Your body may be a toxic waste dump.
You should be …
80,000 toxic chemicals have been released into our environment since the dawn of the industrial revolution, and very few have been tested for their long-term impact on human health. And let me tell you, the results aren’t pretty for those that have been tested …
How can we not be affected by this massive amount of poison?
According to the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group, the average newborn baby has 287 known toxins in his or her umbilical cord blood.
If a newborn is exposed to that many toxins, imagine how many you have been exposed to in your life…
Do you think this may be why so many of us are sick and fat today?
The simple truth is that we are living in a sea of toxins and it is destroying our bodies and brains.
The two most important things you need to know to cure disease, create health, and lose weight are:
1. The role of nutrition in health and disease.
2. The role of toxins and the importance of detoxification in health and disease.
Unfortunately, you probably aren’t going to learn much about them from your doctor. Most physicians today are still hopelessly ignorant in these areas. They were simply never taught about nutrition and detoxification in medical school.
However, there are many things you can do to reduce your toxic exposures and enhance your detoxification. Today I want to share some information your doctor probably won’t focus on in your next visit, even though it is at the very root of your health. I am going to outline a simple 10-step plan you can use to enhance your detoxification.
Enhancing detoxification is the 5th key of the 7 Keys to UltraWellness. If you want to lose weight and get healthy, you need to clean up the toxic waste in your body. Today you will learn how.
The Role of Toxins in Health and Disease
The role of toxins and detoxification in health has been largely ignored by medicine.
Thankfully, scientists and practitioners are starting to recognize its importance in health
I recently spoke about detoxification at the 13th International Symposium on Functional Medicine. The presentation was called Managing Biotransformation: The Metabolic, Genomic, and Detoxification Balance Points. Leading experts from all over the globe came together to present the data on the role of toxins in health and offer suggestions for how we can detoxify.
If you want all the scientific background on detoxification, I recommend reading the proceedings from that meeting. You will find extensive data on the impact toxins have on our health and how critical detoxification is for long-term wellness.
The reality is that many of you probably have symptoms of chronic toxicity but don’t realize that you’re toxic.
The following is a list of the common symptoms of chronic toxicity. If you suffer from any of the following, detoxifying might be critical for you to get healthy and feel good again:
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Sinus congestion
- Postnasal drip
- Excessive sinus problems
- Foul-smelling stools
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Food cravings
- Water retention
- Trouble losing weight
- Skin problems
- Canker sores
- Puffy, dark circles under the eyes
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Other menstrual disorders
- Bad breath
But how do you detoxify? And what does that word even mean? Let’s look a little more closely at what detoxification is.
What are Toxicity and Detoxification?
When you hear the word “detox” you might think drug detox or alcohol detox or wheatgrass enemas. That’s not what I am talking about.
I am referring to the science of how our bodies get rid of waste. If waste builds up, we get sick. And the key is to figure out how to enhance your body’s capacity to detoxify and get rid of waste while minimizing your exposure to toxins.
This is so important, because many diseases of our society are actually related to toxicity.
Here are some of the diseases you may suffer from if you are toxic:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Attention deficit disorder
- Depression and other mood disorders
- Heart disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Autoimmune disease
- Food allergies
- Digestive diseases like Crohn’s disease, ulcers, and colitis
- Menstrual problems like heavy bleeding, cramps, PMS, menopausal symptoms, mood changes and hot flashes
With so many conditions on that list, it might seem that everyone is toxic.
That may be true to differing degrees …
Problems with detoxification form one of the roots of illness—and signify one of the core systems in the body that must be working well for you to be healthy. If you feel lousy, it’s likely you’re toxic.
It is important to understand why we are toxic and how we can detoxify. I will explain how you can detoxify a little later, but first I want to tell you about where toxins come from and how we are overloaded.
To understand toxicity, you must understand the concept of “total load.”
Total load is the total amount of stressors on your system at any one time—it’s like what happens when a glass fills over with water. It takes a certain amount of water to fill the glass and then, after a certain point, you put more in and it overflows.
