Want to know why your patient isn't getting better?
Has your patient complained of sensitivity to caffeine, fragrances, and odors?
Does your patient get brain fog, tingling in their hands and feet, or consistent ringing in their ears?
Do they complain of unexplained muscle pain that you can't seem to resolve?
These may be signs of poor detoxification.
Of course, lifestyle factors contribute to systemic inflammation. But did you realize that an increased toxic load or poor detoxification systems can make inflammation worse?
We are exposed to chemicals on a daily basis that do more harm than good. Our planet is more polluted than ever before. We live in big cities. Wash ourselves with chemicals. Put all kinds of creams and lotions on our skin. Consume genetically modified foods wrapped in plastic and laden with preservatives.
Then we expect our bodies to efficiently eliminate all these foreign chemicals.
Having a better understanding of detoxification can help you build a targeted personalized plan for fast and effective patient outcomes. This is what we all aim for!
To put the cherry on the top ... our phases of detoxification then have genetic inefficiencies.
Guaranteed all our patients have some degree of toxic load. The bottom line is, have we as clinicians connected the dots of symptoms to toxic load.
Are you seeing the patient as a whole, not just their symptoms?
There are several phases in detoxification, but one of the major issues with detoxification is keeping a balance between Phases 1 and 2.
One inefficient phase, and a backup of intermediate products develops. These intermediate products are often more damaging than the original chemical, adding fuel to the fire in chronic conditions.
This phase is dependent on a set of enzymes called Cytochrome P450. The job of these enzymes is to prepare a chemical for Phase 2. This first phase uses processes called oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis.
This phase uses six different systems taking the intermediate chemical produced by phase 1 and shaping it into molecules that can be safely eliminated from the body:
- Amino acid conjugation
- Glutathione conjugation
One inefficient phase, and a backup of intermediate products develops. These intermediate products are often more damaging than the original chemical, adding fuel to the fire in chronic conditions. Often Phase 1 is too fast, and Phase 2 is too slow. The problem is that the the intermediary chemical between Phases 1 and 2 can be extremely reactive. This harmful intermediate chemical then increases inflammation by damaging cells, and your patient never gets better.
Understanding how to improve efficiency of the six processes in Phase 2 can help reduce the intermediary chemical accumulating.
One common example, is the Phase 2 process of methylation. Methylation is dependent on many factors and genetic influences. The gene MTHFR 677 C>T is a very well researched gene. Having a homozygous MTHFR 677 TT leaves the gene with only 40% efficiency.
Luckily, these types of genes are called low penetrance genes which means they can be influenced. Just like a dimmer switch that turns a light brighter or dimmer. So using external factors can influence low penetrance genes in a positive or negative manner.
In the case of MTHFR the co-factors that support this gene would need to be increased. This increase in co factor levels would allow for more efficient MTHFR enzyme functioning. By increase methylated folate, B2, B6 and B12 would be supplements of choice.
The efficiency of the methylation process can be indicated by the level of homocysteine in blood serum.
Understanding these basic concepts of detoxification can help resolve patients chronic complaints, improve recovery and performance and even help prevent chronic injuries.