It’s no secret: our world is polluted and contaminated with harsh chemicals that expose your body to toxins at nearly every turn. We are prone to their exposure in every possible way: through food, water, products, medical and dental procedures, and air.
Unfortunately, avoiding all toxins and pollutants is impossible.
While you may not feel these toxins invading your body, you may notice slight symptoms indicating your body needs help processing the toxicity.
Eliminating these toxins from your body is extremely important. When your body is flooded with toxins, it negatively impacts your health by leading to several diseases and disorders.
Where Toxin Exposure Comes From
Toxins come from external sources like air, food, water, and radiation. They can also be built internally due to extreme stress, difficulty detoxing, preexisting conditions, parasitic infections, and overall lifestyle choices.
But Where Do These Toxins Come From?
Before the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, the average human body was incredibly efficient at naturally expelling toxins like heavy metals and radiation absorbed by the environment and diet. However, industrialization brought modern conveniences that introduced heavy metals and man-made chemicals into our world through the air, soil, water, and food supply.
In fact, since WWII, over 80,000 man-made chemicals have been developed, with relatively few having adequate safety studies. In the US, only 31 are banned, 11 of which have been out of production for over a decade. In Europe and Canada, over 2,500 chemicals are banned because of adverse health reactions.
Unfortunately, many of these chemicals are harmful to human (and animal) health and end up used as ingredients in our household cleaners, hair care products, skincare products, clothing fabric, linens, cookware, appliances, children's toys, electronic devices, and furniture. Even plastic water bottles and the lining in packages are known to leech some chemicals into what you're eating, drinking, or applying to your skin.
To further compound our growing pollutant exposure, the tech boom of the 20th and 21st centuries introduced excessive radiation from cell phone towers, “smart” technology equipment, and electronic devices.
With so many pollutants plaguing our environment, healthy lifestyle practices are essential.
13 Signs Your Body Is Overloaded With Toxins:
While it is safe to assume every body is managing toxin exposure, if you're not actively cleansing or embracing a clean eating diet with a primary focus on veggies while consciously reducing what pollutants you're exposing yourself to, chances are, your body could use some help.
Of course, there are numerous reasons to be experiencing these symptoms. However, based on my experience and education studying the human body, chemical interactions, and herbalism, exposure to pollutants will make them worse.
Here are 14 symptoms your body gives you to communicate needing help eliminating toxins.
1. Compromised Immune System
Exposure to toxic chemicals and other environmental toxins quickly overloads your body, negatively impacts your gut health, and reduces the effectiveness of your immune system.
Constipation can result from various different issues. But it is also a way to identify if your body is struggling with toxin overload.
You may notice that you often feel constipated after having processed foods. This is because these foods are processed with chemicals, including artificial sweeteners, colorants, preservatives, coatings, genetically modified material, sugar, insects, etc., that are toxic to your body. When you ingest something that lacks nutritional value, it often leads to gumming up your liver and kidneys and may cause constipation or upset stomach.
3. Muscle and Joint Aches
Your muscle or joint aches could be from residual effects from an old injury, are sore after an extreme workout, have a nutrition deficiency, or have any underlying health condition.
However, if your joint and muscle symptoms are unexplained, then the inflammation from the buildup of toxins is probably the cause. Look for any other signs to confirm it.
Of course, the inflammation sparked by exposure to pollutants will worsen your joint and muscle aches and stiffness.
4. Bad Breath
Bad breath typically occurs when you do not follow proper dental hygiene or have food that makes your breath smell bad. But it is also often a symptom of the issue in your digestive tract. There are a few reasons behind this:
- Your digestive system cannot digest the food properly,
- Your liver could be fighting to eliminate all the toxins accumulated in your body.
5. Brain Fog
Dealing with a foggy brain is a sign of too many toxins accumulating in your body. If you wake up feeling drowsy or dizzy, even after a good night’s sleep, it is likely because the toxins in your body are causing problems.
Confusion, memory loss, and difficulty focusing are other things that may afflict you. Toxins cause a series of reactions in your body that use up all the necessary nutrients leading to brain fog.
6. Feeling Chronically Exhausted
Research linked higher toxin levels as a likely cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. When your body is overburdened with pollutants, it must constantly work to eliminate them. Your kidneys and liver must work more than usual to eliminate these toxins.
Therefore, they take up more of your energy in this process. This drains your energy levels and eventually makes you feel exhausted most of the time.
7. Body Odor
The food you eat has to be broken and metabolized. Gasses are produced and released through your skin’s pores during your digestive processes. This is why you might be stinking even after putting your deodorant on after a shower or bath.
In short, toxins accumulated in your body cause your body odor; the only way to eliminate them is to remove those toxins.
My stepdad had this issue for decades. Most people just assumed it was his unique smell, and he took several showers each day to try to overcome it. It wasn’t until he was in his 70s that something changed. He used an ionic foot bath for the first time and was surprised to see the water turn brown. Later that night, everyone around him noticed a considerable difference. A week went by… his overwhelmingly pungent odor was gone. Amazing what a simple detox session can help accomplish!
