Karin & David Henderson

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Meniere's Disease and Detoxification - A Natural Body Function: Does It Really Need To Be Helped Along?


Frequently I am asked about detoxification, but it will not be phrased that way. Many people don’t have much, if any, knowledge of this bodily function. A few people have their own understanding and often just want to challenge my ideas, which is fine. I am always amazed at those who have such definite opinions without really understanding the function of their incredible body! So I want to explain what happens naturally in your body. I will share two doctors’ description of what symptoms they find in their patients to show this could be happening. I will also give a few comments on additional detoxification procedures. Later in this article, I also I thought I would tell you what I do when a new person gets on the supplements I often speak about.

So let’s work through some medical terminology first. I’ll use definitions from Mosby’s and Medline as they are acceptable to the medical community and always easy for everyone to understand. I do not want to get into things like alcohol or drug detoxification. I will stick to everyday things we can do or need to understand. When I researched this topic, I ended up in many very detailed and involved resource sites. So there is a lot of information available. If you are interested, then please explore this more fully. It’s a very urgent and important subject nowadays. I see a world out of control with people trying to find relief and happiness in chemicals. The entire point of them taking any such chemicals is to change their present life experience. I have compassion for the dilemma in which they find themselves now with their addictions, but that is not what I want us to learn about right now.

The terms we will define are “de” “toxins” “toxicity”, “detoxification”. If you recall, the prefix “de” means to do the opposite, away, off, to remove entirely. So in essence you are going from the toxins or the toxic situation You are getting this away from your body. Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Most toxins that cause problems in humans are released by microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses.  if you are interested in renal or kidney toxins, this link has quite a bit more very interesting information.

Webster Merriam describes toxicity “the quality, state, or relative degree of being toxic or poisonous“. Mosby’s describes toxicity as “the degree to which something is poisonous 2: a condition that results from exposure to a toxin or to a toxic amount of a substance that does not cause adverse effects in smaller amounts.

And they describe detoxification as “1 a : to remove a poison or toxin or the effect of such from 2b : to render (a harmful substance) harmless. 2 : to free (as a drug user or an alcoholic) from an intoxicating or an addictive substance in the body or from dependence on or addiction to such a substance <the clinic started detoxifying him by gradually lowering his dosage -- J. M. Markham. intransitive verb : to become free of addiction to a drug or alcohol;

Mosby’s describes detoxification as the removal of a poison or its effects from a patient and it defines detoxify as “to make a poisonous substance harmless or to overcome the effects of a poison”. National Institutes of Health describes detoxification as “Detoxification is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of a drug while managing the symptoms of withdrawal. It is often the first step in a drug treatment program and should be followed by treatment with a behavioral-based therapy and/or a medication, if available. Detox alone with no follow-up is not treatment.” Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA),

Medline has many excellent resource links, but no encyclopedia descriptions.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Detoxification “Detox, short for detoxification, in general is the removal of toxic substances from the body. It is one of the functions of the liver and kidneys, but can also be achieved artificially by techniques such as dialysis and (in a very limited number of cases) chelation therapy. Other less mainstream methods for eliminating toxic substances from the body include the modification of the diet and addition of certain herbs and rituals such as colonic irrigation, juice fasting and sweat lodges. All these methods claim to assist the body's natural detoxification process.”….And it continues: “Forms of complementary medicine that claim to remove such toxins from the body: for instance, by herbal, electrical or electromagnetic treatments. As the definition of toxins in this and the previous context has little scientific basis, the validity of such techniques is questionable. There is no evidence for such accumulation; the liver and kidneys automatically detoxify and excrete many toxic materials, including metabolic wastes. Under this theory if toxins are too rapidly released without being safely eliminated (such as burning fat that stores toxins) they can pollute the body causing malaise.” I am leaving the links intact so you may follow up more.

