As a result these chemicals eventually end up in our bodies through the food we eat, water we drink, and air we breath. This creates a burden on the systems our bodies use to eliminate the toxic substances. Whether you know it or not chronic exposure to toxic substances can be at the root of many common conditions such as:
In this section we will explore how the body eliminates toxins and how you can detox your body. Common problems that occur with detoxification and how to identify them.
Your body is designed to eliminate toxins from the environment and ones that it naturally makes on a daily basis. It does this in coordination with numerous enzymes that span across many tissues in the body. The main areas of the body where toxin elimination occur are:
Each one plays a vital role in both isolation and detox of toxins from your body.
There are two separate but connected processes your liver uses to eliminate and isolate toxins, known as phase one and phase two. Phase one detoxification typically involves adding an oxygen molecule to the toxic substance which makes it less likely to cause problems in the body as the substances travels around the body prior to being acted upon in phase two. The result of adding the oxygen molecule is the creation of a free radicals which can cause their own issues in the body.
The phase two detoxification involves adding another larger molecule to the toxin in a process referred to conjugation. The purpose here is to make the molecules water soluble so they can be eliminated through urination. There are 6 available molecules to be used in conjugation and they are:
Once conjugated the toxic molecule can be easily excreted from the body through the kidney with urination. Problems occur when the enzymes that control phase one and phase two do not work properly or there is too much substance that the enzymes cannot handle all the toxins and do all the work. This can be better understood by working with a holistic health practitioner that looks at genetics. Your genetics play a role in how well certain aspects of phase one and phase two work which ultimately effects how well you detox your body. When one part is not working others have to do more work which can create higher demands for certain nutrients and vitamins.
Aromatic toxins can be removed from the lungs when you breathe. The exhale carries the toxin out of the lungs and body and into the air. A good example of this is with the toxic a substance known as alcohol. When you drink alcohol part of it is expelled when you breathe. Using this knowledge we are able to determine how much alcohol is in your system based on how much comes out in your breath. This is how the breathalyzer works.
When you are trying to detox your body in any shape or form increasing your breathing is a great way to do this. Exercise is the best way to increase your breathing but there are some forms of meditation that could be useful as well.
Believe it or not, your skin is the largest organ in your body covering about 16-20 square feet and plays a big role in detoxing your body. There are multiple layers and functions of your skin. While detoxing the body is important, one of the main purpose is the act as a protective barrier to prevent toxins and pathogens getting inside your body. In this way the skin is as much organ immune organ as it is a detoxification organ. Along the same line of being a barrier it also prevents evaporation of fluids and prevents nutrients from getting out.
The skin regenerates every 27 days or so and through doing this many toxins migrate to the surface as the new skin layers migrate outward. You can literally watch this process occur when you have a cut and the body begins to heal the area. Gradually the new skin pushes the damaged area off the body in the form of a scab. Through exfoliating the skin with deep scrubs you can enhance the release of toxins from the body.
Additionally the skin has sweat glands where it releases toxins both water and fat soluble. These come out when we exercise and increasing your sweating helps the body detox by increasing excretion through your sweat. You can enhance this further with saunas and steam room treatments.
Toxins flow out of the kidney passively when the conditions are right for them to do so. Your kidneys are the ultimate filter for things going out of the body.
As we mentioned above your liver does a lot of the heavy lifting and work for detoxing your body. Some of the toxins are conjugated to be eliminated through the urine in the kidneys as mentioned above. Other toxins that cannot be excreted through the kidneys stay in their fat soluble form and get mixed with bile acids in the gall bladder. When we eat fats the gall bladder contracts and releases the bile and toxins into the colon. The bile helps digest fats but also allows the body to get rid of unwanted toxins. Your colon is the exiting place for these toxins through your stool.
When you do not have a healthy colon or healthy digestive tract the toxins are reabsorbed into the body and do not get released. Constipation is the most common reason for this but chronic inflammatory bowel disease also cause the colon to hold onto and create more toxins. Find out how your digestion is working here (digestive health quiz).