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Toxic Buildup in the Body: How and Why

One of the biggest reasons it’s so important to support the body in its natural detoxification process is because the world we’re living in has thousands more toxins than our ancestors did. There are two ways that toxins can affect the body: acutely and cumulatively. Cumulative toxins are the most detrimental because they don’t typically present side effects until it’s too late. At this point, people will experience symptoms of nausea, fatigue, and other negative downfalls of toxic buildup.

The liver is known as the master detox organ but also has 500 total functions in body. The liver can become overworked easily by frequent alcohol consumption, smoking, eating processed foods and other variables. Although the body has a natural detox process, we need to work to support it because of how many toxins there are in todays world.

There are always two ways which we can absorb toxins: exogenous and endogenous. Endogenous toxins are from within the body and are absorbed in food byproducts and bacteria we metabolize in the gut. Exogenous toxins are absorbed from the air we breathe, water we drink, and even "off gassing" which occurs from new carpet, furniture, food additives, fillers, preservatives, pesticides, building materials and compounds found in plastic. These compounds are also found in non-natural beauty and skincare products.

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Stay away from Febreze to avoid toxic buildup

The most readily absorbed sources of this endocrine-disrupting chemicals actually come from non-natural skincare products and are called xenoestreogens. When you the body ingests chemicals, they’re first filtered through the liver before they make their way into the bloodstream. The liver’s ability to filter out toxins and chemicals is rather amazing when they are consumed. However, when you use skincare products that contain xenoestrogens, those chemicals enter your bloodstream topically through absorption. They completely bypass the liver, never giving this organ the chance to filter and remove them from the body. Exposure to these endocrine-disrupting chemicals actually alters the way our natural hormones perform. Normally our endocrine system releases an appropriate amount of each hormone for the body to function optimally.

If you’re pregnant, the endocrine system will release more estrogen. Stressed, more cortisol. Dark outside, more melatonin. But when chemicals that mimic our natural hormones get into our bloodstream, they can disrupt this process. This disruption happens because these chemicals bind to or block our hormone receptors. And xenoestrogens, in particular, get in the way of our estrogen receptors. This keeps our natural estrogen from binding as it normally would. This leads to higher levels of circulating estrogen in our bloodstream, known as estrogen dominance.

Signs of estrogen dominance according to Laura Schoenfeld include:

  • Thinning and loss of eyebrows and hair

  • Mood swings and irritability

  • Breast tenderness

  • PCOS

  • Endometriosis

  • Low libido

  • Fat gain, especially around the hips and thighs

Our skin is the body’s largest organ, making what we put on our skin potentially more important for our health than what we eat. It’s also true that one of the best ways to rid the body of heavy metals is through the skin. One way to do this is by adding at least 2 cups of magnesium (epsom salts) toy our bath. Try to stay in for an entire 40 min leaving the time during the first 20 minutes for the body to remove toxins and the last 20 minutes to absorb the minerals in the water. Drink plenty of water throughout the whole process to stay hydrated.

Finally, it's important to detox from electronic devices. Studies have actually shown that being busier doesn’t necessarily make someone more productive. According to @psych_today, “for rote workers, more than 40 hours per week diminishes productivity; for creative workers, more than 20 hours per week does.” What this means is if you procrastinate on your phone while working (especially for remote workers), you are wasting precious time you are able to be productive. Here are some tips to help you unplug and focus your energy inward.

When you pull out your phone, ask yourself, ‘why?’ Many of us reach for our phones when we’re bored, sitting alone or trying to disassociate from a situation. These are examples of using it as a security blanket and we urge you to observe your surroundings when you’re bored or alone and sit with your feelings rather than reaching for your phone to pass the time. It’s also a good idea to monitor exactly how much you’re on your phone daily and weekly and try to set a goal. We suggest limiting time spent in our phone and begin to create boundaries around when you’d like to be using your phone and when you’d like to ‘unplug.’

Buy an old fashioned alarm clock and charge your phone in another room. If you must have your phone by you when you sleep, make sure it’s on do not disturb or even airplane mode. If you’re worried about missing an important call, you can set most phones to ring after someone calls you once or twice depending on your preference so if it’s an urgent matter they can reach you.

Finally, it’s best to fast from devices periodically. You can do this for a whole day, ½ a day, several days, whatever feels reasonable and just for your lifestyle. It’s a great opportunity to come back to your natural cycles and reconnect with those around you and yourself. Our favorite way to do this is in nature.


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