Detox, retox, detox: the better way to balance?

One of the top questions I get asked is what I recommend to help the body fix itself, at a foundational level. Perhaps you want nothing more than to return to a state of wholeness and zen-like hormone balance. Maybe you feel frustrated and desperate. Maybe you’ve worked with other doctors, only to be given prescription medications, and worse, mediocre results.

But did your doc recommend a detox? In our modern world, it’s likely that you suffer from some sort of hormonal imbalance, with characteristic signs such as burnout, anxiety, insomnia, or weight gain. You want answers to healing these conditions, not just quick fixes.

In our modern world, it’s likely that you suffer from some sort of hormonal imbalance, with characteristic signs such as burnout, anxiety, insomnia, or weight gain.

To answer the question on true healing, first and foremost I suggest people begin by cleaning out the body through a detox. Clear the jammed hormone receptors and reset key hormones. We all accumulate so much junk—mentally, emotionally, and physically—on a daily basis. I believe it’s imperative to allow the body time to rest, reset, and recover, just like rebooting your computer. I recommend that everyone detoxify for at least 21 days on a quarterly basis. This practice is critical in maintaining resilient health, happy genes, and excellent molecular sex between your hormones and their receptors.

“How can I possibly fit a 21-day detox into my busy schedule?” I hear you. Life is busy. But, so often, fear that we may not be able to follow a detox perfectly causes our inaction. Rather than aiming for perfection, consider life as a series of “detox, retox, and detox”; periodically allowing your body time to heal via detoxification is essential, even if after the detox you don’t maintain that supposedly perfect way of eating and living, i.e., living life with a few indulgences or “re-toxing.” You can always go back to “detoxing” — if only for a few days at a time — and thus making crucial steps towards resetting the stage for balance again. In fact, I believe a cycle of detox, retox, detox may be a better way to define “balance.”

Consider life as a series of ‘detox, retox, and detox’; periodically allowing your body time to heal via detoxification is essential, even if after the detox you don’t maintain that supposedly perfect way of eating and living

After all, what’s the point of a life not richly enjoyed from moment to moment? A fulfilling life is an essential part of the inner nourishment you deserve to give yourself. Enjoyment includes the pleasures you receive from eating delicious food, laughing until it hurts, and sharing moments with friends and family that suspend time.


My top 5 strategies for a successful detoxification:

  1. Preparation is key.
    Set a start date, and let your loved ones know. Find accountability partners. From the research, we know that an accountability partner you don’t know very well subconsciously gives you less room to wiggle and slide. Make a contract with yourself of this commitment—silent or written.
  2. Be all in.
    While I believe that too much focus on perfection can in turn paralyze you I also believe in jumping into something with your heart and soul. You’ll hear the typical excuses replay in your mind, (“I’m too busy,” “I’m too tired,” “I have too many commitments,” or “I’m traveling”). Life never stops. So jump in and commit!
  3. Start your day with a shake.
    Breakfast is, without a doubt, the most important meal to starting your day right. In my years of research, I have found that certain protein shakes will fill in your micro-nutrient gaps, and allow your hormones to get back into its balance. A healthy, medicinal shake for breakfast sets the metabolic tone for the day.
  4. Enjoy life in between.
    Savor good food and wine with friends and family. I highly recommend indulging once in a while without guilt. (Let’s repeat the mantra together: “detox, retox, and detox.”)
  5. Take essential, proven, and highest quality supplements.
    The ones I recommend are as follows:

    1. Berberine is the main active component of an herb called Coptis chinensis, and has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of conditions from metabolic syndrome, cancer, and gastrointestinal inflammation. More recently, studies are showing that berberine is also an effective blood glucose regulator that is even superior to metformin (a prescription medication used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes) in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (Wei, 2012). The safety profile is excellent (Lan, 2015).
    2. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a powerful chelating agent for heavy metals from the body, such as lead and mercury. Your main source of lead? Lipstick, and lead dust and/or peeling paint if your home was built prior to 1978. Mercury? Fish, dental amalgams, possibly vaccines.
    3. Curcumin gives turmeric its characteristically bright orange color. Ayurvedic medicine has used curcumin for a wide variety of diseases and conditions. In studies, curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities—and may be the most potent anti-inflammatory known.

This article was originally published on Dr Sara Gottfried’s site, Dr Sara Gottfried MD. Follow the link for references.

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