Our bodies generally do a good job of ridding us of toxins, but when our health is compromised, a buildup can occur. If you add the toxic impact of chemotherapy and/or radiation, helping your body detox can become even more important.
Toxic buildup can cause bloating, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, muscle aches and a suppressed immune system. Because our lymphatic system plays a big role in removing toxins from the body, an overload of toxins can also potentially increase the side effects of lymphedema.
So what can you do to help your body detox? Once chemotherapy and radiation are finished and these important treatments have done their work, you can start doing the work of helping clear yourself of the toxic residue that can accumulate.
A great deal of information exits about various cleanses and detox products and therapies. Be cautious. Not all detox therapies are advisable. It's also important to make sure you're strong enough to do any type of cleanse. Consult with your physician or naturopath before using any product that aims to detox your body. You might find it necessary to wait weeks or even months to begin anything large scale.
Until then, however, there are still a few things you can do to help:
Water is the most natural way to detox your body. Use filtered or purified water, and keep your water intake up throughout the entire day. The ideal amount of water is at least 60 oz per day, and pacing that out rather than gulping down huge quantities in a couple of sittings is preferable. Try adding some lemon for its antioxidant properties. Speaking of antioxidants, dandelion tea, burdock root tea, and green tea are all high in antioxidants and are reported to aid in liver function, helping to expel toxins.
Something as simple as bouncing on the balls of your feet or a mini trampoline for 10 or so minutes a few times a day can get your lymph system going and boost circulation. Exercise, yoga, and stretching can help too. Just be sure to add to your water intake if you are exercising.
Fiber can help move toxins through your digestive track. Natural fiber is available from fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but there are also plenty of fiber products on the market that you could add to your diet.
Epsom salt is made of magnesium sulfate, which is reported to help generate enzymes that can aid in ridding your body of toxins. In addition, the hot water of a bath opens your pores and encourages perspiration that also helps clear your body.
While focusing on detoxing your body, many authorities believe it is best to steer clear of processed foods and sugars, as well as produce that has potentially been treated with pesticides and other chemicals. Buying foods labelled "organic" is one way to do that. Think also about what you put onto your body because many skin and hair care products are laden with chemicals. There are often organic options for these products as well.
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