DISCOVERING THE REAL DEFINITION OF DETOX
“Detox” has become a buzzword with many different connotations in recent years, creating confusion and misdirection for people who are seeking to be healthy. We want to clarify what detoxification really entails, because when understood and practiced properly, it is essential on the path to restoring health.
WHAT DETOX IS NOT…
When the word “detox” is heard, it’s often associated with a couple of different processes. Most commonly, detox can refer to someone attempting to eliminate alcohol, drugs or any chemical that creates dependency. While this is really not about eliminating toxins, people do feel significant withdrawal symptoms as the body chemistry is forced to readjust itself to live without the chemical being eliminated. This process isn’t only limited to drugs and alcohol, either. It can occur with something as common as sugar or caffeine.
Another common misuse of the word detox refers to a bowel cleanse. As suggested, these short- term approaches attempt to relieve stress on the bowels. While they may have some positive effects at first, long-lasting health benefits are rarely experienced. These special cleanses can consist of anything from complete fasting, to juice and veggie fasting, all the way to using harsh cleansing agents that cause the bowels to dump everything. Some worth mentioning that should mostly be avoided include the Master Cleanse, Lemonade Diet, products like Senna or other herbal laxatives, and more. These approaches are not helping anybody actually reclaim their health because detoxification should remove toxins and relieve stress on all of the body’s detoxifying organs, not just the bowels.
WHAT DETOX IS…
When we use the word detoxification, we are referring to the bodily processes that convert toxins into less harmful substances and then eliminate them. The only way to do this properly and effectively is by repairing the body’s main detoxifying and filtering organs from the years of chemical and physical stress placed upon them so that they can perform as intended. It also involves working to eliminate an overabundance of toxins that have accumulated in the body over time due to the inability of our bodies to keep up with the detoxification demands placed on it.
Although the liver is the body’s primary detoxifier (and therefore our main focus), other organs involved in the detoxification process include the colon, kidneys, gallbladder, skin, and the lymphatic system. Repairing all of these organs not only helps the body detoxify itself, but it positions us for long-term health because the liver and gut are responsible for hundreds of other functions in the body that help us maintain homeostasis and optimal wellness. If toxins begin accumulating in the body, they start to interfere with these functions and will ultimately lead to a breakdown in our health. In addition, toxins are primarily stored in fat and therefore prohibit us from burning and losing those fat cells until we eliminate those toxins.
WHAT ARE TOXINS & WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?
Toxins are any substance that damages the body. These can be chemicals in the air, compounds in your food, or bacteria, mold, dyes, chemicals, fragrances, and pesticides found in your water, clothing, diet or environment. When the body is exposed to these toxins either by ingestion, contact, inhalation, or any other means, they enter the body and need to be processed and eliminated. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to recognize most toxins and work to get rid of them.
The problem we face today is that our modern-day culture exposes our bodies to toxins with a frequency that we were never designed to handle. People today are exposed to thousands of chemicals and added hormones, take increasing numbers of medications, and eat more processed foods packed with chemical additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial ingredients and genetically modified ingredients than ever before. This creates an overload on the body’s detoxification systems and in turn, it can’t keep up. Liver and gut functions diminish, inflammation increases throughout the entire body, and things like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and other “common” health problems continue to increase. These diminished functions, toxicities, and developing diseases leave your energy depleted, hormones imbalanced, moods altered, and sleep disturbed. Not to mention, they create an environment where poor health becomes normal.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
Simply put, we have to help your body’s detoxification organs heal themselves and begin processing the residual toxins in the body. Detoxification is your body’s way of eliminating these harmful substances that put stress on its organs and functions. In order for detoxification to actually be effective, we need to start by healing the gastrointestinal tract (gut) so it can eliminate the waste and provide proper digestion to absorb the nutrients your body needs for the process.
