What exactly is toxicity?
Toxicity is the ability of a chemical to produce detrimental effects on a living being upon contact with it.
These can be produced by multiple agents, ranging from living beings, environmental, chemical, physical.
Before the industrial revolution and the production of synthetic materials with toxic content for the human being, the earth would naturally present us with toxic agents to which the human body would be subjected.
Today we know that the human body has the specific ability to eliminate toxic agents through different systems and excretory organs that range from the digestive system to the teguments, where the liver is the leading organ for this function, with a multiple number of functions directed specifically to this end, in order to be able to carry out these functions successfully, there must be certain conditions.
The ability to eliminate toxic agents is not a general rule since there are lethal agents, which the body is not able to eliminate generating possible deadly damage; However, there is a vast and wide range of agents which the human body can eliminate without any compilation, provided that these proper systems are under optimal function and that the amount of the exposed agent is manageable for the body, that is, that the amount of agent exposed does not exceed the limits at which the body can stop working, generating accumulation and damage.
Toxicity may be sudden or gradual, this is not related to its possible handling.
In order for the body to cope with toxicity, the systems and organs require specific support, which it obtains through an optimal diet. This is of the utmost importance since, in the presence of disease, the capacity to ingest or nourish properly can be compromised, generating alterations that can lead to the malfunction of these organs and systems. As well as there may be situations where the amount of toxicity can become excessive causing poisoning and serious complications.
We will observe situations where by certain habits and occupations there may be an over-exposure to a certain toxic agents.
Medically speaking , we routinely factor smoking, alcohol use, drugs – prescription or recreational-, exposure to labor agents, exposure to viruses, fungi, bacteria and parasites for chronic infections.
In cancer, toxicity is not absent, as we said earlier this may be due to endless causes where toxicity may be an etiological factor or modulator. From the toxic point of view, we see cancer as a war field at a cellular level, where we will find waste, dead cells, and pro-inflammatory agents, to mention a few.
In traditional oncology we can state that the 3 cardinal treatments are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Of which the latter two carry very well known undesirable side effects. And it is behind these unwanted effects that the toxicity of these tools lie in. We are not denying the properties that have been attributed to them and the benefits that thousands of patients have experienced with their use, however, we must also consider those cases where angular treatment does not achieve the desired results and patients suffer complications due to the toxicity of these agents.
These complications can range from mild to severe, passing or permanent.
There is no way to be able to distinguish prior to treatment with the use of these agents, which patients will present some type of reaction vs the ones that may not present them.
What is a fact, is that there is a toxic factor of these tools, and it couples with the physiological and permanent need of the human body, to eliminate toxic waste product of other cellular functions. This combination of external toxicity (treatments) and internal toxicity (basic elimination function) can become such, that the integrity of the patient can be seriously compromised, resulting in a possible rapid decline in the patient’s physical state, leading to complications.
The term detoxification in traditional medicine is typically reduced to situations of either substance abuse or environmental factors.
We could imply that these are the only situations where traditional medicine relies and uses different interventions for detoxification, and accepts toxicity and the term detoxification as such. In other toxic situations, for some reason we take the body’s ability to eliminate toxins or detoxify as a general rule, even within the presence disease.
This does not correspond to what is demonstrated in relation to chronic degenerative diseases and their etiologies, as well as to individuality. Even today, we have genetic profiles aimed at identifying the differences that result in the ability, incapacity or difference between one human being and another to “manage” (metabolize) X toxic agent or exposed substances, allowing the doctor to better recognize and identify the individuality of each patient and thus be able to make the best therapeutic decision for each situation.
As we said both cancer and conventional treatment carry some toxicity, which together can become lethal.
Medical surveillance in this regard is imperative for the timely identification of complications derived from this, however, in traditional oncology, toxicity is limited to situations where either the body damage is excessive or the treatment can not be carried out by some kind of intolerance.
Even reflex symptoms of this toxicity are taken as “common” symptoms such as: nausea, vomiting, laboratory alterations that reflect alterations in the function of systems and organs, hair loss, weight loss, destruction of plasma cells, to mention a few.
It is at this level that there is no conventional medical intervention to diminish the toxic impact of treatment. Taking us to the better comprehension of the individuality of each patient, which will lead to better adjustment in their treatment and correct support to avoid collateral damage at this level, within the areas already known that are related to cancer.
There is no general rule since situations or scenarios can be thousands, however, it begins with ensuring that the systems and organs responsible for detoxification are under the proper support and performing their functions in an expected manner.
This first step is merely nutritional, later, define the possibility of using specific tools for the manipulation of organs and systems related to this purpose, as well as therapeutic tools that could better counteract such toxicity, such as in the example of heavy metal poisoning and chelation therapy.
As previously mentioned, the liver can be considered the cardinal organ for detoxification. As part of this range of therapeutic interventions we find the metabolic manipulation of the liver for a better elimination of waste, ensuring the presence of substrates necessary to increase the excretion function by this organ.
Another example is to ensure that the elimination functions by the digestive and urinary organs are given in an adequate form and frequency.
Finally we also mentioned the skin as an organ part of the elimination, we see this typically through sweating, so we can make use of therapeutic interventions that activate these tegumentary systems for this purpose.
Detoxification is a cardinal step in the management of cancer and any other chronic degenerative disease.