In this interview we’re discussing toxins. We look at what these are, the impact they have on our health and how we can help the body to detoxify. My guest is Kate Forbes. Kate is a naturopathic lifestyle coach, and this is a continuation of a series of interviews we are doing with her. Here’s a summary of some of the points we discussed.
What is a toxin as far as the body is concerned?
- Normally we would see toxins as things that we eat which once we’ve injested we have some kind of reaction to e.g. a headache, sugar spike, loss of energy etc.
- But there are also other toxins for example, pollution within the air, chemicals and other contaminants in our water.
- All these toxins need to go through our liver.
- Just as there are physical toxins that come from the external environment, there are toxins that come from within our body’s own chemistry.
- The toxins within our body are usually precipitated by for example, stress, our emotions, our relationships, and other unhealthy circumstances. If we are in a constant state of flight or fright, our bodies cannot for example, digest food adequately. These states can create a toxic burden on the body. And if we’re eating toxic food on top of that, it creates even a larger burden on the body and its ability to cleanse and heal itself.
- We are sadly living in a toxic world and whilst some people can handle higher levels of toxins, many others cannot.
Why should we be so concerned about toxins and what is the impact on our physiology?
- Toxins accumulate. The more we build up toxins from the food we eat and the environment we live, the greater the chance of having an impact on our epigenetics and this in turn can lead to the expression of our genes into disease.
What are the signs that we have too many toxins in our bodies?
- The body’s first sign of disease is always inflammatory. Any inflammatory response is telling you there is a build up and it needs to be addressed.
- If you address it at the first signs and symptoms, generally, it heals itself.
- If your colon is full of toxic waste, and there’s an imbalance of bacteria then it can manifest itself as skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, acne or as asthma (because lungs are also organ of elimination), or even through the liver as anxiety or brain fog. Brain fog can be related to bacterial overgrowth or even heavy metals.
- In this modern world it’s increasingly difficult not to be exposed to toxins and these toxins are continually being built up through the food we eat, the thoughts we think, our relationships, lack of exercise etc.
- So bringing in things to help the body detoxify whether it’s a smoothie in the morning or 2 liters of water or listening to your body goes a long was to soothing the early symptoms of inflammation when you still can do something about it.
What are some of the best and safest ways to detox?
- Organic vegetables or at least as fresh as possible. It’s your microbes. It’s your water. It goes back to the laws of life – the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food that you eat, the thoughts that you think.
- The first 3 days might be a little tough depending on how many toxins have accumulated, but after 3 days it starts to get easier.
- It’s always best to start gently and ease your body into detoxing and making incremental changes.
And toxins that come from our relationships and job, for an example?
- Living a high stressed life, or in wounded relationships result in difficult and strong emotions. These emotions can happen daily or weekly or in cycles but at some point, there’s a surge of chemistry which then creates a need to try and cope in some way. And so, whilst stress will happen, it’s important to meet that stress with moments of quiet and stillness instead of trying to keep pushing through.
- This is the challenge as for many of us. It’s hard to sit still so that our body has time to process and to deal with these emotions.
- The goal is that we are whole integrated humans, living life with a zest for life and not just living to survive and to exist.
- The only way to break this cycle and to bring back that joy is to make a commitment to yourself to give yourself the nurturing you need from the 7 areas I’ve mentioned previously. Very soon, your life will then start reflecting the changes that you’ve made.
What role does sleep have in detoxing the brain?
- It’s important to ensure a good night of sleep.
- Ideally we want to be asleep by 10 pm so that we can get into a deep sleep between 10pm and 12pm. That’s the time generally when the brain will get to detox, repair and regenerate.
- We also want food to be digested by the time we go to sleep so that the body can use these nutrients to repair and rebuild.
- Circadian rhythms also have a role to play. Each of us will be different and it will be based on many things. But there is a base construct and if we honour these rhythms our lives will improve and so will our health.
- And it’s important to sleep in the right environment. We are electromagnetic beings and the more interference we have with modems, WIFI, electricity in our rooms the greater the impact on our bodies during an essential time of repair.
What is the impact of alcohol when it comes to toxins?
- It all depends. For some people and some cultures, alcohol is very much part of life and it’s probably more healthy for them than trying to get that person to stop drinking.
- However, there’s also many people whose genetic pathway responsible for detoxification are blocked. And to overburden these pathways with alcohol tends to cause even more chronic health problems.
- It also all depends on the liver’s ability to detoxify. It knows how to detoxify. Unfortunately, there are too many people who are drinking way too much, for the wrong reasons, in the wrong settings and that’s the real problem. The body cannot cope.