How do I Know I Need to Detox?

by Head Health Nutter on March 4, 2008

Earlier this week, we defined what it means to detox and discussed why we should detox. Then there was an unscheduled post explaining how hot baths help detoxing as well as their dangers. The last post clearly defined the differences between detoxification and body cleansing, why we need to cleanse and some of its benefits.

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Update: Since writing this post, I’ve realized I may be mistaken or at least unclear in my understanding of cleanses and detoxes. I once believed they were basically the same but now question if there’s a difference between a detox and cleanse, and wonder how important it is to differentiate them. If you have any insights, please feel free to comment!

But how can we tell when our bodies are congested with toxins and could use our active assistance with detoxifying?

What it feels like to be toxic

In short, I equate toxicity to feeling old. But if you have 3 minutes, take this about.com detox screening test to find out if you might benefit from a cleanse.

Here are a few common symptoms of toxic overload:

  • Feeling tired, sluggish, lethargic
  • Trouble concentrating and staying focused
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Catch colds easy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Bad breath
  • Unpleasant body odor
  • Frequent gas, bloating or indigestion
  • Allergies and/or food sensitivities
  • Skin problems like acne, psoriasis, eczema
  • Constipation and other gastrointestinal irregularities
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Recurrent respiratory problems
  • Back pain
  • Mood changes
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Sinus congestion

Experiencing several of the above symptoms may be evidence that you have a build up of toxins. But all is not lost – you have the power to make yourself feel better! You can regain your health, balance and youth through several means, including detoxing.

What YOU can do to change things

Here are a few suggestions to get you started in assisting and strengthening your natural detoxification process (which also boosts your immune system and overall health):

  1. Seek professional guidance from a Naturopathic Doctor
  2. Adopt healthy living practices (don’t know what these are? Stay tuned for the upcoming post, “10 Tips for Optimal Health“)
  3. Spring clean your body! This may include:
    • A detox diet
    • Regular, partial fast day or juice fasting (like the Master Cleanse or Live Lighter’s Safe, Enlightening 3 Day Fast)
    • Seasonal cleansing programs for colon, liver, blood, kidneys, parasite, candida, heavy metal, etc.
    • Using herbs and supplements to draw toxins out of the body
    • Learn about proper elimination and vitamin support on a detox/cleanse
    • Replenish gut flora balance
  4. Read Live Lighter , especially the next post titled “ How to Detox

These suggestions seem like a lot. They are. But it’s important to remember that it’s taken you years to accumulate these toxins and it will take time to unload your body of this burden. Plus, it will take education, several attempts and various methods to find what works best for you.

For example, it took me two years (without the help of a doctor so if you can afford it, get one!) to formulate an effective (for me) specialized health plan that combined some of the above elements.

Keep in mind that your health is a lifelong journey. Even though you may experience a few failures, they ultimately tell you what doesn’t work so you can figure out what will.

And when you finally succeed in rebalancing your body, you and those around you will see the results and feel the benefits of health. I guarantee, you will live lighter.

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