There is a big gap between knowledge and experience.
We can intellectually understand that pollution is harmful. We read words like “carcinogen” or “teratogen” or “aflatoxin” and sense that we should probably avoid them.
But when it comes to real life, these are just words.
Despite alarming statistics about the number of chemicals we ingest, the contamination of water supplies, or the disturbing levels of toxins hiding in everyday products and foods...
They’re just numbers.
Few of us know what it actually feels like to be toxic.
And because toxins accumulate slowly over time, the symptoms of toxicity creep up on us, blending into our busy everyday life.
This leads to a shocking realization:
We have no idea if we are toxic or not.
So here are the most common signs of toxicity to help you catch it before it turns into an even bigger problem: Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions or any of the other long lists of potential problems.
Before we get to the different ways toxicity can show up, it’s important to understand “total load.”
Imagine you have a bucket attached to a long chain. You put stones in the bucket, one by one... until finally, the chain breaks.
The stones are toxins. It’s not any single stone that broke the chain, it’s the total weight.
The total load of toxins in your body is what matters.
The chain is your body and the links in the chain are different organs.
The weight of the bucket breaks the weakest link. That is where symptoms show up. It could be your brain, your kidneys, or a skin disease. It’s different for everybody, which is why there are so many different symptoms for one underlying problem.
The more toxic load you have, the more likely symptoms will show up.
Here are the most common breaks in the chain.
Symptoms: constipation, diarrhea, excess gas, bloating, foul-smelling stools
Your gut is where all the toxins that sneak in through your food and water enter your body. It should come as no surprise that this is one of the most-affected areas when it comes to toxicity.
It is especially sensitive because your gut is much more than “you”––it is a thriving, complex ecosystem also known as the microbiome. Toxins disrupt this sensitive ecosystem, which can lead to many different symptoms.
Different chemicals can change your gut pH, feed bad bacteria, trigger yeast overgrowth, or cause leaky gut which leads to systemic inflammation. Inflammation is one of the common causes behind many of the symptoms.
Detox Tip: Increase dietary fiber, eat organic vegetables and probiotic foods.
Symptoms: eczema, rashes, psoriasis, acne, puffy or dark rings around eyes
Because your skin is a major organ of detoxification, skin changes are a significant indicator of toxicity. When your body is overloaded with toxins, they can build up in your skin causing irritation and inflammation. This creates acne, rashes, and other skin problems.
Symptoms: Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, headaches
The brain and the gut are deeply intertwined. When things go wrong in the gut, it can often affect brain function. Other toxins, like heavy metals, end up in the brain itself, disrupting normal function, memory, and mood.
Symptoms: morning breath
If your breath is embarrassingly bad in the morning, this is an indication that something in your system is wrong. The mouth has its own microbiome and if toxins disturb this environment bad bacteria begin to flourish and cause halitosis – a fancy science word for nasty breath.
Your body also detoxes itself through your tongue, so if you have a thick white coating on your tongue it is an indication of toxicity issues.
Symptoms: persistent muscle soreness, achy joints
Context is important here: we are not talking about feeling sore after a hard day of weight training or having joint pain after a long hike.
Pain from a long session in the gym is largely due to accumulated lactic acid in your tissues. After a day or so, your body eventually detoxifies the built-up acid and the pain goes away.
When pain appears for no reason and doesn’t go away, it can indicate your body is not detoxing properly. Your natural detox system is likely overloaded and toxins (which are often acidic) are not getting flushed from your body.
Joint pain can also be an indicator of systemic inflammation, which can also be toxin driven in some cases.
Need relief from chronic inflammation? Try BodyHealth’s Inflam-Arrest
Symptoms: menstrual issues, low temperature, depression, fertility issues, mood swings
Hormonal balance is crucial for health. Too much or too little of a hormone can throw our health into chaos. Many synthetic chemicals flooding our food supply are known as xenoestrogens.
They act like estrogen in your body, throwing off your delicate hormonal balance.
This causes a cascading problem with far-reaching effects. For women, it often shows up as problems with the menstrual cycle. This is harder to notice in men, but typically manifests in depression and loss of drive.
Make no mistake, if you have serious toxicity issues, you should consult a medical professional.
That said, the best solution is to not accumulate toxins in the first place––prevent the stones from getting in the bucket.
This means eating organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meat not treated with antibiotics, drinking filtered water, and avoiding areas with high amounts of environmental pollution.
Toxins are everywhere though, and avoiding will only get you so far. Here are some helpful practices and tips to help you detox.
If you want to take your detox to the next level, consider using Body Detox, our all-natural detox support formula.
The idea of hidden poisons in our food and water is disturbing, to say the least. Once you understand how to protect yourself and boost your own natural detox pathways, it becomes a game of keeping stones out of the bucket.
But the best part?
Toxicity is reversible.
Once the stones are taken out of the bucket, the chain fixes itself like magic.
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Your own metabolism is killing you.
The incomprehensible bazillions of biochemical reactions firing off every nanosecond in every one of your cells have consequences.
Because there is no free lunch.
Not even in biology. The truth is...
There is a master anabolic switch hidden deep inside your cells. It unlocks rapid muscle growth, stimulates tissue repair, activates your immune system, and generally makes us stronger and more capable.
It’s known as “mTOR.”
You may have heard of it in the bodybuilding and biohacking worlds.
However, this master anabolic switch is not as straightforward as some might like you to believe.
The equation is more complicated than mTOR = more muscle gain.
The following is adapted from The Search for the Perfect Protein.
At our clinic, the LifeWorks Wellness Center, we have many clients—male and female—who have problems with low energy, depression, and insomnia. With these patients, we’ll measure neurotransmitter levels. The results tell the same story:
Symptomatic patients have neurotransmitter levels far below the optimal standards.
Even when patients have been given prescription psych medications by their doctor, their levels remain low because the drugs do not correct the underlying cause.