Fatigue, and lots of symptoms, are often a sign of toxicity: emotional, physical and environmental Doing a cleanse is something that helps many.


Eat Liver Loving foods 

 Cruciferous vegetables (e.g cabbage, brocoli, brussels, cauliflower, bokchoy, swede, turnip) and sulfur containing foods like egg, onion, leek, garlic are foods that help your liver detoxify and remove toxins from your body more effectively.  


Fix your gut.

Gut imbalances are a key source of toxins for many. Fixing your gut might require visiting a  functional, integrative or NEM doctor. Most people with gut issues experience food sensitivities, and feel alot better when they manage these.  Food sensitivites can be

  • autoimmune (gluten) – 1%  of the population
  • Metabolic: sugars, carbs, yeast – 10%-15%
  • Pharmaceutical: Histamines, Salicylates 2%-5%

Detox your mind, heart and spirit.

This is just as important as detoxing your body, and it’s an area few of us ever think about as a source of toxins. Whether it involves yoga, meditation, mindfulness or deep breathing, find a technique that relaxes you and helps calm your mind.  If highly anxious, depressed or psychologically stressed consider working with a therapist. For deep unresolved emotional trauma try EMDR.


Get moving.

This helps your blood and lymphatic circulation do its job. Whether you’re a novice or pro, you’ll benefit from some kind of exercise plan that you enjoy.  If you have an injury or are very exhausted it is best to see your doctor and physiotherapist before starting an exercise plan. Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) is recommended for anyone experiencing CFS – mild to moderate.


Optimise Daily Detoxification

Optimal daily detoxification also requires drinking 8 to 10 glasses of filtered water, minimizing drugs including caffeine and alcohol,  minimising your intake of sugar and unhealthy fatty and junk foods.

Do a detox

Most GP’s do not do cleanses, you will need to see a doctor trained in functional or integrative medicine. 

A detox may be recommended if you have heavy metal toxicity or to facilitate sluggish detox pathways.

detox can include:

  • sweating out toxins (Sauna Therapy), epsom salt baths,
  • taking detox nutrients or binding supplements like zeolites,
  • lipid exchange therapy
  • or for some people chelation therapy. (not if low in minerals, and very poor detoxification)

Detoxes are best done under medical supervision, as not done properly, they can cause reintoxification and sometimes injury. 

 A safe way to help cleansing is to reduce your exposure to everyday chemicals, and pollutants (vocs, mvocs, pm), starting with reducing exposures in your home.

Take an Exposure History

An exposure history like the one by ASTDR/CDC here, can help you identify high exposures to  toxins (heavy metals, solvents, other)that may be causing you unpleasant symptoms  or illness..  Reducing high exposures will not only reduce your risk of certain disease in the future, but is also likely to reduce symptoms associated  “environmental illness” , often quite quickly.

From the CDC

Most environmental and occupational diseases either manifest as common medical problems (e.g., rashes, asthma, angina, spontaneous abortion) or have nonspecific symptoms (e.g., headache, difficulty concentrating, behavioral problems, myalgias, difficulty conceiving) [Amdur MO 1991; Marshall et al. 2002; Wigle D 2000].

Establishing the etiology can distinguish a disorder as an environmental illness.

Table 1. Examples of Environmental & Occupational Causes of Medical Problems
[Goldman and Peters 1981; Nelson et al. 2011]
Symptoms and Diseases Agent Mode of Exposure
Immediate or Short-Term Effects
dermatoses (allergic or irritant) metals (chromium, nickel), fibrous glass, solvents, caustic alkali, soaps) electroplating, metal cleaning, plastics, machining, leather tanning, housekeeping
headache carbon monoxide, solvents firefighting, automobile exhaust, wood finishing, dry cleaning
acute psychoses lead, mercury, carbon disulfide removing paint from old houses, fungicide, wood preserving, viscose rayon industry
asthma or dry cough Formaldehyde, toluene diisocyanate, animal dander textiles, plastics, polyurethane kits, polyurethane foam, lacquer, animal handlers
pulmonary edema, pneumonitis nitrogen oxides, phosgene, halogen gases, cadmium welding, farming, chemical operations, smelting
cardiac arrhythmias solvents, fluorocarbons metal cleaning, using solvents, refrigerator maintenance
angina carbon monoxide, methylene chloride car repair, traffic exhaust, foundry, wood finishing
abdominal pain lead battery making, enameling, smelting, painting, welding, ceramics, plumbing
hepatitis (may become chronic) halogenated hydrocarbons (e.g., carbon tetrachloride) using solvents, lacquer use, hospital workers
Latent or Long-Term Effects
chronic dyspnea, pulmonary fibrosis asbestos, silica, beryllium, coal, aluminum mining, insulation, pipefitting, sandblasting, quarrying, metal alloy work, aircraft or electrical parts, foundry work
chronic bronchitis, emphysema cotton dust, cadmium, coal dust, organic solvents, cigarettes textile industry, battery production, soldering, mining, solvent use
lung cancer asbestos, arsenic, nickel, uranium, coke-oven emissions insulation, pipefitting, smelting, coke-ovens, shipyard workers, nickel refining, uranium mining
bladder cancer a-naphthylamine, benzidine dyes dye industry, leather, rubber-workers, chemists
peripheral neuropathy lead, arsenic, hexane, methyl butyl ketone, acrylamide battery production, plumbing, smelting, painting, shoemaking, solvent use, insecticides
behavioral changes lead, carbon disulfide, solvents, mercury, manganese battery makers, smelting, viscose rayon industry, degreasing, manufacture/ repair of scientific instruments, dental amalgam workers
Extrapyrami-dal syndrome carbon disulfide, manganese viscose rayon industry, steel production, battery production, foundry work
aplastic anemia, leukemia benzene, ionizing radiation chemists, furniture refinishing, cleaning, degreasing, radiation workers

Unless an exposure history is pursued by the clinician, the etiologic diagnosis might be missed, treatment may be inappropriate, and exposure can continue.




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