People often come to our practice wanting to do a cleanse or “detox”, but what does that really mean?

Very simply, detoxification means getting rid of toxins.

Detoxing our lives might look like eliminating unhealthy relationships with family or friends who negatively influence our mental health.

We can detox our living environments by choosing wood floors instead of carpet or eliminating household products with volatile organic compounds (VOC).

The bottom line is that the concept of “detoxification” is often oversimplified, and we need to get more specific with how we approach this issue.

“An accumulation of toxins may become poisonous in the human body, which may lead to potential damage of vital organs and systems.” Toxins enter the blood stream via ingestion, inhalation, absorption, and through autointoxication (TLW).

Let’s take a closer look at metabolic detoxification and how that plays out in the human body.

In our bodies detoxification means:

SYMPTOMS – Knowing when we are not well and recognizing unwanted symptoms
TOXICITY – Identifying specific toxins that prevent our systems from operating as needed
ELIMINATION – Eliminating toxins from our environment and bodies
REPAIR – Repairing our metabolic functioning to help the body perform at an optimal level


Toxicity manifests in our bodies mainly through the gut, kidneys, liver, and skin. Noticing signs of toxicity is the first step in alleviating the problem. Here are a few things to watch for (of course, check with your doctor first and foremost to determine if your symptoms are related to toxicity):

  1. Problems with digestion
  2. Skin irritations
  3. Fatigue
  4. Autoimmune diseases
  5. Abnormal body odors
  6. Frequent or severe headaches
  7. Overall aches and pains
  8. Brain fog
  9. Weight issues
  10. Chemical sensitivities

Noticing and understanding the symptoms of toxicity is helpful in recognizing whether toxins are a factor in the overall health of your body.


It is ideal to identify the specific causes of toxicity in the body, as different offending agents will require different treatment protocols.  Some of the more common examples include:

  • heavy metals
  • plasticizers
  • pesticides
  • herbicides
  • solvents
  • mold
  • microbes
  • chlorine
  • hydrogenated oils
  • food preservatives

Identifying specific toxic offenders with testing allows us to both treat the underlying cause and limit further exposure.


In addition to identifying specific exposures, we also want to look at what we can do to optimize our organs of elimination.

As mentioned before, the organs that help our bodies eliminate toxins can include the gut, kidneys, liver, and skin. Sometimes, these organs of elimination get overloaded by one or more of the aforementioned offenders, so we implement the appropriate treatments to help them recover, restoring the organs back to their optimal function.


We provide functional testing for toxicity in the body. We can also perform genetic tests and metabolites that allow us to assess how different components of our liver detoxification pathways are working, which then allows us to target those defects with specific therapies, for example.

This is where the more generic “detoxification” can come into play, as we can still identify genetic predispositions or other underlying reasons for “poor detoxification”, where you may have defective pathways that prevent you from properly metabolizing hormones or other toxic metabolites that are just part of our body’s natural way of breaking down and eliminating byproducts of foods, hormones, etc.

Clinically, we’re trying to figure out both the external variables (what and how much of the offending agent is someone being exposed to) and the internal variables (how well are my elimination and detoxification pathways working).

Schedule time with Dr. Fisel to talk about functional testing and whether or not detoxification is right for your symptoms and your body.

If you live in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area and would like to learn more about integrative solutions for your health care needs, I can help you get to the root of your symptoms by promoting health and healing on all levels – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation.


Longevity Wellness Team. “12 Signs You Need a Detox: Longevity Blog: Algarve – Portugal.” Longevity, 10 May 2022,

“Metabolic Detoxification.” Metabolic Detox: Why and How to Detoxify – Life Extension,

© 2024 Dr. Fisel, ND. All Rights Reserved.