Detoxing: Is it Time?

Because the term “detox” has become used so ubiquitously that most people just think of it as the next new supplement you can take to lose weight, most people do not truly know what a detox is and what it does to your body.

The human body detoxifies itself all the time. If it didn’t, our bodies would shut down. The body isn’t like a car in the way that you can just change the oil when it’s running slow and it’ll be all better. It needs to be maintained all the time, and it does that in several different ways. The major organs that help our bodies detoxify themselves are the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs (breathing), and skin. The skin, even though it is the largest organ in the body, is often overlooked. If you suffer from acne, it may be a huge indicator that your body’s detoxification process has slowed down. We also don’t usually think about breathing as a way of interacting with our external environment, but it most certainly is. You might notice that when you are in nature, as opposed to a busy city, your breathing seems to come easier. This is because our bodies highly prefer breathing fresh air instead of polluted air. Many things can affect the air quality, especially in your home. Some of these things are off-gassing from new hardwood, carpet, furniture, cabinets, kitchen counters, painted walls and mattresses.

The other detoxing organs in your body, the liver, kidneys, and colon, work systematically to process and get rid of toxins that you bring in to your body to prevent them from building up. In someone healthy, the liver and kidneys are able to filter out the majority of toxins we put in our bodies, and our colons are able to help rid the body of these waste products through stool. This is why urinalyses and stool tests can help us figure out how our bodies are working and in what areas it needs help.

So what are some common signs that your body needs help detoxing? If you notice any of these, it may be a red flag your body is trying to send to you to change something:
• Chronic fatigue
• Acne (or any other skin issues)
• Constipation
• Intolerance to certain smells (such as perfume, gasoline, or cigarette smoke)
• Weight gain
• Edema (swelling) and swollen lymph nodes

What can you do about it? There are many ways to lower the level of toxins in your body, and most of them are incredibly easy!
• Eat lots of organic produce
• Drink 8 cups or more of high quality filtered water per day
• Buy hormone and antibiotic free, grass-fed meat
• Get as much fresh air and time outside as possible
• Throw out toxic makeup and personal care products
• Don’t drink out of plastic water bottles (even BPA free bottles)
• Avoid exposing yourself to toxic metals, mold, or other environmental pollutants
• Make sure to exercise and break a sweat regularly

If you need help formulating a detox plan or just need advice, please contact Flourish Integrative Health at or 415.721-2990.