Healing CrisisBy Jaime C. Cua, M.S.Nutritional BiochemistIn our modern, highly industrialized world, we are inevitably exposed to persistent low level of toxic substances and heavy metals. Symptoms of chronic toxicity may not appear for years, as the body hides these toxins in various tissues, notably bones and fatty tissues.When one start an Orthomolecular Therapeutic Nutritional Program for the first time, the level of toxic substances and heavy metals in the blood will slowly rise as they are forced out from storage sites and return to blood circulation. Certain nutrients (such as vitamin C, lipoic acid, zinc, etc.) are known to “displace” or “grab” environmental residues and heavy metals from their storage sites. These cellular toxins will then bath vital organs and posea threat to cellular structures and functions.At the molecular level, cellular toxins destroy the architecture of cell membranes and disrupt enzyme activities. This translates into weaker cellular structures and impaired cellular functions. These degenerative changes create vague and wide-ranging symptoms such as mild headache, light-headedness, insomnia, abdominal discomforts, soft stool, mild constipation, skin rashes, pimples, mild cough with phlegm, watery eyes, runny nose, low grade fever, mild body aches, among others. The emergence of these undesirable symptoms during the start of nutritional supplementation is commonly known in alternative medicine as “healing crisis”.The degree of discomfort during the healing crisis period varies among individuals and depends primarily on their health status. In a healthy body, toxins are handled quite efficiently by the liver (primary organ of detoxification) and by the kidneys (primary organ of excretion). However, when functions of both liver and kidneys are compromised due to prolonged illness, long-term medication, chronic malnutrition and recurring infection, the cellular toxins that are released from storage sites remain in the blood longer than usual. These toxins greatly affect weak organs which are prone to micro-injury and inflammation, resulting in various discomforts mentioned above. Therefore, the impact of healing crisis will be greater on a person who is relatively sick in the first place.It is therefore important to saturate vital organ systems with abundant supply of powerful antioxidants during the initial phase of Orthomolecular Therapeutic Nutritional Program. This is to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals generated by cellular toxins circulating in the body as well as to protect the integrity of body structures to withstand oxidative stress. It is also important to include liver-protective herbs and powerful systemic enzymes in the program to help improve liver functions as well as to offer restorative anti-inflammatory support to the whole body.