Do Detoxes Work
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Do Detoxes Work
Rough Transcript (listening is best)
Hey friends, today we are tackling a tough topic, do detoxes work. This time of year I am normally running my annual nourishing detox, this year we are running them exclusively in the Autoimmune Revolution membership, but the question still comes up - do detoxes work?
This is a tough topic because the answer is a little complicated. Detoxing your body DOES work, but not in the way you are probably thinking! Therein lies the tough part. Many conventional medicine practitioners would have you think you don’t need to detox - because your liver and kidney’s and skin already do that) and while that's true there is so much more to it than that!
So in today’s episode, we are talking about do detoxes work, should you be doing them, what kind and how long, and what are the actual benefits vs dangers?
Welcome if this is your first time listening - I’m Audrey Christie - I’m a functional and integrative nurse nutritionist and energy medicine practitioner. I help women start their very own Autoimmune Revolution so you can stop chasing symptoms and learn how to heal your body from autoimmune disease.
Are you wondering if detoxes work?
If you haven’t heard of detoxing then you may not have social media, maybe even not the radio or tv. Like at all. I know Artificial Intelligence targets you by your interests so what we see on social is all different, but I only have to start thinking about when I am holding my seasonal detoxes and the detox and cleanses ads go crazy.
The problem with these, whether they are free or paid, juice or supplement, new or old, is that often they make claims that aren’t true, they cause troubles in your body, or they are just plain dangerous.
A story about a detox gone wrong...
I had a client that came to me after a 3-day juice cleanse. She had done the cleanse, wasn’t given too many instructions to go with it, so she continued working out regularly, keeping up her busy pace in life, and really didn’t change anything other than no solid food for 3 days. She had started on a highly processed inflammatory diet went right to the juice cleanse (of conventional produce) and then right back off of juice and back on to her Standard American Diet.
Do you think she saw any benefits? Nope. In fact, she saw worsening of her symptoms, GI upset, skin rashes, lasting fatigue, and had sleep issues during the cleanse and for weeks after.
So based on this anecdotal information, you might think that I am going to tell you that the answer to “do detoxes work” is a hard no. Guess again!
You see it is not that detoxes don’t work, it's just that they aren’t magic bullets for wellness, and often, if they aren’t done the right way, or with the right ingredients, or the right length of time then they can actually make things worse. There are many cases of people cleansing or detoxing, feeling better for a week or two and then their symptoms come back with vengeance.
There is also a big difference between a detox where we are getting rid of parasites, bugs, biofilms, and coinfections AND a nutritional detox that sort of resets the system. Like a big difference, they are often used together but they have very different results, benefits, and risks. In upcoming episodes, I will be talking more about that for sure.
How to Tell if You Need to Detox
Here are some signs that you might need a nutritional detox:
- You feel like you need a reset button on life (yep there is an energetic component to this too)
- You’ve been feeling sluggish. Physically and internally, are you having 2-3 solid and smooth bowel movements a day?
- You are having digestive troubles at either end.
- You’ve been feeling bloated and gassy.
- Your skin is irritated and inflamed, like eczema to psoriasis.
- You're suffering from seasonal or environmental allergies
- Your menstrual cycles are irregular.
- You're moody. Feeling anything but balnaced from depression to anxiety to irritation.
- You're swelling.
- You have bags under your eyes. (this is not always a sleep/rest issue)
- You are mentally foggy.
- You feel fatigued.
- You are having low back pain
If you are suffering from more than 2 of those symptoms or if you are suffering from a collection of symptoms yet to be diagnosed, a chronic illness or infection, or an autoimmune condition...it's probably time for some deeper help. We will talk about that too.
When that happens or if it is happening now, you are likely thinking, “what is happening in my body!?” Often followed by “do I need to detox?” and “do detoxes work?”
It’s pretty simple, over long periods of time, months, and years, you are exposed repeatedly to toxins, parasites, molds, all sorts of things. They are in our air, water, food, and every product around you. Over long periods of time, These toxins accumulate and eventually start to impair our natural detoxifying pathways and cause dis-ease. Our natural detoxification pathways are digestion via bowel movements, kidneys via urine, the liver, and our skin is the last resort.
I think a bucket analogy explains this in really simple terms. Think of your body as a bucket. Over time your bucket gets filled with things like toxins and contaminants from all over the place. Our liver, kidneys, digestive system, and the rest of the body tries their best to keep up processing what is put in this bucket each day. If our total toxic load sometimes also called a body burden becomes too much for our liver and kidneys to deal with each day, if our body can't keep up, then our bucket overflows and the toxins spill out and overwhelm our body. This is where we can see disease processes from these toxins begin.
