What Is Metabolic Detoxification?
Metabolic detoxification is way more than sipping on drinks that have been marketed as detox tricks and cleansers. Every day, no matter what our daily schedule is like, our body absorbs a wide variety of toxins and stores them in critical organs such as the brain, liver, or our fatty tissues and bones. Toxins can clog the arteries and affect the most fundamental body processes.
The two components of metabolic detoxification are:
- Metabolic: This refers to metabolic pathways, which are a series of chemical reactions that occur within each cell of the body to process molecules for cellular functioning. This cellular functioning keeps the body going, making metabolic pathways the cornerstone for survival. The metabolic pathways require well-functioning organs and digestive juices to catalyze the absorption process of these molecules.
- Detoxification: This refers to the process of eliminating toxic waste from our bodies.
Thus, Metabolic detoxification is the process of removing toxins from our body at the cellular level.
These toxins can come from three sources:
- External toxins: air pollutants such as cigarette smoke, fumes from household cleaning products and non-stick cookware, burning of leaves, pesticides. Metabolic disruption from environmental toxins is a serious problem.
- Our diet: Highly processed food rich in salt, sugar, and omega fats, artificial preservatives such as food coloring, synthetic flavors, and other additives that can cause cancer or disrupt hormones
- From our body: While performing bodily processes, all living organisms produce some toxins as byproducts. Even the healthiest body produces toxins.
Our bodies are equipped to eliminate lots of toxins using different methods. The most classic example is our breathing – our lungs help us expel carbon dioxide, and we cough out other harmful particles.
Another example is our colon, which discards the waste or harmful elements after our small intestine absorbs the good nutrients from the food we eat. Our kidney filters the bloodstream to remove toxins that our body produces. This is removed from the body through urine. When we sweat, we release toxins from our bodies too.
Our liver processes everything we take orally.
But when all these organs are not performing to their full potential, the toxins are not released naturally. That’s when our body starts getting affected due to toxic overload, which can lead to:
- A host of autoimmune diseases (what’s the story behind them, anyway?)
- Brain fog
- Chronic fatigue and stress
- Decreased energy
In such situations, a naturopathic detoxification programme that flushes out the toxins and strengthens your body can aid in revitalizing your system.
“Detox masks” and “cleansing juices” do not flush toxins out of your body. Detox face masks can clear the toxins on the surface of your skin, but they won’t make any changes on the hormonal level. Similarly, green smoothies can improve liver function, but there is no research to back up that that specific detoxification strategy will result in toxins being released.
Following fad diets will confuse your body and mess with critical body functions. Detoxing your body the right way is as crucial as the concept of detoxing in itself.
Detoxification reactions are common, especially in those who are doing it for the first time. This can include aggravations of your current symptoms, headache, fatigue, brain fog, skin eruptions and an upset digestive system. Working with a naturopathic doctor can ease these symptoms and help you understand what is a normal reaction and what is not.
Relying on non-medical advice on how to cleanse your system may lead to some benefits, but in the long-term, the detox will have more side effects than benefits. Side-effects of improperly executed detox programmes can translate into long-term health issues.
Metabolic detoxification is an intricate process, and if you want to catalyze the process, it needs to be under medical supervision.
Perhaps you have seen ads such as these:
“Cleanse Your Body in 7 Days!”
“Buy these Detox Teas to lose weight!”
“5 Detox Smoothies to try this summer.”
But is that all there is to the concept of detoxifying? Metabolic detoxification involves optimizing the function of your organs of detoxification in order to remove toxins from your body, and is usually done with assistance from a naturopathic doctor. Think of a cleanse, but for your entire body, and not through juice fads, but instead, with a consistent detoxifying programme that will streamline your metabolism, digestion, immunity and enhance overall health.
You can aid detoxification with the proper essential nutrients (or orthomolecular medicines) if you are not able to achieve the same solely through your diet) that will catalyze the elimination of toxins. These toxins may be produced from hormonal imbalances, regular bodily functions, or because of the environmental toxins of Toronto.
In this guide, we do a deep dive into how metabolic detoxification is carried out and its benefits. You will get an idea of whether you are an appropriate candidate for metabolic detoxification and if the reason behind that persistent headache you are experiencing is toxin overload.
How Does Metabolic Detoxification Work?
The liver and the gastrointestinal tract are the main organs that support metabolic detoxification. While the liver provides a medium for the toxins to travel to the large intestine so that they can be removed, the gastrointestinal tract is the preliminary site of hosting all the toxins as they enter the body.
You can think of metabolic reset detoxification as a three-phase process that starts with prepping the toxins for gradual removal and ending with the toxins exiting the body’s cells:
Phase 1 (Extraction Phase)
Breaks down the toxins present in the cells into water-soluble molecules. This is also the most potent form of these toxic chemicals.
