All your bodily processes are connected. Your organs and body parts each have specific jobs to do, but they all depend on each other to work properly. This is why one seemingly small health concern or issue can create a domino effect of unhealthy conditions.
Sometimes poor health comes as a result of an injury. In other cases, there may be genetic causes at work. Most of the time however, health problems are caused by the environment that we live in and the harmful chemicals that we put into our bodies or on our bodies.
Your digestive system, your liver and other internal processes work together to rid your body of any toxic substances. These chemicals can enter your body in the food you eat, in your air that you breathe, liquids you drink and even through your skin by the products that you put on it.
When your digestive system and your liver are healthy and functioning properly, these toxins and poisons are processed efficiently. They pass through your system, and do no harm. However, as incredible as your body is, it can be overpowered. When too many toxic substances enter into your body, your organs come under attack, and your body's ability to cleanse and rid itself of these harmful things is compromised.
Aside from metabolizing protein and keeping your blood clotting, your liver is in charge of removing chemical toxins. Think of it this way, anything and everything that enters your body via your mouth or your skin has to be processed and cleared by your liver. So when you continually take in toxic substances form all different sources your liver has to work overtime and this can lead to a damaged, bogged down and unhealthy liver.
When your liver is incapable of removing all of the toxins that enter your body, those poisonous chemicals begin to wreak havoc on all of your internal and external body parts, glands, systems and processes. Your organs, muscles, bones and tissue can suffer and become painful, inflamed, and a long list of other serious health conditions can be the result.
This is why it is so important to cleanse or detox your liver from time to time. Even if you eat a very healthy diet, toxic substances and chemicals are injuring your body every day from factors beyond your control. This is why even the most health-conscious person can benefit from cleansing their liver. I recommend doing a liver detox every 6 months, one in the spring and one in the fall. When you cleanse your liver you are also cleansing your whole body in the process.
For a better understanding of how important a liver detox can be for overall health and well-being, I wanted to take you on an in-depth look at toxins and inflammation, and the incredible damage they can cause the human body. Note I am using toxins/poisons interchangeably. I have given you a great companion freebie about supplements that are good for gut health so you’ll want to get along with a simple detox program that I follow.
The topics we will cover include:
The following is a strict medical or scientific definition of a toxin:
toxin - noun - "A toxin is a poisonous substance that is a
specific product of the metabolic activities of a living
organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic
when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of
inducing antibody formation."
Professor Tom Brenna studies biomedicine and nutrition at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology. To make it simpler to understand that long and possibly confusing definition, Brenna says to just remember this – “toxin = poison.”
Anything harmful that enters your body can cause health problems. Any toxin, or poison, that you eat, drink, breathe or that makes contact with your skin has to be dealt with. As we mentioned earlier, this is usually not a problem when your liver is functioning properly.
The problem in today's chemical-filled world is that there are literally hundreds of toxins you may come into contact with on a daily basis.
Dr. Don Smith is a professor at UC Santa Cruz, California. He studies how organisms respond to toxins. At last count, he and his colleagues had identified 689 different harmful agents found in our environment. Other researchers in this field have identified more than 1,000 toxic substances and chemicals. So in the best case scenario, a minimum of 689 poisonous and toxic influences surround you, threatening your physical and mental health and well-being.
Toxins are classified as either internal or external. Your body actually produces toxic substances. Examples of some internal toxins are elevated liver enzymes, allergic reactions to certain food and chronic infections. Some common examples of external toxins, like the 689 identified by Dr. Smith, include:
When your body cannot cleanse itself naturally of these harmful stressors, you can suffer mild to very serious health conditions.
Heart disease and acne, hair loss and obesity, premature aging, chronic fatigue and neurological problems like Alzheimer's disease and dementia are just a few of the many health conditions which can be caused by toxins. Because they are poisonous, even small amounts can cause real mental and physical health problems.
However a toxin enters your body, your immune system's first response is to get rid of that poison. This may happen through the passing of urine or feces, perspiration, saliva, and even earwax. What happens if a toxic substance gets past your immune system's first line of defense?
Inflammation sets in.
If your doctor has ever diagnosed you with some type of "itis" condition, you are experiencing inflammation. The suffix "itis" is defined as "the inflammation of". So colitis is another way of identifying inflammation of the colon, and tonsillitis occurs when your tonsils are inflamed.
