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5-Step Healthy Gut Formula: Heal Leaky Gut Naturally

A healthy gut is a healthy person…..“All disease begins in the gut.” –Hippocrates

During the last fifty years, the average person’s health has been significantly challenged and weakened due to unhealthy food choices, poor food quality, depleted soils, antibiotic overuse, GMOs, NSAIDs, and altered gut bacteria. Many individuals are completely unaware that intestinal permeability and an unhealthy gut is the root cause of their health problems.  

Intestinal permeability aka leaky gut syndrome can be the very reason why you’re feeling fatigue, depressed, have so many food sensitivities, struggling to get rid of excess belly fat, experiencing weight loss resistance, skin problems, bloating and digestion problems, joint pain, malabsorption problems, nutrient deficiencies, thyroid dysfunction, autoimmune disorders, and many other chronic health complaints and complicated diseases. 

What is Leaky Gut? Leaky gut is a modern epidemic and a major cause of disease and dysfunction. The intestinal lining has tight junctions and acts as a barrier to prevent foreign particles passing into the bloodstream. The health and integrity of this lining is crucial to immune function and overall health. 

Leaky gut is a condition where microscopic holes occur in the lining of the small intestine, which results in undigested food, gluten, bacterial by-products, microbes (fungus, Candida, parasites, viruses), waste and toxins to weaken the tight junctions and actually “leak” into the bloodstream. Over time, these items accumulate and damage the intestinal lining. The immune system views this as a foreign invasion creating antibodies against its own tissues resulting in chronic inflammation and is linked several diseases including diabetes, IBS, IBD, eczema, chronic fatigue, autism, Alzheimer’s, asthma, heart disease and autoimmune disorders. If the resulting antibodies are attracted to the thyroid, we call it Hashimoto's thyroiditis. If antibodies are attracted to connective tissue, we call it Lupus; to skin tissue, psoriasis; nerve tissue, MS.

Leaky gut syndrome affects the brain too, and has been linked to psychological disorders such as anxiety, bi-polar and depression. In a study published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, approximately 35 percent of those who were depressed showed signs of leaky gut syndrome. 

The mechanisms that cause leaky gut are the same that cause leaky brain. The brain communicates with the gut via the enteric nervous system. The intestinal nervous system is wired back to your brain and cellular communication occurs between the two. When there’s communication problems from the gut to the brain or from the brain to the gut, health is compromised.

David Perlmutter, MD, Board-Certified Neurologist and author of Grain Brain says if his patients have brain problems, he always looks to the gut first. He believes no organ is more susceptible to the damaging effects of inflammation than the brain. Although the blood brain barrier protects it to some degree, if you have a leaky gut, you probably have a leaky blood brain barrier, which increases oxidation, chronic inflammation and an overactive immune system (three main killer insults) according to Mark Houston, MD.

Culprits that Weaken the GI System & Increase Intestinal Permeability

1. Gluten is the number one cause of leaky gut. Gluten activates zonulin, a protein that opens up the spaces between the cells of the intestinal lining. Gliadin, the protein found in wheat causes zonulin levels to increase, which results in leaky gut and leaky brain. The more zonulin in the blood, the more permeable the tight junctions of the GI lining become.

Other pro-inflammatory foods that are especially problematic and trigger leaky gut include wheat, unsprouted grains, sugar, processed foods, genetically modified foods, conventional animal protein and dairy, casein, and any particular food an individual may be sensitive to. Alessio Fasano, MD, a GI specialist and one of the world’s leading researchers in gluten and celiac disease says, “every time you eat wheat, you get a leaky gut…..EVERY TIME!

2. Glyphosate, GMOs, genetically-engineered foods, and pesticides

3. Infections (Candida, bacterial, fungal, parasites, viruses, mold, SIBO, HIV)

4. Environmental toxins, heavy metal toxicity, fluoride, chlorine

5. Dysbiosis, an altered microbiome and bacterial imbalances

6. Chronic physical, emotional & mental stress (adrenal dysfunction & exhaustion)

7. Medications, OTC & Rx drugs (overuse of antibiotics, antacids, PPIs, NSAIDs, aspirin, ibuprofen, pain meds, steroids) Birth control pills

8. HCL, bile and digestive enzyme insufficiency

9. Disruption of circadian rhythms and sleep problems

10. Poor liver function

11. Hormone deficiencies such as testosterone, thyroid, progesterone or estradiol

12. Underlying causes that drive chronic inflammation

13. Heavy drinking, alcohol abuse and alcoholism

14. Essential fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, B12 and other nutrient deficiencies

15. The Standard American Diet (SAD) and poor lifestyle choices

As a functional nutritionist, my philosophy is to determine the root cause of any health complaint or disorder and design a healing protocol with lifestyle modifications unique to each individual and slowly “peel the layers of the onion” to restore vibrant health. Oftentimes, there are many deep layers that must slowly be peeled away one by one for optimal and vibrant health restoration.

