Where do we get toxins into our bodies and how do we eliminate them?
Toxins are defined as any substance or element that is toxic to the body. The environment today and normal cellular metabolism exposes the body to toxins. There are so many of them around:
In order to maintain health, is it extremely important that the body is able to handle the toxins and adequately eliminate them. The body possesses primary and secondary routes of elimination which must be working properly in order to avoid storage of toxins and prevent disease.
Some toxins are able to be directly excreted through the primary routes of elimination, others must first be transformed by the liver. Through a series of reaction, the liver is able to convert some toxins to a more water soluble form which will aid excretion in the urine, breathe or sweat. Other toxins are combined with bile to a fat soluble form to aid excretion via the bowels. Therefore, the liver plays a large role in conversion and detoxification of toxins and is a vital organ in the eliminatory process.
The primary routes of elimination all have direct access to the outside of the body. They are a
transition point between normal bodily processing and excretion. Ensuring optimal function of all
six primary routes is essential to health.
This is a major route of elimination of toxins from the body. As food is getting digested, it passes through the digestive tract and is continually broken down and nutrients are absorbed along the way. What the body cannot utilise is then eliminated in the stool. Toxins and waste are eliminated in the stool, thus protecting the body from toxic accumulation.
The main function of the bladder is to store and release urine. The complex urinary system filters blood through the kidneys as a means of maintaining homeostasis and physiological pH within the body. The urinary system is the primary system responsible for excretion of metabolic waste. Uric acid, from nucleic acid metabolism, and nitrogen, from protein breakdown, are the major metabolic bi-products excreted in the urine.
Elimination of toxins from the skin is achieved through sweating. Sweat stimulated by exercise, fever, environment (i.e. summer weather, saunas, steam room etc.) is a way for the body to rid itself of toxins which are stored in adipose or fat tissues.
The lungs are responsible for the elimination of carbon dioxide with every breath. Carbon dioxide in a naturally occurring toxin in the body. Breathe is a major way for the body to maintain homeostasis. PH balance in the body is achieved through breathing and optimal kidney function.
The voice is an important way for the body to eliminate emotional toxins. The expression of true emotions and organic feelings through voice allows the body the opportunity to express and release emotions. The proper release of emotions whether positive or negative is an important part of detoxification and elimination for the body.
- Blood ( for women only)
A primary route of elimination for women. Monthly, women are awarded an additional opportunity to detoxify and eliminate toxins from the body. As blood and uterine lining are shed the body can eliminate unwanted waste. Dark, heavy painful menstruation is a sign of excess toxins in the system. Menstruation should be a natural, pain-free process that the body cycles through every 28 days.
Secondary routes of elimination are utilised when the primary routes are overburdened with toxins. The body attempts to shed unwanted toxins from the system by utilising the secondary routes. Optimal functioning of all primary routes and minimal exposure will prevent the body from utilising the secondary routes of elimination.
Secondary routes of elimination include nasal discharge, ear wax, tears, hair, excess vaginal secretions, phlegm, mucus or blood in stool, and sneezing.
Importance of elimination
- Remove wastes and toxins
The elimination of toxins allows the body the opportunity to rid itself of waste and unnecessary harmful compounds. If toxins are left in the body they begin to accumulate and overtime disrupt the body’s natural physiological functioning and lead to disease.
- Toxin accumulation can also lead to the generation of free radicals. Free radicals are naturally occurring in the body, yet with the addition of toxins there is more generated which overtime can lead to harm. Free radicals are a highly reactive, extremely unstable chemical compound that cause tissue destruction by attacking protein, DNA and cell membranes. Excessive free radical damage leads to numerous degenerative conditions, advance aging and contribute to the development of cancer.
- Toxin build-up leads to inflammation in the body. This is an attempt from the body to rid itself of the unwanted toxin. Although inflammation can be protective for the body, chronic inflammation is quite destructive and leads to various degenerative conditions.
- Prevent chronic disease
If removal of toxins is impaired there is an increased risk for the development of chronic disease. As removal of toxins is impaired, the body’s toxic burden increases. The higher the burden the more likely chronic disease is to set in. Toxins are typically acidic. A buildup of acid in the body can contribute to chronic disease.
- Support organ function
The organ systems of the body are designed to handle some naturally occurring metabolic and environmental toxins. The body however, is not prepared to handle the excess toxins that are present in today’s world. The need to support and encourage removal of toxins on an ongoing basis is necessary due to the increased number of toxins that each person is now exposed to in food, water, personal care products and our environment.