by Dr. Andrew Lipton
Narberth Family Medicine
Here’s How Your Body Eliminates Toxins
Everything we consume has to be eliminated from the body somehow. Many of the byproducts of things we consume add toxins to our body. Our bodies have four routes of elimination of toxins: bowels, bladder, sweat, and breath.
Organs of Detoxification
The two main organs of detoxification are the kidneys and liver. We also detoxify through the skin and the lungs. The kidneys filter the blood and remove toxins in the form of urine. The liver detoxifies poisons and aids the intestines and colon in removing waste through bowel movements and feces. The skin removes a small amount of toxins and water through perspiration. The lungs remove carbon dioxide and the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract remove toxins and allergens through mucous.
The bladder and bowels remove the majority of toxins from the body. Bladder function is stimulated by proper hydration. A good general rule of hydration is to consume between 1/4 and 1/2 ounces of water per pound of body weight.
Fiber and Detoxificiation
Bowel function can be stimulated by a variety of natural remedies, most importantly being fiber. High fiber diet aids in proper bowel elimination and can be increased by choosing high fiber foods, or through fiber supplementation. The average American consumes 8-10 grams of fiber per day and the recommended dose is 25 grams per day. Sudden large increases in fiber can produce symptoms of abdominal bloating, distention or gas. Fiber consumption should be increased slowly by a gram or two every few days to avoid these symptoms. In addition to adding bulk to bowel movement, fiber also grabs on to, or chelates, toxins out of the gastrointestinal tract. Fiber is the number one oral chelator, but there are many other natural oral chelators that remove toxins from the GI tract. Common oral chelators include Vitamin C, garlic, and cilantro.
Intravenous chelation therapy can be performed to remove toxic heavy metals form the body. Heavy metals like lead and mercury serve no function in the body and are poisonous.
Skin and Lungs
Skin and lungs remove a small amount of toxins from the body. Regular perspiration not only cools the body from the heat of muscle activity by sweat evaporating from the skin, but also removes toxins and minerals from the body. Many minerals or electrolytes are vital to the body but many are poisonous to the body as well.
The lungs’ main function is to exchange our number one nutrient, oxygen, with carbon dioxide. The mucous membranes of the lungs, bronchioles, sinuses, nose and throat also serve to remove dust dirt, smoke and allergens. These mucous byproducts are removed by coughing, sneezing, nose blowing, and occasional swallowing mucous to eliminate by the intestines.
Breathing deeply with exercise or meditation will also help clear CO2 and mucous. Moisture to the respiratory tract though steam, humidity, irrigation (nettie pot or saline spray) all aid in the elimination of mucous and improve the respiratory exchange of O2 and CO2.
Dr. Lipton has taken advanced training in OMT and is Board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of NeuroMusculoSkeletal Medicine.
Dr. Lipton completed his residency in Family Medicine at Suburban General Hospital, Norristown, Pennsylvania and is Board Certified in Family Medicine. Dr. Lipton was trained in Chelation Therapy by the American College for Advancement in Medicine, a group of physicians dedicated to being open to new alternatives in medicine. Dr. Lipton is also Board certified by the American Board of Chelation Therapy.