5-Step Formula for a Healthy Gut: How to Heal Leaky Gut

  1. Remove
  2. Repair
  3. Restore
  4. Replace
  5. Revolutionize

1. Remove inflammatory items that irritate and damage the gut and contribute to leaky gut syndrome. These include gluten, wheat, sugar, conventional animal protein, artificial sweeteners, dairy, soy, alcohol, pesticides and GMOs, carrageenan, lectins, antibiotics, NSAIDs, food sensitivities, contraceptives, antacids, vegetable oils, chronic stressors and heavy metal body burdens. Permanently avoiding these items as part of a healthier lifestyle works best for gut restoration and long-term health.  

Of primary importance is identifying the root cause so that healing and repair can occur. Rule out Candida, SIBO, fungal, parasite, bacterial and viral infections, H. pylori, heavy metal toxicity, and removing these infections from the body is crucial for the healing process to occur.

I recommend a Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis and Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) with Parasitology. The CDSA is a test that provides an extensive look at the health and function of your gut. It evaluates microbiota, levels of healthy gut flora (bacteria balance & imbalances), detects underlying pathogens, parasites, fungi, Candida, bacterial, maldigestion and malabsorption, inflammation, immune function (sIgA), short chain fatty acid status & other biomarkers of GI health. Contact my office to order the CDSA.

2. Repair. Critical to the success of healing leaky gut is repairing the intestinal mucosa. Omit the irritating and inflammatory factors (see list above under “Remove”). 

Supplemental nutrients to support, repair and heal the gut may include L-glutamine, hydrochloric acid (HCl), bile salts, pancreatic or digestive enzymes, probiotics, licorice root (DGL), N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), curcumin, bioflavonoids such as quercetin, essential fatty acids, slippery elm, aloe vera, Butyric Cal:Mag, alpha lipoic acid (R-ALA), and zinc carnosine. If an infection is identified, a specific diet and healing regimen must be followed for a specific length of time.

3. Restore. Eat organic foods as much as possible. This especially applies to all animal protein and the EWG’s “dirty dozen” fruits & veggies. Restore gut function with homemade bone broth, coconut products, grass-fed and pastured-raised meats, organic veggies and leafy greens, healing fats, fermented veggies, probiotics, and nutrients specific to the individual. 

Minimizing stress is crucial in gut restoration and may include yoga, dantian Qi gong, breathing exercises, meditation, music therapy, nature walks, biofeedback, spending time with animals, journaling, aromatherapy, or using the Inner Balance App, which helps you change your reaction to stress, gain insights into your shifting moods and create a more positive outlook on life. More Stress-LESS Solutions

4. Replace. Eat nutrient-dense food and drink clean water. Supplement appropriately with Probiotics, hydrochloric acid (HCl), bile salts, pancreatic or digestive enzymes. Correct nutrient deficiencies or excesses (unique to each person) that can be identified through a functional blood chemistry analysis and functional health assessment.

5. Revolutionize. Of primary importance, and often neglected in healing leaky gut is addressing the underlying causes, prioritizing a healthy gut as a lifestyle (and, not reverting back to unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits), and managing and minimizing various sources of stress (emotional, physical, mental, lifestyle, environmental, spiritual and climate exposure). Making dietary and lifestyle changes that support a healthier gut needs to be an ongoing permanent lifestyle change. 

You can eat the healthiest, organic foods, move your body and meditate every day, and take all the supplements in the world, but if you’re in a miserable, unfulfilling relationship or there’s deep underlying emotional pain that has not been dealt with, healing, inner peace, happiness, a healthy gut and vibrant health will evade you. “Doing your work” to heal, surrender and release the deeper components of underlying stress is a must for gut restoration, cellular healing, and optimal health.