Phase 2 (Conjugating Phase)
Attaches these molecules to “carrier” proteins so that they are ready to be removed. This binding helps in making the toxins more malleable for eventual removal.
Phase 3 (Transport Phase)
Excretes the water-soluble toxins from the body either through the urine or to the gut via bile juice for excretion
Therefore the three phrases extract, neutralize and remove the toxins. This is a simplistic representation of the organs detoxification process, but the gist is that metabolic detoxification is a continuous process that is happening even while you are reading this!
Ways You May be Exposed to Harmful Chemicals & Toxin
The modern North American diet is full of processed foods, additives, and preservatives.
Those minimize the nutritional value of otherwise healthy foods. They also disturb the equilibrium our body is trying to maintain through its metabolic pathways.
Packaged foods, artificially sweetened fruit juices, and caffeinated drinks like cola, alcohol, and soda pump our body with toxins. If our diet is mainly composed of these items, the body doesn’t receive the nutritional support it needs to activate the detox process, leading to toxic overload.
When we don’t accommodate for food allergies such as gluten allergies (you might have gluten intolerance without knowing, so look out for these 5 signs of gluten intolerance that aren’t in your digestive system) — the natural metabolic detoxification process that our body can perform is compromised. We need to be mindful of what we eat, and a balanced diet is a prerequisite to an efficient toxin removal process.
There are some obvious culprits like cigarette smoke, car fumes, industrial dust and pollutants, and crop burning smoke if you live near the countryside.
But there are some “hidden” pollutants that we are constantly inhaling too. The cleaning liquid you use to wipe down your kitchen counter, or the air freshener in your car, your favorite perfume, or bleach, if consumed, are dangerous, and everyone knows that. But we are inhaling them all the time, which is harmful too.
Inhaling these doesn’t present any noticeable symptoms, other than maybe a rash or some cough right after you inhale it. But the long-term effects can prevail and lead to an overload of toxins in your body.
Making healthier home choices when it comes to household chemicals is the best path of prevention. If you have already been exposed to toxins, then a naturopathy-based detox plan will help reverse the detrimental effects.
Toxins can enter our body not just through inhaling but also through skin contact.
Personal care products, such as sanitary pads and skincare serums, cosmetics, household cleaners, cleaning wipes, and all the other products mentioned in the previous section; they all have toxins that can enter your body through physical contact.
While having the knowledge of toxic cleaning products and their natural alternatives can be instrumental in reducing exposure, not all of them are entirely avoidable, especially if you are exposed to them in your workplace or anywhere outside of your home.
These add to the body’s toxin exposure. A metabolic detox programme might be helpful in addressing this exposure since the goal is not just to remove sources of toxins in your environment. With a detox programme, you can also flood your body with nutrients and phytochemicals that can negate the toxin load.
The toxins produced by the body’s natural processes are an involuntary byproduct of living.
We need to ensure that our diet and lifestyle are facilitating the removal of these toxins in a timely manner. When you are down with the flu or stomach issues, you will notice that your body is not performing the way it should in terms of expelling waste (you will experience constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.).
In such cases, there is skewed elimination of toxins, which can cause an increase of toxins in the body. Poor health choices can permanently damage the metabolic detoxification process, which can lead to autointoxication, where the body attacks itself with toxins.
What Are The Benefits Of A Metabolic Detoxification?
Increased Energy Levels
When your body is not able to eliminate toxins, key biological processes get affected, which slow down the body. This can lead to sluggishness and a lack of energy.
In such a situation, the toxins are preventing the body from absorbing nutrients in the food, or because of poor food choices, there are no nutrients for the body to absorb in the first place, thus increasing the toxin load.
Toxins can also reduce cellular energy, making your body slow. Metabolic detoxification can help increase energy levels since it works at a cellular level as well.
A metabolic detoxification programme with adequate nutrients and supplements can help jumpstart the elimination of toxins from your body. With conscious food choices that will boost cellular energy, the metabolic detoxification programme will address the fatigue that your body is experiencing.
Improves Mental Clarity
When your digestive system is not working properly, toxins may permeate the gut lining, leading to diseases such as Candida or SIBO (or both). You might also exhibit symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. The root cause could be food allergies and nutritional deficiencies, stress, and environmental toxins.
Can nutrition help you manage stress? Yes! This is where a naturopathic approach to metabolic detoxification will come in handy.
When your gut and digestive tract health is compromised, it affects the brain and mental processes that your mind is responsible for. This means that you may experience brain fog, i.e., you are not able to process information, and your brain is effectively “slowing down.”
Naturopathic doctors can assess toxic burden through hair (gut health and hair loss are intricately connected), urine and blood analysis, and then suggest naturopathic principles and nutritional practices that will repair your gut, thus improving focus and mental clarity. Incorporating foods for the healthy microbiome of your gut will also be one of the steps in the metabolic detoxification programme.
