The greatest underlying issue I have to deal in my patients everyday is the problem with toxicity and inflammation. Accumulated toxicity and how to improve the body's functioning by reducing toxic load and allowing the body to return to optimum health is essential to healing. Toxins is an over-used term but by far the most appropriate for what the body is dealing with on a day to day basis, especially in those who are sick. So what kind of chronic illnesses are we talking about? And what kind of toxins are we dealing with? Chronic illness is by definition an illness that you have been battling with for over 3 months or one that has no foreseeable cure. Good examples are chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, autism, autoimmune disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, allergies or chemical sensitivities. Toxins are defined as a food, chemical, bacteria, yeast or virus that disturbs the body's normal functioning and health. Toxins can be such things as allergens, foods that they body is sensitive to, a chemical like a solvent, a pesticide or a hormone disruptor. These toxins cause oxidative stress or damage directly to the cell's DNA or mitochondria and thereby inhibit the normal function of the cell.
Many people who suffer from chronic illness are often overwhelmed with toxins so much so that the body's ability to recover from the chonic pain or fatigue is compromised. My job is to help my patients identify and "detoxify" these toxins from the body, reducing the overall load of toxins that a body needs to deal with on a day to day basis so that inflammation can reduce and the healing can truly begin. The term "detoxify" is again an overused and vague term that I define as reducing the overall load of toxins in the patient so that the body's own natural ability to heal can work. Not all "toxins" are toxic to every body, many foods can be considered toxins to some or many but not everyone. An example is gluten, a protein found in many grains including wheat, oats and rye. Some people have bodies that are intolerant to gluten leading to the body considering gluten containing foods as toxic.
Major avenues of detoxification in the body are the liver, colon, kidney and lymph. Minor ones are lungs and skin. I treat many, many patients with chronic illness from unknown origins and we take profound steps toward stimulating the major pathways of detoxification to start working better. I do this by removing the things that cause the most toxicity in the body including food sensitivities, heavy metals, yeast, viruses, allergens etc. and use high antioxidants to help support cellular function and antidote the high oxidative stress in the body. I use homeopathic remedies to keep main avenues of elimination open and biopuncture to support liver and kidney pathways, especially. By maintaining an open elimination pathways, the person starts to feel relief from their symptoms as their overall toxic load starts to reduce so inflammation can subside and healing can begin. Surprisingly, this doesn't really take that long. Most people start to feel relief and see changes in their laboratory information in a few weeks. I cannot exphasize enough the importance of detoxification in chronic illness. Knowing what to detoxify is the tricky part. Is the toxin fat soluable? Is it water soluable? Is it a heavy metal that needs to be chelated? Will detoxification be helped by pH changes or changes in electrostatic charges in the body tissue? If you are working with a doctor in helping your chronic illness heal, keep a few ideas in mind.
Some people have very high toxic loads and have overwhelmed elimination pathways. Initial detoxification is imperative and must be done slowly to prevent overwhelming the body with toxins and worsening the situation. Unclogging the "drain" is not an easy task for some people and the "drain" in this case is your capacity to detoxify. Once your drain in unclogged, then the detoxification part is much easier and has few side effects. Many people subscribe to the belief that detox symptoms need to be tolerated and waited out. Like Herkheimer reactions or die off reactions, many doctors think this is normal but it is evidence that your detoxification pathways are overwhelmed. Pushing through the detox reactions is like ramming a large thing through a small hole. The best (and most comfortable) way of doing this is to first make the hole bigger then pushing through what needs to be pushed through. Brain fog, nausea, joint pain, headaches, muscle aches, diarrhea are all signs of reduced detoxification capacity and the need for ensuring focusing on helping the detox pathways before one starts to detoxify.
The body has an impressive ability to heal, just given the correct healing environment. When choosing your doctor, make sure you understand that addressing the underlying cause of your illness may take a bit of time. I usually can overcome most detox problems in about 2 months and then helping the body heal becomes much easier. Finding a doctor who can fully understand your chronic illness and who can help you address the detoxification problems associated with the healing of your illness is essential.