Integrative Health Blog

The Importance of Detoxification in Chronic Illness

Posted by NIHA Staff on Mon, Jul 09, 2018


"Detoxification is the foundation of all Integrative Medical treatment. Without good detoxification, healing from any chronic illness is impossible.” Dietrich Klinghardt MD, PhD.

The quote by Dr. Klinghardt, one of the world’s most accomplished Holistic Physicians and the teacher of teachers, is critical information for understanding the role of detoxification in not only treating chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases, brain and nervous system degeneration, autism, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue conditions and pain syndromes – but also the prevention of these chronic health issues and other diseases of aging. Unfortunately, these conditions are becoming more common and are now seen at earlier ages. 

We live in a toxic world, some of which is created by environmental factors, modern living and technological advances, but many people are unaware of the science and trends. Startling statistics in a recent study show that for the past two years the life expectancy of Americans has  decreased, and the average IQ of children has been declining for years.

Could this possibly be due to environmental factors? Is this how modern living is affecting our health? What now?

The solution is for each individual to become educated (and involved) about what we eat, what we drink, what we put on our faces and bodies, and what we are exposed to at home and at work. Detoxification is important for health, but prevention or minimization of toxic exposure is also a critical factor in lifelong good health for adults -and especially for our children.

What is Detoxification?

Detoxification is the process of reducing the body’s burden of harmful compounds, toxic substances, and bacterial by-products in order to improve bodily function.  Integrative physicians recognize detoxification as a first, foundational step in restoring the body to a natural, balanced, and healthy state. The body is naturally able to remove a lot of the toxins on its own. But with so much exposure, and because we all detox at different rates, we may need help to learn how to detox efficiently.

Detoxification and Chronic Illness

Your present state of health is the result of many years of exposure to chemicals and toxins and decisions about what you have chosen to take into your body, mind, and spirit. The innate systems of the body want to function and heal, but with chronic illness, the immune system may be over burdened while trying to heal in a “toxic stew.” Every farmer knows that plants grow better in good soil. If the body is burdened by heavy metals, chemicals, drugs/alcohol, poor quality food and ubiquitious Wifi exposure it will struggle to maintain a healthy internal environment. The importance of creating a strong foundation with a healthy gut, nutritious food, clean water and a non-toxic environment cannot be underestimated. Detoxification therapies and a systematic program to ensure gentle detoxification, rejuvenation, and reversal of many years of exposure to toxins can promote the foundation for a healing environment.

Common Toxins in our Environment


Mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, nickel, titanium, tin, and barium may be found in medicine,  dentistry, personal care products such as cosmetics, creams, deodorant, water, the food supply, second hand smoke, car exhaust or industrial and household products. Some of these have been dumped into our environment from the skies (aluminum) or from burning of fossil fuels (coal) and now have contaminated soil and air. Some of these heavy metals may even be found in food grown organically.


Toxic chemicals – Over 200,000 industrial toxic chemicals are released into our environment each year and less  than 2000 have been tested for causing harm.

Toxic Bowel and its microbiome – the bowel is our #1 detox organ, immune system and regulatory organ in that it is the culture for our healthy microbiome. The bowel is critical for health and is under attack by all of the above, but especially GMOs, Round-up, and other pesticides/herbicides.


Chronic infections (or infestations) and their toxic by-products can complicate treatment for a chronic illness.  When the immune system’s effectiveness becomes reduced, when the detoxification systems become overwhelmed, when the body’s milieu becomes unhealthy and acidic, when the cells are starving for minerals and other nutrients-guess what? The unwanted guests can take over.

-The list of chronic infections includes Lyme Disease and the host of co-infections that accompany it (Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, etc.); Molds, Candida and other fungi; Viruses (Herpes, Epstein Barr, retro-viruses); and Parasites.

-Leaky gut, a condition where the lining of the small intestine is damaged, destroys the good microbiome and allows the bad bugs to flourish.


There are other modern toxins that are energetic in nature that our fore-fathers did not have to deal with. The noxious energies of Electromagnetic radiation (produced by electricity fields) and microwave radiation (cell phones, wireless signals, cell towers and everything else) can produce harmful effects that our neuro-immune system cannot deal with, exacerbating the chronic conditions listed above.

Detox for Life

Detoxification means taking the bad stuff out. Some detoxification methods like drinking lemon water, sweating, exercise, and taking certain supplements can be done easily. Infrared sauna, colon hydrotherapy and detox footbath and massage will help to release toxins and cleanse the body. Always consult with a detox-literate physician if you have a chronic illness, infection or have high exposure to heavy metals or chemicals.

NIHA practitioners can design a custom detoxification program based on your biological terrain and current health condition. The integrative physician will assess your health status and toxic load, suggest modifications and supplements and develop an appropriate treatment plan which may incorporate state-of-the-art detoxification therapies available in our integrative medical center.

Detoxification for Life is not only sound advice for regaining health, but helpful for preventing chronic diseases and other problems of aging in our modern world. It is the first important step in restoring the body to a natural, balanced, and healthy state. 


Topics: detoxification