Living Well Series: Stage One—Optimize Elimination and Let the Healing Begin!

August 10, 2015

toilet

Regardless of your list of symptoms, the road map to natural healing will always begins with optimizing elimination. Optimizing Elimination is Stage One in the path to restoring immunity that I teach my clients and practitioners.

Why is this true?

When your physical body’s ability to clean is compromised, your natural ability to heal (immunity) is also compromised. This is particularly clear in babies and children but equally true for adults.

We know a lot about the body and its workings, but the function of elimination is often overlooked as a likely root-cause of symptoms. Learning more about how your body cleans will bring your awareness to what might not be working for you.Noticing and taking action before chronic symptoms develop, is essential for your health now and in years to come.

Before we discuss what might compromise the body’s ability to clean, let’s look at some of the key players. While there is a complex system of excretory organs for this purpose, we are going to simply look at the organs and systems directly involved in producing and eliminating urine and stool.

How does a body clean?

First, let’s consider how the body cleans from the food we digest.

As food passes through the mouth it enters the pharynx. Important to note is that the pharynx plays a vital role for both the digestive system and the respiratory system. It is a passageway for both air and food. Because of the physical connection present between the two systems, inflammation or mucus produced in one can easily pass to the other through the pharynx.

The esophagus is a long muscular tube that pushes food into the stomach. Important to note here is the ring shaped muscle at the opening of the stomach. This ring is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When digestion/elimination process is compromised in any way, this muscle may not have the ability to hold back digestive acids and and reflux occurs.

Using acids and enzymes to break down food, the stomach acts as a mixer and grinder turning the consistency to liquid or paste.Taking acid blockers to suppress reflux changes this perfect balance and adversely affects the absorption of nutrients that will occur in the digestion process next.

Workings of the Small Intestine

Further on, the small intestine is responsible for breaking down the paste/liquid from the stomach using enzymes produced by the pancreas and bile from the liver (stored in the gallbladder). This is where the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream, and the remaining waste moves on. The small intestine also relies on a healthy population of bacterial microbes to prevent pathogens in food from taking hold and supports the immune response. An imbalance of the bacterial microbes will result in a lowered immune response and greater susceptibility to foodborne illnesses.

Finally, the undigested waste is moved to the large intestines (bowel or colon) which is the storage organ for the undigested waste products. Parts of the large intestine take on the responsibility of absorption of leftover vitamins, water, and salt. When the large intestine is full, stool should pass through into the rectum to be emptied. When this doesn’t happen on a regular basis, the entire interrelated system can be adversely affected leading to a variety of disruptions.

Metabolic waste

Digesting food is only part of the body’s cleaning process. There are also waste by-products from tissue cleansing and regeneration that are continually produced, managed by the lymphatic and circulatory systems. These fluids are referred to as metabolic waste. The lymphatic and circulatory systems perform interrelated tasks delivering the waste to the liver where it is filtered and then transported to the kidneys through the circulatory system.

Serving a multi-functional role is the liver, responsible for breaking down toxic substances, chemicals, pharmaceutical medications, and byproducts of the body’s own metabolic process, such as ammonia, into urea. This urea moves on to the kidneys, eventually becoming urine.

Then there is the urinary system, filtering and removing the liquid waste. The urinary system and large intestine, also called the bowel, have their own interactive communication system, signaling one to take over in the work of reducing acidic waste when the other is at its limit.

The ureter, bladder, and urethra team together to move the waste fluid from the kidneys, store it, and discharge it as urine.

Adrenal glands

Playing an accessory but critical role in keeping the body clean are the adrenal glands. The adrenals sit on top of the kidneys and are made up of two parts, the medulla and the cortex, each with its own function. The medulla secretes the hormone adrenaline, which helps the body adjust during high stress situations by increasing heart rate and speeding up blood flow. The cortex produces cortisol, which reduces inflammation within the body. The role of the cortex is of particular interest here as the resolving of inflammation is critical in the cleaning process.

As you can see, keeping the body clean along with the production of urine and stool requires an entire system. Every organ is critical and if one is not performing optimally, the others will be directly affected and must compensate. When this happens, the perfect system loses its effectiveness and its ability to remove waste products is greatly reduced.

Symptoms to note

An important sign that your elimination is not optimized are symptoms of the body cleaning through alternate exits. These exits are utilized when, over time, the buildup of waste product creates an inflammatory state and the body needs to look for other ways to clean. The most common of these tend to be eyes, nose, ears, lungs, and skin and, in women of menstruating age, the uterus/vagina.

Here are some common symptoms that indicate your body is cleaning through emergency exits:

•Eye(s): discharge

•Ear(s): discharge, drainage, blockage, itchiness,

•Sinus(es): congestion, drainage

•Bronchial/Lungs: cough, croup, bronchial spasms, obstructed breathing

•Skin: acne, eczema, canker sores, cold sores, fever blisters, mouth or gum sores, rashes

•Genital: yeast overgrowth, warts

•Vagina: discharge, yeast, heavy menstrual flow or cramping (if a menstruating female)

•Anus: discharge, mucus, burning, itching, rash

So given this cleaning process, what is optimal bowel elimination?

