Understanding Toxins 4 – Immune Reactions

Here we are at the end of our 4-part “Understanding Toxicity” series.  We’ve explored how to determine what your body’s reactions might be when exposed to toxins.  Now we’ll take you full circle in the cycle of toxicity.

Immune reactions

Your immune system develops reactions to substances it’s not equipped to handle on top of the preceding phenomena.  Specifically, an immune reaction is when the body produces antibodies to fight an unwelcome/harmful substance.

It continually sees something in the system it doesn’t recognize and is not supposed to be there, so it attacks them with an immune response (a TH2 response).  And this creates another layer of sensitivity – another layer of toxicity.  Glyphosate and proteins found in genetically modified organisms are prime examples of substances likely to set off your immune system.

Dangers of a compromised immune system

One phenomenon that can surprise the uninitiated:  Sometimes the immune system can become so crippled it’s not able to even begin to mount an attack on a lingering infection.  Detox specialists see this happening in situations where the body’s immunological response to a disease is used as a test for the presence of that disease, instead of measuring the pathogen directly.  Lyme disease is one such condition.

Consequently, detox specialists will often warn a patient that’s going on an intensive detox regiment, to prepare for fever and illness.  This happens if they’re likely to harbor an underlying infection which the immune system was not able to respond to previously.

Immune system function is essentially collapsed in these people.  But after restoring function to the immune system using cutting-edge detox strategies, the body becomes healthy enough to go through the illness and healing process.  It’s able to fight the infection and recover from it, rather than isolate it and adapt to side effects.

This is another case where we might mistake fever and illness for a bad thing when the truth of the matter is nature designed the body with an awesome ability to compensate for imbalance and heal itself of disease.  The body knows what it’s doing.  And when it’s strong enough, it will allow the immune system to activate fever, etc. as healing mechanisms.

All of the preceding actions and reactions influence your response to a given quantity of toxin.  All of that combines to form your sensitivity to a toxin.

To recap the important points:  The intake and outflow of toxins (exposure, toxicity, and detoxification) is a highly fluid situation that we’re just beginning to get good at understanding and controlling.

Think of exposure as the process of filling your “toxin bucket.” 

Total body burden is how full your bucket is now.  And workload (detoxification capacity) is the rate at which you’re draining your toxin bucket.

If toxins are overflowing out of your bucket that means your detox system is unable to keep up with demand and the body is continually storing the surplus that it can’t excrete.  On the other hand, when the level of toxins in your bucket is going down, your system is getting cleaner, and you’re getting healthier in the process, which is the goal of any detox treatment.

That’s the simplified story of toxicity before getting into genetic, epigenetic, and immune system factors.

Those last three variables – genetics, epigenetics, and immune system reactions – are the new influences to toxin sensitivity we’re just beginning to explore and control.

Where the field is moving in the decades to come

(1) determining the rate at which individuals detoxify, and controlling it,
(2) reversing immune system reactions by healing and sealing our corrupted guts, and
(3) undoing the damage done to our epigenetic code by removing toxins and addressing nutrient deficiencies.

If you missed the previous posts in this series, please check them out below.

Understanding Toxicity 1 – Exposure
Understanding Toxicity 2 – Detoxification Capacity
Understanding Toxicity 3 – Genes and Gene Expression

I hope you’ve enjoyed your journey into the world of understanding toxins and how toxins react in the human body in many negative ways.  Listen to the red flags your body sends out and make necessary changes before pain and chronic illness sets in.

Article shared here courtesy of GutBrainSecrets.com.

Please share your thoughts and comments about this series below.  We’d love to hear how you avoid toxins in your environment and in the foods you eat.  What takeaways were of most help to you and why?  What area(s) do you feel you need to work on?

To learn more from Randy about toxicity and detoxification, you can read the next series of articles, starting with “4 Keys to Detoxification” at GutBrainSecrets.com.  You can also get Randy’s book, “Gut-Brain Secrets, Part 5:  Detoxification and Elimination on Amazon.com (printed book or Kindle ebook).

RD Lee

Editor-in-Chief of GutBrainSecrets.com. Author of 6 books about the causes, effects, and solutions to gut-brain problems (Gut-Brain Secrets). He is a compulsive learner/researcher, copywriter, educator, and knowledge-seeker.

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