Toxemia is the medical term that defines a condition in which our bodies accumulate poisonous substances to such a point that levels exceed our body’s ability to cleanse them away.
We humans have created a toxic world. Unlike all other species we insist on polluting the very environment on which we are dependent to live. The consequences of this behavior are we are dealing with more and more health problems. From conception, a child is exposed to an enormous amount of environmental toxins. First from their mother and then from the world they are born into. In North America the air is toxic with over 80,000 metric tons of carcinogens released in the air annually. The water is polluted with over 2100 chemicals in most municipal water supplies. And the food supply is contaminated with over 80% of the foods having genetically modified ingredients, loaded with toxic chemicals and hormones, and depleted of many nutrients. Most people are never aware of how many toxins they come in contact with on a regular basis and of the problems associated with those toxins.
One of the first toxins a child is exposed to is mercury. In a study by the Environmental Working Group, umbilical cord blood from 10 babies was taken and tested for contaminants. The results showed that the babies had an average of 287 contaminants including methyl mercury. Of these chemicals, 180 are carcinogenic in humans, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 are known to cause birth defects.
For years, vaccines have been a remarkable source of mercury exposure to our children. At birth, infants are given hepatitis B; this is followed by 32 shots and boosters by the age of two. Although vaccines are safer today since the removal of thimerosal (the mercury preservative) some still contain this known toxin. The flu vaccine and the DT booster still contain mercury. DtaP-HepB-IPV also contains trace amounts of thimerosal. Replacement preservatives include phenol, benzethonium chloride, and formaldehyde. All of these may harm a growing child.
Even if a child has never been vaccinated nor had amalgam fillings, they are still exposed to a host of toxins via the air, water and soil. The human body now harbors more xenobiotics or foreign chemicals than any other time in history. Today newborns are so burdened with xenobiotics that for the first time in history, they are not expected to live as long as their parents. One in 6 children born today has some degree of neurological/behavioral impairment from environmental xenobiotics.
Phthalates and plastics are the main pollutants in the human body. They damage numerous areas of the body including the brain and thyroid. It has been shown phthalates create insulin resistance, which is contributing to our obesity epidemic. This number one pollutant is in our food, beverages, medicines, air, cosmetics, construction material, and textiles and therefore is very difficult to avoid. Studies show how this toxin has contributed to not only obesity and insulin resistance, but also chronic inflammation and arteriosclerosis. Parabens and phthalates are commonly in our personal care products. The FDA doesn’t regulate the use of these chemicals, nor does it require manufactures to disclose them as ingredients. The trade secret loophole allows manufactures to conceal them under general terms such as fragrance. To avoid phthalates use cosmetics that contain all natural ingredients, not just claim they do, read the list of ingredients and avoid products that have “fragrances”, parabens, artificial colors, petroleum. For a more detailed listing of chemicals to avoid, see my article on Unsafe Toxins in Cosmetics or click here. As far as in our food, it is best to eat whole, fresh food, the closest to how the earth has made it. Limit the amount of processed (food in a package) that you can.
According to 1992 Earth summit the U.S. has the worst soil in the world. Tragically, herbicides and pesticides, as well as overuse, has depleted our precious soil of it nutritious minerals. In order to have maximum nutrient content in our food, we must buy organically and locally whenever possible. Although it cost a bit more, it will save us medical bills in the future. Due to our food’s nutrient depletion it has become evident that supplementation has become necessary.
Not only has our soil been depleted of its natural nutrients, even more frightening is the contaminants in the soil. Rice grown in the U.S. has been shown to have 1.5-5 times the amount of arsenic in it than rice from Europe, India or Bangladesh. This trend occurred because rice crops were grown in soils previously used to grow cotton, where arsenic was used to kill boll weevils. I recently had 3 cases of Arsenic toxicity. One was a 10 year old child which we suspect came from potting soil. The case is currently being worked up.
Diseases have reached epidemic proportions with new labels continually emerging such as chronic fatigue, metabolic syndrome, fibromyalgia, premenstrual syndrome, autism, and erectile dysfunction. Most of these are managed by medications which poison abnormally functioning pathways. Researchers now tell us 95% of cancers and possibly other diseases have only two causes-diet and environment. So if healthcare providers could focus on the toxic overload of the patient and assist their bodies to function optimally, we could make a profound difference in the overall health and recovery process.
Not only do we have this toxic burden and nutrient depleted food but then unfortunately the majority of Americans choose to eat nutritionally depleted food on a daily basis. The Average American eats a Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), which consists of processed, refined food that upsets the entire balance of our bodies. Our bodies literally have to fight to digest and process these foods, which can cause inflammation, GI imbalance, autoimmune disease and obesity. The average American eats 203# of sugar per year. They choose to eat fast foods, processed foods, sodas, caffeine and artificial sweeteners.
