The liver gets a very large focus when it comes to detoxification. It is involved in 300 processes within the body so it’s important not to overloaded it with work. Fortunately, the liver is not our only organ of elimination.
The skin (yes, it is an organ), digestive system, kidneys, lungs and lymph also play a significant role in the removal of waste from the body. Stimulating and improving the functioning of these will help to prevent a healing crisis, which often causes a worsening of symptoms (headaches, skin breakouts and mood changes) as we are depending on the liver to flush out a whole load of backed up toxins.
The reason many fad detox diets are not successful or do not have lasting results is due to the majority of the focus being on the liver. Creating a personalised detox focusing on other systems can help you to get better and longer-lasting results specific to your needs.
Organs of Elimination
Liver: One of the key functions of the liver is filtration of the blood. This process serves to clear the blood of large molecules, such as bacteria, bacterial endotoxin and antigen-antibody complexes.
Gut: This wouldn’t be a Kismet blog without talking about the gut! It plays a major role in the removal of toxins, hormones and non-beneficial bacteria. The gut excretes and processes 25 per cent of the waste from our body. Keeping your diet irritant-free and full of colourful, fibre-rich fruits and vegetables is a good start to supporting positive gut health.
Skin: This is one of our largest excretory organs and really helps to remove environmental waste from our body, including bisphenol A which is a very well-known endocrine disruptor found in many plastics and now our waterways. Using toxin-free skin products is important as the skin absorbs up to 80 per cent of what you put on it.
Lungs: Increasingly important this year, the lungs play a crucial role in removal of toxins from our environment. Our lungs are the filter between the air and our body. Deep breathing through the nose is a good way to ensure your lungs are getting the movement they need to help move out toxins.
Lymph: The lymphatic system lies just below the skin and this directly influences the skin’s capacity to act as an organ of elimination. A congested lymphatic system puts an increased burden on the skin, contributing to inflammation, poor complexion and other skin problems. The lymph does not move by itself like the circulatory system which has physical mechanisms, it only processes through direct movement by us. Exercise and dry skin brushing are great ways to move our lymph and remove the waste from our system.
Why do I have to remove gluten and dairy when detoxing?
Gluten specifically stimulates the release of zonulin, a molecule responsible for the opening of tight gap junctions in the gut, leaving our gut open and vulnerable to pathogens and irritants.
Why do I have to detox if I have a healthy diet?
Environmental toxins are rampant. Even if you follow a healthy organic diet, what surrounds us is absorbed into our skin and lungs and must be removed from the body so as not to be contributing to numerous health conditions.
What results can you get from doing a detox?
- Improved energy
- Vibrant skin
- Better digestion
- Weight control
- Reduction of pain symptoms
- Improved mood
- Better concentration
Removing waste from the body is a complex biological process and one which is important for our health. Fortunately, we have access to wonderful foods and herbs that work with biology to support our eliminatory organs.
Ideally, we want to keep our diet as free from toxins and preservatives as possible. Education is the focus within a detox period, as is stripping back what we do not need and instead including nourishing food to correct any nutritional deficiencies. This will help support biological processes in the body and not leave you feeling deprived when you change your diet.
Personalising your detox is important as each person can have an overload in a particular system of the body or may have a genetic predisposition. Work with one of qualified naturopaths for the best way to care for your body. See our exciting new program below!
Written by Ally Stuart BHSc
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