The holistic healing process for gut health can take as little as 6 weeks or as long as a few months or ongoing for life for those with an autoimmune disease. As the layers of healing unfold, unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices are replaced with healthier options, and health is restored, the amount of toxins dumped into the bloodstream lessen, toxic load decreases, nutrient absorption improves, organ function improves, the integrity of the intestinal lining heals, energy levels increase, and vibrant health and quality of life is inevitably experienced. Thumbs up

Schedule a free-15 minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world via telephone and Skype and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. I will identify the root cause of any underlying health issue and design a healing plan specific to your unique biochemistry so you can heal, restore your health and look and feel better than ever.

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Copyright © Paula Owens. All Rights Reserved.

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Healthy Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

Refuel and energize with this healthy, delicious and nutritious pumpkin protein smoothie. You can always substitute the PurePaleo protein with a vegetarian option too! The kids will love this too – just omit the maca powder and instead add frozen banana chunks. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

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Copyright © Paula Owens. All rights reserved.

Natural Remedies for Dry, Cracked Heels

The appearance of your skin, including the skin on your feet is a reflection of what’s going on internally with your health. Dry, cracked heels are an indication that your body is out of balance, not an indication that you need an expensive foot cream or a pedicure. Dry, cracked heels are a very common problem that can be embarrassing and unsightly, and easily remedied. When I taught yoga years ago and even nowadays when I attend classes, I can tell you there’s no shortage of folks with dry, cracked heels and crusty feet. Fortunately, there are simple remedies that will result in smooth, happy, healthy feet.

Remedies for Dry, Cracked Heels & Happy, Healthy Feet

  1. Nutrient deficiencies, specifically essential fatty acid deficiencies and lack of quality fats in the diet is often the primary culprit of dry, cracked heels. Other common nutrient deficiencies that can also contribute to dry, cracked heels include zinc, vitamin A and B vitamin deficiencies. 
  2. Start with your diet: increase daily intake of healthy fats including coconut oil, pastured butter, grass-fed meats, fatty fish (sardines with the bones, wild salmon), extra virgin olive oil, egg yolks, avocado, nuts and seeds. Supplement with only high-quality EFAs that includes GLA such as EFA Sirt Supreme, a blend of DHA, EPA and GLA. Prevent dehydration and drink plenty of clean (non-fluoridated, non-chloridated) water daily.
  3. Dry, cracked heels (and toenail fungus) can be linked to yeast overgrowth, Candida, fungal and bacterial infections. If this is the case, the infection must be addressed and treated properly, and prioritize attention on healing the gut.
  4. Eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, thyroid disorders, pre-diabetes and diabetes, and kidney disease can also cause cracked heels. It’s important to identify the root cause.
  5. Dry brush your feet including the bottoms prior to showering. Use a pumice stone, loofa or soft or dry foot brush every day before showering to gently exfoliate the top layers of dead skin.
  6. If fungus is the problem, aside from following a Candida healing protocol, soaking feet in warm water with 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/4 cup magnesium oil or 1 cup Epsom salts for 10-15 minutes two to three times per week can be very helpful. Add 30-50 drops of liquid iodine forte and either 4-5 drops tea tree oil or 4-5 drops of oregano oil. Dry feet thoroughly afterwards.
  7. Moisturize your feet. Before bed, rub a mixture of coconut oil, raw shea butter or castor oil (hexane-free), a few of sprays of magnesium oil, aloe vera gel and a couple of drops of lavender or myrrh oil into your feet. Wear a pair of light socks. If a fungal infection is the root cause, add liquid iodine forte, tea tree or oregano oil to the mixture.
  8. Exfoliate feet with a with a mixture of sea salt, baking soda, coconut oil and your favorite essential oil such as frankincense, calendula, lavender, myrrh.
  9. Do you experience tired, achy feet? Soak them in a foot bath with a few drops of peppermint oil combined with ACV and Epsom salts or magnesium oil and baking soda to relieve and relax tired, worn feet. Dry thoroughly and afterwards massage feet with coconut oil, olive oil or castor oil and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Topical aloe vera, jojoba oil and vitamin E also have excellent soothing, healing and moisturizing properties.
  10. Enjoy a reflexology massage. It's one of my favorite ways to indulge in a little R&R. There are reflex areas on the feet that correspond to every limb, organ and gland of the body. When pressure is applied to these specific points, it stimulates the corresponding limb, organ or gland.
  11. Foot roll out and self-myofascial release. Stand on an avocado pit or golf ball as you apply gentle pressure on the tender trigger points of your feet to release knots, tight and tangled fascia, and restricted and blocked energy. Especially beneficial when done consistently.
  12. Keep your feet and nails groomed. Be aware of nail salons that do not practice proper hygiene and disinfection techniques to avoid bacterial infections.