I think this is the best site for description and explanation! Although Kids’ Health site is geared for “pre-adults”, it has a lot of practical and logical information, so we can all benefit from it.. “Are Detox Diets Safe?” “First, let's look at the lingo. A toxin is a chemical or poison that is known to have harmful effects on the body. Toxins can come from food or water, from chemicals used to grow or prepare food, and even from the air that we breathe. Our bodies bring in toxins and then process those toxins through organs like the liver and kidneys and eliminate them in the form of sweat, urine, and feces. What Is a Detox Diet? So the basic idea behind detox diets is to temporarily give up certain kinds of foods that are thought to contain toxins. The idea is to purify and purge your body of all the "bad" stuff. Although the diets vary, most of them involve some version of a fast, that is, giving up food for a couple of days, and then gradually reintroducing certain foods into your diet. Many of these diets also encourage you to undergo colonic irrigation, otherwise known as an enema (an enema flushes out your rectum and colon using water), which is designed to "clean out" your colon. Still others recommend that you take herbal supplements to help the "purification" process.”

People normally don’t think about detoxification until someone brings it to their attention through a remark or listening to a lecture on wellness. Then their plan is to treat this perceived problem by themselves. They fear that something is wrong. In reality, there isn’t a problem. It’s your body going through what it wants and doesn’t want. It constantly gets rid of the unwanted elements to make room for the desirable and usable ones.

They suspect (or have become interested in) health issues. And the easiest and fastest way they think this situation can be resolved is to “clean out their body”. In a way that is appropriate thinking, but the method they intend to use may be the challenge. This method may not be all that helpful to the body. There is a truth that says that a confused mind always says “no”. So if you are planning on asking for help, find yourself someone familiar with the use and outcomes of the methods you intend using. Again, my experience raises its head with all I hear. This is simply a warning to know what you are doing.

Knowledge is very powerful and comforting. The more you know about the workings of your body, the better choices and decisions you will make. When I speak with people, I often tease them about giving them a quick course in anatomy and physiology. But it’s so much easier then to remind them of what happens. The information is fresh in their minds. If you have balance and hearing problems, by the time you come to our Meniere’s site you will already have tried many things and been given conflicting opinions. Now you are confused and often very frustrated.

So it’s only right that you have a good idea of what your body does so effectively and constantly to try and help you keep healthy. This helps you feel more in control. It takes away some of the hopelessness and panic you experience as you search for help and support. I believe there is a lot of conflicting advice about the treatment of problems to do with balance and hearing!

So let’s explore how all this ties together. In the world of computers most of us now know the principle of GIGO. (Garbage in: garbage out.) In the case of detoxification, many people need to understand that this principle of GIGO, applies very nicely as well.

Let me give you a household example. If your kitchen garbage container is full, there is no room for anything else. You need to empty all or part of the container before you can add more. And it is no different with your body. And to make it even easier to comprehend, let me bring it down to the individual cell. Here it is still the same. Individual cells will not function properly in the presence of “waste” or unhealthy ingredients. And if you expand that thinking, you will realize that cells make up tissue. Tissue makes up organs. Organs make up systems and systems run your entire body.

So obviously you want to find a way to make all your systems run at optimum capacity and efficiency. To have that happen, you need to keep it clean. That is called detoxifying.

And there are several ways to do this. Obviously the very first one is not to have unwanted elements in there in the first place. But most of us wouldn’t be aware that it there might even be a problem. Awareness usually sets in after a negative experience. So you learn from an unhappy one. But please learn from this and other experiences.

Another way is a gentle exchange of unwanted elements for wanted ones. This takes a bit more time. Your body works at this in the background 24/7. it’s automatic and you don’t have to lift a finger to run the process.

Next is a full blown exchange: a real cleansing done once or periodically. This could include diets or fasting, or large doses of herbals that pull out toxins. I caution people to be very careful doing these. Herbals are often the bases of drugs: chemicals. And many people do not understand drug reactions or interactions. A friend or a clerk may suggest something very innocently and with kindness. So do this only with a qualified health practioner.

