What Might Happen During my Clean-Up Program?
I wish I could tell you for sure what might happen, but I can't. Everyone is biochemically different and therefore will react differently. Although there are many similarities between individuals, I have also found a great variety of responses to any nutritional detoxification program. Some patients feel amazing results within hours - others progress more slowly and in a more linear fashion.
But having said this, I will share with you a fairly common scenario: You might feel bad for the first few days of an initial detox with flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, foggy thinking, irritability, skin break-outs and fatique and sleepiness. It won't be so bad that you can't work, although you may prefer to stay home and sleep. You may feel like you are coming down with something,and you may even get all the symptoms of a "cold" which is not really a cold, but part of your detox reaction.
You may even have detox reaction from eliminating certain allergens from your diet, such as wheat and/or sugar. Not only do we ingest harmful substances such as alcohol and sugar, but the organisms present in your body can also produce harmful chemicals such as alcohols and aldehydes. In one case, a patient's blood alcohol was 0.2 (inebriation in most states is 0.1) without having had anything to drink! The yeast in his system, just like in a brewery, was making alcohol. Therefore, as the yeast and other critters die there can be various changes in a person's mental and physical states.
After this initial "die-off" reaction, you will then start feeling better and better. However, don't hold me to any of this. I wish I could predict how you will feel, but I can't. Just be patient and please remember: It took you a long time to get sick and it might take you a while to get well. Another rule of thumb is this: It will take you one month for every year you have been sick. to get better. In other words, if you have had Irritable Bowel Syndrome for 10 years, it may take you almost a year to rid yourself completely of symptoms.
What is the Concept of Layering?
We've all heard about the concept of layering with psychotherapy, or peeling the layers of the psychotherapeutic onion slowly but surely until we either eliminate our neuroses or at least are more comfortable with them! The same thing happens with a detoxification process: Like peeling the layers of the onion, I often find that we must resolve one problem before another can be dealt with. Therefore, the supplements you take may change from visit to visit and how you feel may change also.
For example, on your first visit we may have found that you have an overgrowth of yeast and you are told to take an appropriate supplement for this problem. On your second or third visit, because the first layer of yeast has been eliminated, a long-standing heavy metal burden which has been compromising your health for years may appear for treatment. And so on.
Often there will be changes in emotions as we uncover various layers, so don't be surprised by unexpected ups and downs. Just as I explained that getting well is like peeling the layers of an onion, I can explain that getting sick is like an oyster making a pearl: One small grain of sand serves as the irritant that the oyster builds upon, layer upon layer. Your problem probably began in a very small and simple way, but has now become large and complex.
How come you took a lot of my favorite foods away?
The diet you have been given is designed to decrease stress to your immune system by avoiding foods that stimulate the growth of yeast and other pathogens. Temporarily abstaining from these foods allows your ailing immune system to strengthen and will help you get well faster. Be sure to get plenty of fiber and water to aid in your body's detoxifying systems. This will help lower the total toxic load that your body must deal with daily.
There are several good reasons to avoid the specific foods while detoxing - I'm just not being a mean person! Perhaps I have found that you were sensitive to a certain food, like wheat. This means that every time you eat wheat, you not only weaken your immune system, but you inhibit your body's ability to detoxify. If I have asked you to avoid sugar and alcohol, here is the reason: The entire sugar family, including refined white sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates (white rice, bagels, popcorn etc) is the primary food for the yeast family (including fungus and molds.) By limiting our intake of sugars, we effectively weaken the yeast by taking away it's food supply. At the same time, we are allowing your body (with the help of the supplements we are using) to detoxify. So, for the time being, please avoid any of the foods that I have found to be harmful to you.
What can I expect as I improve my diet and take my supplements?
As you move towards better eating habits you will hopefully be incorporating more foods that are closer to their natural state and shopping at natural food stores. (Please see other handouts on food, recipes, food combining, acid/alkaline balance etc.) Organic foods are higher in enzymes, vitamins and minerals and build healthier tissue. In addition, you will hopefully begin to eliminate other harmful substances such as sugar, alcohol and tobacco. If you think you have an alcohol or tobacco problem, I strongly recommend that you seek the appropriate 12-Step program as I do not treat addictions.
As you eliminate longstanding poisons from your life, you will feel the repercussions. Your have become accustomed to stimulants like sugar, caffeine, nicotine and depressants like alcohol, both physically and emotionally and when these substances are removed, withdrawal symptoms often occur. You may experience physical and emotional changes as the heart and nervous system calm down and function without artificial stimulation.
As you continue to eat better and to eliminate the junk foods, your body may begin a process called "retracing". What happens is this: Your body starts to dump out all of the old toxins, whether from food pollutants and/or stress, starting with the most recent. For example, people who have had past skin rashes and eruptions will often eliminate poisons throught the skin with new rashes and eruptions. Other symptoms might include constipation, diarrhea, fatique, nervousness, irritablility, depression, and frequent urination. As a general rule, how you treated your body previously determines the severity of the cleansing process.
Please be forewarned: Do not expect that you are riding on an ascending escalator to perfect health and that you will feel just a little bit better as each day passes until one day you reach perfection. This does happen albeit rarely - but it is the exception rather than the rule. Instead, expect gradual or cyclical changes.
For example, you start a better diet and for a while you feel much better. After some time, a symptom occurs - you may feel nauseous for a day and have diarrhea with a foul-smelling stool. After a day, you feel even better than you did before and all goes well for awhile.
