“Why do I feel so run down, tired and achy all of the time?” “My other doctor doesn’t know what is triggering my migraines.” “I used to be able to lose weight but now it won’t come off no matter what I do.”
Every day, I hear patients making comments just like these. They can feel their health on the decline and they don’t know what do to about it. They know that the medications they’ve been taking aren’t solving their problems but they don’t know what else to do. Maybe you can relate.
As a functional medicine specialist, I get to put on my “medical detective” hat and try to uncover the underlying causes of these and hundreds of other symptoms that people come in with. Instead of just trying to find a drug to quiet a symptom, I try to help my patients balance their bodies and return back to a state of health.
What I’ve learned over the years is that one of the critical areas each patient has to focus on for optimal health is the function of their detoxification system. This system, primarily made up of our liver, gallbladder, and kidneys (with the additional support of our skin, lungs, lymph, and GI) are constantly filtering our blood and trying to remove chemicals that are dangerous to our body. The more I study the complexity of these systems, the more in awe I am of the majesty of the human body.
Unfortunately, our modern world is pushing this system to its limits. The chemical revolution over the past 75 years has polluted nearly every aspect of our lives. Most people assume that the 75,000 chemicals registered with the EPA have been tested and are safe. However, only a fraction of them have been tested, and never in combination with other chemicals.
According to studies by the Environmental Working Group, the average baby born in our times has over 287 different man-made chemicals in their umbilical cord blood. The fact that these chemicals are making their way inside our systems has been clearly validated. Scientific research is showing that every single one of us carries synthetic chemicals in our bodies and it is estimated that the average individual is exposed to 200 chemical toxins a day.
All of the synthetic compounds in our environment can potentially have a negative consequence on our health.
Researchers suspect exposure to tiny amounts of some environmental chemicals in the womb or early childhood may permanently alter a child’s intelligence, motor skills, memory, behavior, fertility, and immune response. According to recent estimates from the National Academy of Sciences, it is concluded that 360,000 children, 1 in every 200, suffer from developmental or neurological disabilities caused by a range of toxic exposures.
Since there is no escape from the chemical attack that we all are experiencing, we need to place even more focus on supporting our detoxification systems with the key nutrients and natural compounds that can support this system.
If you are dealing with fatigue, digestive issues, brain/nerve challenges, hormone problems, or even chronic pain, an important piece of your healing puzzle will be to improve your body’s ability to detoxify and clear these cellular poisons effectively.
In the next post, I’ll dive deeper into what we call the “Drainage funnel” and how to improve the function of these critical systems for health.