Feeling fatigued, achy, bloated? Maybe our toxic world is getting the best of you.  We all have toxins in our body, unfortunately.  Pollution in the air, metals in our water, pesticides in our food, xenoestrogens in our food and product packages…the thought of this can be overwhelming.  The signs of a heavy toxic load can be nonspecific and vague, but if you find you have a few of these and they are getting worse, then adding in some steps to detoxify your world could really help.  The common symptoms and signs can include:

  • Fatigue with sleep problems and brain-fog
  • Mood changes including depression, anxiety, fear and anger
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Sinus congestion, dark circles under your eyes, and postnasal drip
  • Headaches with neck and shoulder pain
  • Bloating and gas
  • Irritable bowel symptoms like diarrhea and constipation
  • Foul-smelling bowel movements, dark urine
  • Weight changes
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Heartburn, recurrent colds, and persistent infections
  • Low libido
  • Infertility
  • Premature aging
  • Fluid retention/excess water weight
  • Rashes
  • Canker sores
  • Bad breath and/or body odor

So, you have some of these symptoms and want to know what to do next? How can you start to feel better?  Well, one thing to know is you do not have to pursue any expensive testing, treatment or fancy, gimmicky type plans.  Testing can be done, and we do that in our functional medicine practice when we want to fine-tune the treatment, but it’s not necessary in all cases.  You also don’t have to spend a lot of money on extreme treatment, in fact, some of these plans can create more harm than healing.  

Here’s what a good, well-rounded detox plan should look like

  1. Daily physical activity, gentle activities like yoga and walking, hiking or gentle walk/running outside is preferred as nature brings even more detox benefits (except if you are in a polluted environment, in that case staying inside on high pollution days is better)
  2. Regular sweating, through exercise, sauna, steam room, epsom salt baths, or a hot-room yoga class can all be ways to do this.  
  3. Organic fruits, veggies, high fiber foods (aiming for 30 grams or more of fiber) and filtered water are essential, and avoiding processed foods (think food with words you can’t pronounce, or ingredient labels that exceed 8 ingredients).
  4. Self-reflection- wait really? Yes! This is essential for a detox program to work as stress and inner conflict fight our ability to detoxify.  Journaling, meditation, mantras, breathing-focused relaxation techniques are all ways to reduce stress, and encourage relaxation and therefore healthy detox pathways.
  5. Manual therapies/energy therapies like massage and acupuncture
  6. Healthy support systems through time spent with friends, family, community that are enriching and positive.  It’s also important to avoid toxic relationships that contribute to stress and conflict.  

Have you started any detox programs? What has worked for you?  Join me here for helpful functional medicine tips and blogs, check out our site for info on our functional medicine membership program, and check out my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/drshelleymeyerifmcp.