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Detoxifying Methods


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Hi all,

Lately I have been feeling sluggish, brain fog, achy joints and abnormal fatigue--to me, all signs of toxin build up. I started reading 21 pounds in 21 days that talks about the author's detox methods, but I am not quite ready for that. I am wondering if any of you all have detoxed your body through juicing, diet changes, colonic cleansings, etc. and was wondering if you'd share?

Thanks.

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Hi all,

Lately I have been feeling sluggish, brain fog, achy joints and abnormal fatigue--to me, all signs of toxin build up. I started reading 21 pounds in 21 days that talks about the author's detox methods, but I am not quite ready for that. I am wondering if any of you all have detoxed your body through juicing, diet changes, colonic cleansings, etc. and was wondering if you'd share?

Thanks.

Do a 24-hour sleep-to-sleep zero-calorie, liquid-only fast (need to pig out, then shoot a couple of drinks about five minutes before you sleep; also fall asleep 25 hours after the first night so you can shoot some liquor before you go to bed the following evening (black coffee or plain tea are allowed as long as they're zero calories)), followed the next day by a 24-hour sleep-to-sleep clear-liquid-only fast (bouillon (personal cheat: Pho broth with nothing in it which is a special carry-out order, but they'll all do it (including Pho 75, and you'll damned well appreciate it after 24 hours with no calories), apple juice, vodka, etc.)). Then, fall asleep 25 hours later again so you can pig out on whatever the hell you want on the third night before sleeping. Check in here after and report how you feel after the fourth morning. Prediction: better. Stop eating and drinking on the first night at 6 PM so you can be stuffing yourself by 8 PM the third evening.

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I have no medical or health credentials or expertise but, in recent months, have been interested in (and thus reading about) "gluten sensitivity." The research behind this concept is growing but I think fair to say it's worth considering but isn't yet conclusive. Not specifically tied to "toxins" per se but related to possibly explaining a scientific case for the cause and solutions to the symptoms you're feeling.

In my own words paraphrasing much of what has been researched and written, gluten sensitivity refers to an intolerance for gluten allegedly resident in some significant number (possibly millions) of people who test negative for celiac disease. The symptoms can align with what you're experiencing but also extend well beyond and thus can cause reasonable people to question the veracity of the phenomenon. There is reliable diagnostic testing for it but not part of typical annual physicals. The prescribed action for people so inclined is to request testing, then eliminate processed/glutinous grains for a month and then re-test. More easily, can just cut all glutinous grains for a month and then assess how you feel.

There is a wealth of information about this online. Some is more credible from respected sources while other research is more sensationalist in title but still thought provoking. One recent writeup in the Wall Street Journal does a decent job overviewing it based on a recent study supported by University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Italian researchers. You may find it interesting. Personally, I've found what I've read to be interesting and somewhat credible in keeping with more moderate, wholesome, natural, real food approaches like those favored by Michael Pollan.

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Hi all,

Lately I have been feeling sluggish, brain fog, achy joints and abnormal fatigue--to me, all signs of toxin build up. I started reading 21 pounds in 21 days that talks about the author's detox methods, but I am not quite ready for that. I am wondering if any of you all have detoxed your body through juicing, diet changes, colonic cleansings, etc. and was wondering if you'd share?

Thanks.

Please let me save you the time: Your body does not store up toxins. Any of these "detoxification" methods, whether they be diets, drinks, colon cleanses, foot pads, or whatever, are bunk. At best, they're misguided attempts at alternative medicine. At worst, they're scams perpetrated by folks looking to prey off of your fatigue in order to make a buck.

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Please let me save you the time: Your body does not store up toxins. Any of these "detoxification" methods, whether they be diets, drinks, colon cleanses, foot pads, or whatever, are bunk. At best, they're misguided attempts at alternative medicine. At worst, they're scams perpetrated by folks looking to prey off of your fatigue in order to make a buck.

Body cleansing and detoxification have been referred to as an elaborate hoax used by con artists to cure nonexistent illnesses. Some doctors contend that the 'toxins' in question do not even exist.[1][15][16] In response, alternative medicine proponents frequently cite heavy metals or pesticides as the source of toxification; however, no evidence exists that detoxification approaches have a measurable effect on these or any other chemical levels. Medical experts state that body cleansing is unnecessary as the human body is naturally capable of maintaining itself, with several organs dedicated to cleansing the blood and gut.[17] Professor Alan Boobis OBE, Toxicologist, Division of Medicine, Imperial College London states that "The body’s own detoxification systems are remarkably sophisticated and versatile. They have to be, as the natural environment that we evolved in is hostile. It is remarkable that people are prepared to risk seriously disrupting these systems with unproven ‘detox’ diets, which could well do more harm than good."[13]

The apparently satisfied testimonial and anecdotal accounts by customers can be explained by either disguised employees creating false anecdotes, or actual customers who are experiencing the placebo effect after trying the products, natural recovery from an actual illness that would have occurred without the use of the product, psychological improvements on illnesses that are psychosomatic or the result of neurosis, and the fact that a large number of dissatisfied customers have not posted equally applicable anecdotes about their poorer experiences.[18]

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detoxification_(alternative_medicine)#Criticism

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I think this is where eastern and western medicine differ. Even if our bodies do not store toxins in the western definition of the sense (e.g., metals, chemicals), eastern medicine believes by products, life occurrences (i.e., stress, bad event, etc.) can gunk up your system much like a clogged fuel injection system, thus preventing your vehicle/body from performing at its maximum efficiency. Either way, I am trying to listen to my body, which feels off-kilter with the symptoms listed above, and am trying to find ways to reset it to maximize performance. YMMV.