Apply the above remedies consistently and in just 4-6 weeks you’ll notice a drastic improvement in the appearance of your heels.

Schedule a free-15 minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world via telephone and Skype and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. I will identify the root cause of any underlying health issue and design a healing plan specific to your unique biochemistry so you can heal, restore your health and look and feel better than ever.

Copyright © Paula Owens. All rights reserved.

Please note that all content on this blog is copyright © Paula Owens and may NOT be used, reproduced or copied without expressed written permission. You may cite with an author credit for personal use. Reproduction of any article found on Paula Owens’ blog may be shared and are permissible ONLY when instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.

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Want More Energy? Tips to Boost Energy & Fight Fatigue

Nearly 80 percent of Americans admit they feel tired or exhausted all the time, experience too much stress, low energy and fatigue. Many mistakenly associate it with getting older. Contrary to popular belief, low energy, fatigue and even weight gain, memory loss, and aches and pains are not inevitable consequences of aging and getting older.

Low energy and fatigue are symptoms that your body and life are out of balance; and may also be signs of a deeper, underlying health problem. Low energy affects everything including relationships, motivation, mood, workout and job performance.

Men, women, teens, even young kids rely on and are addicted to stimulants such as sugar, energy drinks (that are laced with sugar, artificial sweeteners, pesticides, contaminated water and toxic chemicals), psycho-stimulating OTC and Rx drugs, and an excessive intake of caffeinated beverages in an attempt to boost energy. In reality, all of these provide a false sense of energy.

Everything is energy. Our energy is affected by the foods and beverages we consume; the activities we do; places, people and things we spend time and surround ourselves with; hormone levels; feelings and thoughts we experience; underlying infections and health disorders; the music we listen to; and things in our environment that we take in knowingly and unknowingly.

It’s important to realize that the reason your sister, co-worker, friend or anyone for that matter is experiencing fatigue may be completely different than the root cause of your low energy.

Below you’ll find several tips that will turn your energy around 180°. Select one or two bullet points from the list. Commit to put forth determined and dedicated action into those one or two items and notice how you feel. Next week add one or two more items from the list.

Increase Energy & End Fatigue in mind, body & spirit with the four powers: Real Food, a Healthy Lifestyle, Intelligent Exercise & Quality Supplemental Nutrients

