Daily we are subjected to a wide range of physical, emotional and environmental stresses that contribute to their toxic burden. We can adjust to a few stressors, but too many can cause overload. Once overloaded the body produces nagging symptoms.
Think for a minute that your body is like a rain barrel and the more stress, chemicals, processed foods, negative emotions, sleep deprivation, chemical toxins , food and allergic substances your body has to deal with is like rain water that fills your rain barrel (your body). We are exposed daily to an onslaught of chemical toxins and pollutants. We breathe, eat, drink, and use personal care products that contain pesticides, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and other substances that our bodies cannot process effectively. Like a rain barrel, as more water (stressors) pour in, it spills over. When the rain barrel overflows and your body is overburdened, your symptoms occur.
Every person has a different innate capacity to detoxify most of the stressors to which we are exposed. An empty rain barrel is our body free of all toxic residue or buildup. When our body is running smoothly it is detoxifying all substances to which it is exposed to – keeping our barrel empty. However even the healthiest among us is not evolutionarily equipped to handle the toxic overload at the levels to which we are exposed. When this happens our bodies begin to store the toxins that they cannot break down completely and our barrel begins to fill.
For some people, it takes a long time to notice any symptoms of a filling barrel. To others, they may notice the effects as fatigue, headaches, insomnia, allergies, poor memory, muscle aches and pains and inflammation. Some peoples’ barrels fill without any noted symptoms, until the barrel ‘overflows’ and manifests in serious autoimmune diseases, cancers, and debilitating illness affecting the immune system. These can manifest as inflammation or arthritic symptoms, chronic fatigue and degenerative illness.
Researchers have found that toxic overload and chemical injury can account for a wide variety of people’s symptoms and illnesses, and is at the heart of the issue for the vast majority of people who seem to be plagued by ‘disease’ that cannot be explained or cured. If we can periodically empty or lower our rain barrel we can withstand the stresses of moderate exposure. In order to lower the level of rain in your barrel you will need to reduce the amount of rain.
So how can I reduce the rain barrel effect?
First and foremost, reduce exposure! Improving intestinal health can improve immune function. Good nutrition is vital to proper gut health. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet of nutrient dense plant based foods, healthy fats, adequate protein intake and limited refined carbohydrates and little to no sugar will optimize intestinal function and overall health.
Also it is important to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in our gut. You can do this by eating fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables. Each of these foods contains a different set of bacteria and yeast beneficial to intestinal health.
As with all aspects of wellness, limiting other stressors on your body will improve immune function. Proper sleep hygiene, managing stress, and staying active will help keep your body healthy and your rain barrel from overflowing.