With all these toxins in the food, water and air, as a physician I have to have my patients undergo a complete nutritional lifestyle change and to undergo a series of steps to help them detoxify and optimally support their health.
Optimal Wellness and Detoxification Protocol
- Drink adequate filtered water—Tap water has been shown to have pesticides, antibiotics and other medications as well as metals, fluoride, insecticides, herbicides etc. The only way to filter out fluoride is by using a reverse osmosis water filter. When possible drink out of glass containers. I recommend people should consume 2-3 Liters of water a day.
For more information on water filters visit:
- Breathe clean air – Try to get outside into clean air as much as possible. Focus on long slow inhalations and exhalations. Learn more about conscious breathing on our website. Deep breathing helps move our lymphatic and our blood flow.
- Diet— choose a diet using organic ideally locally grown foods when possible. Have a diet dominated by fresh produce. Eat minimal animal protein. Eat low glutinous grains such as basmati rice, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat. Try to eat produce in season. Add herbs to your diet for extra phytonutrients. Cook with organic, unrefined, cold pressed olive oil or coconut oil. For additional diet guidelines please see my article on diet, The Basics: Nutritional Information posted on our website.
- Sleep – Work towards having 8-9 hours of sleep. Stage 3-4 sleep is essential for restoration of the body. Restful sleep supports specifically a healthy immune and endocrine system. Avoid chronic stimulants (caffeine, leaving tv/radio on while sleeping) which effects deep sleep.
- Alkalinize your body—Eat a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables. Test your first morning urine-this pH should be 6.5-7.5. When your body pH is neutral the tissue is able to release more toxins. Acid- forming foods include most proteins (such as meats, fish, poultry and eggs), nearly all carbohydrates such as grains, breads and pastas and most fats. I often recommend eating lots of dark leafy greens or drinking green super foods to help alkalinize the body. For more detailed information about pH, see my article Understanding pH on our website or visit our medicinal store for pH strips to test your body’s pH or for more information.
- Exercise regularly– Exercise of course helps control weight and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Just as important, exercise also helps the lymphatic system remove cellular waste. Aerobic exercise can increase lymphatic flow threefold, which means the body can release three times the amount of toxins. Plus with increased perspiration this helps the release of even additional toxins.
- Use Safe Cookware. I recommend avoiding Teflon for it s made out of toxic chemicals. The safest is glass, stainless steel or enameled cast-iron. All-clad is an excellent choice.
- Use only safe cosmetics. Cosmetics are loaded with chemicals hence it inspired me to create my own chemical free cosmetic line. To learn more please read my article on Safe cosmetics on our Website.
- Cleanse your sinuses daily. I recommend using a netti pot (we carry them in our medicinal store) daily with warm water and a pinch of sea salt this will cleanse the nasal mucosa. This practice tends to decrease infections and allergies.
- Fasting on a regular basis—Fasting is an old method of detoxification that has been talked about for centuries and become part of many religious practices. Fasting allows the body to heal by giving it a rest. I highly recommend 3-5 day juice fast especially in the spring. Juice fasting creates an alkaline environment and really can help the body eliminate accumulated waste products, chemicals and toxins.
- Participate in guided detoxification. We regularly guide our patients through a variety of personalized cleanses. For more nformation about specific or more personalized detox visit our Classes section of the website or visit the Medicinal Store for information
- Use your skin for regular detoxification. Your skin is your largest organ hence consider skin brushing, detox baths (see our options in our store) or far infrared sauna to assist elimination of toxins through your skin. Infrared is the only way to release phthalates from cells of the body. Sweat is only way to remove PCB’s, dioxins, phthalates and volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOHS). Due to this I also recommend saunas, Bikrim or hot yoga.
- Add nutritional supplements that support phase l and phase ll detoxification of the liver. The liver is the key organ responsible for detoxification. It is your filter. If it is properly functioning it will protect you from both environmental and metabolic poisons. With the change of the seasons especially in the spring it is wise to embark on a detoxification program. Use extra nutrients supportive to the liver such as milk thistle, N-Acetyl l-Cysteine, Wasabia, Proanthocyanidins, curcumin and acetyl glutathione. There are many other specific detoxification techniques that I might include in a patient’s plan. These may include Chelation to bind metal toxicity, analgam removal by a biological dentist, castor oil packs, colonics, foot baths, dry skin brushing, and homeopathy to detox lymphatic, kidney and liver pathways, and infrared light box.