Let Food Be Your Medicine

  • Stabilize blood sugar. Avoid long periods of time between meals or skipping meals. Choose nutrient-dense, real food at every meal and avoid carb-heavy, sugary- and chemically-filled processed foods and beverages that’ll leave you exhausted, undernourished and unsatiated.
  • Eat a protein-rich breakfast and lunch (whole eggs, wild fish, poultry, red meat, wild meat, grass-fed, full-fat yogurt, some protein powders). Amino acids found in protein stabilize blood sugar, fuel your brain, activate feel-good neurotransmitters, increase drive, energy and alertness.
  • Avoid energy-zappers: sugar, soda, energy drinks, gluten, wheat, grains including whole grains, GMOs, sugar-filled fruity yogurts and all processed, fake foods that zap energy, increase inflammation (and your waist line), spike insulin, intensify cravings, and deplete the adrenals.
  • Dehydration is one of the first signs of fatigue. Drink a minimum of half your weight in water to insure optimal oxygenation to tissues by building blood volume.
  • Balance electrolytes. Add a pinch of Himalayan or unprocessed sea salt to water. Low sodium can cause fatigue, especially during hot weather and increased sweating.
  • Sip on green, oolong, black, white or yerba mate tea before 2pm for energy. Use caffeine wisely. Too much caffeine provides false energy, stimulates the adrenals, negatively affects sleep and amplifies anxiety.
  • Poorly planned vegan or vegetarian diets directly affect energy levels and are often deficient in amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and vital nutrients including zinc and B12. 
  • Detox to decrease your toxic load. Over time, toxins accumulate, which are a direct cause of fatigue and lack of energy.
  • Identify hidden food sensitivities. Eating inflammatory foods your body’s sensitive to will leave you feeling exhausted and tired. If one feels better with meals, it’s usually due to blood sugar imbalances and hypoglycemia. If one feels worse after meals, this can be a symptom of eating the very foods that your body’s sensitive to. 
  • Follow the real food principles found in The Power of 4 and Fat Loss Revolution.
Lifestyle
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Sleep deprivation is detrimental to overall health, negatively affects the adrenals and other hormones, depresses immunity, increases cravings and belly fat, risk of depression, dementia and hypertension.
  • Run functional lab tests to rule out anemia and co-factor anemia, underlying viruses (Epstein-Barr, CMV, hepatitis), autoimmune disorders, infections (parasites, bacterial, fungi, mycotoxins, Candida), toxic load, IgG food sensitivities and toxic heavy metals. Contact my office.
  • Identify nutrient deficiencies (i.e. iron; B12, vitamin D, magnesium, amino acids). It can take weeks or months for a specific vitamin or mineral deficiency to eventually present itself. You’ll notice a huge change in your energy, especially if you’re supplementing with a particular nutrient you’re deficient in.
  • Address hormone imbalances, specifically adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroid and low testosterone.
  • Optimize digestion and healthy gut function. Rule out malabsorption issues (gastritis, SIBO, leaky gut, Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, GI inflammation) and underlying infections (Candida, parasites, fungi, bacterial, mycotoxins) that drain your body of energy. Contact my office.
  • Poor posture can amplify fatigue due to the bodies unnecessary expenditure of energy to keep the body erect.
  • Unplug. Take a digital detox. Addiction to electromagnetic stressors (cell phones, iPads, computers, TV) trigger fatigue, tiredness, disrupt sleep, increase psychological stress, hormone problems, symptoms of depression, anxiety and mental health problems
  • Go outside. Enjoy nature. Get you daily dose of vitamin D from the sun
  • Put an end to multi-tasking, endless commitments and filling your life with noise, non-stop busyness and chaos that only makes the soul more distressed. Schedule less. Your adrenals will thank you
  • Address emotional depression and psychological stressors. Chronic stress is draining and depletes energy and the adrenals. Emotions and lifestyle choices affect ever cell in our body, impacting biochemistry and overall health. Stress-less   
  • Support and love your liver. Reduce toxic load with these simple detox tips safe enough to do every day.
  • Beware of your thoughts and how you speak. Change “I’m soooo tired” to “It’s a great day to be alive. I’m feeling energized and alert.” Thoughts transmit an invisible energy that have a profound affect your mental and physical well-being.
  • Be mindful of who and what you surround yourself with. If a certain activity or person drains your energy, have the discipline to eliminate that activity or person from your life.
  • Apply feng shui principles to your home and work environment.
  • Observe and notice (without judgment) what sucks the life out of you and drains your energy versus what lifts you up, makes you feel good and elevates your energy.
  • Read something positive every night. Listen to something inspiring every morning.
  • Meditation sustains energy. Aim for at least 5-10 minutes in the morning and again in the evening.
  • Aromatherapy. Energizing essential oils include lemon, peppermint, Rosemary, bergamot, orange
  • Consider alternative therapies: chiropractic, EFT, Reiki, reflexology, massage, acupressure and acupuncture.
  • Listen to your favorite music. Music is a natural healer proven to release dopamine and lower cortisol.
  • Follow the lifestyle principles found in The Power of 4 and Fat Loss Revolution.
Exercise
  • Walk every day. Hippocrates said it best, "Walking is a man's best medicine."
  • Sit less. Stand more. Take a stretch break or a brisk walk. Bounce on a mini trampoline, do periodic posture checks, sun salutations, the 5-Tibetan rites, squats, pushups, lunges, jumping jacks or jump rope to get the blood circulating and energy flowing.
  • Practice mindful breathing techniques that will revitalize and energize every cell in your body. I used to teach these techniques and many others in seminars that I taught, and the shift in energy was so evident: Breath of fire (strong inhale with forceful exhale through the nose); energy breathing; breath walking; or alternate nostril breathing (activates both hemispheres of the brain).
  • Instead of long, slow distance endurance-style cardio, opt for shorter, smarter and more efficient workouts such as those found in Fat Loss Revolution.
  • Avoid excessive exercise, which will exhaust the adrenals. Clinical Pearl: Increased fatigue the day after exercise indicates vitamin B deficiency.
  • Yoga, Tai Chi, stretching, meditative walks, the 5-Tibetan rites and Qi Gong promote internal energy, release blocked energy and dissolve physical and emotional tension. Yoga asanas such as backbends and sun salutations are stimulating and energizing.
  • Start your day with the energizing 5 Tibetan Rites, exercises used by Tibetan monks to live long, vibrant and healthy lives. The Tibetans claim that these exercises activate and stimulate the seven key chakras, which stimulate all the glands of the endocrine system. The 5 Tibetan rites are performed in a specific sequence. Start off with 5 reps of the 5 poses every day, then each week add 2 until the goal of 21 is reached. Breathe deeply and fully using your diaphragm inhaling through the nose when the body raises and exhale through the mouth as you return to start position. Take 2 energizing breaths between each rite. The benefits of consistently practicing the 5 Tibetan rites include more energy, less stress, increased chi, calm, clarity and flexibility, better sleep and better posture.
  • Need a little energy boost before your workout? Lie on your back on a firm surface (not a cushy carpet). Tuck your knees in toward your chest and wrap your arms around your shins. Rock ‘n roll on your spine from the tailbone to the upper spine 10-20 times.
  • Follow the exercise and workout principles found in The Power of 4 and Fat Loss Revolution.
Supplements
  • Optimize vitamin D, magnesium and B-vitamin status. Consider supplemental support such as B12 and other B-vitamins, HCL with digestive enzymes, L-carnitine, CoQ10, amino acids, probiotics, essential fatty acids and R-alpha lipoic acid.
  • Be aware of the negative side effects from OTC and prescription drugs.
  • Adaptogens help restore harmony and balance, and work uniquely to improve the entire body’s resistance to stress, not just one particular system or organ and normalize imbalances. Some of my favorite adaptogens for fighting the effects of fatigue and boosting energy are ginseng, Rhodiola rosea and ashwagandha. Avoid adaptogens during pregnancy, breastfeeding or if taking any other medications. Rhodiola can be stimulating and cause insomnia in sensitive people.
  • Be smart. Always seek the professional guidance from a functional health practitioner to determine an ideal protocol for your unique biochemistry. 