•Bowels: 2-3 formed movements spread throughout the day;

•Urination: no night time urination and daytime frequency every 2-3 hours;

•Uterus: (for women who are fertile) 27-29 day cycle, bleeding 4-5 days that does not start and stop, pain free or minor discomfort only, no mid cycle spotting.

How do I improve mine?

So what therapies do I use during Stage One to open elimination?
1.I ask clients to begin to increase the raw plant-based items in their diets, starting with an all-fruit cleansing meal for breakfast to jump start lymphatic activity and elimination.

2.I also suggest a Gemmotherapy protocol that is individualized according to one’s current elimination, level of vitality, and state of inflammation.

image_pdfimage_print

Immunity matters!
Learn to support your health naturally with weekly tips
delivered straight to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You may also be interested in:

Vegan Gluten Free Sourdough Waffles

By Lauren | May 15, 2021

Yes, it’s totally possible. Waffles that are vegan, gluten-free, sourdough, AND A-Mazing!  If you actually made it through 2020 and did not make your own sourdough starter let this be the recipe to change that. That being said, if you are just getting started you will need 5-6 days lead time to get the sourdough…

Red Lentil Bolognese

By Lauren | May 1, 2021

Adapted from Vegan Richa’s Lentil Bolognese Ingredients 1 package of gluten free spaghetti 1 cup of red lentils  Olive oil 2 pkgs or 1lb of mushrooms chopped  1 onion, peeled and finely  1-2 shallots or  cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped 2 grated carrots 1 t dried oregano or use 1/2 tbsp fresh 2…

Baked Rice Pudding

By Lauren | April 23, 2021

Some days just call for rice pudding and today’s drippy steel gray skies led me to adapt this yummy Milk Street recipe. This is pure comfort food and the fact that it cooks itself in the oven makes it a winner in my kitchen.  (4 servings) Ingredients 3 T of maple syrup or honey, more…

Spinach and Leek Tart

By Lauren | April 16, 2021

Here’s a recipe that tics just so many boxes for me.  It’s delicious, goes together with ease and in advance (a big win), is gluten-free, vegan, and my favorite is that it can be customized to the handful of veggies hanging out in your fridge. I was gifted with a Texas sized leek upon my…

Socca Bread

By Lauren | April 9, 2021

This simple rustic flatbread holds a special place in my heart and I am sure it will in yours as well.  Socca bread has the ability to make a simple soup and salad meal complete. I like to use my cast iron skillet but feel free to use your choice of an oven-safe pan. Ingredients…

Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

By Lauren | April 3, 2021

You know there is always room for one more roasted sprout recipe in your repertoire. This one takes this winter veg right into spring with the bright taste of lemon and the sweetness of caramelized shallots.  Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees 1 large or 2 small Meyer lemon, if available, otherwise 2 small unwaxed…

Vegan Moussaka

By Lauren | March 24, 2021

I really haven’t thought about Moussaka in years, actually decades. The last time I had it in fact was at a pub in Oxford for heaven’s sake. I do remember it being an amazing comfort food and that was exactly what I was searching to serve at last meal for months with Foix friends. Once…

Spiced Butternut Soup

By Lauren | March 19, 2021

The weather has turned cold here in Foix these final days of winter with a mix of snow and rain each day.  This delightful and colorful soup brightened the dreary day and was delicious! Ingredients 2 leeks, chopped fine 2 large kohlrabi peeled and cut into chunks 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks…

Spicy Cauliflower Snacks

By Lauren | March 11, 2021

I will admit I have a problem with these cauliflower snacks.  I honestly can not stop myself from eating these and can easily consume an entire head of cauliflower in this fashion, on my own. I’m not saying I am proud of this fact, just sharing in case you have the same problem yourself.  I…

Apple Pear Crumble with Ginger

By Lauren | March 3, 2021

With a nod to my Foix friend Sanna Phinney, I share with you this super simple dessert. It’s was Sanna’s delicious recipe that she prepared for our welcome meal that served as an inspiration.   Ingredients 4 apples, cored and cut into chunks 4 pears, cored and cut into chunks 1 T Fresh Ginger – finely…

Explorations of Polyvagal Theory: All About Blended States Recap

By Lauren | March 2, 2021

You’ve learned Polyvagal basics, the states of protection, the state of connection but did you realize there are blended states?  In today’s final recap Maegan, Cameron and Lauren discuss the nuances of blended states which are more common than you might realize.  And then just to take it up a notch we play a bit…

A Warming Spiced Chia Porridge

By Lauren | February 24, 2021

When last week, during the fierce winter storms in Texas,  all I wanted to do was to warm my children and give them comfort there was an ocean between us. And as often my go-to, when I am distressed, I look for relief in the kitchen. In search of  something warming but not grain-heavy like…

Posted in

1 Comment

  1. Marsha fehl on April 6, 2016 at 8:08 am

    New beginnings often mean giving what you haven’t been doing right another chance. I think this may be where I am.

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.