Pick up a popular health magazine and you are likely to find an article about the benefits of detoxing the liver. While some detox systems may provide benefits to patients, not all are created equal. Before embarking on any type of liver detox method, it is important to understand the relationship between toxins and the liver.
One of the best places to start is at the beginning. Learn about what toxins are, where they come from, if you may be exposed to them, what they have to do with the liver, and what it may look like to have toxins in your own system. By learning this information, individuals can feel better equipped to make the best decision for themselves regarding detoxing the liver.
What Are Toxins Anyway?
Toxins is a rather broad term that typically indicates a substance of some kind that can negatively impact the body’s processes. For many, it can feel revolting to imagine damaging toxins floating around in their systems. However, in reality introducing toxins into our systems is almost unavoidable due to a modern-day diet of fast and processed foods, along with environmental pollution, not to mention high levels of internal stress.
Where Do Toxins Come From?
Toxins are a bigger part of our everyday lives than many people realize. How we live our lives, fuel our bodies, and the environments we spend the most time in can all play a role. The majority of toxins we are exposed to tend to come from three main areas, including:
- Environment: Toxins in our environment come in many forms, including automobiles, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, pollution, and substances such as cleaning products or paint
- Internal metabolic processes: These toxins typically stem from bacteria, emotional upheaval, fungal overgrowth, stress, and undigested food
- Lifestyle: Common toxins we are exposed to in our day to day lifestyles include alcohol intake, artificial additives in food, caffeine intake, drugs (over the counter and prescription), fast food, makeup, meat containing antibiotics and hormones, nicotine, processed foods, and too much sugar
Could I Be Exposed to Toxins?
If you are still not sure if exposure to toxins could be a problem for you specifically, consider the following questions:
- How many times do you eat from a drive through each week?
- How many meals do you eat that are not homecooked each week?
- How much plant-based food do you eat at each meal?
- Do you thoroughly clean fruits and vegetables before consuming them?
- Do you drink alcohol and caffeine every day?
- Do you live or work in an environment with some form of pollution (secondhand smoke, paint fumes, etc.)?
- Would you describe your lifestyle as calm or stress-filled?
Your answers to these questions in combination with the above information should give you a better idea of if your body could be exposed to toxins that can be hard on your liver.
What Toxins Have to Do with the Liver
The liver is an often-unrecognized superstar of the body’s system. For example, it performs more than two hundred vital functions. The body depends on the liver so much that it simply cannot survive without it. For this reason alone, it is vitally important to care for the liver and keep it healthy.
Some of the processes the liver performs include:
- Detoxifying the body from harmful toxins
- Metabolizing and then ridding the body of used hormones
- Producing and metabolizing cholesterol and steroids
- Sending nutrients to the appropriate parts of the body as needed
How to Recognize Symptoms That May Reveal A Need for Detoxing The Liver
Toxins can be sneaky and hide in the fat cells of the body, but even when trying to keep a low profile, they can yield a wide range of symptoms that can tip off their presence such as:
- Acid reflux
- Body aches
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Decreased concentration
- Depleted energy
- Digestion problems
- Fatigue of the body
- Immune system issues
- Joint stiffness
- Mental fog
- Skin problems
The presence of one or more of these symptoms could be indicative of a need for detoxing.
Toxins and the Next Step
Individuals who can relate to the above list of symptoms and believe there could be a connection between toxins in their body and the state of their liver should reach out to a trained medical professional for a consultation. It is not uncommon for people to push this health concern aside simply due to scheduling and time limitations, but it essential for them to take care of themselves.
Many individuals can benefit from seeking related guidance at a local urgent care. These centers typically do not require appointments and welcome walk ins. In addition, they often offer extended daily hours as well as limited weekend hours. With the added conveniences that an urgent care center can offer patients, more people are conveniently taking charge of their health.
Talk with an urgent care physician specifically about finding a program that will help decrease toxins in your system, reduce inflammation, and better support the gut and digestive system. Together you can find the best fit for you and your unique needs.