The higher your energy level is, the more efficient your body is and the better you feel. Have a happy, healthy, energizing day!

Schedule a free-15 minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world via telephone or Skype and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. I will determine the root cause of any underlying imbalances and design a custom lifestyle plan and protocol for healing and restoration of health so you can live a healthy, vibrant, energizing life.

Copyright © Paula Owens. All Rights Reserved.

Please note that all content on this blog is copyright © Paula Owens and may NOT be used, reproduced or copied without expressed written permission. You may cite with an author credit for personal use. Reproduction of any article found on Paula Owens’ blog may be shared and are permissible ONLY when instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.

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Safe & Effective Methods to Detox Heavy Metals

Part 2 of 2. Heavy Metal Toxicity Part 2 covers dietary and lifestyle preventative measures to reduce heavy metal exposure and the risk of heavy metal toxicity, plus safe and effective methods to detox heavy metals.

Read Part 1Heavy Metal Toxicity: Sources, Signs and Symptoms

*** It’s imperative to identify the source of toxins and reduce the toxin intake and exposure. It’s also important to realize that people are either slow detoxifiers or fast detoxifiers. The process of eliminating heavy metals is extremely important, can be rather challenging and can take several months to remove and clear toxic metals safely and effectively. It should never be a rushed process. It’s important that you’re properly nourished, have healthy functioning adrenals and healthy liver function before starting any chelation method or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional whom is versed in heavy metal detoxification for support in identifying toxic metals and guidance in removing them.

Below you’ll find safe, natural and effective methods to remove toxic metals, along with dietary and lifestyle tips to minimize heavy metal exposure, and supplemental support to reduce heavy metal body burdens.

Safe and Effective Methods to Detox Heavy Metals

Diet – food is medicine

  • The nutrient quality of your diet has a significant influence in modifying the response to toxic-element exposure. Eat anti-inflammatory foods, drink clean, filtered water, grass-fed, pasture-raised and organically-grown foods as much as possible.
  • Chlorophyll- and fiber-rich foods: Leafy greens, dark green veggies, artichoke, asparagus, broccoli sprouts and herbs especially cilantro and parsley. Daily green smoothies are key detoxifiers.

