Pooping, Peeing, and Sweating Are Vital to Staying Healthy

by Dr. Susan Tanner, MD

In order to get well from any chronic illness, and this particularly refers to mold-related illness, it is extremely important to lower the total load of toxins in the body. In previous articles, I have referred to this concept as the total body load. Of course, to do this it requires avoidance of exposures by surrounding yourself with the big three: clean air, clean water, and clean food. If I sound like a broken record, it is simply because you cannot get well without cleaning up these essential elements. Think of it this way, if you continue to live in a moldy environment surrounded by moldy belongings, you are not ever giving your body the chance it needs to heal, because it is being bombarded constantly by mycotoxins. Likewise, if you do not provide your body with good, clean nutrition and pure, non-chlorinated water, it cannot function properly, because the very basics of cell health and energy are not being supplied.

But what about the body functions that help to naturally lower the toxic load on the system? By “diluting” and excreting these toxins, the body has a chance to recover. These mechanisms are urination, defecation, and sweating. Yep! Proper excretion is necessary to good health. While society often frowns upon the discussion of these bodily functions, all are quite necessary and beautiful in their design for keeping the total body load down.

Urination and Detoxification

Urination, which is the byproduct of the kidney’s elimination of toxins and regulation of acids and bases in the blood, is one of the primary methods of detoxification. The kidneys are complex organs and can impact functions from blood pressure to body weight and fluid retention. Many medications and toxins are neutralized and broken down in the kidneys, and then released into the urine. Intake of adequate amounts of purified water is necessary to keep this process in good working order. A way to see if you are consuming enough water is to note the color of your urine. Ideally, urine should be almost colorless. When dark, or very yellow it is a sign of dehydration and too little fluid for toxins excreted. A rule of thumb is to aim to consume half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. This is in addition to any other fluids consumed such as coffee, tea, or juice.

Pooping is a Wonderful Thing

Defecation… pooping…. Nobody really enjoys talking about this subject. However, it cannot be overstated how important regular bowel movements are. Toxins broken down through the liver are then introduced into the intestinal tract for elimination. The longer these toxins remain in the intestine, the more likely they are to be reabsorbed back into the blood stream to have to pass, once again, through the liver.

Besides the obvious discomfort of infrequent bowel movements, such as gas and bloating, it truly can make one feel bad all over to have this ever-increasing toxic burden inside of the body. Some of the most ill patients that I see are those who have infrequent or irregular bowel movements. Fluid intake can help with bowel regularity, but sometimes it takes more than just water to get things going. Laxatives, in general, should be avoided. They stimulate the nerves of the colon to evacuate, and over time, total dependence on laxatives can occur. In other words, the body will have to have that false stimulation to function properly. A better choice, when necessary, are substances that encourage the retention of more fluids inside the colon. Commercial preparations such as MiraLAX can do this, but as we are encouraging less use of chemicals, there are better and more natural options.

The first option is Magnesium. Not only does magnesium help the colon to retain more fluids, but it also allows for better muscle relaxation, better sleep, and helps the cell energy pathways. Of all the essential minerals, magnesium is universally the one most people are deficient in. Magnesium citrate is the most active form for bowel function, but other types, such as magnesium glycinate and magnesium threonate can also do the job and in a gentler manner. These latter types also cross the blood-brain barrier, helping the central nervous system in general. Starting with 200 mg of magnesium daily and increasing the dose as high as 500-600 mg may be necessary.

Fiber-containing foods and supplements can be quite helpful in some situations, but these absolutely must be used along with appropriate amounts of fluids. Fiber can also act as a medium for the good bacteria to feed upon, which creates a better lining to the intestinal tract with short-chain fatty acids. There are many fiber-containing products on the market. Unflavored psyllium husks are generally well tolerated and palatable as long as consumed quickly after mixing. This can also be added to a smoothie or other drink, if preferred. Aloe vera juice is soothing and can help bowel function with no side effects, although some people do not like the taste.   There are also forms of aloe in capsules rather than the liquid form if that is easier to take.

Sweating Out the Toxins

Sweating is one of the most overlooked, but necessary mechanisms for toxin removal. Some people, either due to extreme inactivity or a very burdened autonomic nervous system, have lost the ability to sweat and are extremely ill indeed. The skin is the largest organ of the body and is responsible for allowing a large and continual amount of sweat to leave the body daily. Included in our sweat are toxins and metabolic byproducts of many cell functions. When sweating is impaired or nonexistent, there is an ever-increasing toxic load building in the system. While exercise is enough for the average individual to allow for a healthy level of sweating, the more ill patient may have to employ sauna bathing to get this excretion mechanism switched on. Showering after a good sweat is necessary, so that toxins are not reabsorbed into the skin after being excreted. For more information and a guide to sauna bathing please refer my previous article.

Keep Those Toxins Flowing OUT

We focus quite a bit on what we take in such as food, drink and air, but giving that same focus to what and how we eliminate is equally important. Doing the things, like hydrating properly and adequately, ensuring that you are having bowel movements daily that are not painful or incomplete, and treating yourself to a good sweat with exercise or heat will improve your health just by continuously decreasing your body burden. While it may seem that practices to enhance excretion just scratch the surface in terms of the treatment of chronic illness, they (and clean air, clean food, and clean water, of course) are actually the foundation that long-term wellness is built upon.

We love to hear from you! Please write to us at newsletter@sinusitiswellness.com or comment below.