Solving My Cancer Puzzle – Part 3

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Thanks for joining me for Part 3 of Solving My Cancer Puzzle.

 

As you may recall from Part 2 of this series, your body eliminates toxins through Phase I and Phase II detoxification. Exposure to a toxin will trigger or “turn on” phase I detoxification, which changes fat soluble toxins into ones that are water soluble and can easily be excreted by your body. However, not all toxins are made water soluble enough for excretion in Phase I. In addition, some toxins are resistant to Phase I or actually become more dangerous after the initial phase but still have not been excreted.

 

Phase II further works on these toxins to make them less toxic and more water soluble, after which your body should be able to excrete them. However, Phase II requires nutritional support, which the Standard American Diet does not adequately supply. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy, arugula and others are particularly good at supporting Phase II detoxification pathways.

 

Many conventional doctors love to say your liver doesn’t need help in detoxifying your body because it was designed to do just that. If you believe this, I’d suggest reading or rereading Part 2 of this series. Because once you fully understand how your body detoxifies itself, and come to grips with the massive amount of toxins you’re being exposed to every single day, I think you’ll agree it’s possible your liver truly cannot keep up and has become something akin to a clogged toilet.

 

My question to the naysayers is, “If our liver is doing such great job of protecting us and doesn’t need our help, why are we so sick?”

 

The fact is, the human liver simply cannot handle whatever toxin we throw at it. If it could, there would be no cirrhosis of the liver or non-alcoholic liver disease. (The latter is a disease that just two decades ago was so rare it didn’t even have a name. Now more than 20 percent of American adults and 10 percent of American children have this disease.)

 

Or, how about the thousands of people who are experience acute liver failure every year from acetaminophen poisoning – the active ingredient in Tylenol?

 

Clearly your liver cannot handle an unlimited amount of toxins.

 

Here are just a few of the many signs your liver may be struggling to keep up with your toxic load:

 

  • Fatigue and/or low energy
  • Constipation, bloating, or gas
  • Chemical sensitivities or sensitivity to strong odors such as perfume
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and/or joint pains
  • Extra weight that won’t budge no matter what you do
  • Bad breath
  • Skin problems such as acne

 

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, begin eliminating toxins from your environment that may be triggering Phase I and be sure to support Phase II with proper nutrition.

 

In addition, there are other methods for helping your body eliminate toxins. While I’d been doing a few of these sporadically during the last several years, I definitely took my eye off the ball when it came to detoxification as I got further and further away from my 2007 diagnosis. However, since my June 2016 diagnosis I’ve incorporated most of the following detox methods into my regular routine.

 

It’s important to note that whenever doing these or any other detox methods it’s still crucial to continue to support your Phase II detoxification pathways by providing proper nutritional support. As they say with exercise also, you cannot detox your way out of a terrible diet.

 

(Hint: Don’t feel like you have to do every one of these every day. Seriously, you could spend your entire day detoxing. Pick a couple to do daily, and others to do a couple times a week to once every few months or so.)

 

 

Morning Lemon Water

 

Begin each day with a large (at least 16-20 ounces) glass of room temperature or slightly warm water with the juice of half a lemon. This helps your body eliminate toxic waste by flushing toxins out of the liver. It also aids digestion and can assist with constipation (which can keep unwanted toxins in your body) and diarrhea.

 

Lemons also act as an antioxidant and antibiotic, and are antibacterial and antiviral. In addition, their vitamin C can help your body maintain proper pH levels. They’re superstars no matter how you look at it!

 

Even if you don’t believe in the detoxification benefits of lemon water, it’s a great way to rehydrate each morning after many hours sans water. This can help stop you from trying to rehydrate with coffee or tea (which many people do), both of which have a dehydrating effect.

 

Recommendation: Daily

 

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

 

ACV is another great tool in your detox arsenal and can be added to your lemon water or taken alone with water.

 

Certain acids in ACV bind to toxins, thus allowing your body to flush them out. ACV also breaks up mucous in the body and cleanses the lymph nodes. This allows the lymph fluid to circulate properly and the lymph system overall to function as it should—removing toxins from the body and strengthening the immune system.

 

ACV is an acquired taste. It is vinegar, after all. Start by adding a teaspoon to a large glass of water and sipping it over several hours. Work up to a tablespoon (three teaspoons) as you get accustomed to the taste.

 

Recommendation: Daily, either added to morning lemon water or alone with water

 

Detox Bath

 

Taking a detox bath helps your body eliminate toxins and absorb any nutrients or minerals in the water. That’s why one of the best additions to your bath is magnesium sulfate, also known as good old-fashioned Epsom salts.

 

Soaking in Epsom salts helps replenish your body’s magnesium level. This is particularly important because approximately 70 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium, which is crucial to over 300 different processes in your body. In addition, the sulfate flushes toxins from your body.

 

For additional detox benefits, you could also add sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to your bath. Baking soda can neutralize the effects of radiation from x-rays, airplane rides, mammograms, and any of the other sources that bombard us daily. ACV is another great addition to your bath that can draw toxins from your skin.

 

For optimal bathing, choose aluminum-free baking soda and use water that has been filtered to remove the chlorine. Soak for at least 30 minutes; the longer you soak, the more minerals your body will absorb.

 

See more information about detox baths here.

 

Recommendation: Once a week or more

 

Dry Brushing

 

Dry brushing aids in detoxification by helping your lymphatic system function properly. This system is responsible for removing toxins and other debris from your blood using a clear, colorless fluid called lymph. However, our sedentary lifestyle has led most of us to what is called “lymph congestion.”

 

Most people don’t realize that their body’s lymphatic system contains more fluid than their cardiovascular system but doesn’t come with it’s own built-in pump. Instead, the lymphatic system depends on skeletal muscle contractions or manual massage to move the fluid throughout your body. Dry brushing stimulates this system and helps your body release toxins.

 

(Massage is another good way to stimulate the lymphatic system and eliminate toxins. If you’ve had lymph nodes removed as part of breast cancer surgery, seek a therapist who practices lymphatic massage, which can help prevent or deal with the effects of lymphedema.)

 

Dry brushing can take from one or two minutes up to 10 minutes and involves brushing dry skin with a natural bristle brush in upward motions on your body, towards the heart.

 

Take a shower after dry brushing, and if you can tolerate it, alternate hot and cold water in the shower to further increase blood circulation and get even more detox benefits!

 

See more information about dry brushing here.

 

Recommendation: Daily

 

Milk Thistle

 

Milk thistle is a plant that has been shown to be very beneficial in detoxifying the liver. In fact, one study stated that milk thistle is the most well researched plant in the treatment of liver disease.

 

This same study also indicated the active compound in milk thistle – known as silymarin – acts as an antioxidant and inhibits the binding of toxins to liver cell membrane receptors. In animals, silymarin has been shown to reduce liver injury caused by acetaminophen, radiation, iron overload, alcohol, and other toxins. It has been used to treat alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis and toxin-induced liver diseases. It can even save the life of someone who has eaten certain types of poisonous mushrooms.

 

On a lighter note, milk thistle may help fight hangovers.

 

Milk thistle is available in supplement form. Speak to a natural health care provider about the dose that’s best for you.

 

Recommendation: Daily

 

 

As you can see, there are many ways to detox your body. And I’m only half done! In Part 4 of this series I’ll share five more safe and effective detox methods. Brace yourself, a couple of them have a high “eeew factor”.

 

Informed. Empowered. FIERCE.

 

Kristina

 

 

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