8. Being Overweight
Increased body weight is often attributed to the types of food you eat, the amount of food you eat, and your activity level. However, your dietary and fitness choices aren't the only factors that impact your size or weight loss abilities
If you maintain a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and regular exercise and are still putting on pounds or have trouble losing them, toxins may be to blame. Many harmful chemicals you’re routinely exposed to are known to harm your endocrine system, messing with the hormones responsible for maintaining your body weight.
Some mental health disorders may be signs of needing to detox.
If you are experiencing worsening depression or suddenly feel depressed, even if it's rare for you, it may be due to the health of your body, not just your mind. It is a good idea not to ignore these signs since detoxing your body can help clear your brain of negative toxins.
Of course, this would be a conversation you should have with your medical team, especially if you have access to a functional medicine doctor or naturopath. Some chiropractors may also be able to help.
If you’re struggling to sleep enough, you know how much the lack of sleep can negatively impact your everyday life.
Did you know sleep disturbances can be attributed to the toxin buildup in your body?
Many environmental and household pollutants can negatively affect your body’s cortisol levels, leading to insomnia if ignored for a long time.
Also, insomnia leads to several other health issues.
- Reduces alertness. Even missing as little as 1.5 hours of sleep, or waking up too many times in the middle of the night, can negatively impact how you feel throughout the day.
- Lethargy. Not getting enough sleep at night can make you very tired during the day.
- Impaired memory. Lacking sleep can limit your ability to think, remember and understand information.
- Stresses relationships. Disrupted sleep can cause mood swings and lead to conflicts with others.
- Reduces the quality of your life. You lose motivation, becoming less likely to participate in normal daily activities, choosing laziness and additional rest instead.
- Increased accidents. Whether you're driving, cooking, fixing something, or working, being drowsy increases your likeliness of having accidents that could result in injury or death for you or someone else around you. Studies are showing how driving while tired lower reflex times in a similar manner to driving while intoxicated.
11. Hair Loss
Though there are several other reasons for losing your hair, accumulating toxins in your body are largely responsible.
12. Brittle Nails
Brittle nails can be caused by internal environments such as low iron, vitamin B deficiency, hypothyroidism, or Raynauds syndrome. However, the associated symptoms worsen with a high buildup of toxins, especially when compounded by the MTHFR gene mutation.
Toxins most common for causing hair loss are arsenic, lead, and thallium.
13. Skin Problems
Pollution in the air, water, fabrics, medication, and personal care products has increased skin problems since the Industrial Revolution. The most common skin reactions to toxin exposure include:
Some people have also endured chemical skin burns or dermatitis due to pollutant exposure.
14. Chronic Illness
Chronic illness is a sign of a toxic body in desperate need of cleansing.
Aside from the physical discomforts, toxicity can lead to disease states like cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Adrenal Fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. I spent most of my 20s unable to walk unassisted and disgruntled with modern medicine as 32 specialists across 4 states couldn’t help me heal. Finally, after 8 years of declining health, I decided to research, pray, and figure out the best treatment plan based on my body and my God-given intuition.
If you're enduring chronic autoimmune issues, consider discussing the MTHFR gene mutation with your medical team. This gene mutation may cause your body difficulty navigating cleansing, which causes toxins to build up faster than you'd expect.
I've overcome many issues with MTHFR by increasing my natural vitamin B consumption (all of them), monthly cleansing, and eating local, organic, and sustainably grown foods.
How To Remove Harmful Chemical Buildup in Your Body
Cleansing is crucial to add to your natural wellness toolkit with so many pollutants in your home, work, and outside environments. Detoxification ideas to help you eliminate toxins include:
- Detox Tea
- Eating foods that support your liver
- Juicing with veggies
- Participate in a detox program
- Removing refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and any prepackaged foods and drinks from your diet
- Remove toxins from your personal care products, including hair care, skincare, cosmetics…etc.
- Choose to use safer cleaning products
- Exercise often
- Increase your water intake
- Decrease your time spent on or around electronic devices and WiFi routers
Toxin Overload at a Glance
Harmful toxin buildup can devastate your health, requiring routine cleansing and healthy lifestyle practices to keep them manageable.
Simple Steps To Reducing Your Toxic Overload:
- Identify how your body responds to the pollutants in your home and community.
- Routinely engage in cleansing and detox activities.
- Remove any avoidable toxins from your home and office (such as in your personal care and cleaner products).
- Commit to using nontoxic alternatives, even if it means investing your time to DIY most of what you need
- Commit to a healthy lifestyle by choosing organic or sustainable foods, understanding your unique body's needs, and ditching packaged prepared foods.
- Do not sleep near your cell phone or WiFi device.
- Limit your electronic device usage
Nicole is a wife, homeschooling mom, child of God, Navy veteran, information research analyst, and entrepreneur currently serving as a writer, healthy lifestyle coach, and flexible business strategist. Since earning a BA in Business from Virginia Wesleyan University, focusing on business strategy, she has also taken many courses and seminars in Psychology, Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Chemistry, Biology, and Theology. She loves gardening, needlepoint, hiking, animals, and teaching natural wellness and healthy lifestyle topics.