So far, the dietary transitions and special supplements we have used have been specifically designed to prepare your gut for detoxification and healing. Remember, diet has played a big role in creating the poor function and toxicity that Americans are facing. The average American lifestyle leads to a sluggish liver and gallbladder, low stomach acid, and poor enzyme production. All of this causes poor digestion of foods and an inability to absorb necessary nutrients. This also allows undigested food particles, bacteria, viruses, and parasites to enter the gut, causing inflammation and autoimmune reactions. The large intestine then slows down, resulting in a poor elimination process that allows toxins to continue building up. With the dietary transitions and supplements you’ve taken, we have tried to stop this broken process and allow your gut to be an environment where digestion and absorption takes place without accumulation of toxins.
The good news in all of this is that despite the terrible position our culture has created, our bodies still have an amazing ability to heal and restore function. We just have to keep taking steps in the right direction. Don’t expect everything to change overnight, but by daily taking steps of action, continuing your dietary transitions, and going through this detox, you can absolutely help counteract and reduce the onslaught of physical, chemical and emotional stress and toxin exposure experienced by your body.
If we don’t take these steps, or if we revert to a lifestyle that ignores how we eat and what we are exposed to, our bodies will break down over time and eventually symptoms of disease and poor health will begin to surface. Whether you are already experiencing these symptoms or working to avoid them, it is important to remember why you are taking part in the program. This program gives you a chance to gain an incredible quality of life and health. By taking the steps in this program, you are learning a lifestyle that can help you avoid or reduce problems like digestive issues, reflux, bloating and gas, low energy, headaches, irritability, skin conditions, chronic aches and pains, cholesterol imbalance, PMS, hormone imbalance, food intolerances, weight gain, and much more. Without the process of proper detoxification and organ repair, many of these goals of reclaiming or maintaining your health would not be possible.
UNDERSTANDING THE DETOXIFICATION PROCESS
With the background for detoxification established, we want to give some additional insights into your specific detoxification process. As mentioned, this detox is going to primarily focus on restoring the liver and gut. While the starting point for detoxification is healing the gut, which your dietary transitions and supplements have aided with up to this point, we have yet to discuss how the liver is involved in this process. To be clear, the dietary transitions and supplements you’ve taken up to this point have also been providing targeted help to the liver, however the Designs for Health supplement and your detox process are specifically designed to help the liver and detoxification processes in your body in a way that we have not addressed yet. As a precursor to understanding how this detox helps, some insights on how the liver functions in the body should be known.
The liver is an essential organ for many aspects of your health, including detoxification. It filters and detoxifies the blood, which is critical for restoring function and eliminating toxins. This extremely complex organ is also involved in multiple immune and metabolic processes. If any one of these processes suffers, it can be virtually impossible to successfully restore your health and eliminate disease. This is due to the liver’s role in metabolizing and balancing important hormones by converting them into active forms for the cells of your body to use, including the thyroid hormone, sex hormones and adrenal hormones. The liver also works to detoxify hormone-disrupting chemicals that interfere with the hormone activation process.
On that note, the traditional approach of prescribing hormones whenever imbalances are experienced can have a detrimental effect on the body if not done in conjunction with additional protocols and therapies to address the underlying issues. Often, one of the underlying issues in this imbalance is not a lack of hormones, but an inability to use the hormones the body naturally produces. By adding more hormones to the body without resolving the underlying issue, it creates a buildup of un-metabolized hormones, which can lead to abnormal function and stress on the liver as it tries to metabolize and balance hormones. One significant, related stressor that has gone unnoticed for many years is insulin resistance. This causes inefficient sugar burning, which leads to fatty acid production and eventually fatty liver disease. Combined with chronic inflammation and leaky gut, this process creates a recipe for poor thyroid function, diabetes, heart disease, and more. Again, this underscores the importance of establishing proper liver function through detox.
