Elson M. Haas, M.D. practices Integrated Medicine and is founder and director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin, San Rafael, CA. He writes and lectures extensively on topics relating to Preventive Medicine, Nutrition, and Detoxification.
Some of the reasons to begin a detox program include when you experience congestive problems, are having regular headaches, or when your allergies are acting up. Another good time to start would be when your blood pressure is getting too high and your cholesterol is rising.
Haas points out that there are various levels of detoxification, everything from juice cleanses to changing your diet in certain ways that allow your detoxification to begin. Even drinking more water and getting more exercise help.
The regimen you follow will greatly depend on your level of toxicity such as when going through a substance abuse program, or doing a detox as part of your regular preventative health care. Note, however, care should be taken to insure a safe and effective removal of toxins. Detoxification therapy programs, particularly for substance abuse, should be followed only after a consultation with a qualified health care provider. Pregnant women, convalescents, diabetics, hypoglycemics, people with mental health problems, those with metabolic imbalances, and people taking medications should not undertake a cleansing program unsupervised.
Proper Testing for Toxins
There are a few simple and inexpensive tests used to determine the levels of toxicity in the body. Tests can involve analysis of stool, urine, blood or liver function, as well as hair analysis. However, doctors who are not familiar with detoxification may be reluctant to perform such tests. Some of the most useful standard testing options include:
Glucose tolerance test (GTT or blood-sugar test)
This test measures the blood level of glucose, the most important sugar in the body.
SMA-24 blood test (Sequential Multiple Analyzer)
This is the standard blood test and should always be done on an empty stomach.
Testing should always be done by a physician and be preceded by a complete and thorough medical history since certain symptoms are early warning signs of what later may be a serious health condition.