Is Detox Right for You?

By: Dr. Emily Lipinski, ND HBSc.       The idea of detoxifying or cleansing seems be gaining more popularity and is most commonly done in the springtime.  People detox for a variety of reasons: to increase metabolism and  lose weight, increase energy and revitalize your body, and to promote healthy habits that encourage commitment to lifestyle changes.  A good detox regime should help restore intestinal integrity, support and enhance hepatic (liver) detoxification pathways and improve bowel transit time, and eliminate toxins.  This can increase energy, help balance hormones, promote clearer skin, and encourage overall health and wellness. It is important to note that detoxing may not be right for everyone, especially if any of the situations listed below apply to you. 1. Pregnancy & Lactation Detoxing often involves reducing the amount of calories and possibly the addition nutritional supplements to your daily routine. Both may not be appropriate when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. 2. History of Abdominal Discomfort If you have a history of persistent diarrhea and abdominal pain such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis a detox may aggravate these pre-existing conditions. Detoxing regimes often aim to increase the amount of fiber in the diet, this may exacerbate irritable bowel diseases. 3. History of Eating Disorders As mentioned above, detoxing often involves a restricted eating plan.  This can trigger old bad habits in individuals that have struggled with eating disorders in the past. 4. Chronic Diseases and/or Multiple Medications Chronically ill patients or those on multiple medications should seek the advice of a clinician to develop and create a diet and lifestyle plan to encourage avoidance of toxins in everyday life. Attempting to carry out a detox regime may be dangerous in these individuals. 5. If You are Under the Age of 18 Certain nutritional supplements and detoxification products may not be appropriate for younger individuals or dosages may need to be reduced. Talk to you naturopathic doctor about what would be appropriate for you. If you do want to detox, it is important to note that there are many different types of detoxing regimes and some are absolutely better than others!  Additionally, fasting is not synonymous with detoxing.  You can fast to detox however it is not necessary to cleanse. Although fasting can have benefits it can also come with numerous side effects.  I definitely suggest consulting with a naturopathic doctor or other clinician that has experience in this arena to create a detox plan that would be best for you.  

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