Why “Toxins In, Toxins Out” Is A Better Predictor of Fibromyalgia Pain, Weight Gain, and Hormone Imbalance Than Calorie Counting Or Genetics
To get at the root of our body-wide detoxification concerns, let’s first differentiate between signs and symptoms. Symptoms of poor detoxification are things we feel, like headaches; in fact, it’s plausible that migraines are a symptom. A sign would be something we see, like jaundice, constipation, or a swollen tongue, the latter of which can indicate poor kidney function. Another sign is acne and cystic acne, which occurs in many young people but also in adults. Both types of acne can be caused, at least in part, by hormonal fluctuations and imbalances; those toxins come out through the skin in the form of acne.
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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.
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What about the role of 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.
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.
Learn more about why clearing hormones is a crucial, often overlooked part of hormone balance. Watch What’s Required to Detoxify Mercury, Estrogen, and Fatty Liver on Episode 13 of The Root Cause Solution Radio Show. Short on time? Subscribe on YouTube and turn on notifications for this and all episode trailers. Go to https://bit.ly/DrPucciYouTube
Dr. Douglas J. Pucci, Founder, Get Well Now, is a functional medicine pioneer and Bergen County’s Face of Functional Medicine. He was honored to receive both The Best Of 2020 Awards for Functional Medicine in Oradell, NJ, and entry into Trademark Publications’ 2020 Who’s Who Directory, Honors Edition.
New to functional medicine? Register for my FREE Informational Series on Root Cause Solution and learn about functional medicine and “How to” avoid a lifetime of medications by visiting my website at Get Well Now.