Thursday, December 22, 2011


This is a topic I am becoming increasingly interested in: detox.

Now, I am not referring to the type of detoxing most people think of.  That of detoxing from narcotics, alcohol, or other recreational drug use.

I am referring to detoxing your body of toxins for health purposes.  For years I've heard of people doing various types of "cleanses" & it sounded like a good thing to do, but I honestly had no idea how to do such a thing.

My hubby is adamant that such things are not healthy for us.  He believes our bodies are designed to detox themselves.  And he says that when he has tried it in the past he didn't feel well, so also because of this he feels it's a bad idea.  HOWEVER, I have to disagree with my hubby on this topic.

Our bodies are designed for detoxing, to a certain extent. Yes, the liver & kidneys & lungs & spleen & lymph system do a lot of detoxing.  But things have changed.  Nothing is natural anymore.  And these unnatural elements are all around us, totally bombarding our bodies.  In the air we breathe, foods & drinks we ingest, lotions & soaps we put on our skin, etc.  And I know for a fact that mercury attaches itself to tissues in your body & will not be removed without some specific detox efforts.  I haven't researched enough to say for certain, but I would wager a pretty strong bet that mercury is not alone in that situation.

Nearly a year ago I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC).  It's a bladder condition that is much like a stomach ulcer, but in the bladder.  As a nurse I already know that mainstream medicine has little to offer someone with IC.  And the little they do have to offer isn't very effective or helpful.  So I chose to research alternative medicine & natural treatments for IC.

It was while doing this research that I learned that a cause of IC (& fibromyalgia as well) is, generally speaking, an overly toxic body.  And once the body is detoxed symptoms will decrease & possibly disappear.

But there's a bit of a catch with IC.  Because when you detox the toxins you are removing from your body are going to be dumped into the bowel & bladder to be permanently removed from the body.  But the poor bladder can't handle a huge toxin dump when it has IC, so, at least with an IC diagnosis, you have to detox very slowly & gently.

And so I began a very slow & gentle detox.  I also learned what foods are too acidic for my bladder & have reduced &/or eliminated those.  For over a decade I was diagnosed with chronic (minimum every 6 months) urinary tract infections (UTIs, aka bladder infection).  What I now learned was that when the bladder would get irritated due to IC (known as a "flare") it was much more susceptible to bacterial overgrowth & that's what was causing all the UTIs.  I did a very slow & gentle detox.  Since detoxing I haven't had a single UTI & next month will mark one year UTI free.  I am quite pleased about that.

The book I read about IC being caused by a toxic body was written by a woman who lived through it herself.  And what she learned was that her IC (& fibromyalgia) was ultimately caused by her mercury dental fillings.  She had 13 or 14 of them.  Once she got them replaced with non-mercury fillings & detoxed she was healed.

I had 7 mercury fillings in my mouth.  In the last few months I had 4 of them replaced (they were old & cracked, not by my request).  I first had 3 of them done, on the left side of my mouth.  After that I did another detox, very slow & gentle.  I did see symptoms of detox appear & then go away & so I assumed I was done & stopped the detox.  About 6 weeks later I went back to have one replaced on the right side of my mouth.  I again did another detox afterwards, with the same symptoms appearing & then going away.  And so I thought I was pretty much done as far as detoxing goes.  Sure, I still have 3 small mercury fillings in there, but in the grand scheme I felt pretty good about it all.

The book I read recommended marshmallow root tea & colostrum tablets for a gentle detox that the bladder can handle.  The marshmallow root gave me REALLY bad acne, which I'm not sure if it's just a bad reaction or a symptom of detoxing toxins.  After each visit to the dentist I used colostrum tablets & chlorella tablets.  I also wanted to use a cilantro tincture, but wasn't able to obtain one.

Just recently I've been making some small adjustments to my diet.  It's such a hassle for me, I just don't feel good & don't have enough energy if I don't really focus on eating well.  In doing research on nutrition for a vegan athlete I came across info on how good chlorella is for us & that everyone should be consuming it daily.  It did mention that it helps detox the body.  The author of this info says he puts it in a daily smoothie along with other stuff.  I guess I should've heeded the advice of the author of my IC book & been wary of this, BUT I was tending to think these days that my bladder was fully healed & since I had done several small detoxes fairly recently I wasn't expecting anything to happen.

Initially upon taking chlorella daily I started getting really bad acne, mostly on my forehead area (I have to wonder why such a specific area for the skin to show detox??).  I thought about it, knowing it's a symptom of detox, but honestly didn't think much of it.  A few days into it & BAM I got hit HARD, REALLY HARD.  Both bowel & bladder had horrible symptoms of major detoxing.  I am trying to focus hard on healing my bladder, so have put all chlorella (& most other supplements) on hold for now.

I am sad to see that my bladder is not 100% healed.  I am surprised to see that there was obviously some sort of toxin lurking in my body.  I am relieved to know that I got it out, however.  I will definitely continue detoxing, at a slower & gentler pace, once my bladder is all healed up.

I sure do wish there was a test I could do that would reveal to me what exactly was eliminated from my body.  I'm sure there is a test, but I mean I wish it was accessible to me.

Of course my hubby was like "see, see how you're feeling & what you're going through?  It's not good for you" But I still disagree.  I still think it's one of those things that has to get worse before it gets better.  I still think that toxins sitting in your body for God only knows how many years will lead to health problems & possibly even cancer.  There's no way I will stop detoxing my body now that I'm getting the hang of it.

Would love to hear from others: opinions, thoughts, experiences, etc.


Danielle-Marie said...

I think I agree with you. Toxins sitting in your body long term can't be good for you. I don't know too much about detoxes, except that there are many different kinds of ways to detox your body. I had a friend who did a detox, where she drank nothing but water for two days and didn't eat anything. It was actually recommended to us by a physician who spoke during one of our health classes in college. She was painfully hungry. But after the two days were up she began her new healthy diet/lifestyle and has never looked back. Three years later she has never looked or felt better.

Frau Guten Tag said...

I totally agree, there are definitely many many different ways in which we can detox.