This is a common question since many of us know we are living in a toxic world.
Due to modern day living and advancements in chemical technology, our natural environment may not be so natural. Toxins are intentionally added to our air, food, water, drugs, supplements, self-care products, the clothes we wear, and the list could keep going. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over 400 chemicals have been detected in human tissue. Our environment may be changing faster than our bodies are able to adapt. This sounds like a major problem, and we’re being exposed to marketing with tons of products out there to help us “detoxify our body,” but what toxins are they trying to get rid of?
When clients come in for their first cryotherapy, infrared sauna, or lymphatic drainage treatments, I always ask why they are doing the treatment. Some do not have any specific health concerns they want to address; however, they want to enjoy the long list of health benefits and DETOX while others think they can sweat out the bad food and drinks they had the night before. If only we could “sweat it ALL out” like it never happened, but that’s not the case and let’s give our bodies some credit.
How does the body process toxins?
The major organs that help our body get rid of toxins are the lungs, intestines, liver, kidneys, skin, blood vessels, and lymph nodes. We remove the toxic particles through breathing, producing urine and feces, and sweating.
Our bodies can handle a lot and are very good at getting rid of toxins. Before you buy into a product or service that has no scientific proof, lets understand how our body works.
The lungs are a good example. Our body produces carbon dioxide when it coverts food into energy. Carbon dioxide is a waste product or toxin that we breathe it out to expel. The airways that feed the lungs have microscopic hairlike structures called cilia which push contaminants out. If you breathe in foreign particles, the cilia move mucus and germs toward the mouth where they can be coughed or sneezed out. Lungs are self-cleaning organs that will heal once they are no longer exposed to pollutants.
Our small intestine absorbs the nutrients from what we eat. It directs the good nutrients into the bloodstream, and then the colon gets rid of the remaining waste. The nutrient-rich blood then leaves the digestive organs and goes to the body’s primary filtration system, the liver. The liver also receives blood carrying medication and toxic substances. It coverts toxins into waste products, cleanses your blood, and metabolizes nutrients and medications. It either passes them back into the blood or send them to the bowel to be eliminated. The liver is very good at cleaning itself and should not require a cleanse or detox.
Another vital organ is the kidneys. When it comes to getting rid of the toxins, the major functions of the kidneys are to filter out excess water and clean the blood from toxins. The kidneys form urine to allow waste to pass out of the body.
The largest organ, the skin, does sweat out some toxins. If you sweat too much you
may be depleting your body of nutrients. We sweat to maintain our body temperature and not overheat. If you judge your workouts or sauna sessions based on how much you sweat, then this might not be an accurate measure of how much waste is being expelled. Some people naturally sweat more than others, and the skin is not the major organ the detoxifies a person.
Finally, known as our detox hero, there is the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is our body’s main drainage system. It cleans and disposes of waste left behind by other body systems. It collects excess fluid that surrounds the body’s tissues and organs then returns it to the bloodstream. It disposes toxins and other byproducts through sweating, bowel movements, urine, and breathing.
Where are toxins stored?
We may not love fat, but toxins do. Most toxins are fat soluble and love fat so much
they stay there months or decades. They can be stored in the fatty tissues located in our brains, nerves, glands, and subcutaneous fat. Some of these toxins may be contributing to weight gain and the inability to lose fat.
Make good choices.
Ultimately, the body is always working to get rid of toxins and cope with the environment. The overload of toxins affects our homeostasis, aka our body’s balanced state. When our bodies are not able to maintain internal balance, it may result in disease.
Many substances are relatively safe in small quantities but can be harmful in larger amounts. If you believe exposure to toxic substances are harming you, it is best to talk to your doctor.
When it comes to detoxing, know what you are detoxing and why. You’re better off addressing the underlying problem. Trust that your body can do the detoxing and make good choices. The modalities offered at Goat Wellness not only supplement the body’s ability to expel toxins but may also help the body work more efficiently in getting rid of waste.