and cast-iron cookware rather than non-stick pans
By limiting the toxins going into your body, you make it easier for your liver, kidneys, and endocrine system to do their job without being overloaded.
Eat Better to Support Natural Detoxification
Changing how you shop for food and upgrading your diet and that of your family can help support liver function and support natural detoxification. We can get into a deep discussion with you about how certain foods do that at a later time. For now, know that making these changes is not hard, but will require some forethought and conscious decisions.
Some recommendations to assist in full-body detox and to maintain a minimal toxic load include:
- Eat the Rainbow – add fresh fruits and vegetables of all colors to every meal.
- Eat Organic – Organic fruits, vegetables, beef, and other proteins aren’t full of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, and other toxins.
- Eat Nuts and Seeds – Add nuts and seeds to salads and other dishes to increase fiber and omega-3s. Flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and almonds are all good options.
- Eat Herbs and Spices – Add fresh or ground spices to your dishes. Good detox-supporting options include ginger, turmeric, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, and cilantro.
- Eat the Right Fish – Fatty fish such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, and herring are good for you. Avoid farm-raised fish such as tilapia and salmon that can contain high mercury levels. Avoid fish high in mercury such as king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, and bigeye tuna.
- Use the Right Supplements – Our doctor will use your test results to help determine which supplements would help you the most.
Get familiar with the organic foods section of your grocery store or local health food store. And support local organic restaurants when you choose to eat out. While we won’t go grocery shopping with you, we can offer nutrition tips, sample menus, and healthy lifestyle tips that can help support natural detoxification and lifelong health.
The benefits can include:
- More energy
- Fewer headaches
- Weight loss (if you exercise as well)
- Better mood and sense of well-being
- Balanced hormones
- Improved digestion
- Healthier skin
Ready to get started?