Detox cleanses sometimes hurt more than help: what you need to know

Detox cleanses sometimes hurt more than help: what you need to know

Detoxing: an old remedy for good health?

The idea of detoxing - purging the body of poisons and other harmful substances, to bolster the immune system, eliminate fat and increase energy levels – has been around since at least the early 1900s. These days, it is more popular than ever, thanks to a gaggle of celebrity endorsements of popular diets. A quick search on Amazon.com turns up hundreds of books, cleansing products, herbs and nutritional supplements to help you cleanse your way to good health.

Before having kids, I used to detox at least a couple of times a year. I’d usually fast using water, broths, and freshly-juiced fruits, alongside detoxing powders or tablets containing ingredients like psyllium husks, which stimulate the body’s elimination system. Like others, I felt better and more energized immediately afterwards. Years later, I wonder if all that detoxing might have done more harm than good. For years I suffered off and on from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and still occasionally have episodes if I don’t watch my diet carefully.

Doctors and many nutritionists have amply warned that long-term or frequent detoxing diets can harm the body and cause sustained health problems. People with certain health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and blood sugar disorders, or who are pregnant or nursing should not detox at all. (Most detoxes involve severely restricting the diet to liquids or purees for days or weeks at a time). However, a vocal minority of medical professionals claim that detoxing, done sensibly and in moderation, can enhance the body’s natural abilities to rid itself of harmful substances.

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Can you really reduce inflammation with dietary changes? (roundup post)

Can you really reduce inflammation with dietary changes? (roundup post)

This post is the 3rd and final one in a 3-part series on chronic inflammation. For this post, I asked the opinions of four experts in the fields of medicine, wellness, and holistic healing for their advice on treating chronic inflammation with diet and herbs.

This roundup post is a little different from others you may have seen. In addition to the opinions of experienced professionals, it also refers you to several additional pieces of information – 3 clinical studies and online courses offered by 2 physicians -- that can help you learn more about the causes and health outcomes for chronic inflammation, and treatments that involve making dietary changes to reduce or eliminate it.

Even if you pursue a healthy lifestyle, eating well and exercising regularly, you may still be feeling fatigued, foggy, bloated, or experiencing joint pain or frequent respiratory infections. This roundup post + has something for anyone who may be feeling the effects of chronic inflammation, so read on…

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The Body Burden: why kids, older adults, and overweight people are more vulnerable

The Body Burden: why kids, older adults, and overweight people are more vulnerable

(This is part of a series of posts based on interviews with Loni Mc Collin, MScCN, Clinical Herbalist and Nutritionist at Knowles Apothecary in Kensington, MD. You can find more information about Loni and her work, or schedule a consultation, through her website, www.lonimccollin.com)

As Loni noted in our interview, the Body Burden refers to the amount of chemicals that have accumulated within the adipose tissue and the fat tissue or in the body’s organs. Chapter 2 of my e-book, The Little Guidebook for Green Moms & Dads: how daily exposure to chemical toxins is hurting your kids (and what you can do about it) has more information about the body burden and how it affects the health of children (and adults). Because many of the toxic chemicals we are exposed to accumulate in fatty tissue, decreasing exposure is especially a concern with children.

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