Inflammation affects every aspect of your health. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, cancer, and is even thought to be the major force behind the visible signs of aging.
Basically put, inflammation is your body's response to any type of stress. When you catch a cold, your body responds by creating inflammation in the form of a fever, so that your body heats up to remove the effects of the invading virus which caused your cold.
When you’re not sick but your body continues to experience inflammation, because your liver has been overworked with too many toxic substances, you become more at risk for contracting diseases, infections, sickness and illness.
How dangerous is inflammation really? It is directly related to a myriad of health problems and conditions which we will cover in our next section.
Left to its own devices, inflammation can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes. Chronic pain and arthritis, cancer and acid reflux, osteoporosis and urinary tract infections are also symptoms of inflammation.
Inflammation can cause skin conditions which make you look years older than you actually are. If you have tried but failed to lose weight, participating in every diet plan that comes along, internal inflammation may be the problem. From head to toe, inside and out, human beings suffer a wide variety of diseases, infections and sickness linked to inflammation.
One of the major causes of inflammation is a toxic liver as we discussed earlier. Let's take a look at some of the signs that your liver may have been overexposed to toxic or harmful substances and chemicals.
Earlier you learned that your liver is in charge of removing toxins from your body. When more toxic substances are entering your body than your liver can dispose of, you can develop liver disease from a poisoned liver. Some of the symptoms of a toxic liver include:
As you probably noticed, a lot of the signs of a toxic liver can be misdiagnosed and attributed to other conditions. Now don’t get me wrong, not every health issue is related or caused by a toxic, bogged down liver but more and more we are seeing that inflammation is a big culprit in a lot of illness and decreasing it plays a big factor in improving all of our overall health.
Your skin is one of the first places that an unhealthy liver show itself. Your hair likewise, quickly shows the effects of a toxic liver. Inflammation can cause skin and hair conditions that make you look much older than your actual age.
You may look in the mirror and see facial skin that is wrinkled and saggy. The skin on your arms, legs and chest is flecked with brown spots and your skin is overly dark. You may look much older than your age, so you purchase miracle skin creams and pills, facial scrubs and cleansers, to no avail. The problem is that no amount of skincare products can reverse the premature aging which is caused by a sick liver.
When your liver gets healthy, your skin and hair become healthy and strong as well. Your hair regains its luster and volume, and your skin is soft, strong and attractive.
Your unexplained weight gain might just be a toxic liver. It was mentioed above, but it bears repeating:
Never before have human beings been so exposed to so many toxic, poisonous, harmful chemicals and substances as we are today.
Many weight loss specialists, health professionals and doctors believe that this is why the human race is more overweight and obese today than at any other time in recorded history. The liver is doing everything it can to dispel your body of toxins. But a lot of the time it simply can't keep up under a continual onslaught of exposure to poisons and harmful chemicals and substances.
This could be the reason you have tried so hard to lose weight in the past, but have not achieved the results that you had hoped for. It is not because you are lazy or have a lack of willpower. It is because your body simply doesn't understand how to be slim and trim.
Your liver aids in the digestive process. When it does not work properly, you do not digest foods properly. A stressed-out liver causes fat to build up, especially around the stomach. You also experience inflammation that is linked with being overweight. A healthy liver also leads to a healthy metabolism, meaning that as your liver becomes more toxic, your ability to process food and fat weakens.
You begin storing fat rather than burning it, which could lead to unhealthy weight gain even if you eat smart and exercise.
Your liver is probably the greatest multi-tasker in your body. It has a lot of jobs to do. Unfortunately, the air you breathe, the food and drink you consume and everything that comes into contact with your skin has the opportunity of delivering dangerous and unhealthy poisons into your body.
Aside from the total health benefit of a detoxing your liver, comes the self-awareness benefit, how you start to look and feel about yourself and your health. Your health is your responsibility first and foremost and therefore you should want to do everything that you can to keep it healthy. Doing a detox or cleanse every 6 months gives you a chance to slow down and reconnect with your body and your mind. When your liver is healthy it is able to do its job efficiently and thereby help your body overall to be in a healthier state no matter what health problems that come your way.
Your risks of contracting heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and other diseases plummet. You can have more energy. Your vitality is boosted, your sex drive and performance benefit, and your natural ability to resist any disease, infection or sickness is strong once again.
These are the benefits of a liver detox or cleanse.