Even though our bodies have the ability to self-cleanse once in a while, they also give us indications that extra help is needed. Your immune system, kidneys, and liver work simultaneously to remove toxins from your body as soon as they enter it.
However, when these toxins exceed the body’s ability to remove them, they then get stored away inside us for long periods of time until we take action to remove them completely.
Bright Side did some research about where toxins come from and the signs the body uses to indicate we need to detox.
What do we know about toxins?
As we all know, a toxin is a harmful foreign substance that enters the body. If it does not get removed by the immune system, it can be stored into the body for years without showing any signs that it is even there. It is only when the toxin levels increase to the point that the body is not able to keep up with them that you start experiencing various symptoms, signaling the need for detoxing.
Where toxins come from:
- Environmental toxins: These toxins usually come from industrial places where there are cars, water and air pollution, radiation, pesticides, and herbicides; or in cleaning products, hair sprays, perfumes, and make-up that can be found at home.
- Lifestyle toxins: Lifestyle toxins usually come from chemicals that we put into our bodies like sugar, prescription drugs, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.
Metabolic reactions: When our bodies start breaking down proteins, sugars, and fats, they naturally start producing toxic waste. When a diet does not contain enough nutrients, the toxins build up in the body.
Intestinal microbes: The gastrointestinal tract is filled with yeast and bacteria which help with the body’s digestion of food. When there is an excess growth of bacteria in the intestinal tract then toxins enter the bloodstream and results in various health conditions.
Emotional toxins: Stress, fear or traumatizing events can affect both the nervous and hormonal systems, which then affect your body’s ability to detox.
1. Weight gain
Have you noticed a persistent increase in your weight, despite the fact that you’re calorie counting and exercising? Maybe a toxic overload is to blame. A lot of toxins are lipophilic which indicates that they are being stored in body fat. Lipophilic toxins contain pesticides and dioxins which cause the body to produce more fat cells in order to store more toxins in it. This makes it almost impossible to lose weight until you get rid of the toxins in the body.
2. Constant fatigue
Are you getting more than enough hours of sleep, but still feeling tired all the time? A toxic overload may be the reason why. When your body has an excess amount of toxins, it creates a lot of stress for your adrenal glands. A long-term toxic load can lead to adrenal fatigue which makes you feel exhausted and sleepy. Furthermore, some toxins such as caffeine can actually disrupt adrenal functions negatively by forcing your body to stay alert while struggling to flush out toxins.
If you feel like your body is constantly alert and stressed, maybe there is an imbalance in your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that the body releases (especially in the evenings) to relieve stress. Cortisol levels in healthy individuals are high in the morning and drop progressively throughout the day.
When there is an imbalance in cortisol, the cortisol levels in the evening become heightened. This means that you feel more energetic and active in the evening than in the morning. Long-term insomnia then generates serious health issues such as heart disease, so it’s important to detoxify if you feel that a cortisol imbalance is the cause.
4. Thinking impairment
Toxins can affect the brain directly. This includes monosodium glutamate (MSG) and/or aspartame. If you constantly space out during the day for no particular reason then high toxification may be the reason. Both aspartame and MSG have the ability to kill brain cells and prevent oxidation of the brain. MSG is usually present in highly processed foods and meats while aspartame is found in sugar-free beverages, gum, and toothpaste. It’s important to cut these excitotoxins out of your diet.
5. Inexplicable headaches
If you constantly find yourself suffering from inexplicable headaches, this could be a sign that your toxicity levels are higher than normal. Toxins that can affect the brain such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate can also cause persistent headaches after you’ve consumed foods that contain them as we mentioned above. However, there are additional toxins that can lead to headaches such as food coloring, preservatives, and heavy metals.
6. Mood swings
If you experience mood swings throughout the day, this is a sign that there is a hormonal imbalance in your body. Toxins like xenoestrogens cause hormonal imbalances that can affect both genders. Xenoestrogen is a synthetic mixture of hormones that act like estrogen in the body. Xenoestrogens are usually found in industrial compounds such as phthalates, BPA and PCBs. Avoiding the use of plastic, especially in the kitchen, can reduce the xenoestrogens levels in the body.
7. Unpleasant body odor
If you are constantly experiencing bad breath, bad-smelling gas and stools, this could be a sign that the liver and colon are struggling to remove a highly toxic load. If you feel like you are bloated for long periods of time, you don’t feel hungry and the bad body odor is persistent, then you need to help your body flush out the toxins. Try milk thistle, olive oil and lemon juice to do a complete flush to effectively detox the liver.
It is vital to remove waste from our bodies on a daily basis. If you find yourself not having a bowel movement every day due to a lack of anti-oxidants in your diet, then the toxins are absorbed into your bloodstream and they start building up. Drinking plenty of water along with a diet rich in anti-oxidants and fiber can eliminate constipation, bloat, and prevent toxins from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
9. Muscle aches
If you are suffering from re-occurring and inexplicable muscle pain, then this could be a sign of a highly toxic load in your body. Toxins have the ability to stimulate the pain receptors located in the muscles which then lead to muscle spasms, cramps or knots.
Toxins usually have an immediate effect on the muscles because they usually come from food that has been eaten during the day. If you’ve been experiencing unexplained muscle cramps keep a log in your journal of when it happened and what you’ve eaten during the day to see which foods might be causing it.
10. Skin reactions
The liver is responsible for removing most of the toxins from the body. When the body is overloaded with toxins, the liver can’t keep up and other organs try to flush out those toxins through the skin, for example. When the skin tries to eliminate toxins in the body, it reacts badly to the process because it perceives them as poison. This leads to acne, skin rashes, eczema, dermatographia and boils.
If you believe your body is high in toxins, and you experience any of these things mentioned above, it is important to try a detoxing diet in order to flush them out of your system. A diet in healthy organic foods with many vegetables and fruits rich in antioxidants can really help your body and your overall well-being. Remember to stay hydrated and exercise regularly.