From a nutritional point of view, detoxification is the biotransformation of harmful molecules; these are then eliminated from the body along with other waste materials. The liver is the primary organ of detoxification where biotransformation of toxins occurs in two phases. The body requires the right resources in order for the bio-transformations to occur; these include antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. In addition, the channels of elimination, which pass out the transformed toxins need to be functioning well these include the gastro-intestinal tract, the urinary tract and our skin.
Functional medicine is the 21st century approach to health care. It looks at the underlying causes of dysfunction in the body rather than symptoms and named disease. Functional medicine focuses on identifying and addressing nutritional, metabolic and gastro-intestinal imbalances as well toxin effects that underlie chronic disease. The focus is on the whole person rather than isolating a set of symptoms.
“Functional Medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what are sometimes considered ‘alternative’ or ‘integrative’ medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet and exercise: use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques: and prescribed combination of drugs and or botanical medicine, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programmes, or stress management techniques” Institute of Functional Medicine 2008 http://www.functionalmedicine.org/about/whatis.asp
Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin. It is associated with metabolic syndrome and with the development of type 2 diabetes.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
According to the NHS, “Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, relapsing, and often lifelong disorder of gastrointestinal function with no discernible structural or biochemical cause.” People with IBS will typically experiencing bloating, cramping, diarrhea, constipation (alternating) and general pain and discomfort in the digestive tract. Taking a look at nutrition can be helpful, considering potential food sensitivities and optimising digestion.
This term refers to an association between certain metabolic dysfunctions and cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes. The main characteristics are insulin resistance (i.e. the cells stop being responsive to the hormone insulin), high blood pressure, high triglycerides, abnormalities in cholesterol levels and obesity.
This can be thought of as control and communication within the body. The endocrine system refers to glands in the body such as the adrenals, thyroid, hypothalamus, pituitary, pancreas, testes and ovaries. The hormones released by these glands circulate round the body and when they reach the target cell they cause a change in activity of that cell.
The nervous system uses electrical pulses to signal directly to muscles and other tissues or organs throughout the body. The nervous and endocrine systems are intimately connected and work in harmony as the control system of our amazing bodies. Neural signals produce instant responses, while hormonal messages tend to be slower from a few seconds to days, but the results are longer lasting.
Our bodies need the correct balance of nutrients to function well. If our individual needs are not met this can lead to health issues. Nutritional therapy can help to identify areas of nutritional imbalance and create and optimal, individual nutrition programme to improve your health and wellness.
This terms relates to the amount of toxins that can accumulate in the body, to explain the concept it is probably simpler to describe it in the context of an individuals detoxification ability. We can think of the detoxification system like a set of scales. On the one hand with have the toxic load that we impose; this can come from bad food choices, alcohol, environmental toxins, cigarette smoke and so on. On the other side are the resources that we need in order for the biotransformations to occur; these include antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. In addition, we need to make sure that the channels of elimination, which pass out the transformed toxins are also working well, these include the gastro-intestinal tract, the urinary tract and our skin. If the scales are tipped in favour of the toxic load or if the channels of elimination are blocked then dysfunction and imbalance will occur. So if you have a high toxic load you are putting an additional burden on your body’s detoxification ability.
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