Supports Liver Function
Getting to know your body, your liver, and how they function is crucial. A poorly functioning liver can prevent effective metabolic detoxification since the liver is one of the main organs responsible for eliminating toxins. When this happens, the focus should be to restore liver health.
A metabolic detoxification programme will focus on flushing out the toxins in the liver to get back to expelling toxins from the body. A detox program can use one or more of the 6 ways to improve your liver function for better living.
Strengthens The Immune System
A metabolic detox program will enhance your immune system. Even if you are not continuously sick, you are an easy target for infections caused by toxins when you have low immunity. A healthy immune system promotes healthy antibodies that can keep toxins at bay.
Strengthening your immunity is a good way to ensure that toxins don’t overwhelm your body. A weak immune system causing chronic fatigue is likely the result of too many toxins in the body. A safe and sustainable way to deal with it is by incorporating a metabolic detoxification programme into your lifestyle.
Promotes Healthy & Clear Skin
An external manifestation of how toxins affect our body is our skin condition. Hyperpigmentation, acne, flaky skin, and dullness are all signs of unhealthy skin.
While topical products help address some of these skincare problems, to combat the crux of the issue, you need to go deeper and focus on balancing hormones and supplying your body with the correct nutrients.
A metabolic detox that is centered on lifestyle changes may not only make your skin healthier but may also reverse any pre-existing skincare issues. Natural supplements for healthier skin may be a part of your metabolic detoxification plan.
Helps With Weight Management And Digestion
When your gut and liver are working correctly due to the metabolic detox as explained in the previous sections, your body will run like a well-oiled machine.
It will absorb all the nutrients you provide it with, eliminate all the toxins, and promote healthy digestion and optimize your metabolic pathways.
All of these put together will make weight management more effortless. You won’t have to resort to diet pills or fad diets to lose weight or overeat to gain weight. Your body will intuitively know how to get you to a healthy weight. Healthy digestion will combat inconvenient and painful symptoms like constipation.
Naturopathic detoxification will streamline essential digestive tract processes and boost your energy, thus helping you in your weight management goals.
Is A Metabolic Reset Detoxification Program Appropriate For Me?
A metabolic reset detoxification program executed under the instructions of a naturopathic doctor can benefit almost all individuals, regardless of any external symptoms or issues.
All of us are exposed to toxins at any given point. Even a short programme to enhance your metabolic detoxification can help garner benefits that will strengthen your body and sharpen your mind.
A metabolic reset and detoxification plan can benefit those who have the following health concerns:
- Digestive issues like abdominal bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, or other bowel issues
- Headaches or brain fog
- Skin issues such as acne, hyperpigmentation, eczema, rosacea, and keratosis pilaris
- Body ache and fatigue
- Mental health issues include mood swings, depressions, constantly low motivation, and emotional outbursts
- Consistent exposure to industrial-level toxins due to profession or living environment
Book An Appointment Today!
A metabolic detoxification programme might seem as straightforward as sipping that kale smoothie every day or putting on a sheet mask on weekends, but it is more nuanced than that.
We have looked at the basics of what metabolic detoxification is and how it works, including an overview of how toxins are treated in our bodies. You are now equipped with all the information you need to engage in a first appointment with a healthcare professional to understand if a naturopathic detox programme is right for you.
A detoxification programme doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out every food item you love or having to switch to less convenient household products. We provide a balanced approach that incorporates food items you might not want to altogether remove from your diet, and the programme is curated keeping your needs and convenience in mind.
Book an appointment for a metabolic detoxification in Toronto if you want to start rebuilding your liver, gut health, digestion, and immunity!
FAQs About Metabolic Detoxification
What Are Signs Indicating That Your Body Needs A Detox?
Your body might show the following signs to indicate that it needs a metabolic detox:
- Troublesome digestion, constipation, and diarrhea
- Mood swings and heightened
- Trouble in sleeping
- Extreme weight fluctuations in either direction
Is Detoxification Good For Weight Loss?
Implementing a science-backed detox programme will help with weight loss if the toxins in your body are leading to excessive weight gain. Adopting detox diets that aim to promote weight loss rather than improve health may help you shed pounds, but they are harmful in the long term and will not be sustainable in your weight loss journey.
Are Metabolic Detoxification Appointments Covered By Ohip?
O.H.P. does not cover naturopathic medicine services, but you can always check with your healthcare plan provider if they have any flexible plans that include metabolic detoxification appointments. Many extended healthcare plans include naturopathic services.
What Happens To Your Body When You Detox?
When you are detoxifying your body, you are revitalizing your lungs, liver, and kidney, which are the main organs that perform metabolic detoxification in your body.
You are restoring their efficiency so that they can drain toxins that are being produced in the body, ingested by you through food, or inhaled and absorbed by you through the environment. When your body is detoxifying, it eliminates toxins for a healthy body and mind.