Detox Part 5: Detoxification and Specific Conditions
Dr. Aaron Hartman
January 31, 2023
Now that we’ve talked about detoxification in general, today I’d like to dig in to some of the nuances of detoxification related to specific conditions.
In people with autoimmune issues, we know that symptoms will sometimes flare during the detoxification process. I often use supplements like buffered vitamin C or activated charcoal with these patients. These binding agents can help to bind toxins in the GI tract so that they can be expelled, which helps to minimize flares.
Diet can have a huge impact on autoimmune diseases. Eating a paleo diet, which is gluten, dairy, and soy free can be very effective in calming the immune response and also helps to minimize toxic burden. People with autoimmune diseases have to be careful not to trigger a flare during a detoxification protocol. They need to make sure they’re working with a skilled practitioner that can guide them through this.
In particular, with neurodegenerative issues like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, it’s important to make sure that digestion is working properly while detoxifying. If we work with a detoxifying protocol, but the person is not having regular bowel movements, it can cause something called enterohepatic circulation. This just means that toxins are being recycled instead of being excreted from the body.
So it’s really important to make sure our bowels are moving, so that we’re regularly taking out the trash instead of just reabsorbing it. I often see this in people with neurological issues, because they tend to have constipation. Regular bowel movements are really important for everyone, but especially when working with older patients with neurological conditions.
In many cases of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and even ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s, I see an intolerance to the bacteria in the GI tract, especially yeast. So in this population, I often focus on clearing yeast overgrowth using a sugar-free and gluten-free diet. Herbals can also help reduce yeast overgrowth as well. With these patients, I use specific tests to look for yeast antibodies, particularly Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies or Candida antibodies.
When patients have an overgrowth of these yeasts, we have to be careful in using herbals, because they can cause symptom flares due to yeast die-off. Buffered vitamin C, binders, and lipid therapy can be really helpful with this group to help with binding toxins so that they can be excreted without causing flares. Sometimes it is necessary to use medications to help with the yeast that’s affecting these patients. This inability to tolerate the bacteria in the gut is a common issue that I see in inflammatory bowel disease.
What would you like to learn next?
I hope this series on detoxification was helpful to you. If you enjoyed this information, please follow us on Instagram or Facebook, and let us know what topics you’d like to learn more about!
We’re working hard to educate, encourage, and empower people with the tools to maximize their health and well-being.
Take care and we’ll talk to you soon.
Since 2010, Richmond Integrative and Functional Medicine has been helping people to restore their health and hope with an integrative approach to conventional and alternative medicine that’s entirely science-backed. We at RIFM believe everyone is made for health. We offer a comprehensive, in-person patient membership program to ensure you get access to the care you need to thrive.
Don’t Miss Out
Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to know when Dr. Hartman posts a new article.