We often cause more harm than good when we treat our body like it's a garbage can to be dumped.

Miriam D. Hughes, CNM, WHNP-BC

10/23/20231 min read

black trash can with wheel near gray asphalt road during daytime
black trash can with wheel near gray asphalt road during daytime

Hello again! Today we are going to talk about “detoxing”. I’ve come to loathe that word, but know I need to embrace it. Why have I lost appreciation for that word? Let’s dig a little deeper.

Unfortunately “detoxing” has become a fad word associated with crazy strict diets, crazy exercise routines to sweat ‘everything’ out, and many times includes harsh chemicals or flushes or insane amounts isolated supplements. I’ve seen many women left sick and tired and depleted after completing a “detox” program.

Detoxification is a process that your body does all day, every day. Plain and simple. What your body needs are the right nutrients to perform this process. When we severely RESTRICT nutrients, or do severe flushes, or overwhelm our body with whatever product during these “detoxes” we actually make it more difficult, if not impossible, for our body to do the process it already knows how to do.

Obviously, there are plenty of steps in the process that can be a little off and not work as properly as we want it too. For instance, if we don’t chew our food completely the stomach has a harder time of finishing that breakdown. If we have low stomach acid, food is not broken down as completely as it should be for the small intestine to take over. And by the way if you have regular heartburn you have low stomach acid, not high, but that is a topic for a different day. If you’re taking an antacid or proton pump inhibitor this will lower your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. If you have too little beneficial organisms in the gut, or a leaky gut, or an underlying infection in the gut then the necessary nutrients aren’t going to get absorbed as well.

If you aren’t getting the proper nutrients then the rest of the functions in your body will suffer, including – you guessed it detoxification. Not to mention if the bowels aren’t moving as they should, then things can get reabsorbed that should have gone ‘out the door’ that can wreak havoc on whole system.

Then when you have this perfect storm of inadequate absorption of nutrients coupled with exposures to chemicals and plastics and less than optimal drinking water or whatever it creates inflammation and stress within the body. Dealing with stress and inflammation is a BIG job that takes, you guessed it, nutrients. So, this vicious cycle keeps going round and round and round.

Plus, sometimes we jump into a big “detox” and can make an underlying thyroid problem, or hormonal imbalance, or whatever WORSE.

What’s a person to do? Well, first - TRUST that your body is designed to work toward healing and balance every day. Sometimes the messages are crossed and/or it just doesn’t have what it needs, so it starts compensating. It’s not just about what we should take away or flush out. We have to nourish and love our bodies. I have a general ‘Lifestyle changes’ handout on this website that you can download, for free, from the resources. These guidelines pretty much apply to everyone – though I have to say that nothing I say here or on my website should be construed as medical advice and everyone should check with their own practitioner before starting any new recommendations.

Look we can’t expect to give our body lackluster nutrients, then overload it with all kinds of stuff, and expect it to function like a well-oiled machine. That doesn’t mean we can’t ever have a “treat”, but treats are supposed to be special and uncommon; not a soda or a candy bar or a whatever every single day - even multiple times per day.

You are not broken! Rebalance your body. Rebalance your life.