Then you suddenly develop a cold, feel chilled and lose your appetite. After about 2 or 3 days, (assuming you don't take drugs) you suddenly recover and feel better than you did for years. Let us say this well being continues for 2 months, when you suddenly develop an itch or a rash. You still don't take anything special for it. This rash flares up, gets worse, you're itching like crazy and this misery continues for 10 days. It suddenly subsides and you feel great. Immediately after this you find that your allergies (insert the name of your illness here) are gone and your energy has increased more than ever before. The rash became an outlet for the poisons in your liver.
"At some point you will reach a plateau of vibrant health. Here you become relatively disease-free and are filled with the ever-increasing joy and the happiness which comes from sheer well-being. The mind opens up and expands to ever-higher horizons, and your soul will shout for joy. You begin to love the world, the universe and everything in it. Yes, we are "fearfully and wonderfully made". Let us give ourselves a chance to experience what it means to be really healthy and fully alive - to feel the joy of living by aligning ourselves to Nature's laws as intended . . . " Borrowed from Stanley Eller, M.D. Townsend Letter, June, 1997)
What's in all these bottles you gave me?
The supplements you have been given fall into two broad categories: 1) Those that aid the body in ridding itself of harmful organisms and substances, ie. detoxification supplements and 2) Those that provide you with something that your body lacks.
The first category of supplements include herbs, amino acids, fiber, enzymes and other natural chemicals. These will boost your immune system in order to aid the body in ridding itself of yeast overgrowth, pathogens (bad bugs), heavy metal, chemicals and parasites. Some of the supplements actually bind to toxic chemicals and/or metals and are then eliminated by the body. Others actually kill bugs and parasites or provide enzymes to aid in digestion and fiber to aid in bowel function and excretion of toxic debris.
The second category generally includes vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. These are important in the maintenance and functioning of every system of your body from muscle contraction to digesting food. They serve as coenzymes in most chemical processes; they help form the cell walls; they are essential ingredients in hormones and lastly they bind-up toxic metals. For example, vitamin C has been shown to maintain the connective tissue between cells thereby strengthening the cell walls. Because viruses attack at these sites, it has been concluded (with much of the research having been done by the Nobel prize winning scientist, the late Linus Pauling, M.D.) that vitamin C helps the body fight viruses.
Your vitamin and mineral needs can far exceed the RDA in times of stress, disease, chemical exposure and other situations. Therefore, supplementation with vitamins and minerals is very helpful in detox situations. Vitamins and minerals also assist in lessening the severity of food allergies, they aid with toxic metal sensitivities, migraines, inhalent allergies and they also restore the immune system thereby improving overall health.
The supplements - and I buy nutrition from over 25 companies - are of the highest quality and are also hypoallergenic. Patients who have had problems taking other supplements are usually able to take my products without difficulty. Supplements cause few if any side effects because of their natural form. However, there is some concern with taking some of these products while pregnant, so please inform me if you think you may be pregnant or if you are planning to be.
Why do I have to do a detox?
We are constantly being bomabarded by toxins from our environment; at last count, our poor overworked livers are being asked to detoxify over 65,000 chemicals! Our bodies have numerous and very elegant mechanisms for getting rid of all these exo-toxins. However, trouble starts if the total amount of toxins (total toxic load) exceeds the body's ability to eliminate them. This can occur because of poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, stress and over exposure to chemicals ( eg. "New Building Syndrome") Your personally designed supplement program will allow your body to "rise to the occasion." and will keep you reasonably well on a daily basis.
To a large degree, we are unable to control many things in our environment that are harmful to us. Therefore, we must focus on those things that we can control. A few examples: Alzheimers disease has been linked to aluminum. Therefore we must limit our exposure to aluminum by avoiding aluminum cookware and aluminum containing antacids and underarm deodorants. We can choose organic apples over sprayed apples. We can choose milk without harmful antibiotics, hormones and chemicals and organic eggs from range fed chickens. When you start implementing what I call a "thoughtful" lifestyle, you will become less stressed, healther, happier and more vital.
Other helpful components in our thoughtful lifestyle include a good diet which is very low in sugar and refined carbohydrates and which contains adequate protein, good fats and plenty of vegetables and fruits. Never drink tap water. It is poison. Exercise regularly 4 to 5 times a week. Walking fast for 45 minutes will do just fine. Go out in the sun without contacts or glasses for at least 20 minutes per day to make your brain healthier and happier. If you are lucky to live in a private area, please sunbathe in the nude a couple of times a week, 20 minutes per side to increase your vitamin D stores.
Any last instructions?
1) Call me if you have any problems or questions. I welcome phone calls and, don't worry, there are no "stupid" questions.
2) So that my testing can be as accurate as possible, don't take any of your supplements on your visit days.
3) Please keep me informed of any changes you observe. Either call me or be sure and tell me on your visit days. Three areas to pay attention to are your sleep, your bowels and your energy levels.
4) If after beginning to feel well, you notice a return of symptoms, it may be that you no longer need to take certain supplements. This is a good sign. Call me so that your program can be modified as needed.
5) Some patients are virtually symptom free after only one or two visits while some can take many months and make only partial progress. Remember, it is hard to predict which category you will fall into.
6) Once we have accomplished what we need to, a good diet, plenty of exercise, minimal exposure to harmful chemicals and an office visit every 4-6 months will help you to remain well.
Dr. Bea Knight-Johnson, D.C. 303-440-6526
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