In addition to affecting the way you feel physically, toxins can also have an effect on your emotional well-being. A number of toxins, especially environmental ones, have been linked to disturbances and changes in the body’s hormonal systems. Toxins have been known to cause numerous mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, by altering or hampering the healthy function of the brain. Toxins can also affect your brain by altering or inhibiting the activity of neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals in the brain that transmit signals, facilitating communication between your brain and nerve cells. When these neurotransmitters are damaged, it could affect the production of certain chemicals within the brain, such as serotonin, which could affect your mood. In addition, toxins can damage the structure of the brain itself. Neurotoxins such as lead and mercury are known to kill brain cells, affecting behavior, mood, coordination, and even intelligence.
How Toxins Affect the Way You Look
Skin problems can be incredibly embarrassing, especially when they continue to plague you into adulthood. Unfortunately, the modern Western diet does little to repair skin problems. In fact, the food you eat and the toxins you encounter on a daily basis are partially responsible for things like redness, blackheads, inflammation, and pimples. The more toxins present in your body, the more it will affect the way you look. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it may also be acting as a storage unit for toxins. When the other detoxifying organs—your liver, kidneys, and lungs—are overloaded with toxins, your skin ends up picking up the slack. Not only do excess internal toxins end up in your skin, but your skin also absorbs toxins from the environment around you and from the products you put on it. Everything from lotions, shampoos, fragrances, and cosmetics potentially contain toxins that can damage your skin. Toxins from the environment may also enter your skin either by being absorbed through the air or through skin contact with soil or water. All of these toxins block your pores, resulting in acne, greasy skin, and other skin problems..
Toxins and the Aging Process
Before you can understand how toxins affect the aging process, you need to understand the aging process itself. Many people don’t consider themselves to be aging until they hit the thirty-or forty-year mark. In reality, however, you start aging from the moment you are born. Your body is made up of around one trillion individual cells, and as many as one billion of those cells die every minute that you are alive. These cells do regenerate, but the rate of regeneration versus cell death slows over time. As you get older, the cells in your body will start dying more quickly than they can be regenerated. Aging is a completely natural process and it cannot be avoided. There are certain factors, however, that speed up the aging process. Nutritional deficiencies and high levels of stress, for example, can accelerate the aging process, making you look and/or feel older than your true age. The buildup of toxins in the body also contributes to accelerated aging by hastening the rate at which cells die without also increasing the rate of regeneration. Keep in mind that, as a whole, your body can handle a significant amount of toxins. The individual cells, on the other hand, can be killed by even the smallest amount, and these cell deaths are in addition to the cell deaths that occur naturally. The human body is designed to efficiently absorb nutrients, filtering out and eliminating waste products and toxins. If you put more toxins in your body than it can handle, however, the excess toxins will be set aside and stored. Extreme toxin buildup can lead to serious diseases, including age-related disorders such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and osteoarthritis. Detoxifying your body will help flush out those excess toxins, restoring your body’s natural rhythm and stopping additional cell death.
Detoxing for Organ Health
One of the main organs involved in eliminating toxins from the body is the liver. It plays an essential role not only in eliminating toxins, but also in breaking down nutrients and producing red blood cells. The liver is largely responsible for detoxifying harmful substances, and it fulfills this role in several ways: by filtering the blood to eliminate toxins; by synthesizing and excreting bile to get rid of fat-soluble vitamins like cholesterol; and by producing enzymes that neutralize harmful chemicals. Your liver acts without regard to where the toxins come from —it treats those produced by your body the same way it treats toxins from food, medications, and environmental factors. Your lungs, kidneys, and intestines also play a role in removing toxins. The lungs, for example, filter out allergens, mold, and other airborne toxins. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood and diverting waste products to the bladder so they can be eliminated. If any of these organs becomes overworked or bogged down with excess fat, inflammation, or toxin accumulation, it could limit your body’s natural detoxification abilities. Detoxifying will help restore proper function to your organs. Below you will find valuable information regarding your organs’ roles in detoxifying the body as well as information on what happens when these organs aren’t functioning to full capacity.
Your kidneys are the primary detoxifying organs of your urinary system. They filter your blood, removing wastes and diverting them to the
bladder so they can be eliminated from your body. Your kidneys also help regulate mineral levels and electrolytes to prevent toxic buildup. If the function of your kidneys is impaired, they may not be able to properly filter toxins from your blood. Kidney disease and damage is often caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, poor eating habits, inflammation, and overuse or prolonged exposure to medications and toxic chemicals.
As has already been mentioned, the liver is the most important organ for detoxification. It breaks down nutrients and toxic substances, excreting toxins through bile and urine. Unfortunately, liver disease is a fairly common problem and it can affect your liver’s ability to properly filter out toxins. Some of the most common causes of liver disease and damage include excessive alcohol intake, poor diet, and abuse of drugs or other toxic chemicals.
Your lungs are the first organs to come into contact with airborne toxins, and they serve to filter these toxins and other harmful substances out of the air you breathe. The lungs are also responsible for delivering oxygen to your blood. Shallow breathing can greatly reduce the efficiency of your lungs in detoxifying the body. This can be caused by or exacerbated by a poor diet, air pollution, and smoking.
You may be surprised to hear that your skin is responsible for eliminating about one-third of the toxins, bacteria, and viruses that enter your body. If the other detoxifying organs (liver, kidneys, and lungs) become overworked, your skin steps up to take on the extra load. Your skin eliminates toxins by pushing them through your pores to the surface. If too many toxins accumulate in your skin, however, it could lead to redness, inflammation, or breakouts.