When the world was first created, it was such a different place than what we see today! The level of toxins that we’re exposed to on a daily basis is insane, and so is the possibility of heavy metal toxicity. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has over 80,000 documented substances that they track!
Toxins can play a role in altering out normal physiology and how body systems are supposed to work in their optimal fashion (you know, in the ways that help us to feel great and want to jump out of bed in the morning glad to be alive!)
Toxins tend to be a leading factor in the development of chronic diseases, fatigue, weight gain (boo!), headaches, breathing problems, sleep disturbances, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Sometimes, it takes months or years of exposure to toxins for health problems to appear.
Exposure To Toxins
Here are some of the ways that we can be exposed to environmental toxins:
- tap water
- amalgam (mercury) fillings
- furniture and home decor pieces
- solvents and VOCs (from cleaning products, gases released from carpets or furniture)
- BPA- in plastics and can liners
- phthalates and parabens- in make up, cleaning products, personal care products
- EMF radiation- Wifi, electronics
- heterocyclic amines- from animal sources cooked at high temperatures
- CT scans, MRI scans
Have you ever lived through a home renovation? Have you even smelled mold in a place where you lived or worked? The human nose is very sensitive to the smell of mold and can be very good at detecting its presence.
Heavy metals that can be harmful include mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum, arsenic, cesium, tin, and thallium.
Possible Symptoms Of Exposure to Environmental Toxins and Heavy Metal Toxicity
How do you know if you this may be a cause of your symptoms? Do you feel/have:
- tired frequently
- joint pain
- abdominal symptoms like bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, foul-smelling stools, bad breath, reflux, water retention, canker sores
- brain fog
- food cravings
- difficulty losing weight
- skin problems like frequent rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis
- sinus symptoms like congestion, postnasal drip, allergic shiners (looks like faint black eyes or purplish bags under the eyes)
- frequent headaches
- trouble sleeping
Medical Conditions That May Be Linked to Environmental Toxins
The root of these medical conditions may be caused by exposure to environmental toxins or heavy metal toxicity:
- decreased immune system function (getting sick frequently)
- chronic infections (like chronic Lyme’s Disease, Epstein- Barr, Cytomegalovirus, Babesiosis)
- autoimmune disorders
- endocrine disorders
- multiple chemical sensitivities and medication reactions (do you react to lots of different supplements, skin care products, medications?)
- allergies and asthma
- inability to tolerate caffeine
How Your Body Detoxes
Your body is on your side! It’s trying to help you get rid of these toxins and feel better. Here’s the 6 body systems that assist in detoxification:
- The Liver- Phase 1 liver detox uses the P450 pathway to get toxins ready for more detox; it makes toxins water-soluble and creates free radicals. Phas 2 liver detox converts toxins into a form that can be excreted from your body.
- The Kidneys- clear toxins from the bloodstream and excrete them in the urine.
- GI System- Your digestive tract gets rid of toxins in the stool. It’s vital to have a healthy gut for this to work properly!
- Skin- You get rid of toxins through the skin by sweating. This is your biggest detox organ, and you can help it along by dry brushing, sweating with exercise, and using a sauna.
- Lungs- You can exhale some toxins.
- Lymphatic System- You can improve detox here with exercise, T-Tapp movements, and dry brushing
Testing For Toxins
You can test for heavy metal toxicity or environmental toxin overload through blood, urine, and hair tests.
Blood testing is usually done in the setting of an acute toxin overload. These tend to be used in conventional medicine if you have had a sudden, large exposure to a certain substance. Things like lead poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc, can be tested this way.
Urine provocation testing is a common way to see which heavy metals you’ve stored in your tissues over time. It involves taking a chelating agent, which pulls the metals out of storage in your body and sends them out through the urine. Urine is collected for 24 hours to see how much exposure and heavy metal storage you have.
Ways To Support Healthy Detox
It’s easy to get caught up in fear over how we’re exposed to toxins All. The. Time.
If the fear is creeping in, take a minute to focus on being grateful for where you are and what you have. Then, take a deep breath and just do what you can.
Stress is also dangerous to your best health, and worrying over toxin exposure can impair how well you feel.
My faith is important to me, and I’ve found it helpful to trust that God has a plan. Then, I ask Him to show me what I can do to reduce my family’s risks and help us to live a healthy life.
1. Healthy Home
Ways to help your home be a safer, healthier haven:
- mold remediation if you smell mold anywhere
- clean water (Kangen water is amazing if that’s within your budget if not, I love this one from Amazon)
- clean air (I love this air filtration system)
- clean products- use natural cleaning supplies, soaps, personal care products; Thrive Market is a great place to get them at good prices!
2. Healthy Food
Go with organic food, clean packaging, and grass-fed, antibiotic-free meat from reputable sources like Butcher Box.
3. Healthy Skin
Look for natural clothing materials, like 100% cotton, murano wool, and the like.
We absorb chemicals through our skin, too, so choose your lotions and make up carefully. There are tons of medications that come in topical form, so just think how much can be absorbed through your largest organ system!
4. Healthy Body
There are lots of ways to support a healthy body through:
- chlorophyll supplementation
- green tea
- methylated (activated) vitamin B Complex (B’s work better together, so if you supplement, please consider getting a B complex)
- milk thistle
- calcium D-glucarate
- curcumin (comes from tumeric)
- probiotics with at least 50 billion CFUs
- glutathione- not well absorbed from supplements, but can be taken IV or cream form or through fresh fruits and vegetables
Be sure that your bowels move regularly (you should be having 2-3 loose-ish bowel movements a day) to help you detox through your GI tract.
Focus on good gut health, and check out Part 2 of this series.
Give your HPA axis and adrenal glands plenty of love. You can do this by getting enough rest, reducing the stress in your life, and eating a balanced diet that include some healthy, complex carbohydrates.
Dive Deeper Into Holistic Health Topics
Thanks for reading this Holistic Health Intro (from a holistic healthcare insider!). Beyond answering “What is leaky gut?,” you’ll find the rest of this series on these important Holistic Health Topics:
- What Is Holistic Health (and what to know on your first dr’s visit)
- Fix That Leaky Gut and Food Sensitivities
- Heal Adrenal Fatigue and Reset Your HPA Axis
- How to Have a Happy Thyroid
- Balancing Female Hormones
Resources That I Love
…to help you be healthy naturally:
- Supercharge Your Weight Loss- Need a little extra “oomph” to help you stay on plan? Several of my friends recently introduced me to HealthyWage. If you’re losing weight well with THM or if financial rewards motivate you to stay on track, then HealthyWage is perfect for you!
- Save on Healthy Meat– ButcherBox is my new favorite way to buy antibiotic free, grass fed beef, pork, and chicken! It’s cheaper than I can get it in the local stores, and it comes right to my door! Use the code AP10 to get $10 off your first box and FREE nitrate-free bacon!!
- Get Healthy Foods for Less- Thrive Market is like the online Costco for healthy groceries, and they even have healthy meat and seafood! We love saving money with wholesale prices on healthy groceries and products that get sent right to our home! Get an extra 25% OFF your first order when you sign up at Thrive Market HERE!
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