What is a Functional Medicine Detox and Why Would I Do One?

Until about two months ago I had never heard of a functional medicine detox, and you most likely never have either. When I began my Integrative Health Practitioner training, it was something that was discussed in the toxin removal lesson and I became very intrigued . First, I want to give you some of the why behind it. How it works, why it's important and the basic science behind it. I will try to do this in the least "sciency" way possible.

First let's talk about your liver. It is a powerhouse. It's whole purpose is to remove toxins from your body. Many years ago before industrialization people didn't have a problem with detoxification issues. Their livers could handle what was thrown at them. They were not exposed daily to things like car exhaust, pesticides, and chemicals loaded in to their foods and personal care products. In the world we live in today, there is no possible way to avoid exposure to toxins because they are everywhere. To be honest, when I first started going through my module on toxin removal I got very overwhelmed. When you start realizing all the ways we are exposed to so many harmful things you start to realize why so many people are sick. It is the whole reason the whole medical system is so messed up. They look at the symptoms that someone walks in with and treat the symptoms. We have to look at the root cause and many times that begins with toxin overload in our bodies.

Ok so let's talk about how your liver gets rid of this junk. First, you need to understand that the majority of the toxins that we are exposed to are fat soluble. Our livers job is to take those toxins and make them water soluble so they can be eliminated from our bodies. The problem comes when we are coming in to contact toxins at a higher rate than our bodies can eliminate them. Because those toxins are fat soluble guess where they get stored until your liver can handle them? Yep you guessed it, in your fat cells. Your fat is literally toxic!! So how do we get rid of this stuff.

The detox helps to open up your liver's Phase 1 and Phase 2 pathways so it can function at top capacity. Basically you are giving your digestive system a break on the detox so that your body can use the energy on detoxing. So what does Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification look like? In a very simplistic nutshell here it is. In Phase 1 your liver is converting toxins from fat soluble to water soluble . It is during this phase that free radicals are produced as well. You have to be able to excrete them so they don't build up in your body and start damaging cells. (Hello aggressive aging and cancer!) Phase 2 detox completes the transition from fat soluble to water soluble and allows the toxins to be excreted. (Hello sweating, lymphatic drainage, urination, crying)

Here is where the 7, 14, or 21 day detox comes in. It allows you to focus on giving your digestive system a break, focuses on whole, real food that is non inflammatory, and it uses supplements that support phase 1 and phase two detox pathways. If you have stuck with me this far then please continue reading about my personal experience with the detox

I honestly didn't know what to expect when I started the detox. I understood the science behind it but honestly didn't know if it would really work. So the first two days you fast other than four shakes daily. The shakes are a protein powder and you use one scoop. I don't like protein powder so I felt that would be my first obstacle. Honestly though, for a protein powder it wasn't that bad. It's a bit watered down with one scoop so I just added less water to it. I thought fasting would be obstacle two for me. Don't get me wrong, it was not easy and it is not for the weak of heart but I did it and was so dang proud of myself for doing it.

After day two you do a shake for breakfast, a plant based lunch, an afternoon shake, and dinner with animal protein if you choose or you can keep it plant based as well. You also take four capsules in the AM and four in the PM that help promote Phase 1 and 2 detoxification . For me personally I very much eat in this way now and have very few processed foods in my diet so after day two, it didn't feel that hard to do. If you are heavily addicted to sugar, processed foods, and artificial sweeteners you may find it a little more difficult but man what great results you will see.

So what results did I personally get? Well, I'm glad you asked. I lost 5 lbs, have tons of energy, no aching joints, my skin looks amazing, and I just feel good. I have posted a few before and after pics of myself and my husband on Instagram if you want to check them out @betterhealthbybeth.

I will talk about more ways to detox your body, and ways you can work on removing toxins from your environment in future blogs as well. I would love to know what questions you have and what you would like to learn more about. Please leave your questions or suggestions below, DM me on Instagram, or send me an e-mail at

If you are interested in purchasing your own detox you can click on this link. Be sure to let me know if you purchase through my link so I can send you a little thank you meal plan to use for the week you detox, or any time you want!

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