Once the liver is functioning properly, there are two phases of detoxification that need to be understood:
A toxin is filtered from the blood and the liver converts it into a less harmful chemical. This process produces free radicals, which can cause damage if your body does not have an adequate amount of antioxidants. It’s important to note that some chemicals can actually become potentially MORE harmful during this process, which is why it’s so important for Phase 2 to take place.
Toxins and hormones are turned into water-soluble substances that can be eliminated through the colon or the kidneys. This requires very specific nutrients from foods in order to finalize the process. During the release of these toxins, some symptoms such as headaches, poor memory, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and even palpitations may occur. These symptoms are more likely to occur if there is a large presence of fatty tissues where the fat-soluble toxic chemicals tend to be stored. If your body has the sufficient nutrients to accomplish Phase 1 and Phase 2, these symptoms are more short-lived or less likely to occur at all.
Once the liver has finished converting the toxic substances, it is up to the gastrointestinal tract to direct the elimination of waste. This is why it is so important that the gastrointestinal tract is working optimally and being minimally hindered by medications or poor diet. If you are regularly taking medications that affect digestive functions or organs, speak with our team about how these drugs impact your gut function and whether or not they can be reduced or eliminated over time.
In addition, the kidneys help to eliminate toxins by filtering them from the body through urine. Drinking the right amount of water is critical during this time to ensure that your body has the ability to eliminate the toxins as soon as they are ready. The standard recommendation of eight, 8 oz. glasses of water a day is a good place to start, however you can adjust based on your needs and your hydration cues, such as feeling thirsty and urine color (should be clear or light yellow). Our recommendation is to try drinking 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces (i.e. if you weigh 160, drink 80 oz of water).
HOW LAKESIDE SIGNATURE 14 DAY DETOX HELPS
Your detoxification process and supplements involve eliminating foods that make digestion harder while also providing the body with the nutrients from food necessary for completing the detoxification process. The Lakeside Signature supplement program also adds some of these nutrients to your diet so that your body has the raw materials needed to help the liver and gastrointestinal tract perform the needed detoxification processes. Combined, it makes the elimination of toxins through the gut easier during this important phase of your program.
In addition, the Lakeside Signature 14 Day Detox Program is packed with antioxidants and detoxification agents that help your body rid itself of toxins while providing support for free radicals, so your body chemistry remains balanced and your detoxification organs function properly. The amino acids and glutamine compounds promote tissue health and aid in restoring proper organ function. It comes in Chocolate and Vegan Strawberry/Vanilla.
In order to be truly effective, a properly handled detoxification protocol should include all of the following steps:
Eliminating unhealthy and detrimental habits in regards to stress, diet, and any chemical usage
1) Restoring normal gut function and gastrointestinal environment
2) Providing optimal nutrition and supplementation when necessary
3) Supporting liver function and detoxification processes with specialized nutrients
Not only does your program detoxification process follow these steps, it is also designed to be safe, simple, comfortable, and very rewarding. Remember, detoxification is only one part of gaining your health back and should be done only after making lifestyle changes geared at providing your body with healthy nutrition and restored function. These changes include eating healthy, drinking clean water, exercising, managing stress, and taking high-quality supplementation. If you fail to make these changes, you risk making yourself even sicker by trying to detox. Your liver’s ability to process and eliminate these toxic substances will likely be overwhelmed, leaving you wishing you had never done the detox in the first place.
Once your detox is finished, you should make it a priority to limit your exposure to unnecessary toxins as part of your lifestyle. While your body can handle detoxification on its own, introducing more toxins than needed can once again overwhelm your detoxification organs. Eliminating or strictly limiting processed foods, chemicals, and additives in your diet is a great place to start since you’re already making many of these changes. Finding household products and toiletries that are free of dyes, harsh chemicals, and unnatural ingredients is another helpful step. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change too much at once. You don’t need to be paranoid about every chemical you may encounter or try to reinvent the wheel; just make informed choices, shop for natural products, and gradually replace things in your life that contain toxins. Try to limit your exposure when possible so you position your body for long-term health.