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Start Your Detox Journey Today!

By | Journeys | No Comments

You are interested in better health through maximizing the efficiency of your detox pathways. So what does that mean? What can you expect? We run therapeutic detox plans with every patient we work with and have seen the benefits over and over. Most people experience better energy, sharper mental clarity, reduced inflammation, clearer skin, and reduced anxiety. A therapeutic detox can be the perfect jump start to cleaner and healthier lifestyle. You will be supported over the two week process with coaching emails and videos from our medical team to help you cement new habits that will lead to a healthier life. To get started click here.

What about options for a clean detox on a food based plan? We can all do work to increase our food quality and eliminate potential inflammatory and immune provoking foods. This strategy differs from a therapeutic detox in that you are not actively ramping up the detox pathways of the liver, but are reducing the toxic burden on the body. This is typically done concurrently with a therapeutic detox and is outlined in the guidebook of the PaleoCleanse 14-Day Detox. To do it independently we recommend the Whole 30 plan outlined in the book It Starts With Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.

And remember, if you are not experiencing the benefits you are looking for then we encourage you to book a consult with our medical team and get the testing necessary to move your health forward. You can get more information here.

Detox Q&A

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1. How do I know if I need to detox? Is it just if I’ve been eating or drinking too much? After the holidays?

A: Great question! Some people like to make a bi-annual or seasonal detox an ongoing part of their health maintenance. Chinese medical theory recognizes spring as an especially important time for detoxing. However, almost any chronic health condition can benefit from increased detoxification. It’s always important to remember that the liver is the “rate limiter” in terms of many pathways of healing in the body. Hormones, inflammatory byproducts, neurotransmitters, chemical exposures, immune products, etc. are all recycled in the liver. If this is not working effectively the body will often slow the healing process down and leave us feeling fatigued, inflamed, and depressed. Skin issues can be a common symptoms of a toxic burden. Emotional symptoms such as anxiety and irritability are common. Also, a sluggish metabolism and the inability to shed weight that used to come off easily can be a sign the body is struggling to keep pace with toxicity. Here, at Origins Medicine, all of our Functional medicine programs begin with a detox just so we can maximize the therapeutic plans that follow.

2. Ok, sounds like I need it. How should I proceed?!

A: We recommend a therapeutic detox. This means supplying the body with the high amounts of antioxidants and sulphur compounds the body requires to optimize the phase 1 and phase 2 of liver detoxification. At the same time lifestyle coaching should be implemented so that we eliminate inflammatory foods, reduce environmental toxins, hydrate properly, exercise properly, etc. The body has very different demands when it is cleaning house! The best product we have found and what we currently use with every Functional medicine patient is the PaleoCleanse 14-day Detox by Designs for Health. We pair this with coaching emails and videos we created to make your experience seamless and effective. You can find more information here

3. What about general herbs and supplements? Should I be taking milk thistle, or dandelion, or something?

A: Yes, there are many botanicals that can help protect the liver and increase detox function. However, proper herbal support is usually based on a differential diagnosis and should be addressing the specific needs of the patient. From a supplement standpoint a comprehensive multivitamin pack (we recommend Daily Essentials Multi Pack by Designs for Health) will give your body the standard nutrients it needs for detoxing. Further recommendations should be based on the appropriate labs. The proper general botanicals are contained in the the Origins Detox Plan, which you can find here.

4. What’s the deal with water? I thought detoxing was all about hydration. How much should I be drinking?

A: Hydration is critical to the liver’s detox process. Remember that detox process has two stages. First the body has to take non water soluble toxins and transform them into a water soluble form. Only then can the body excrete the toxins through the urine. You should be drinking at least 64 oz. of filtered water per day. A good practice is to immediately drink 16 ounces of water upon waking. You will find it invigorating and it kick starts the detox pathways. Bonus: squeeze half a lemon in the water.

5. What about detox plans like the Master Cleanse? Should I be drinking lemon juice, with maple syrup, and cayenne?

A: There are many “detox” plans out there and they probably all have some benefit. But, the question to ask is are they actually supporting the physiological detox pathways of the body? The Master Cleanse, juice fasts, etc. are probably decent ways to drop a couple pounds if you’re insulin sensitive, but they do not supply the high amount of antioxidants and sulphur compounds necessary to ramp up the liver. Always keep in mind that the body has extremely high nutrient demands to detox. True fasting, meaning no juice or maple syrup, will ramp up ketone production, a strong anti-inflammatory energy substrate, and a process called autophagy, the process by which the body cleans up damaged proteins. This could be considered a form of detox, but requires an entire coaching newsletter of its own!

Liver Detox Nitty Gritty

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We live in an incredibly toxic environment. It seems to come as surprise to some people that we are indeed part of this polluted environment. Toxic exposure in industrialized countries is ubiquitous. Studies show that the average american has between 300 – 700 toxic chemicals contaminants and the average infant is born with 40 – 70 measurable toxins! Proper liver function allows our body to eliminate this toxic buildup. Many of these toxins are endocrine disruptors, meaning they affect our hormones, or neurotoxins, meaning they affect our brain and nervous system. Others toxins cause massive oxidative stress on our cells leading to fatigue, premature aging, and even set us up for diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

The liver is an incredibly complicated organ and for our purposes here we are going to make some big oversimplifications. The liver has two primary pathways through which it runs the detox process. These are often referred to as Phase 1 and Phase 2. The phase one pathway is largely dependent on antioxidants. Its main function is to take all the fat soluble toxins stored in our tissue and biotransform (fancy word) those toxins into a more water soluble form. Depending on the overall toxic load on the body we may have much larger needs for vitamin C, E, B’s, etc. This is why part of your two week detox process is to flood the body with large amounts of these inflammation cooling antioxidants. Phase 2, where toxins are made ready for excretion, largely depends on sulfur containing amino acids. In our diets we would often find these in cruciferous vegetables, animal proteins, egg yolks, legumes, etc.. However, if our detox pathways have become sluggish from a winter of Netflix and binge eating then we need to greatly increase the body’s supply of these amino acids. If either of these phases are running sub optimally the body creates intermediary substances that can often be more irritating than the original toxin. We definitely don’t want that! Once the liver has done its job the toxins are expelled through the bowels, the urine, or sweat.

The liver’s detox pathways are incredibly complicated and many of us need further specific help. Because we live in an ever increasingly toxic environment it is difficult for us to obtain the nutrient detox precursors necessary to clear the liver through food alone. That is why short term supplementation is necessary to maximize the clearing of toxins and regeneration of our bodies. It is with this strategy in mind that here at Origins Medicine we designed our two week detox program, complete with all necessary supplements plus coaching emails and videos! You can find more information here. If we need an even more profound examination of the body’s detox capability we luckily have a wonderful lab test for examining your liver function in detail. The Genova Organix test allows us to measure the specific organic acids that are the byproducts of these thousands of chemical reactions. This will give us much greater detail on what detox challenges you may be having and allow us to target Phase 1 or Phase 2 in a much more aggressive and therapeutic way. Please contact our office if you would like a lab based therapeutic detox.

Phone: (415) 902-0771