Naturopathic detoxification involves a protocol that includes but goes beyond fasting, saunas, and exercise. Our detoxification program includes dietary, oral, and intravenous methods of removing the body burden of inorganic toxins (eg heavy metals) and organic toxins (eg pesticides, solvents, environmental senstivities, etc).
A Remarkable Combination of Therapies for Detoxification and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, and Other Chronic Diseases
Heather had suffered from severe chronic pain and fatigue since coming to Vancouver from Asia over 5 years ago. The pain in her legs was so severe that most days she could not get out of bed until the mid-afternoon. She also noted that she seemed to be allergic to almost everything she came in contact with, including perfumes from co-workers. Her family doctor couldn't find a cause. She did note that her symptoms seemed to build gradually over the years. Heather was later diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, with no known cause.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other chronic diseases such as the so-called auto-immune diseases, vascular and heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and arthritis have been on the rise. They are the number one reason that patients seek care from their doctor for.
On evaluation of Heather's case, a test for the body burden of toxic heavy metals found extremely high levels of both mercury and lead. Allergy testing in the blood was inconclusive, but reactions to many substances and chemicals were clearly in the history.
Based on the lab results and history, a safe, aggressive medical detoxification protocol was started. After approximately 60% of the treatments were completed, Heather achieved a threshold in which much of the pain was relieved. Fatigue had improved much earlier, and now she could wake earlier, and avoid falling asleep after each meal. She noted that on low-pressure weather days, previously not being able to get out of bed, she could now function relatively pain-free.
All toxins can be classified as inorganic (toxic heavy metals and transition metals), organic (pesticides, solvents, cigarette-related toxins), or biological (allergies, low-grade hidden infections). The non-biological toxins are cleared by the liver, but unfortunately can overload and excessively burden this organ. Infections can be a toxic foci, which until treated, will continue to cause chronic disease such as arthritis or heart disease. Allergies can be improved by decreasing the reactivity of the immune system. Occasionally toxins burden the system and symptoms of fatigue, skin eruptions, and muscle pain can manifest.
Our combination of detoxification therapies is comprehensive in that toxic metals are pulled out of the tissues and excreted (intravenous chelation therapy), organic toxins are neutralized, low-grade infections are treated (mega-dose vitamin C therapy or oxidative medicine), and the liver, kidneys, and lymphatic system are stimulated while being supported. Occasionally a temporary low-allergen diet may be necessary in some patients.
Chelation therapy has been used widely as an alternative treatment for cardiovascular disease. It is becoming increasingly recognized that its benefit comes largely from the detoxification of free-radical generating heavy metals. Therapy may involve the administration of intravenous EDTA, intravenous DMPS, or oral DMSA, depending on the metals present. It is an incredibly safe therapy that removes the body's burden of lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and aluminum amongst others.
The detoxification of organic toxins has benefits beyond the removal of these foreign materials. One of the main benefits is that the immune system is re-educated, with a re-balancing of the system and less tendency to allergy. Plasma cells that produce allergy-promoting IgE are oxidatively stressed and replaced by younger, healthier cells that do not release the allergic IgE. Furthermore, an increase of energy is often noted early in treatment because of an indirect increase in a molecule called 2,3-DPG, which improves the release of oxygen from red blood cells. Some doctors prefer to use intravenous mega-dose vitamin C while others prefer medical-grade hydrogen peroxide for similar treatments.
Support of liver detoxification comes from recognizing the biochemistry of natural detoxification in this organ. A medical food called Ultra-Clear is used to balance and stimulate what we call Phase I reactions and Phase II reactions. After 2-3 cycles of this medical food, liver detoxification function is restored, especially after the total body burden of toxins has been drastically lowered.
In conclusion, if a patient has a history of chronic toxin exposure, such as from smoking, or has a chronic degenerative disease, detoxification will be an important component of a comprehensive treatment plan. Stimulation of the body's natural healing ability most often involves removing these toxic obstacles to cure; thus medical detoxification becomes a direct, effective treatment.
Signs that detoxification may improve your health or treat your chronic disease:
·Chronic fatigue without improvement from sleep
·Chronic generalized pains in the muscles and the joints
·Recurrent vascular headaches, cluster headaches, migraines
·History of toxin exposure such as cigarette smoke
·Previous benefit from milder detoxification programs
Immunological diseases which indicate candidates for this treatment:
·So-called "auto-immune diseases"
·Seasonal and food allergies
·Candida related complex
·Chronic infections (including Chlamydia-associated heart disease)
·Eczema, psoriasis, other skin lesions
Evidence for role of infections in "auto-immune" diseases, heart disease (only a few of many more):
·Assessment of systemic inflammation and infective pathogen burden in patients with cardiac syndrome X.
Am J Cardiol. 2004 Jul 1;94(1):40-4.
·High prevalence of Chlamydia pneumoniae seropositivity in Mexican patients with ischemic heart disease.
Arch Med Res. 2004 Jul-Aug;35(4):318-23.
·The prevalence of Mycoplasma fermentans in patients with inflammatory arthritides.
Rheumatology (Oxford). 2001 Dec;40(12):1355-8.
·Mycoplasma fermentans in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthritides.
J Rheumatol. 2000 Dec;27(12):2747-53.
Evidence for detoxification improving risk factors and healing chronic disease (brief examples of many):
·[Leaded gasoline and cancer mortality]
Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1976 Apr 10;106(15):503-6.
·Association between malignant tumors of the thyroid gland and exposure to environmental protective and risk factors.
Rev Environ Health. 2000 Jul-Sep;15(3):337-58.
·Organophosphorus ester-induced chronic neurotoxicity. Arch Environ Health. 2003 Aug;58(8):484-97. Review.