The human body is an awe-inspiring machine. In just one day, your heart beats 101,000 times and you take 23,000 breaths. Of course, the body is also designed to repair itself when something breaks or becomes injured.
Unfortunately, the body’s impressive abilities can be diminished and overloaded by lifestyle habits, environmental toxins, and other factors. Yet medical professionals are still spreading the rampant myth that the body can detox naturally without any supplements or supports.
This is a half-truth that fails to represent the reality of our modern world.
In a perfect world with a perfect diet, the body can indeed cleanse itself efficiently. However, we don’t live in a perfect world, and very few of us have perfect diets. The full truth is that the body cannot detox itself naturally.
Here’s what you need to know about this myth and what it means for your body.
Health Is More Than the Absence of Disease
What does it really mean to be healthy? It’s easy to believe you are healthy if you aren’t suffering from an obvious illness or injury. But even if you aren’t sick, is your body thriving? Do you feel like the best version of yourself?
The truth is that most of us don’t.
In our modern on-the-go, high-stress, fast-food culture, it’s all too easy for you to burden your body without even knowing it. There are many subtle symptoms of unwellness that could be diminishing your health and quality of life, like daytime exhaustion, headaches, allergies, and bloating.
If we believe the myth that the body can detoxify without any extra help, then how do we explain these symptoms?
What Is Detoxification?
A real detoxification uses a blend of herbs, nutrients, juices, supplements, and nutritious foods to enhance your body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. The ultimate goal of a detox is to purge excess toxins from your body.
Our daily lives are overwhelmed by the presence of toxins, chemicals, pollutants, and other dangerous waste products that accumulate in the body and wreak havoc. Toxins bury themselves into the smallest nooks and crannies of your inner systems, often hiding for weeks or months and causing symptoms that you struggle to resolve.
Where Do Toxins Come From?
Stop to consider how many toxins your body is exposed to each day. The following examples are just a few of the ways that poisons, chemicals, and heavy metals seep into your body and cause problems that can only be resolved with an effective detoxification:
- The chemicals used for mosquito control in communities across the country are classified as “probably carcinogenic” by the EPA
- Tiny particles of pollution in car and truck exhaust lodge themselves deep in the lungs
- Mercury, a toxic heavy metal, is found in fish, dental fillings, and household items
- Toxic pesticides are used on fruits and vegetables like apples, lettuce, and strawberries
A detox is designed to improve your body’s ability to remove those toxins efficiently and restore vibrant, unburdened health and wellness.
Your Body Can’t Detox Naturally
Many experts claim that detoxification isn’t necessary because the body can detox naturally. This is a half-truth that perpetuates a major (and dangerous!) myth.
It’s true that the body does undergo the mechanisms needed to remove toxins and waste: natural detox pathways exist through the liver, sweat, urine, and feces. However, these natural pathways cannot sustain detoxification with the speed or intensity needed to fully address health issues or prevent disease.
How Does the Body Detoxify Itself? The Garden Hose Example
Your body’s excretory system uses many different self-regulatory mechanisms to eliminate waste and toxic substances. In fact, it is such an essential responsibility that the excretory system encompasses the urinary system, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, liver, and skin:
- The kidneys filter the blood and excrete all waste as urine
- The ureters transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder
- The lungs remove carbon dioxide
- The large intestine collects and removes solid waste to create bowel movements
- The liver detoxifies and breaks down chemicals and toxins
- The sweat glands in the skin excrete waste and toxins through perspiration
To understand that the body’s ability to detox naturally is a myth, think of the excretory system as a garden hose. Water should be able to flow freely through a garden hose, just like waste is meant to flow smoothly through your kidneys, liver, and ureters to leave your body. In a perfect world without any outside factors, both systems work well.
However, that garden hose can easily become kinked, twisted, or blocked by an accumulation of debris. This might reduce the flow of water to 50% of its ideal maximum. Your body is no different!
As you eat processed foods, use household and personal care products loaded with toxins, and inhale pollutants in the air, your excretory system becomes “kinked” and overloaded by everything it is forced to filter.
Just like the garden hose needs to be manually straightened out or unclogged, so too does your body. Only a strategic detoxification can enhance the elimination organs and help them work at their maximum capacity once again.
Signs Your Body Needs Help Detoxing
The myth that the body can detox naturally ignores the fact that your body sends clear signals when its natural elimination processes aren’t working well. Common symptoms of toxicity include:
- Chronic headaches
- Strong cravings and blood sugar swings
- Skin issues like acne, rosacea, and rashes
- Ongoing fatigue and brain fog
- Unusual body or breath odor
- Irritability and moodiness
If you are experiencing these symptoms regularly, it indicates that your body’s automatic detoxification systems are struggling to filter through the waste and toxins in your body. Your ability to detox naturally is compromised and needs to be optimized through a detox program like a master cleanse or herbal supplement.
The Bottom Line: Myths You Shouldn’t Believe
There are many health myths fed by misinformation that you shouldn’t believe. In addition to the claim that the body can detox naturally, you also may be told that eating dietary fat will make you fat, or that artificial sugars are better than natural sugars.
The truth is that healthy fats actually improve your health, artificial sugars are linked to weight gain and heart disease, and yes, your body does need help to optimize its detoxification!