Supporting Detox Pathways for Healthy Immune Function

The Reality of Our Toxic Modern Life: We are living in an unprecedented time in human history where we are constantly exposed to toxins in our air, water, food, homes, and workplaces. These environmental exposures contribute to our overall 'toxic load', increase chronic inflammation in our bodies, and impair our body's natural ability to fight infections. So what can we do about it? Read on for simple, practical tips for boosting detoxification pathways that anyone can start doing TODAY!


What is Toxic Load?

Toxins are either consumed from the environment (via the lungs, skin, gut) or produced internally (e.g., excess production or accumulation of hormones like estrogen).


On average, approximately 90 toxins are floating around in the bodies of the general population. Not only do we not yet know the synergistic effects of multiple chemicals in the body at once, there is now scientific evidence mounting that micro doses of toxic compounds are contributing to hormone disruption, cellular damage, and chronic illness, too.

So you may have low levels of dozens of different toxins regarded as “safe” in your body, but if they all affect the same cellular mechanisms, pathways, or tissues, the synergistic effects are a problem.

It is no longer a question of IF we are exposed, but how much and is our exposure causing symptoms of cellular damage or disruption?


Toxins circulate in our blood stream, some accumulate in our tissues (e.g., bone and fat), and depending on the compound - they may be very difficult to ever eliminate in our lifetime.


Persistent vs. Non-Persistent Toxins

What makes a toxin persistent?

  1. highly fat soluble

  2. bioaccumulation over time because half-lives are so long they are not quickly eliminated (half-life: the time required for the concentration of a substance in the body to decrease by half)


Persistent: heavy metals (mercury, lead), PCB’s (banned industrial chemical), Dioxins (byproducts of industrial manufacturing), DDT (banned insecticide), PFOAs (teflon, stain and water resistant treatments on fabrics), PBDEs (flame retardants)

Non-Persistent: herbicides, pesticides, solvents, plastics, phenols


Examples of half lives of common chemicals (in your blood):

  • PCBs: 10-15 years (farmed salmon & other farmed fish - from contaminated feed)

  • Methyl Mercury: 60-70 Days (tuna, swordfish, halibut, walleye, perch, bass)

  • Organophosphates Pesticides: 2-7 Days (inorganic fruits and vegetables - especially the dirty dozen)

Toxin exposure and toxic load is associated with:

  • chronic inflammation :(

  • cell/tissue damage and decreased function

  • allergic reactions and hypersensitivities: food and environmental

  • mitochondrial damage, oxidative stress, & fatigue (all environmental toxins are mitochondrial poisons)

  • neurological symptoms: brain fog, decreased cognitive function, diminished coordination

  • mood disturbances: anger, depression, anxiety

  • immune-suppression: increased susceptibility to infections (viral, fungal, bacterial) and cancer

  • sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction

  • changes in appetite, weight gain, and bowel function

  • autoimmunity: against thyroid, muscle, brain, neurons, GI system

  • hormone disruption & estrogen overload


Estrogen overload is becoming more and more common in both men and women in modern culture, so supporting the liver in bio-transforming and eliminating excess estrogen is vital to health.

Common causes of excess estrogen also negatively impact detoxification

  • environmental toxin exposures

  • nutrient-poor diets high in calories

  • excess weight gain (fat cells act as hormone glands and produce excess estrogen)

  • microbiome dysbiosis (not enough of the good bacteria and too much of the bad)

  • chronic stress & inflammation

  • compromised detoxification or liver health


Signs and symptoms of excess estrogen:

  • Weight gain

  • PMS & menstrual irregularities

  • Fatigue

  • Mood swings, depression, anxiety

  • Uterine fibroids & fibrocystic breasts

  • Loss of sex drive

  • Association with cancer, some autoimmune conditions, and thyroid dysfunction

  • Infertility and sexual dysfunction in men


Cellular Detoxification

Detoxification is your liver’s ability to bio-transform toxic substances into less toxic, water-soluble compounds that can be eliminated from your body, as well as, the process of releasing stored toxins in fat and bone tissue to also be processed and eliminated.


