People who are dealing with disease and cancer (especially cancer) are often faced with needing to undergo a PET scan. While this can tell us a lot about our bodies, it can also be a lot on our bodies.
Let’s go over what a PET scan is. This is an useful description from Medical News Today:
“A positron emission tomography, also known as a PET scan, uses radiation to show activity within the body on a cellular level. It is most commonly used in cancer treatment, neurology, and cardiology. Combined with a CT or MRI scan, a PET scan can produce multidimensional, color images of the inside workings of the human body. It shows not only what an organ looks like, but how it is functioning. A PET scan is used to diagnose certain health conditions, to plan treatment, to find out how an existing condition is developing, and to see how effective a treatment is.”
Reasons why one might get a PET scan:
1. To get an initial diagnosis
2. To track a condition
3. To see how the body is working
The thing that’s unfortunate and scary about PET scans is, while it can provide us with a lot of information, there is radioactive material used within the body…. If we are trying to heal holistically (and heck- even if we aren’t but we just want to be healthy!)-- then avoiding or detoxing radioactive material in our body is necessary.
Our Founder, Karen Berrios, wrote about PET scans before as she had to undergo one herself. She was having trouble with her neck, and was scared that her cancer had come back. Thankfully, everything was okay- but she wanted to detox the radioactive material immediately!
Some tips Karen gave us for detoxing: Drink plenty of filtered water, eat cruciferous vegetables, eat organic apples… to name a few!
Let’s explore more of what science says. If you know Karen, you know she loves science!
What to do after a PET Scan
Drink extra filtered water
Drink LOTS of it. There are radioactive tracers in your body- this needs to be flushed out! Just by drinking half a liter of water, we can increase our metabolic rate by 30% for an entire hour. Higher metabolic rate = faster we can rid the toxins in our bodies. Because the absence of water in our bodies is lethal, we can say that more water = more abundance and vitality.
Give yourself vitality! Drink water!
Eat cruciferous vegetables
These vegetables contain sulfur and that is a super potent detoxing agent. Cruciferous vegetables also have DIM in them- which can help with hormonal balance within the liver.
Nonetheless, cruciferous vegetables have been shown to help with detoxing in general. Radioactive material or not. This study explains it well: “In general, the nature of these findings indicates that specific foods may upregulate or favorably balance metabolic pathways to assist with toxin biotransformation and subsequent elimination. Various whole foods such as cruciferous vegetables… have been suggested to be beneficial and commonly prescribed as part of naturopathic-oriented and functional medicine-based therapies.”
Cruciferous vegetables we like include broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts as well as turnips and dark leafy greens like kale and arugula. Of course, our favorite is our "Maca Root" click here to learn more about the benefits of eating maca.
Eat foods high in PECTIN
Pectin is a water-soluble fiber. Did you know pectin can bind to toxins? We want this as it will help carry toxicity out of the body. Many doctors talk about heavy metals and toxins floating around our bodies and the need for something to quite literally grab on to them to talk them out. Pectin can help. Foods that are high in this kind of fiber? Apples are high in pectin! Citrus peels are high in pectin (time to make a jam!) Bananas, peaches, and raspberries are also high in pectin.
Take specific magnesium supplements
We do this before and after a PET scan to help detoxify the body. Magnesium is an incredibly important mineral in our body that is responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions. Many people are deficient. Taking a magnesium supplement ensures you are prepairing your body for the task of detoxifying. Many great researchers and doctors (like Dr. Mark Hyman) say that magnesium is one of the best supplements you can possibly take for detoxifying!
A great form of magnesium for detox is in the form of epsom salt baths- this is called magnesium sulfate. Just a tip!
Seek IV therapy and detoxing supplements
A good one to start with is adding glutathione or NAC. But both for different reasons. NAC converts to glutathione- which is arguably the most important antioxidant in the liver. While NAC is bioavailable through supplementation (and it is great for detoxification), unfortunately glutathione is not super bioavailable unless it is put into the body through an IV.
Taking a NAC supplement and then seeking out a glutathione IV could be a very strong remedy for detoxification.
***Karen specifically seeks out a good glutathione IV. See that article here.
Eat very specific greens
The greens we are talking about are barley grass, spinach, and pure bio-cultured Chlorella. Do this daily after a PET scan, for weeks if you can. Here is what is so great about these three greens:
Barley Grass- has detoxing and antidepressant effects. (See this analysis here.)
Spinach- can help our bodies detox from heavy metals and other toxins and also help us with our microbiome. (See this analysis which touches on spinach here.)
Chlorella- this is an alkaline food, which is great for the body and especially great for detox. (See this analysis on Chlorella here.)
Try out Infrared Sauna Therapy
This is gold if you have access to it. (If not- it’s okay! There are many ways to detox. This is just one of them.)
For a full article, Karen had written about infrared saunas here.
Here’s something to note about infrared saunas- the literature is super strong. One of the main things it notes? Detoxification! Just in general, people all over are using infrared saunas for recovery. In a way- your body needs to recover after a PET scan.
Believe it or not, saunas can really purify the body. Try going multiple times a week for a few weeks (at least one!) after your PET scan.
Look into taking marshmallow root powder
One form of detoxing, is making sure you are pooping. Yes, you read that right! In the words of world reknown biohacker, Ben Greenfield: “Marshmallow Root Powder….. Is a natural expectorant, demulcent, emollient diuretic and anti-inflammatory. Aids in peristalsis and soothes inflammation of the alimentary canal.” Meaning it helps you poop! (By the way, often plants that are good for the skin are natural detoxifiers- check out this study that talked about Marshmallow Root here!)
Drink your green tea
Many people who live in blue zones (places on earth with high populations of those living over 100) are reported to drink green tea. Green tea (this analysis is great) is a wonderful, gentle detoxifier for the body. You can drink it everyday -for your entire life even - and continue to reap the benefits! It definitely helps in the detoxification process and while some treatments can feel more aggressive (like root powders and saunas!) green tea is very relaxing.
Cauliflower Red Cabbage “Teriyaki” Recipe
This recipe is incredibly healthy! As we spoke in our “what to do after a pet scan” article, one of the best things you can eat to help your body detox is cruciferous veggies!
The stars of this meal are cauliflower and red cabbage. Two liver detox powerhouses!
Courtesy of Katey Yurko @thevioletfog
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