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Hepatic Function:

Please read the section in the Foundations of Health and Healing on Detoxification and Cleansing. In this section we will discuss the role of the liver in the detoxification process. We will review the concept of  “pathologic detoxification”. We will review specific diagnostic and treatment strategies. The liver has many other important functions in addition to detoxification. It plays a role in fuel storage and processing, it is an important component of the immune system, and it plays a role in a variety of other metabolic processes.

While we will focus on the detoxification process that occurs in the liver it is important to know that the second major detoxification site is the lining of our intestines; the intestinal mucosal wall.

There are two well-understood stages to the detoxification process. They are characterized as Phase I and Phase II detoxification. The process takes toxic molecules, which are difficult to remove from the body, and transforms them into molecules that can be removed more easily. It is important that Phase I and Phase II are balanced. In the process of transforming toxic molecules there is a step where the transformed molecule is highly reactive, (toxic). This occurs with Phase I detoxification. Phase II detoxification takes these highly reactive intermediary molecules and complexes them with a second molecule. This creates a new molecule that is not reactive, water soluble and easily excreted by the liver into the gut or by the kidney into the urine. When Phase II is deficient relative to Phase I, toxic intermediary molecules are produced. These molecules can increase oxidative stress and result in injury to tissue through inflammation. This can result in symptoms of such as fatigue, weakness, pain, cognitive dysfunction, and depression. Unbalanced detoxification, oxidative stress and the creation of free radicals, (toxic molecules), is believed to be a contributing factor in many chronic disease process including cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis and cancer.
Historical Factors that may point to Detoxification Dysfunction:
A person with a history of chronic illness should be evaluated for this problem. In particular patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia have a high incidence of Pathological Detoxification. A history of exposure to chemicals at home or in the work place is significant. A history of multiple medication use, chemotherapy and radiation therapy is significant.

Signs and Symptoms of Detoxification Dysfunction:

  • A history of sensitivities to chemicals in the environment
  • Sensitivity to odors and medications
  • Headache
  • Musculoskeletal pain and or discomfort
  • Numbness or tingling in the face or extremities, (parasthesias)
  • Cognitive Dysfunctions such memory impairment and inability to think clearly
  • Autonomic instability such as low blood pressure, dizziness, flushing, and fluid imbalance
  • Worsening of symptoms after anesthesia or pregnancy
  • An unusual or atypical response to medications or supplements

Testing for Detoxification Dysfunction:
GGT, (gamma glutamyl transpeptidase) is a simple and inexpensive blood test. When elevated it suggests that the body is experiencing and excessive toxic burden.

Therapy for Detoxification Dysfunction:
Reducing Toxic Load is important. It is discussed in the Toxic Load Reduction section and in the Detoxification and Cleansing section.

Nutritional Products that support Phase I and Phase II Detoxification include Ultra Clear Plus, UltraInflamx, r Lipoic Acid, Mixed Tocotrienols, Glycophospholipids, Vitamin C.

It is wise to work with your health care practitioner to develop and program that is designed for you.

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