Many people try detox diets, cleanses and teas for weight loss or to treat other health issues. The question is: Does detoxing work? The answer is: Yes and no because It depends on why you’re doing it and how you go about it. Wondering if a detox regimen is right for you? Find out if toxicity is causing your weight or health concerns first, then skip the detox fads and turn to a medical professional for advice.
Start by evaluating your risk factors for toxicity!
Detoxification is a process that removes toxins from the body—and the body does a pretty amazing job of detoxifying itself. In fact, the kidneys and liver filter and eliminate most of the toxins we ingest.
If your natural detoxification system is working properly, toxicity may not be an issue for you. That means detoxing could be a waste of time. It may even do more harm than good, especially if you undergo a detox diet that limits essential nutrients the body needs to support overall health. Plus, there is little if any evidence that proves that fad detox diets and teas work over the long-term.
However, exposure to high levels of environmental toxins on the job, chemicals in household goods (cleaners, paint, plastics, flooring, furniture, fabrics, etc.) and beauty products can overwhelm the body with toxins and lead to health issues. Toxins can also wreak havoc on the immune system.
According to a recent report in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, “Consumer product chemicals such as phthalates, phenols, flame retardants and per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances are widely detected in the US general population, including vulnerable populations, and are associated with adverse health effects such as reproductive and endocrine toxicity.”
While rare, some people do need to undergo detoxification due to heavy metal poisoning. Exposure to elevated levels of heavy metals (e.g., arsenic, cadmium, copper, iron, lead, mercury, zinc, etc.) can occur if you work in a factory where heavy metals are present or eat, drink or breath in substances or air contaminated with heavy metals.
An unhealthy lifestyle and toxic emotions often go hand-in-hand with weight and health struggle.
This includes a diet comprised of unhealthy sugary, fatty processed foods and consuming too much alcohol. With unbalanced diets, the body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to support liver and kidney health, and excessive drinking can lead to dehydration (the body needs water to flush out toxins), liver damage and other health problems. And we all know that the excess calories in unhealthy foods and alcohol can lead to weight gain.
Toxic jobs, relationships and thoughts can also increase toxicity risk by elevating stress, which can increase cortisol levels in the body (and belly fat). This build-up of physical and emotional toxins also hampers weight loss because it slows the metabolism, leading to physical and mental fatigue.
High levels of toxins in the gut may deter weight loss and cause other health problems!
In his 2014 article for the Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, “Toxins from the Gut,” Joseph Pizzorno, ND explains how various forms of gut dysfunction—maldigestion, leaky gut, food constituents (additives, food digestion/metabolism issues), gut bacteria problems, gut inflammation and loss of certain liver cleaning functions—contribute to obesity and other health problems.
In particular, Dr. Pizzorno focuses on how high levels of “wrong” types of bacteria in the gut—and/or when a leaky gut releases that bacteria into the blood stream—may contribute to a number of chronic diseases. According to Dr. Pizzorno, this condition (metabolic endotoxemia) may play a role in chronic diseases and conditions such as:
Type 2 diabetes
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Think your toxicity risk is high? Don’t trust the Internet! Seek professional advice.
If you want to lose weight or address other health issues, it’s essential to discuss those concerns with a healthcare practitioner. At EVEXIAS, we believe you need to treat the root cause of disease, not symptoms. That means, before we prescribe a detoxification program, we perform tests to find out if you need to detox in first place.
It’s also important to be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS about purchasing any detox juices, teas, shakes, meals or supplements without the guidance of a medical professional. You can easily buy just about any type of product online these days, so it’s very difficult to know if that detox tea your favorite celebrity is pushing is actually safe OR effective.
Unsafe products are available for purchase for 24/7. Plus, there is minimal government oversight over the nutritional supplement, herbal products and natural remedy industries—so buyer beware! Last year the FDA did step in and mandate a recall on Golean DETOX capsules because the supplement included banned and dangerous drugs. Still, many potentially dangerous detox products remain on the market.
For long-term results, skip fad detox diets and do this instead!
If you know you’re eating, drinking, breathing, wearing, living in or cleaning with things that are toxic, take steps to remove those toxins from your environment and your life. A simple detox, which includes eliminating sugar and processed foods from your diet (and your cupboards), is a great place to start. Next, begin replacing chemical-laden household cleaners and beauty products with healthier, natural alternatives over time. If toxic emotions (job, relationships, thoughts, etc.) are making you sick, meet with a mental health professional to learn how to better manage or eliminate those emotions.
Unlike fad detox diets that may work in the short-term but typically don’t offer long-term results, committing to lifestyle changes like these can help you combat toxicity, lose weight and get healthier over the long-term.
Discuss detoxification options with your healthcare provider.
At EVEXIAS, we do offer treatments and nutrient supplements to support detoxification for patients who need it. Again, it’s important to find out IF and WHY you have excess toxins in your body and pinpoint the goals you’re trying to achieve.
If toxicity is an issue for you, your practitioner can prescribe a customized detoxification program to address your individual needs, such as:
Oral nutraceuticals, like Metagenix Clear Change detoxification program, that may support the body’s natural detoxification process, energy levels and wellbeing.
Other nutritional supplements orIV nutrition therapy may be prescribed to support the liver, kidneys, immune system and other health needs.
Gut health therapy, which may include the Clear Change program, oral or IV nutrients, hormone optimization and other forms of treatment.
Custom weight loss program that includes detoxification, metabolism boosting Slim Shots, oral or IV nutrients and more.
Speaker, Author, and Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Terri DeNeui, DNP, ACNP, APRN-BC, has extensive training in her field. She earned her B.A in Nursing from Texas Women’s University and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees at UT Arlington. In addition to her training in acute and emergency medicine, she has extended her education to include certifications in Preventative Wellness Medicine, Functional Medicine and Hormone Replacement Therapy.