Fall Detox & Reset
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Spring and Fall are seasons of transition and change which make them ideal times to support the body's detoxification processes. Let's take advantage of the cooling weather and shortening days and make some positive changes of our own.
Why detoxification is important
In 2016 and 2017 a Canada Health Measures Survey showed that in Canadians aged 3 to 79, toxins like BPA (Bisphenol-A) and PFAs (Perfluoro alkyl substances) were found in 81.5% and 98.5% of those surveyed. Toxins are pervasive and can be found in the following sources:
Food containers, cookware,
Cleaning & hygiene products
Though we are all exposed to many of the same toxins, some of us are vulnerable to accumulating more toxins due to individual differences in:
Dietary imbalance & nutrient deficiencies
Additional exposures (ex. occupation, smoking, medications)
Consequences of Toxicity
Because toxins are stored throughout the body in the brain, nervous system, fat cells, and bone, the impact of toxins in the body can be widespread and variable. Toxins can interfere with hormone production and function, increase the risk of autoimmune disease, cause neurotoxicity and nervous system disorders, cause DNA damage and increase risk of cancer.
Possible signs & symptoms of toxicity:
- Brain fog, memory problems, difficulty concentrating
- Chemical hypersensitivity
- Chronic fatigue
- Fertility issues
- Mood disorder
- Numbness & tingling
- Chronic pain
- Sinus congestion
- Weight gain
What is "detox" in a naturopathic sense?
Detoxification is the body's natural ability to identify, neutralize and eliminate toxins. It is NOT purging the body and should not involve the use of laxatives and purgatives to force the body to expel toxins. As a naturopath, my goals are to:
Reduce toxic load on the body
Support the body's natural detoxification processes
Protect the body against toxic and oxidative damage
Who should and shouldn't detox?
Daily practices of eating a healthy diet, regular exercise and active avoidance of toxins should reduce our toxic burden, however it is recommended that you assess your toxic exposures and support your body's natural detoxfication systems (digestive tract, liver, kidneys, lymphatic system) twice a year: Spring and Fall. Those who should not engage in active detoxifcation include:
Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Heavily medicated patients
Chronic fatigue and pain patients
In pregnant or breastfeeding women it would be best to wait until breastfeeding is completed. For those dealing with existing health conditions it is best to address existing health conditions and support vitality before engaging in a detoxification program that may increase workload on the body and potentially worsen symptoms.
Follow my blog next week for naturopathic ways to detoxify your body and tips to:
Reduce your toxic load
Detox through diet
Detox with easy-to-do self-care activities
In health & Wellness,
Dr. Sophia Ma, ND