Detoxing is understood to be the metabolic, medical, or pharmacological process that involves the elimination of toxic elements for the body? Normally, in healthy people, detoxification is a metabolic process that takes place in the kidneys and liver, organs that are responsible for reducing the toxicity of substances produced by the body itself and eliminating them from it. This same word is also used to refer to the process by which an organism recovers its homeostasis; that is, it returns to being healthy after having consumed or been exposed to a toxic substance, voluntarily or involuntarily. This is the definition used in the field of medicine for people who have been intoxicated or suffer from addiction. Poisoning from organic problems can also occur, making it necessary to use antidotes, dialysis, liver, and kidney transplants.
Types of Detoxing
Since the definition of detox is very broad and is used in various fields of the health sciences, it is necessary to briefly explain some types of detoxification:
Metabolic detoxing: Due to the metabolic reactions that occur in our body, certain products of these are toxic and need to be treated to avoid causing damage to it. Through various physicochemical processes, such as reduction, oxidation, conjugation, and excretion, the body can reduce the toxicity of these substances and eliminate them.
Alcohol detox: Alcohol detoxification is the process by which alcohol is eliminated from the body of a person who consumes this substance in large quantities and frequently. It is a dangerous type of detoxing since the withdrawal syndrome in alcoholics can cause serious health problems and even death. For this reason, it must be controlled by professionals.
Detoxing from other drugs: The world of drugs is very broad, and for this reason, there are substances that, although their withdrawal syndrome is not pleasant, stopping them suddenly does not imply a serious health risk to the person. The treatment for the cessation of these substances must be carried out by professionals and typically resort to the use of antidotes that counteract the effects of the substance consumed and accelerate its elimination.
Detoxing the Liver
The liver, along with the kidneys, is the main organ involved in the detoxification of the body. Regardless of whether the person is detoxing from alcohol or drugs, the detoxification processes to achieve homeostasis and health are practically similar. Thanks to the liver’s action, detoxification naturally present in our body takes place through two phases, simply called phase 1 and phase 2 of detox.
Detox for Addiction
Detoxification is the first phase of addiction treatment, to which they are subjected immediately after being admitted to a rehabilitation center or starting therapy on their own feet. People with addiction problems need detoxification treatments, in which they will undergo pharmacological and psychological therapy that will help them to get rid of the drug to which they have become addicted. Not only does it imply overcoming physical dependence on one or more substances, but also motivating the person to move on and understand the difference between what is a psychological demand and what is an organic need. Detoxing of drugs or alcohol is understood to be the elimination of the substance from the patient’s body and achieve physical stability, without the body missing the harmful substance. This process must always be carried out under the supervision of professionals, especially doctors and psychiatrists, although the work of psychologists and the patient’s vision of their problems should never be ignored. The joint work of several professionals in the health sciences will favor the ability to control the symptoms of a withdrawal syndrome if it occurs. Doctors will prescribe drugs that help counteract the effects of the syndrome, in addition to helping the body achieve homeostasis. If there is a food intolerance or the condition is very serious, it is possible to resort to fluid therapy.
The evolution in the detox phase can be very significant and can even lead to radical changes. The first two days of treatment are crucial, and withdrawal symptoms are avoided by all means. With time, the patient becomes calmer, has a more hopeful and positive vision of the future, sleeps better, regains his appetite, and his general well-being is increased. Certain currents of alternative medicine and “healthy-style” movements ensure that they are capable of eliminating “toxins” from the body through very varied treatments, which can range from the use of herbs typical of traditional medicine to take from juices of all kinds to treatments in which electric or electromagnetic currents are applied. Since the liver and kidneys automatically detoxify the body and are responsible for eliminating materials that may harm the body, it does not make much sense to think that it is necessary to apply treatments that can hardly work and are not necessary.
Certain plants have been used for a long time in indigenous communities, and that has been linked to improvements in health. These include burdock root, Lewisia rediviva, and purslane, stimulating digestion and encouraging the liver to work. Some foods help the liver perform its function properly, such as cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage help the action of cytochrome P450 enzymes. So would vegetables that contain sulfites, such as onions and garlic. But in the same way that there are foods that would help in the detoxification process, there are others that their consumption can increase toxicity, especially if you are sensitive to alcohol. These foods include bread and fermented products. Also, foods rich in carbohydrates increase endogenous alcohol production. The fermented ones transform alcohol into acetaldehyde, damaging the intestinal flora and can cause chronic candidiasis.