In gathering information to share I discovered a few rabbit holes which I will attempt to avoid. These words offer opinions that truly oppose each other. The words detox and cleanse are used interchangeably, but they basically have the same definition. They are often used to replace the word ‘diet.’ It implies a short-term solution with quick results such as weight loss; but quick is not necessarily a good thing. An important point to note is that detoxes and cleanses are meant to deep clean our organs, remove toxic buildup, support them and rejuvenate them, so they continue to serve us well.
Dr. William Stiles, who has practiced traditional medicine and surgery for the last 20 years, is also certified in functional medicine and offers a wide range of virtual services geared toward optimizing health and creating personalized health solutions for clients all over the world, states:
“Our world is wrought with harmful pollutants that can be transferred, stored and cause harm within our bodies. The list of these toxicities range from pathogens (viruses, bacteria, yeast/fungus, mold, parasites), chemicals, plastics, pesticides/herbicides, radiation, heavy metals, etc. We are exposed to these harmful toxicants in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the products we put in and on our bodies. When the body can’t clear these toxins, they can build up, injure our body organs, tissues and cells, and be a root cause of countless chronic diseases and bothersome symptoms.”
Let’s begin with answering these two questions:
- Why do I want to detox?
- What results are the results I want to see?
Next is the decision of which detox is actually needed. Though not an exhaustive list, below are a few from which to choose:
Fasting Detox (food restriction usually for 2-3 weeks) • Liver Cleanse • Juice Cleanse, Master Cleanse • Supplement and herbal Cleanse • Colon Cleanse • Parasite Cleanse • Foot detox • Nasal Irrigation • Oxygen Detox • Mental • Spiritual.
Many of these cleanses detox various systems of the body. The liver, being the second largest organ in the body (skin is #1) is impacted by all of these due to its major role from filtering the blood to signaling the stomach to stop digesting food to eliminating toxins, in addition to 500+ other functions. If the liver has to divert its major functions to take care of other tasks, it won’t have the time or energy to focus on keeping the body clean. Stress, toxins, nutritional deficiencies, too many calories, too little sleep and other imbalances aid in gumming up the liver. Think of it like an oil filter. What would happen to your vehicle engine if you never changed the oil?
There are also eating programs that can aid in detoxing and/or cleansing. A few of these plans are the Elimination Diet, Low-FODMAP, Core Food, Detox Food, Cardio Metabolic Food, Renew Food and Phytonutrient. These plans were developed to accomplish specific outcomes. They were created by specialists and are safe when followed.
Some pros of these programs: Benefits from an increased intake of vitamins and minerals, identifying food sensitivities, giving the system a period of rest from toxicity, etc.
Many detoxes/cleanses on the market offer products to assist you through the program. This is where research and learning the right questions to ask can ensure safety and increase your understanding of what is happening on the inside of your body.
Detoxes/cleanses can also introduce healthy habits such as:
• Drinking pure, clean water
• Reducing sugar intake, salt, caffeine, alcohol
• Eliminating processed foods, smoking
• Consuming more organic and whole foods that are fiber and anti-oxidant rich, etc.
• Regular exercise
Dr. Stiles also notes that “detoxification is the necessary process by which these harmful products are removed from the body. Prior to a successful and safe detoxification, the liver, kidneys, colon and lymphatic systems must be opened and draining. The patient must also simultaneously be nourished with electrolytes, ionic trace minerals, hydration, enzymes, gut support, amino acids and basic nutrition. We all have different hidden toxicities. If you are seeking real health solutions and want a personalized health optimization plan, advanced functional testing is a good next step.”
Detoxes and cleanses date back thousands of years such as fasting, saunas (I saw the ruins of a public sauna in Israel. It was amazing!), dry brushing, smudging, herbal medicine, water, crystals, meditation and exercise. If it had benefits for them, why not take the next step and reap the benefits yourself? Reach out to Dr. William Stiles at drwilliamstiles.com if you’d like to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation.
Here’s to Health!