When our detoxification system is overwhelmed, it gets overloaded. That’s when we start developing symptoms and getting sick, but it may take years of accumulated stress and toxins to get to that point.
Here are some, but not all, of the factors that can contribute to your total toxic load:
- Exposure to heavy metals like mercury and lead, petrochemicals, residues, pesticides, and fertilizers.
- Food allergies, environmental allergies, molds, and toxins from molds.
- Eating a standard American diet.
- Mental, emotional, and spiritual toxins — isolation, loneliness, anger, jealousy, and hostility, all of which translate into toxins in our system.
- Medications can sometimes be toxins. Often we need medications, but the reality is that most of us are overmedicated and use medications to treat problems for which there are better solutions, such as lifestyle and diet.
- Internal toxins—things like bacteria, fungus, and yeast inside our gut as well as hormonal and metabolic toxins that we need to eliminate.
That’s a lot of toxins for our bodies to manage.
You may wonder: Why aren’t we all sick, given this incredible load of toxins?
The answer is simple.
It is because each of us is genetically and biochemically unique. Some of us are good at getting rid of toxins and waste, and others are not.
I am not. That is why I developed chronic fatigue syndrome.
I became overloaded with mercury and couldn’t get rid of it because I am missing a gene for GSTM1—a critical detoxifying enzyme for mercury. But by learning to support my system and how to detoxify, I was able to cure myself of a seemingly incurable condition.
What I learned is that there are five key steps to optimal detoxification. They are:
1. Identify and Get Rid of Toxins — I listed the primary forms of toxic exposure above. Eliminating them is absolutely essential if you want to rebalance your detox system.
2. Fix Your Gut — Gut imbalances are a key source of toxins for many.
3. Get Moving — This help your blood and lymphatic circulation do its job.
4. Get Your Liver and Detox System Working — If your detoxification system isn’t working properly, this is a serious problem and needs to be addressed. A great place to start is the 10-step approach outlined below.
5. Detox Your Mind, Heart, and Spirit — This is just as important as detoxing your body, and it’s an area few of us ever think about as a source of toxins.
To completely detoxify your body you need to work through each of these steps carefully, and that can take some time. But you can start today by following this simple 10-step plan.
10 Simple Steps to Enhance Detoxification
Proper detoxification is so essential for health that you need to start enhancing your body’s ability to detoxify today. Here is how to do it:
1. Drink Clean — Drink plenty of clean water, at least eight to ten glasses of filtered water a day.
2. Eliminate Properly — Keep your bowels moving, at least once or twice
Mark Hyman, M.D. is an internationally recognized authority in the field of functional medicine—a revolution in 21st century medicine that provides a new road map for navigating the territory of health and illness. He is founder of The UltraWellness Center where he treats patients using this new model in his medical practice and is co-founder of UltraWellness whose mission is to make the principles of functional medicine accessible to everyone.
You can learn more about Dr. Hyman’s exhaustive work to change healthcare as well as his program for achieving UltraWellness by following him on Twitter, watching his videos on YouTube, connecting with him on LinkedIn, or becoming a fan on Facebook.
Dr. Hyman is the author of multiple New York Times best-sellers including The UltraMind Solution, The UltraSimple Diet, UltraMetabolism, and the weekly UltraWellness Newsletter in which he provides insight into how you can integrate functional medicine into your life and achieve the state of UltraWellness—which is nothing less than vital mental and physical health, optimal weight, and a renewed lease on life.
He is also Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors and faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine; is on the Board of Directors of the Center for Mind Body Medicine in Washington DC; on the Board of Advisors and faculty for the “Food as Medicine” training program; and is a part of Memhet Oz’s HealthCorps. In each of these capacities he actively advocates for fundamental changes in healthcare—changes that takes into account diet, lifestyle, and personalized treatment based on the paradigm of functional medicine as essential components for medical education and practice.
Latest posts by Mark Hyman, MD (see all)
- Do You Even Need Nutritional Supplements? - October 1, 2011
- Raising Healthier, Smarter, Fitter Children - September 27, 2011
- Stopping Addiction to Sugar: Willpower or Genetics? - September 16, 2011