Detoxification Requires:

  • Energy (ATP) made by your mitochondria

  • Enzymes (catalysts)

  • Vitamins, Minerals, & other Many Other Co-Factors

  • Adequate Nutrition (especially antioxidants, protein, & fiber)

  • Proper Cellular Hydration

  • Efficient Kidney and Digestive Function


Factors that affect your toxic burden that are OUTSIDE OF YOUR CONTROL :(

  • Age when you were exposed

  • Current age (bioaccumulation over time)

  • Genetics - polymorphisms (changes to our DNA) contribute to the differences between people in how they react to or eliminate toxins

So What Can You Do to Support Detox Pathways?

Lifestyle factors YOU CAN CONTROL :))

  • Current State of Health

  • Body Mass Index: fat stores more toxins and produces more hormones

  • Nutritional Status: detox requires a complex mix of nutrients & cofactors available from whole foods

  • Stress Level

  • Activity Level

  • Awareness to reduce exposure to toxins

Top 10 Lifestyle Tips to Support Your Liver & Detoxification

  1. Eat a nutrient-rich, whole food diet high in plant foods, fiber, antioxidants, and protein to provide all of the necessary nutrients to keep your detox pathways running on high gear.

  2. Move your bowels every day to prevent toxin recycling back into your bloodstream. Stay hydrated with filtered or natural spring water, consume rice bran fiber (brown rice) and green veggies or powders (containing chlorophyll) to shuttle toxins out of the body.

  3. Promote alkaline urine by eating a plant-based diet with plenty of greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, and beans. Acidic urine tends to recycle toxins back into the blood! Reduce excess protein at each meal and reduce/eliminate refined grains and sugar that both promote acidity.

  4. Get 30-60 minutes of movement every day to promote bowel movements, lymph and blood circulation, and mitochondrial health.

  5. Maintain a healthy weight.

  6. Reduce stress and promote the relaxation response.

  7. Use steam or infrared saunas regularly.

  8. Daily dry skin brushing & epsom salt baths.

  9. Quit smoking, curb recreational drugs, and moderate to no alcohol consumption.

  10. Targeted, high-quality supplements to enhance detoxification


Want More Guidance & Support?

The Wild at Heart Community is uniquely designed to help you transition into a lifestyle that awakens your inner wild and supports your wellbeing.


Sign up here for (re)wilding inspiration and download the (re)Wilding Retreat Guide: a nature-infused, self-guided retreat to explore on your own or with family and friends designed to help you de-stress, disconnect from technology, soulfully connect with loved ones & nature, nourish your mind.body with healthy whole food, and provide the mental space to practice mindfulness in your everyday life.

Want Personalized Guidance & Support?

Book your first Wild at Heart Coaching Session HERE. This complimentary session is an invitation to share your health & wellbeing challenges and explore the possibilities for healing your mind.body.heart & soul with (re)Wilding and the Wild at Heart Method.

I look forward to walking with you awhile on your healing journey.

We'll stop and smell the wildflowers. Smile a lot. And wander down the road less-traveled.

Be Well & I'll See You in the Wild,

Aj

Angela Juhl, MS, CHWC, CYT

Master of Science in Human Nutrition & Functional Medicine

Wellcoaches™ Certified Health and Wellness Coach

Wild Woman Project Circle Leader

Certified Yoga Teacher


Wild at Heart was founded on the mission: to take a stand against unsustainable cultural norms by empowering others to (re)align their lifestyles & mindset with nature for healing an array of mind.body.heart & soul (im)balances and (re)kindling a soulful relationship to the natural world...for themselves, their loved ones, our communities, and our beautiful planet.

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I work with clients from anywhere via phone or video  teleconference and I'm happy to answer any questions you have!  Contact me anytime. 
970-430-5153   aj@wildatheartconsulting.com
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Medical Disclaimer: All information on wildatheartconsulting.com is intended to inspire and motivate you to make your own diet, lifestyle, and health decisions after consulting with your health care provider and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a licensed dietitian, licensed nutritionist, naturopathic doctor, medical physician, or other licensed health care professional. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose or treat diseases, disorders or conditions, is not intended to prescribe any intervention for a particular symptom, illness or disease, and is not a substitute for medical care. No information on this website should be understood as a basis to avoid diagnostic work-up or discontinue any medical treatment. You should follow-up with your physician or medical provider to discuss any modifications you intend to make to your lifestyle, health, or diet.