Sometimes people will say, "but Audrey I eat whatever I want I go out to eat all the time and I did a juice cleanse and I didn't have any detox effect at all. So your bucket analogy is wrong."
I wish it were, but generally what that means is that your toxin load is maxed out and you're likely headed for big trouble. The right answer here is not to continue to try to detox until you get a reaction or feel better, the right answer is to stop strengthen the body's detox Pathways and then go back and detox.
How to Detox
If you are suffering from more than 2 of those symptoms I listed or if you are suffering from a collection of symptoms yet to be diagnosed, a chronic illness or infection, or an autoimmune condition...it's probably time for some deeper help and you fall into the category of folks that need to stay away from the juice fads.
If you don’t really have any symptoms are just looking for a reset - then I would still encourage you to work with someone but here’s what to do if you are set on the DIY
- Leave behind any detox offers that ask you to take a bunch of supplements or abstain from food for any amount of time
- Stay away from anything less than 5 days
- Look for detox opportunities that focus on something that is nourishing AND detoxing by the very nature of the type of fuel you are putting in your body
- Look for whole foods
- Avoid any detox packages that use whey protein shakes. Those are an inflammatory nightmare.
- Avoid detox packages that involve working out in addition to your routine - anything more than gentle movement is not a good idea.
You can check out my 5-day Rest and Reset if you want an inexpensive whole foods detox style plan.
All that being said, there are so many ways to detox, and just like everything else you have to find the thing that is right for your bio-individual self. You have to find what works for what you can do, where you are in your Wellness Journey, what you may want to stick to, and it can be a little tricky to find methods that work best for your goals. Often is a combination of several of these methods in particular that will be the key to Wellness for any given individual.
A lot of times it's not what happens during the detox necessarily, but what happens after the detox. Ask yourself, which of these habits can you continue? Which would you want to add to your routine?
No matter what detox you choose the very first step is to get your detox pathways moving for you - so any toxins you release aren’t recirculated. lighten your incoming toxin load. And that's really simple friends all you have to do is get rid of alcohol, and get rid of coffee or swap it for an organic biologic coffee, get rid of tobacco, refined sugar, and those rancid fats. Those are all barriers to having a well-functioning detoxification system in your body. Those are all barriers to healing.
Once you lighten the toxin load coming in you have more options to choose from but again it depends on where you are in your Wellness Journey. There are fasting cleanses and juice cleanses but as I mentioned if you aren't careful you can end up in a world of trouble stirring up films and parasites and heavy metals that make your symptoms even worse.
If you're starting out from a conventional American diet full of processed foods, caffeine, wine, or other alcohol and all sorts of not goodness then it can be dangerous for you to jump into a big juice fast or fast only 3 days type of detox. Start by getting rid of alcohol, and get rid of coffee or swap it for an organic biologic coffee, get rid of tobacco, refined sugar, and those rancid fats.
If you’re starting from the conventional American diet, and you fall into the category I have warned against these things - then start with the protocol in the Autoimmune Revolution Kickstart free download here.
One last word about detoxes because I would remiss in excluding it - detoxes Shakes and powders all day, those aren't detoxes, generally those are adding toxins to your system with over-processed food-like products. It's best to save your money and avoid that entirely.
If you have more questions about how to navigate your wellness goals and are looking for more actionable steps in this episode, I would love to have you join us in the Wellness Circle, my exclusive and free community to help women pursuing holistic wellness, body, mind, and spirit and discussions around the Autoimmune Revolution Podcast.
Friends chronic disease is 99% preventable and autoimmune disease is capable of being healed or put in remission with lifestyle, energetic, and nutrition practices. You can get the direct link on the show notes page or at audreychristie.com/facebook
To wrap this up...
To wrap this up -
Toxins are all around us so detoxing is something that is important to do for our human suits a few times a year in order for us to maintain our energy levels and our Wellness. It even offers particular magic when you align it with the seasons and for those in more intense programs even with the full moons.
Remember when choosing a detox method don't take on something too complex just because you think you should or your friends are doing it. Instead find a program that is safe, nourishing, non-restrictive, and available on your time frame. Remember to focus on a whole-food style detox.
I am always rooting for you friend and I am so grateful for you listening! See you next time!