Assessing Detoxification Through Routine Blood Tests and Recognizing Signs and Symptoms
If you’re struggling with chronic pain, weight gain, or hormone imbalances, you may have tried various diets and exercise routines and not seen results. It’s time to look beyond calorie restriction and even genetics and consider the role of toxins in your body. In this blog, we’ll explore how toxins can contribute to fibromyalgia pain, weight gain, and hormone imbalances and give you a few ideas for getting started on your own.
IDENTIFY SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
To get at the root of our body-wide detoxification concerns, let’s first differentiate between signs and symptoms. Symptoms of poor detoxification include headaches, migraines, acne, cystic acne, fatigue, brain fog, muscle and joint pain, allergies, hair loss, skin issues, constipation, and swelling. Signs of poor detoxification include jaundice, a swollen tongue, and poor kidney function. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or signs, it’s helpful to make changes to your diet and lifestyle changes. Exercise and movement are so critical to better bowel movements and lymphatic drainage. A few targeted supplements and other natural therapies can also help.
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Among the body’s functions is to clear hormones by way of the detoxification systems in place. This will help maintain proper hormonal balance better than “replacing” them will. You may be surprised to learn that there is a link between estrogen dominance and fibromyalgia, which is among the most common chronic pain conditions, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. Hormones are chemical messengers that move around the body, ebbing and flowing from morning to night, and they’re affected by many things including seasonal changes and aging.
Fibromyalgia is more commonly experienced by women, and the incidence increases with age. In the US alone, approximately 10 million people suffer from this condition, and it affects 3-6% of the world’s population. In attempting to discover and understand the underlying cause of fibromyalgia, an interesting observation was made: when a person is estrogen dominant, the estrogen hormone has an affinity to bind to pain nerve endings. This means that there is a strong correlation of estrogen dominance as a causative feature of fibromyalgia.
WHAT ABOUT GENETICS?
We’ve been conditioned to believe that genetics—our family medical history—are our destiny. The good news is that we now know that isn’t the case. While we can’t ignore genetics, research has found that genes carry information that is being influenced by everything in life: environment, lifestyle, exercise, diet, sleep, relationships, spirituality, where we live—all these factors influence genetic expression (not destiny).
This is truly empowering because it means we have much more control over our genes than was originally believed. Only about 5% of our genes are actually “fixed”—things like height can’t be changed. That means that 95% of our genes are moldable, so by taking steps to improve our quality of life, we’ll have more control over whether or not we develop serious health conditions.
So many people, especially as they get older, complain about weight issues—even though they exercise and watch their diets, they still can’t lose excess weight. However, it’s not always about “calories in, calories out”, it can instead be about “toxins in, toxins out”, in which case the problem may have more to do with detoxification pathways.
WHY CALORIE IN, CALORIE OUT DOESN’T WORK
The conventional approach to weight loss and management is based on the concept of “calories in, calories out.” The idea is that if you burn more calories than you consume, you’ll lose weight. However, research has shown that this approach is oversimplified and doesn’t take into account the role of toxins in weight gain and metabolism. Toxins from food, the environment, and other sources can disrupt the body’s detoxification systems and lead to the accumulation of fat cells, which store toxins to protect the body. This can make it harder to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, even with a calorie-restricted diet.
There are two types of toxins: those from the outside world that we’re exposed to, and the toxins the body itself makes. Food digestion and even cells making energy produce toxic waste products that need to be neutralized by antioxidants and eliminated through detoxification pathways like the liver and kidneys. When these toxins are not broken down and eliminated, they get stored in fat cells in order to prevent the toxins from harming us and to give detoxification systems a chance to catch up. The problem is that these detox systems aren’t catching up when our bodies become overloaded with toxins that can’t be cleared, so they end up being stored in fat.
On a blood test, there are a few routine markers that will help us assess detoxification, including liver, lipid, glucose, and kidney markers. More often, all it takes is a look at symptoms and signs. Beware, medically acceptable treatments and over-the counter detox solutions can sometimes be responsible for toxic overload. Instead, your liver is an important organ responsible for over 500 processes and one we can’t live without; if properly cared for, it can actually regenerate itself. Likewise, estrogen metabolites are removed from the body through urination and bowel movements as the body’s prime detoxification pathway that can be gently supported using functional medicine.
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GETTING A FUNCTIONAL BLOOD TEST
Assessing your body’s detoxification systems can be done through routine blood tests. These tests can provide valuable information about your liver, lipid, glucose, and kidney markers, which are essential for proper detoxification. Functional medicine practitioners can also test for other markers, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and nutrient deficiencies, to provide a more comprehensive view of your body’s detoxification capacity. By understanding how your body is processing toxins, you can take steps to support your liver and other detoxification systems and improve your overall health.
Take Action Today. If you’re struggling with chronic pain, weight gain, or hormone imbalances, don’t let toxins hold you back. By getting a functional blood test and recognizing signs and symptoms of poor detoxification, you can take control of your health and achieve your goals. Learn more from Dr Pucci by taking a much deeper dive into What’s Required to Detoxify Mercury, Estrogen, and Fatty Liver on Episode 13 of The Root Cause Solution Radio Show.
Dr. Doug Pucci, Founder, Pucci Wellness, is a functional medicine expert in practice for 30+ years. Voted 1 of 12 Doctors to Watch in 201 Magazine, he was honored to receive both The Best Of 2020 Awards for Functional Medicine in Oradell, NJ, and entry into Trademark Publications’ Who’s Who Directory, Honors Edition, for his pioneering work.
Dr. Pucci provides comprehensive testing for health biomarkers, advanced discovery into brain+body well-being and personalized nutrition for a diversity of people and symptoms. Learn how functional medicine, neurology & nutrition can help you get back on track starting now. Get the brochure.
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But how can you get a more accurate picture of your body’s detoxification abilities? Routine blood tests can help assess your liver, lipid, glucose, and kidney markers, which can give you an idea of your body’s overall detoxification status. However, recognizing the signs and symptoms can be just as important.
Here are some actionable steps or tips you can consider to support your body’s detoxification:
- Eat a nutrient-rich diet: A diet rich in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to support detoxification pathways.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps flush toxins out of your body and supports healthy bowel movements, which are important for eliminating waste products.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise helps stimulate blood flow and promotes sweating, which can help eliminate toxins through the skin. And, vitally important, exercise is great for better sleep. Sleep is how your brain also detoxifies at night…by harnessing your body’s lymphatic system.
- Manage stress: Stress can increase the production of toxins in the body, so finding ways to manage stress such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises can help support detoxification.
- Consider functional medicine: A functional medicine approach can help identify underlying root causes of poor detoxification and provide personalized treatment plans to support optimal detoxification. Call or text Dr Doug Pucci Wellness Center at (201) 379-6502 or book a time to chat using our scheduling feature.
By taking these actionable steps, you can support your body’s detoxification pathways and improve your overall health and wellbeing. Remember, recognizing the signs and symptoms of poor detoxification and assessing your body’s detoxification status through routine blood tests can provide important insights into your overall health.