Cilantro is an especially effective and gentle detoxifing chelator of lead, mercury and other toxic heavy metals and other toxic contaminants. One study demonstrated rapid removal of aluminum and lead from the skeleton and brain with cilantro was superior to any known other detox agent. “Cilantro is probably the only effective agent in mobilizing mercury stored in the intracellular space and the nucleus of the cell.” ~D. Klinghardt, M.D.

  • Foods high in sulfur. These include egg yolks, garlic, onions, horseradish, cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, kale, cilantro, collards, watercress, radish, turnips
  • Cysteine-rich foods that create metallothionine: chicken, turkey and duck, egg yolks, whey protein, raw dairy, garlic and onions
  • Pectins in citrus such as lemons, lime and grapefruit naturally chelate heavy metals without depleting important trace minerals.
  • Adequate protein, especially animal protein is necessary for detoxification. Pasture-raised (not conventional) animal protein detoxifies heavy metals from the body naturally by supplying sulfur-containing amino acids, which support liver detoxification pathways and help chelate toxic metals.
  • Spices, especially turmeric. It contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and healing remedy for the liver and kidneys.
  • Avoid canned foods, processed, fast and fake foods.
  • Avoid rice and wheat, which often contain heavy metals. 
  • Do not use table salt. Instead use unprocessed sea salt or Himalayan salt.
  • Educate yourself on which fish and seafood are safest. Avoid albacore tuna, shark and swordfish. Women who ate fish more than once a week have 4.5 times the risk of toxic body burdens. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, especially avoid or restrict mercury-heavy fish, including tuna.
  • Strengthen your body’s immune system through diet and correction of any nutritional deficiencies so that it can resist metal toxins.

Lifestyle

  • Strengthen and support the liver, gallbladder and kidneys.
  • Optimize digestion and healthy gut function.
  • If you have mercury fillings, consider removal by a biological dentist only.
  • Switch to organic and natural personal care products including cosmetics, lotions, toothpaste and deodorants. A study by University of California found lead, aluminum, cadmium and other toxic metals in lipsticks and lip glosses.
  • If you work in an environment where you are exposed to heavy metals (pottery, plumbing, painting, battery manufacture, landscaper and other occupations.…read part 1), shower or at least wash your hands and face at work and change your clothes there. Wash your work clothes separately. Keep your work shoes outside.
  • Detox bath: Soak in a tub of Epsom salts, baking soda and Bentonite clay.
  • Dry skin brushing before showering encourages lymph flow that helps to flush toxins from the body.
  • Honor the importance of sleep and rest. Extra rest and sleep is critical for any detoxification program.
  • Identify your personal and unique nutrient deficiencies. Dietary deficiencies of calcium, iron, and zinc enhance the effects of lead on cognitive and behavioral development. Iron and zinc deficiencies are associated with increased gastrointestinal toxic metal absorption.
  • Sweating encourages elimination of toxins and accumulated toxic metals. Saunas and daily exercise. 
  • Addressing and resolving psycho-emotional trauma increases the excretion of heavy metals.
  • If you vaccinate, make sure you get thimerosol-free (no mercury) vaccines.
  • Daily bowel regularity is essential in chelating toxic metals and any detoxification program.
  • If you’re planning to become pregnant, both the father and mom-to-be have a high relative risk of elevated levels of lead, mercury and PCBs. Identifying and ruling out toxic metal body burdens prior to becoming pregnant is not only smart, it’s crucial for both the mother, father to-be and the health of the baby. Today, all children are born with some toxic metals acquired in utero. All the toxic metals pass through the placenta from mother to child. This is seen clearly when reviewing mineral analyses of infants. These are babies who have never been exposed to food, yet their bodies are loaded with many toxic metals. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), 60,000 American children are born every year with neurological problems caused by prenatal exposure to methyl mercury compounds.
  • Take control of your water supply. Install water filters in your home.
  • Identify and rule out Candida and parasites. Dying fungi/yeasts may release vast amounts of previously bound mercury. 
  • Keep young kids away from imported candy and don’t let them chew on wrappers or gift wrap.
  • Switch to natural household cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda, castile soap. 
  • Avoid aluminum and iron cookware. Instead use ceramic or stainless steel.
  • If you smoke, quit. Avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Reduce stress. Activate the parasympathetic nervous system and inhibit the sympathetic branch. Stress of any kinds slows down the detoxification process. Stress-Less Solutions

Nutritional supplement support (Quality matters) 

***Supplemental support for chelating heavy metals will be different for each and every individual and also different for specific metals. Chelation means metal binding. Many chelating agents also remove vital minerals, so these minerals must be replaced to avoid nutrient deficiencies.

