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Understanding toxic overload - are you carrying too much of it

Toxins in our body have a harmful effect on our overall health. Toxins need to be eliminated. And the best way to do so is through a systematic detoxification programme. Find out what causes the toxic buildup and what you can do to avoid it.

Health and fitness experts often refer to the toxins in our bodies and that we must get rid of them through detoxification. So, what are these toxins? Any element that has adverse effects on our body and mind can be termed as a toxin or toxic. We live in a toxic environment with toxins all around us. We are constantly breathing and eating toxins. Yes, it's true our body gets a toxic overload from our immediate surrounding. We breathe toxins in, we ingest toxins and we acquire them through physical contact.

Do you know that you are exposed to different types of chemicals, every single day? Your home too is not free of chemicals. The toilet cleaning liquid or the floor cleaning agent that you use, are chemical based. If you think you are safe at home, you need to rethink. In the long run, the chemicals in your environment can have harmful effects on your body. Do you know that you are susceptible to water and air pollution and not to forget radiation? You're literally, a sitting duck!

Many people use indoor plants to purify the air in their homes and offices. Most plants absorb toxins and pollutants from the air. You can breathe fresher air and reduce your toxin intake, by bringing plants into your immediate environment.

But, there are other forms of toxins too that we are guilty of abusing our bodies with. Many of us often use medication. Popping that over-the-counter headache pill is not even considered a drug that could cause a toxic overload. Forget about the sugar in tea and coffee. We eat too much sugar through ice-creams, chocolates, fizzy drinks, cakes and sweets. Packaged and refined foods are delicious, but they add to the toxic overload. Some of us turn to destructive supports like liquor and tobacco to cope with the problems life throws at us, not realising that they have a toxic effect on our body.

Our own bodily mechanism produces toxins. There is a cycle of cellular, biochemical and other bodily activities happening within our bodies that produce toxic substances, which need to be removed.

In addition, there are other factors, like lack of fresh air, sedentary lifestyle, inadequate sleep, and a defeatist outlook all of which are known to encourage the accumulation of toxins in the body and disrupt the body's mechanical functions.

A healthy immune system and proper eliminative functions equip the body to cope with the day-to-day contact with harmful toxins. But, an overload of toxins can happen if the body fails to eliminate toxins properly. An ill-functioning digestive system can cause a profusion of harmful bacteria to thrive in the digestive tract that triggers the proliferation of more toxins. Toxicity is further increased when the pores of the skin are blocked, the lungs are congested and the liver is sluggish. The skin, lungs and liver are organs that help eliminate toxins.

What are the signs of toxic overload?

The body has a wonderful mechanism of signalling to us that all is not well. The problem is we do not know how to read these signs, as the body's cry for help. So, how do you know your body is suffering from a toxic overload? The following are symptoms that your body cannot handle the toxins and needs some cleansing –

  • Spotty, dry and blotchy skin
  • Frequent fungal infections
  • Unexplained headaches
  • Allergic reactions
  • Constipation
  • Flatulence & bloating
  • Acidity and heartburn
  • Fatigue & lethargy
  • Joint pains
  • Feeling low or depressed

Note, that a number of the symptoms listed above could also be a result of food intolerance. This occurs when the body is incapable of properly digesting certain foods, such as gluten and lactose. The most common culprits for food intolerance are dairy products, wheat, tea, coffee, soy products, peanuts, caffeinated drinks and citrus fruits.

It is believed that headaches or food cravings after withdrawing a food from the diet may be due to intolerance to that specific food item.

Stress and its adverse effects

The human body has a unique way of dealing with stress. Stressful conditions can be traumatic and elicit a fight-or-flight response (also called hyperarousal) in the human body, leading to a spontaneous biochemical reaction that sends the body on a state of red alert.

With stress levels on the rise, the chances of physical and mental health falling are high. What is the connection between stress levels and health?

In the event of extreme stress, the body releases excess amounts of adrenaline and cortisol, both stress hormones that can disturb the smooth working of the circulatory and immune systems. This affects the body and it consequently fails in removing toxins, causing a toxic overload.

What are free radicals

Free radicals are molecules that are created during the combustion process, anywhere. They are created while food is being cooked. Each time you grill or bake or fry something, you also create free radicals. Free radicals are also created in the body as part of the body's metabolic process. Free radicals are said to be beneficial in small numbers, as they have the ability to ward off invading viruses and bacteria. However, they become a problem when they multiply in numbers, as then they cause cell damage, hasten signs of ageing and are the cause of innumerable medical conditions, including the clogging of arteries.

The body continuously makes and breaks down free radicals. Antioxidant-rich foods have the ability to neutralise their effect, by seeking and destroying them. Vitamins A, C & E are powerful antioxidants and foods rich in these vitamins have a positive effect on our health. Similarly, minerals such as copper, selenium, manganese and zinc also have antioxidant properties. Citrus fruits contain a chemical compound known as Bioflavonoid, which is particularly effective at freeing the body of destructive free radicals.

How does detoxification help

Detoxification eliminates toxins and free radicals from the body. The detoxification process includes eliminating certain foods from the diet and including more of others. It is a systematic approach to making the body healthy from within.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 609 articles authored by Juana

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