The very best and fastest and easiest and cheapest detox product is water! Nice clean, healthy water. Your body will love you for giving it all it can handle! (But be careful it is clean and has no other “additives”.)


There are other more medically controlled methods such as dialysis and drug therapies, but I won’t go into those. You HAVE TO HAVE THESE DONE UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION. No EXCEPTIONS! As I stated earlier, it is my intention just to do the general detoxification information.

Once you understand that your body does this constantly then anything that you do is in addition to your body’s natural routine. Your common sense and not someone’s enthusiastic suggestion should make this decision. Decide what is best for your body. But there is another element in all of this. You may think it’s fine to detox your body, once in a while, or periodically. But what about the rest of the time? You are living in our somewhat polluted environment, eating foods that are grown in somewhat unhealthy and depleted soil. You may also possibly be taking chemicals. Where do you think it all starts? You may only now be aware of this possible negative reaction, but it has been going on all your life: since your birth. So think of this. Your body has kept you relatively healthy till now when it lets you down and alerts you to the need for some other kinds of decisions. You would not be reading this information in this article unless you had a need. (That is how your mind works: it brings required information to your conscious awareness.)

The natural or default state of your body is be healthy. It will do everything in its power to maintain its healthy balanced: all day, everyday. This state of your body is called “homeostasis”. Mosby: a relative constancy in the internal environment of the body, naturally maintained by adaptive responses that promote healthy survival.” From conception, this has been the action of every cell of your body.

In utero, or in the womb, during the nine months or so that you were developing your body systems, all waste products were eliminated through your mother. Once you were born (released) into the outside world, your body immediately changed and you were “cut free” from this “family waste management system”…and forced onto your own private one. All I am trying to say here is that waste has always been and will always continue to be a vital part of your health. And it needs to be understood. It is as natural then. It is so now. But mostly likely you weren’t even aware of its existence until you ran into an unhealthy result. So why now? What detoxification now? Research has shown that you live in an environment that is rapidly changing. But until now, it hasn’t really affected you and your world.

But now it has impacted your life. And your mind is now encouraging you to gather information to help you regain control or regain your health. Obviously, somehow an exchange has to be made. Somehow the unwanted or suspected elements need to be removed from your body and replaced by something that will work better for you. Something that will support your metabolism.

Health allows all your body systems to function in harmony. Is it possible to stop this unwanted negative progression or action from continuing relentlessly? This is called degeneration and I believe it is possible. Here is the AMA link to give you more insight.

The decision to detox your body needs much more research and contemplation. You need some options and of course all this depends on your present situation and past experiences. It’s pretty obvious if you have a major drug problem, including alcohol and tobacco, you would need to stop them as well as trying to get the effects out of your body. And any step, no matter how small, is a good step to take. What is not so obvious is what other things could be contributing to the inner pollution that now needs to be detoxified or cleaned out to be rendered harmless.

So what other possible elements should we be suspecting? Foods, drugs, and environments are the quickest and easiest to discover. But I urge you not to jump to quick conclusions. It’s fine to do the research and find you think you have the answer, but you may need the drug or the food in order to cope. Again, you need to make wise decisions, armed with trustworthy knowledge, and in consultation with a qualified medical practioner.

I wanted to repeat Mosby’s definition of toxicity again: “a condition that results from exposure to a toxin or to a toxic amount of a substance that does not cause adverse effects in smaller amounts.” What this means is that sometimes a drug or herbal remedy in small portions isn’t a problem, but if you choose to take more, it can be. More is often not better. I also find that drugs are used in different strengths for different conditions. And sometimes the increase for one intention is too much. Again, I urge you to read all and any herbal, prescription and over the counter information very carefully. This is the day and era of people not being afraid to challenge information or suggestions. Be proactive for the sake of your health. If your body doesn’t like it, it will do its best to detox itself and often the effects of this process are very misunderstood. Then the treatment for a runny nose or a sore throat or a muscle pain, is treated to stop this reaction. Could this action be detrimental to your health? The “default” state of your body is health: not drugs or chemicals. (I could fill a book with what I hear people are on to treat side effects!) So in the end if you are on chemicals and they are not part of your body’s natural makeup, you have chosen to provide a different set of elements to feed it.

