Sometimes referred to as a healing reaction, or a detoxification reaction, it is common to experience symptoms when the body is eliminating toxins, xenobiotics, heavy metals and poison from the body. A person’s first inclination is to stop detoxification reactions. And while it is important to know how to control run away symptoms, it should be understood that detoxification is a fundamental process, essential for the body’s healing. Some of the most common detoxification reactions are: headaches, diarrhea, nausea, rashes, fevers, aches and pains.
What Is Detoxification?
Detoxification is a fundamental process of our cells. The most basic form of nutrition and detoxification is breathing. Oxygen is the most fundamental and important form of nutrition and carbon dioxide is the most common waste product generated when we engage in the respiratory process of breathing.
Cells have the ability to detoxify. When there is energy produced, there is waste that is generated. The body eliminates this waste through the feces, the urine, the breath, the sweat and the hair.
The human body is capable of detoxifying xenobiotics and toxic metals. Liver cells and enzymes are the primary mechanisms that filter, oxidize, reduce, hydrate and then conjugate and eliminates xenobiotics. The family of 50 liver enzymes known as the cytochrome P450 enzyme system is hugely responsible for phase I liver detoxification. In phase I, the liver also creates the powerful antioxidant Glutathione, which is then used during phase II liver detoxification.
Xenobiotics and toxic metals are then shunted into either the bile for excretion through the feces or to the kidneys to be excreted through the urine.
This process can be hampered by high levels of toxicity. If the liver is congested and overburdened, if glutathione production is low, or if the liver’s pathways are deficient, dysfunction can take place and the body’s burden of xenobiotics can overwhelm the system.
Reactions During Enhanced Detoxification Processes
When the body mobilizes and detoxifies the various forms of toxicity such as heavy metals and chemicals, it is common to experience symptoms. A sign your liver is producing more bile is lighter colored feces. This may also be the case when stools are light colored and soft or even water.
When there is diarrhea, the cells tend to be more catabolic, that is, there is excess cellular breakdown taking place, and there may be high amounts of free radicals involved in the process. in such cases, taking anabolic nutrients will halt catabolic breakdown. Nutrients which quickly halt catabolic breakdown are: saturated fat, protein, Vitamin E, Glucosamine, other anti-oxidants such as CoQ10 and Vitamin C. These nutrients, especially Vitamin E are powerfully anabolic and will halt diarrhea very quickly.
Vitamin E taken in high doses will halt diarrhea in most cases because vitamin E is one of the most important nutrients to support cell membrane integrity and to scavenge free radicals. Vitamin E should be in a natural form such as D-Alpha Tocopherol, or even better ‘Mixed Tocpherols and Tocotrienols.
If diarrhea is being caused by excess bile production, eating cooked starch like yams or baked potatoes will quickly stop excess bile production. Excess bile salts can also result in lack of HCL. Therefore, if there is excess bile production, supplementing with Betaine HCL with pepsin is probably a good idea.
Detoxification reactions are usually okay, and should not necessarily be halted. If diarrhea is very persistent, then there should be the proper anabolic intervention.
If diarrhea is persistent and frequent, consider the likelihood of electrolyte loss. See below.
Muscle weakness usually indicates electrolyte imbalance and/or anabolic/catabolic imbalance. Calcium and potassium are very important for muscle contraction. During detoxification reactions, it is common for cells to become catabolic, and as a result cells will lose ther charge, breaking down. This deranges mineral transport, and can alter the sodium/potassium pump as well as calcium and phosphorous dynamics.
Drinking electrolyte solutions which contain some balance of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium can help restore cellular electrolytes and their charge. Fresh and preferably raw coconut juice from a young coconut can be very effective in some cases. If there is diarrhea accompanied with fatigue, taking antioxidants like Vitamin E is a good idea. And taking small amounts of Hawaiin Sea Salt of Celtic Sea Salt helps to keep electrolytes up if there is fluid loss.
Another important part of reducing fatigue is resting.
Detoxification headaches often accompany other detoxification reactions. If you experience a headache following a detoxification reaction, the best thing to do is to rest. Drinking distilled water can help to pull out minerals and metals from the body. 3 quarts daily can be very helpful. This should not be done longterm. If a person knowingly has low electolyte levels, drinking distilled water can make matters worse.
Coffee enemas can also be used to alleviate headaches.
Certain icepick migraines following liver detoxification may indicate metals and chemicals being released from brain tissue. Sauna therapy can help to eliminate metals and chemicals by detoxification of lymphatic tissue.
Chronic headaches are a sign of deeper biochemical imbalances, often involving anabolic/catabolic imbalances, food allergies and hormone imbalances.
For any kind of detoxification reaction sauna therapy can be excellent because sweating is another means the body uses to detoxify. If the liver and bowels are highly active during detoxification, there is likely a lot of toxins that re-absorb into the blood. This alone can produce numerous symptoms. Enhancing the process of sweating can be very beneficial. I personally recommend infrared sauna therapy because this type of heat is far more tolerable than conventional rock or steam saunas.