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I agree wholeheartedly with fuzzy and Dan. However, if you want to clean out your gut I highly recommend pure psyllium husk. It's what is found in Metamucil, but that brand also contains all kinds of other stuff (sugars, flavorings, fillers) that you don't need. The Konsyl brand (available at CVS) is 100% psyllium. In my opinion that is all anyone needs to maintain regularity without stripping your body of naturally beneficial bacteria or introducing the other junk found in Metamucil and various "cleansing" drugs.

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I think this is where eastern and western medicine differ. Even if our bodies do not store toxins in the western definition of the sense (e.g., metals, chemicals), eastern medicine believes by products, life occurrences (i.e., stress, bad event, etc.) can gunk up your system much like a clogged fuel injection system, thus preventing your vehicle/body from performing at its maximum efficiency. Either way, I am trying to listen to my body, which feels off-kilter with the symptoms listed above, and am trying to find ways to reset it to maximize performance. YMMV.

I don't believe in toxin build up, but I do believe we can get out of balance. If I'm feeling not so great, I cut out alcohol and any refined foods for about a week, and beverage consumption during this time is sparkling water, mineral water, and any other iteration of water, with a cup of tea in the morning if I feel a caffeine headache coming on. It only takes about three days if I eat only fruit. Master Han, my Tai Chi instructor from way back when, told us that 95% of the toxins in our bodies can be eliminated through the breath during the exercises. Sometimes I fail him and have to go with the fruit and water. :mellow:

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Goodeats: There is a publication based on a British (BBC, I presume) series about food and nutrition that cites a Western scientific study which maintains those who detoxed showed no significant health benefits that distinguished them from the control group.

On the other hand, I know someone who consults numerous practitioners of alternative medicine and detoxes along w her husband on a fairly regular basis. She always looks fabulous afterwards and swears by it and doesn't look her age. She does lose weight, though, which is something you may not wish to do. I am not sure when I will see her next, but will try to get more details because I've been meaning to try her routine at least once despite how very skeptical I am.

What I do know: it's a long-term commitment, 3-4 weeks? No caffeine except green tea. No alcohol. I'd have to check back about whether animal products are permitted, but I believe diet is pretty much vegan and/or fats are restricted. No refined sugars. No highly processed grains, at the very least. Lots of vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables. Salad. Sort of what Michael Pollan might eat were he a monk.

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Since you have an understandable affinity for Eastern ways of thinking about the body, why not consult a Doctor of Oriental Medicine? Many of them use both acupuncture and dietary/herbal approaches. I have a cousin by marriage who practices in Santa Cruz, CA. I have had several recent opportunities to interact with her by telephone, internet and in person. The way she has explained Chinese medicine's understanding of the human body as an energetic system makes complete sense to me. And it isn't necessary to choose one or the other systems of medicine-- my cousin was very interested in lab test results as well as hearing about symptoms and responses to medication, and then she zeroed right in on the most important issue and made some recommendations to support and "cool" my overheated system as an adjunct to Western treatments. (I also had two acupuncture sessions.)

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I agree with the integrative approach (as aptly described by Zora). It makes sense to figure out what is going on and treat it specifically. After all, your symptoms could be descriptive of a thyroid imbalance or gluten sensitivity/celiac disease as others have noted, or another condition entirely. A "detox" diet, whatever you think of the reasons for it, probably wouldn't help with any of these conditions. And a consult with someone who combines the best of both worlds just might, even if the recommendations differ from what you might expect.

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I spoke to a firm believer in detoxing yesterday and will be sending a reference to her local practitioners of Chinese medicine by PM after submitting this post.

Basic method: A three-week program that begins with a strictly reduced range of foods, then gradually reintroduces other forms of nutrition over the course of the following two weeks. First week: a protein powder used to make smoothies; vegetables, limited number of grains and lentils. Portion size is controlled. The nature and quantity of what you consume is based on consultation w professionals. Goal: Increased energy and well-being. This is not simply a weight-loss regiment.

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I did a cleanse last month, and it was amazing. I am definitely not a new-agey person, but I found Marnie's cleanse through a friend. It helped me get off some bad habits, learn some new ones, and get back on track...

http://becominghealth.com/

I did the pura vida cleanse remotely through the phone/internet and it was great. She gave us menus, daily tips, a care package, and support through phone calls. Highly recommended, and, now that I have the materials I can replicate it whenever I want. I lost 11 pounds in 2 weeks, digestion got better, lost sluggishness, etc.

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While I was visiting my family in NC, my sister (& my mom, to a more limited degree) were on a fairly restrictive regime. My sister had gained a lot of weight & she was worried about being put on cholesterol meds when she went in to the doctor, so she started Whole30- no wheat, dairy, soy, sugar, grains/legumes- you basically can have meat & veg (lots of veg)- she said that after a few days, she didn't crave the foods she used to (in her case, it was candy). So, since I should be more concerned w/ my diet also,( I have high blood pressure & sleep apnea), I joined them (just made it easier to eat together). For me, the things I missed the most were cheese, soy (put soy sauce on everything), rice, & crackers/ pretzels, & just the problems of having to avoid any food prepared w/ any of those things.

I did slip up a couple of times this week-a couple of beers (I really miss my beer!) & some shrimp & okra that had a dusting of cornmeal/ flour & were probably fried in canola or peanut oil, but I figure I'd try & stick with it for a while, & see if I see any difference (getting bloodwork tomorrow & a followup in a month). I can really empathize w/ folks who have allergies or are gluten sensitive, it's so much more work, really planning what you can eat, not to mention eating out....

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I'm in the middle of traveling to see in-laws. I'm planning to start a Whole 30 when I get back.

I had never heard of Whole30 until now, so after reading your post I took a look at the site and decided to give it a try. May God have mercy on my soul.

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