Detoxifying your Body to Improve Hormone Balance, Increase Metabolism and Help Lose Weight
Detoxification is a process by which your body transforms toxins and medications into harmless molecules that can easily be eliminated from your body. In order to be healthy and achieve weight loss, your body has to have the ability to detoxify well. We’ve talked a lot about toxin exposure – BPA and pesticides in our food and phthalates and parabens in household and cosmetic products – and how to reduce exposure to these toxins. But how do you help your organs and body remove these toxins? That’s what we’ll discuss today.
It’s possible that toxic exposure is as big a contributor to obesity as poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. Understanding the best way to keep your detoxification organs healthy and to overcome problems associated with exposure to high levels of toxic environmental chemicals will help with weight loss. With simple lifestyle choices and utilizing some appropriate nutrients, you can keep your detoxification organs working well and increase your body’s ability to remove toxins. Common symptoms of toxin buildup in your body include headache, fatigue, muscle aches, asthma, allergies, skin disorders, and chronic infections.
Your body has four main detoxification organs: the kidney, the liver, the skin, and your gastrointestinal tract. Each of these has a different ability to break down the toxins and to detoxify medications. These abilities are based on your genetic makeup but are also modified through your diet, lifestyle, and environmental exposures.
Detoxification is mainly accomplished in two phases in your liver. In phase I, enzymes change the toxic compounds or medications into intermediate metabolites, or compounds. This is the first line of defense, and if it’s not functioning well, you’ll have toxic buildup in your body. In phase II, other enzymes convert the intermediate metabolites created in phase I into molecules that dissolve in water and can easily be removed from your body. This is where the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract come into play. Your skin, the fourth detoxification organ, is the body’s largest absorptive organ. It lets water, minerals, medications, and toxins in and out of the body. Its main goal is to protect the body from invaders, let in water to maintain hydration, keep you cool by sweating and remove toxins.
There are many nutrients you can take in supplement form to aid detoxification, and those are listed in chapter 12 of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hormone Weight Loss. Some common nutrients like herbs, green tea, vitamin C and B vitamin complex can make a big difference in the health of your liver. Saunas and steam baths and colon hydrotherapy are also good ways to detoxify your body.