What Does it Really Mean?
A few of us must have heard this one before. You meet a long-time friend at the dairy, and you tell her how healthy she looks. She tells you about this new detox (detoxification) program she’s on. Before the program, she was feeling bloated most of the time, irritated and had difficulty focusing (brain fog). She also complained of dry, dull skin. After detoxifying, she tells you that all of her complaints disappeared. She now tells you that you should do the same. What does she mean exactly? Detoxification can connote different things.
In the simplest sense of the term, detoxification means the removal of a toxin. That toxin could be a drug, heavy metal or anything. The type of toxin will determine the type of detoxification required. Remember, in order to properly define detoxification, you need to know the specific situation calling for it.
Common Types of Detoxification
1. Metabolic Detoxification
Your very own metabolism can produce end products, which could be harmful to your body in excess. Your body has its own physiological (natural) way of fighting these products, one of which is through metabolic detoxification. Metabolic detoxification is accomplished through a variety of processes like excretion (elimination through your poop and/or pee) or redox reactions (oxidation-reduction reactions) to neutralise the metabolic toxins. Enzymes also form an integral part of this type of detoxification.
2. Drug Detoxification
This happens when someone is addicted to a drug. Drug detoxification is designed to reduce the symptoms you will experience when the addictive substance is removed. Remember the hit medical drama series House M.D.? Which drug was the main character addicted to? IMPORTANT: None our products are designed to support this!
3. Alcohol Detoxification
I think many of us are familiar with this one. People addicted to alcohol can’t just suddenly stop, or withdraw from consuming it without medical care. If you suddenly stop drinking without medical help, serious health problems can arise. Please remember that alcohol detoxification isn’t the cure for alcohol addiction (alcoholism). It’s just a part of the therapy.
4. General Bowel Detoxification
This usually involves Herbal Supplements to encourage cleansing of the small and large intestine as well as the liver and the lymphatic system. This type of detox is seen as an annual spring clean for the body to help prevent illness and support the body systems to function optimally. Please be careful which detox regimen you follow and consult with your healthcare practitioner for support with finding the most suitable program for you. Check out our article “How to Tell If Your Liver Is Poorly”.
5. Heavy Metal Detoxification
Simply put, heavy metal detoxification is the removal of excess heavy metal from your body. In conventional medicine, this is done through dialysis and chelation therapy. There are also natural supplements to support detoxification of heavy metals with lower level toxicity. It is important to follow the guidance of your healthcare practitioner with all heavy metal detoxification programs to ensure the heavy metals are removed safely.
What You Can Expect from Heavy Metal Detoxification
To make a possible long story short, you can expect the following while undergoing heavy metal detoxification:
This includes the removal of the source of heavy metal exposure. Of course, this is aimed at limiting or completely removing the heavy metal you were exposed to.
This is the part you can leave up to your doctor or to the emergency room personnel. Emergency medical treatment is given during this time. The main goal here is to stabilize you.
3. Chelation time
Chelation is usually done after the patient is stabilized, with the exception of cases of lead poisoning. Chelation therapy is conducted with the help of a medical toxicologist. This therapy includes giving you a chelating agent. There are different chelation agents used for specific heavy metals. Chelating agents are just drugs which have sulfhydryl groups. These sulfhydryl groups are like helipads where helicopters (heavy metals) can land. When the heavy metal attaches itself to the sulfhydryl group, it can then be eliminated from your system.
Based on the latest, medical evidence, chelation therapy is only indicated for the treatment of heavy metal poisoning and should only be administered by your doctor. Be careful about certain chelating agents sold over the counter and especially those sold online.
4. Other consultations
Referral to other medical specialties may be done at this time (like a psychiatrist).
Take Home Message
When detoxifying, make sure you drink plenty of water. Your main pathways of elimination for heavy metals are through your pee and your bowel movements, so take care of them, okay? Heavy metal detoxification is formulated to eliminate excess heavy metals in your system. It should always be under the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always.