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Why Detox Cleanses Could Do More Harm Than Good

Updated: Jun 26

Just like other systems of our body, it's super important to support our detox pathways.  I used to think detoxification is a normal part of our body and it functions as it should.  In an ideal world this might be the case, but in modern times our bodies have become overloaded with toxins, chemicals, medications, and pollutants. For most of us, our detox pathways are far from functioning optimally.  Not only that but there are genetic factors that also play a part in how our detox pathways are functioning. 

Many times, when people are experiencing health issues or certain symptoms, they go on support groups and ask for advice on detox cleanses and flushes.  Often times this can end up doing more harm than good because they haven't run the proper tests to determine what their detox pathways need or supported other imbalances along with their detox pathways.

Our body goes through three phases of detox and it's important to work on all three.  If we go straight to doing cleanses and flushes, we're only working on the third phase and not supporting the first two phases, which can end up creating further damage.

You'll need to run a genetics test to determine how your phase one detox pathway is functioning.  Phase one uses CYP enzymes to breakdown toxins.  Mutations on these enzymes cause the enzymes to work more slowly in breaking down your toxins.  If there are no mutations on the CYP enzyme they will work too quickly for your phase two to keep up with.  The support you should take depends on which CYP enzymes you have mutations on (if any).

Your phase two detox pathway has seven subphases.  Each subphase has a different function and works to detox various chemicals, toxins, hormones, medications, etc.  Bloodwork, an Organic Acids test, and a DUTCH test will all give insight into how this phase is functioning and what support you need.  Without looking at test results, you'd just be guessing what your body needs. 

For example, methylation is one of the subphases of phase 2 detox that many people are familiar with.  If you have mutations on the MTHFR C677T gene your body has trouble converting folic acid in food into methyl folate.  Many people find this out and start taking methyl folate.  The problem with that is you need to look at other genetic mutations and your homocysteine level in order to determine whether or not you should even be taking methyl folate. If you assume you need it based on one incomplete test, you could do more harm to your body. You can learn more about the methylation subphase from my blog post titled What I Need to Know About MTHFR C677T and MTHFR A1298C.    

Phase three detox pathway is the elimination phase where toxins are excreted through the kidneys to urine and through bile to stool.  Sometimes (especially when detox pathways aren't functioning properly) toxins can come out through the skin. So, if you have skin issues such as rashes, acne, or eczema chances are your detox pathways need some support.

Some common symptoms we experience are often due to our detox pathways not functioning properly.  Since most detox occurs while we're sleeping, detox issues can contribute to insomnia and cause you to wake up at night.  Joint pain, skin issues, itchy skin, migraines, nausea, and food sensitivities can all be contributed to (or even caused by) detox pathway dysfunction.

Want more info about healing from health issues?  Click here to sign up for my free video series. If you're looking for a practitioner and want to contact me or sign up for a free 20-minute health assessment, click here to visit my website.       


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