Here are two medical descriptions of detox symptoms. Dr. Ray Strand and Dr. Jimmy Scott share their expertise.

Dr. Ray Strand author of “What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You”


”Your body will be able to begin detoxifying (ridding itself of accumulated toxins) as you provide all of these antioxidants and supporting nutrients to the cell at optimal levels. Some patients may note generalized body aches, headaches, skin rash, and diarrhea. These are all symptoms of detoxification. These symptoms are temporary and transient. They are usually gone within 7 to 10 days. Some patients get a mild upset stomach and nausea. This too is usually mild and transient. It takes 6 to 12 months to build up a patient's immune system and antioxidant defense system.”

Jimmy Scott, Ph.D. author of DON'T FIGHT THE HEALING PROCESS

“In the course of following a nutritional program for allergies or other problems, many people experience uncomfortable symptoms. This is known as healing reaction. The most common symptom my clients report is a temporary reduction in energy. They may find themselves sleeping longer, perhaps as much as 12 hours a night. Some people also report aches and pains in various parts of the body, digestive system disturbances such as gas, constipation, or diarrhea, or other miscellaneous complaints.

These symptoms occur because the body is ridding itself of the substances that have been making it toxic - not only the materials that have accumulated in the colon, but also the antibodies and other substances that have built up in the individual cells, interfering with their normal functioning. As these substances are ejected out of the tissues, they are dumped into the system, making the body temporarily more toxic until they can be excreted. This is partly what produces the symptoms of the healing reaction. This effect is accentuated by the body's process of tearing apart defective tissues, repairing damaged cells, destroying parasites or infective agents, and otherwise producing debris from the re-construction. I find that the more severe the individual's condition (the more toxic his or her body is), the stronger will be the healing reaction. Because the healing reaction is caused by the flushing of toxins out of the cells, the strength of the reaction also depends on how carefully the individual is following the recommended nutritional program. The more correctly the program is followed, the stronger will be the healing reaction.”

Many people choose to do a more prolonged, more natural detoxification or cleansing. This is usually achieved by the use of nutritional supplementation. (GIGO) That should result in gentle continuous exchange of toxins and usable nutrients. It should not cause a severe and dramatic release of toxins into the systems of your body. The huge concern I have with the use of detox products and systems is twofold. 1) You are starving your body for a period of time and it goes into a survival mode (like dieting). 2) You are overwhelming your body with toxins and that has to affect all parts off your systems. This is exactly why drug detoxification for serious dependencies must be dealt with under medical supervision. If something goes wrong, help is close at hand. No one ever anticipates any problems. We just think that happens to someone else. Could you possibly be next? I hope not!

Detoxification and the healing of your immune system are closely related. So you really want to be prepared and ready, but you also want to get through the detox stages to get to the healing. Let me share what we do when we get people on the supplements we speak about. We offer to help them work closely through the first few weeks so they get past any possible detox stages quickly and with as little difficulty as possible. Not everyone goes through this, but it really helps to understand what happens naturally. We offer our help via phone and email and send out frequent messages and notes to make sure no problems exist. We make ourselves available for questions as they arise. Why? Because we have had so much experience and most likely have learned about all types of possible reactions. And if you are prepared and ready, these will just be a part of your life: no big deal.

And as described at the very beginning of this article, once you understand the anatomy and physiology of your body, you are so much more in tune with it: in control. And isn’t that what you seek as you try to clean your body of unhealthy elements?

Essentially nutrients contribute to the optimum functioning of your body. Waste products (the results of detoxification) contribute nothing, but they inhabit valuable space. So your body is designed to rotate nutrients throughout your body systematically (metabolism) to replenish each and every cell, and in the process, also remove waste products. Sometimes we need to help this process along, but if you do, do it with patience, care, and knowledge.


By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.



Additional Information


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