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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Detoxifying for Women's Health: Understanding Toxins and Tips for a Healthier Life

by Dr. Fred Harvey   

The incidence and prevalence of diseases or death in women are different from men in several ways, but similar in others. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for everyone, while cancer is responsible for more female deaths, accounting for 22 percent of all female deaths in the United States, regardless of race or age.  

In addition, the types of cancer that impact women differ from those that impact men. Breast and lung cancer are the primary cancers in women, while lung and prostate cancer are more prevalent in men. Other conditions that affect women include vascular disease, stroke, COPD (chronic lower lung disease), Alzheimer's disease and diabetes, the latter of which contributes to the severity of all aforementioned diseases. 

Interestingly, each of those diseases has one common factor—toxicity. Biochemical, physical, emotional and spiritual toxicity all contribute to the development of degenerative diseases. However, in today's world, biochemical toxins also cause damage across all ecosystems and species. Toxins can result in vascular damage which, in turn, leads to vascular disease. Toxins also impair sugar management, often leading to diabetes or causing inflammation in the body. This can ultimately cause degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. 

Interventions in a toxic world are for improving the current and future health of women. Here are some tips to help with detoxification and promote overall health:   

  • Choose whole, unprocessed foods, free of harmful additives and chemicals. Organic produce and meat are healthy choices to reduce pesticide exposure and other toxins. 

  • Drink enough water to flush toxins from the system and help the organs function optimally. Aim for at least eight glasses of water each day. Infuse a slice of lemon or lime in the water for more flavor and detoxifying benefits. 

  • Exercise regularly to increase circulation, flush toxins out of the system and support organ health, while reducing inflammation in the body. 

  • Practice mind-body techniques such as meditation, deep breathing or yoga to reduce stress and promote emotional wellness. This also helps reduce emotional toxicity. 

  • Consider consuming daily supplements such as milk thistle, N-acetylcysteine or alpha-lipoic acid to support liver function and eliminate toxins from the body. 

  • Use natural cleaning products, free of harmful chemicals, to reduce overall exposure to toxins throughout the home. 

  • Prioritize adequate sleep each night to help the body repair, regenerate and eliminate toxins, while supporting overall health. 

  • Avoid foods that contain toxic pesticide residue. The Environmental Working Group provides an annual report called “The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15.” This resource will make it easier to choose foods that are free of these toxins. 

  • Avoid types of fish that contain toxic metals such as tuna, swordfish, shark and lobster. Choose safer alternatives instead. 

  • Limit added sugar intake to reduce the toxins that challenge metabolic health. 

  • Drink filtered water that removes lead, chlorine and petrochemicals, including PFAS.    

By following these tips, women can feel better and avoid degenerative illnesses in the future. Detoxifying the body is crucial for maintaining health and wellness, and reducing exposure to toxins is a vital step of this process.   

Dr. Fred Harvey is the Medical Director of Functional Medicine Florida. He is quadruple board-certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Functional Medicine and Holistic-Integrative Medicine, specializing in chronic illness recovery, prevention and defiant aging. For more information, call 941-929-9355 or visit

December 2023 Digital Edition






















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