Too much of anything can be toxic. Even drinking water has a toxic dose. When one reaches the toxic dose of something, negative things happen to our bodies and affect our health and well-being in often unpleasant ways.
A toxin is a poison that interferes with the proper functioning of a specific organ or tissue or the body as a whole. Most toxins enter the body through that 8-cubic-inch opening in the front of the face – i.e., the oral cavity (or mouth). Some toxins act slowly over months and even years to steal our health and vitality, while others act so rapidly that there isn’t enough time to reverse or stop their toxic effects. Some toxic effects are even labeled “side effects” to hide the assault they’re making on our bodies. Not only that, but different people react differently to the same exposure level of these poisons.
Detoxification, therefore, is the set of actions of restricting, limiting, or reversing the negative effects of toxins on the optimal functioning of the body. All toxins work at the cellular level, interfering with the proper cellular reactions that make life possible.
The Big 3 Categories to Avoid
The single most effective way to minimize or even eliminate the adverse effects of toxins is to prevent or eliminate their entry into the body in the first place—that is, individuals must take personal responsibility for what they put in their mouths!
Of all the things that are possible to put into your mouth, there are three major categories that can be considered toxins which account for more than 90% of all toxic health problems:
- Refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods (i.e., low nutrient-density “foods”)
- Alcoholic beverages and other recreational compounds
- Smoking, vaping, and other aerosols
Another category of ingestible toxic materials is drugs and pharmaceuticals, which, although they are prescribed for health, are by their very nature toxins—for example, “antibiotics,” which literally means “against life.” Notice all the caveats and warnings in prescription medicine ads and product literature. We should heed the precepts of the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates: “First, do no harm,” followed by “Let food be thy medicine.”
There is a multitude of direct and indirect signs and symptoms of toxicity that can be observed, and most can be reversed by detoxification as long as the affected tissues and organs have not been irreversibly damaged or destroyed. The following is only a partial listing of some common signs and symptoms of potential toxicity:
- Decreased mental health and increased mental problems, including irritability, sharpness, acuity, cognitive decline, and memory problems
- Decreased cardiovascular health
- Increased metabolic syndrome issues, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and poor wound healing
- Decreased muscle tone, strength, and mass
- Certain cancers and neoplasms
- Increased cavities
- Increased gum disease issues
- Decreased saliva flow and increased oral dryness
In addition, there are plenty of food allergies and sensitivities (notice the increase in dairy sensitivities and gluten intolerance).
What to Do – and What Not to Do – to Help Eliminate Toxins
So now, what can a person living in a sea of potentially toxic materials do to take back their health and move forward to optimal symptom-free living?
Here are a few do and don’t suggestions that help detoxify our lives:
- As author Chris Crowley famously said in his book Younger Next Year, “Don’t eat crap!”
- Reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates and over-processed foods you consume.
- Drink plenty of water (approximately half your weight in ounces of water) but make sure you are also getting enough electrolytes too.
- Reduce the amount of alcoholic and other “recreational” compounds you ingest.
- Eliminate all “recreational” smoke or vapors.
- Reduce your need for prescription medicines, especially those having many caveats and warnings on their labels.
- Stay active physically, mentally, and spiritually.
As you can see, it is possible and desirable to live a toxin-reduced life, if only we listen to what our parents said to us when we were kids: “Eat your vegetables” and “Don’t put THAT in your mouth!”
To learn more about oral health as part of the whole-body system and how a healthier mouth allows you to live a healthier life, visit: www.SouthWindsorSmiles.com to get Dr. Norige’s Healthy Smile, Healthy Life book with FREE shipping! You will learn secrets that can help you live healthier, happier, and longer—this book can change your life!
Kevin Norige, DMD, is the founder and chief dentist at South Windsor Smiles, a private dental practice that focuses on oral health as part of the whole-body system. For over 35 years he has worked with patients to achieve a healthy mouth and live a healthier life. Call 860.288.2111 or www.SouthWindsorSmiles.com.