Meet your organs of detoxification
At this time of the year, everyone’s talking about detoxification. But do you know how your body detoxifies?
In this blog you’ll become familiar with the parts of your body working tirelessly on your behalf to keep you safe from harmful substances.
Learn to Love Your Liver
Your liver has the lion’s share of work when it comes to detoxification. It performs over 500 different jobs, one of these being to remove toxins from your blood and process them so they can be safely removed in faeces or urine. Often, toxins must go through several chemical processes before they can be safely eliminated.
Because you’re exposed to toxins every second of every day from food, water and air, your liver is constantly detoxing hundreds of substances. In an ideal world this wouldn’t pose any problems, but with so many food additives, pollutants, alcohol and medications encountered daily it’s easy for the liver to become overwhelmed by its gargantuan task.
Your liver will tell you when it’s struggling, so pay attention to symptoms like tiredness, nausea, skin rashes, yellowish skin and pain in your abdomen.
Luckily, your liver has an amazing power of regeneration given the right tools for the job. Did you know even just a quarter of a liver can regenerate back to its normal size, around the size of a football, in as little as a week?
Strategies to support your liver include going easy on the alcohol, avoiding processed foods, adding turmeric to your food and sipping on dandelion tea.
Your Hardworking Kidneys
The kidneys are often overlooked when it comes to toxin elimination, but they too work tirelessly, filtering water-soluble toxins out of your blood to be excreted in your urine. They’re each only about the size of your fist, but they process almost 200 litres of blood daily.
If you suffer from puffy, dark circles under your eyes, fluid retention, skin rashes or high blood pressure, your kidneys may be calling out for help.
Support your kidneys by drinking plenty of filtered water and enjoying a cup of nettle tea.
Your Gut: Keeping Toxins Out
The contents of your gut are technically outside your body, with your gut lining deciding between substances allowed into your bloodstream and those which aren’t. So your gut plays a crucial role in protecting you from toxins from the outside world. If your intestinal contents aren’t moving along quickly enough, toxins may be allowed to pass more readily through the lining into your body.
However, your gut plays another role in detoxification. The bacteria making your gut their home, known as your microbiome, produce substances called enzymes needed for certain chemical reactions connected with detoxification. These processes need enzymes to start them off or speed them along – almost like lighting the touch paper of a firework.
If you suffer from constipation, bloating, skin eruptions or brain fog, your gut may benefit from a little tender loving care.
Your bacterial friends in your gut thrive best if you feed them with natural plant fibre, and avoid sugar because this encourages other, less beneficial bacteria competing for space and nutrients.
Don’t Forget Your Skin
You might be wondering what your skin has to do with detoxification, but if your liver and kidneys are overburdened or if your digestion is sluggish, your skin will be expected to step up and do its share by eliminating toxins through your pores along with your sweat. Clues this is occurring include sensitive skin, rashes, spots, acne, psoriasis and foul-smelling perspiration.
Support your skin by dry skin brushing, relaxing in a sauna and switching to natural personal care products.
Your Lymph System – Draining Away Toxins
A connected series of organs, your lymph system is part of your immune system and has the job of filtering out and carrying away bacteria and viruses and other cell debris.
Your lymph system doesn’t have muscles of its own, so it depends on you moving your body for its contents to travel freely and avoid becoming stagnated. Great strategies for supporting your lymph flow include rebounding and massage.
Last but not least, your lungs encounter many thousands of harmful substances in the air each day, such as industrial pollution, traffic fumes and smoke. They prevent undesirable particles from entering your body, with any managing to get through being dealt with by special immune cells in your respiratory system.
The best treat you can give your lungs is to breathe deeply every day, particularly emphasising your out-breath.
Supporting Your Organs of Detoxification
Improving detoxification using functional medicine involves a combination of reducing your toxin exposure, ensuring you’re properly hydrated, moving and sweating more, eating plenty of fibre and supporting your detoxification organs using personalised nutrients and supplements. Functional tests can be useful to take a peek at your gut function or inside your cells to see if they are accumulating toxins.
To start your detox journey, contact me here.