  • Digestive enzymes with HCL to adequately break down protein and facilitate proper mineral  and nutrient absorption.
  • Lipoic Acid is a potent antioxidant that supports the body’s own pathways of elimination and boosts glutathione levels. Increase glutathione with grass-fed whey protein, alpha lipoic acid (R-ALA), N-acetyl-choline and methylation nutrients, vitamins B6, B12 and folate to assist in breaking down toxic metals so they can be eliminated by the body.
  • Chlorella, a single cell algae sea vegetable that grows in fresh water is a food-grade natural chelating agent. Chlorella works synergistically with cilantro as it has better binding properties. Chlorella can cause side effects in some people. Always start with the lowest quantity and highest quality form of chlorella as many sources of chlorella contain contaminants and metals. Biotics in-house phytochemistry lab certifies that their Chlorella is free of contaminants, heavy metals and bacteria.
  • Not all fish oil is healthy. Supplement with only high-grade quality omega-3 fish oil such as EFA Sirt Supreme, which is void of PCBs, soybean oil and toxic metals.
  • Optimize the balance of intestinal flora with probiotics. Once again, quality matters. 
  • Optimize vitamin D levels
  • Supplemental support and the choice of which ones to use to gently remove toxic metals will vary for every single individual and may include one or more of the following: garlic, Porphyra-Zyme, HM Chelate, Metal X Synergy, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA), N-acetyl-choline (NAC), Pectasol, Taurine, Melatonin, Methylguard or Methylfolate, Curcumin (Meriva-SR), Vitamin C and chlorella. I cannot stress the importance that supplemental quality is crucial and support is specific and unique to each individual’s biochemistry.
  • Avoid low-quality supplements and some protein powders as they contain metals and other less than desirable ingredients.
  • Many calcium and other mineral products are contaminated with lead. It is best to avoid calcium derived from sources such as bonemeal, dolomite, oyster shell or coral calcium.
  • Because of the health risks associated with high levels of iron, all men and women over age 40 should have their iron and ferritin levels checked. Excess iron is a PRO-oxidant, a free radical initiator that accelerates the aging process, causes cognitive dysfunction and increases glycation. Symptoms of iron overload may include high levels of toxic heavy metals, lack of energy, joint pain, diminished sex drive, abdominal pain, memory and heart problems.
  • Bentonite clay and food-grade diatomaceous earth mixed with water and taken before bedtime can be consumed internally to safely remove heavy metals, harmful bacteria, yeast, fungus and viruses, pesticides and other toxins.
  • Accumulation of toxic metals in the body is more problematic when other essential minerals are deficient. Identify and correct nutrient deficiencies, Balance Body Chemistry with Nutrition through the Blood Chemistry Analysis.
  • Many chelating supplements and agents (EDTA and DMSA) also remove vital minerals, so these vital minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iodine, iodide and selenium must be replaced to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Magnesium is one of the most vital and health-giving nutrients.  It’s involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and has been shown to have a wide variety of benefits against metal carcinogenesis risk factors. Avoid magnesium deficiency at all costs.
  • The above suggestions are adequate to detox heavy metals from the majority of individuals. However, there are other chelating processes such as suppositories, stronger chelating agents and IV therapy (which can be quite expensive and should only be administered by top-notch, experienced practitioners).

***The process of eliminating the source of exposure to heavy metals and  detoxing heavy metals is very important, can be rather challenging and can take months to remove them safely and effectively. It should never be a rushed process. Always see the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional whom is versed in heavy metal detoxification to support you in identifying toxic metals as well as removing them.

The Healing Crisis. During the process of detoxing heavy metals, many individuals may experience what is called a healing crisis where they feel worse before better. Symptoms may include frequent bowel movements, headaches, fatigue, nausea, GI issues, dizziness or skin breakouts. Emotional and mental symptoms often occur as well such as feelings of depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia or mood swings. These symptoms will subside. Honor the process of detoxification: be patient and gentle with yourself, value rest, get more sleep and listen to your body.

Schedule a free-15 minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world via telephone or Skype and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. I will determine the root cause of any health problem and design a lifestyle plan and protocol so you can heal, restore your health and live a vibrant life.

Copyright © Paula Owens. All rights reserved.

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