We appear quite healthy. Our body seems to have escaped our nation’s “Big-Ugly Popularity Contest”. Then someone we know wakes up with a Stage-4-Something-or-Another diagnosis. They’re given a short time to get their affairs in order. YIKES! We’re wondering “How that happened so suddenly”, and “Could that be happening to me?”

The truth is that a “Big-Ugly-Stage-4” takes about 20 years to become established. The healthier a body is, the longer it takes.

Let’s dive down under our skin and see what’s happening at the cellular level. Look, the tiny cells of every organ are very busy doing their special jobs. They’re also creating a little garbage in the process. The garbage is hauled away through the internal cleansing channels. It ends up in one of the five organs of elimination; bowels, liver, kidneys, lungs or skin.

We’re familiar with how dirty and smelly our skin can get. We wash it daily, but what about the other organs? When was the last time we took our liver, lungs, bowels or kidneys and gave them a good scrubbing? When garbage hangs around, the cells have a harder time being as energetic. We start feeling less energy. How does this happen?

Our bodies are designed to receive nutrient dense, enzyme rich, whole foods that are mostly raw. When our food is cooked, canned, boxed, bagged, processed, and fast, it ends up being increasingly nutrient depleted and enzyme free. It may contain artificial flavors, colors or chemical additives for more eye and tongue appeal.

What does Stomach do with all this stuff that doesn’t even get chewed to usable juice most of the time? He does his best, but gets over burdened by all the garbage. When Stomach has more garbage than he can handle, he shoves some up into the fundus (the top portion of the stomach). By the way, the fundus is where H. Pylori bacteria hang out, like ants and flies, waiting for garbage to arrive so they can set up housekeeping. The rest of the garbage gets passed on down to the colon with the request, “Please help me out, Buddy. I’m overworked and underpaid.”

Colon is handling its own workload which includes sending its new, finished nutrients on to the liver for further preparation for the body’s cells. Colon eliminates the garbage it can, tucks some of the extra off into nooks and crannies somewhere, and sends the rest on to the liver with the same request for help. Now, Colon’s nooks and crannies are on their way to a “Big-Ugly” diagnosis of constipation, diverticulitis, irritable bowel, crohn’s, etc.

Liver is busy making new cell parts out of the nutrients it receives. New nutrients from food are added to recycled nutrients from the cortisol demolition crew. Cortisol takes apart old, worn out cells from every part of the body. After an old cell is removed, the human growth hormone construction crew builds a new cell in its place. This process is how we grow, heal and stay young. It seems a bit counter-productive to apply expensive creams, lotions and wrinkle-reducing products to our skin while trashing our livers with artificial nutrients and chemical ingredients.

When Liver has more garbage than it can handle, it bundles the fat-soluble waste and throws it into the “bile-dish-soap” making process. Bile’s job is emulsifying fat into body water like dish soap that cuts grease into the dish water. When we eat “low-fat/no fat” foods, bile is not needed as much. It sits in the gallbladder waiting for fats and oils to arrive. While it waits, the garbage keeps being packed into bigger, harder bundles like little rocks. Liver sends the water-soluble garbage on down to the kidneys.

Kidneys are very busy cleaning the blood and balancing its pH (acid/alkaline ratio). They have their own garbage to handle. When the extra garbage arrives from the liver, Kidneys starts feeling overburdened. They condense and pack some garbage into tiny corners, and the rest is sent up to the lungs.

The lungs are only stage 5 of the 11-stage Toxic Stress Cycle. The Take Charge Workshop Series is where I teach us to break this vicious cycle and return to a healthy lifestyle. Last week’s workshop celebration was D’s victory over heartburn; well worth her investment. Workshops are: Tuesdays 6-8:30pm, or Mondays 2-4:30pm. Only $97 for a month of learning.

Register today at Family HELM Health Center. Let’s stop this stressful poisoning.

Until then, take charge.

(Sylvia J. Harral is a digestive health specialist and Michele Stewart is a pilates master trainer. They each have more than 15 years experience. Send your questions by e-mail to familyhelm@hotmail.com; by mail to Family HELM Health Center, 379 N. Hockett St., Porterville, CA, 93257; or by phone at 202-9105.)

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