The pathology of all disease can be traced back to 2 things. Toxicity is one of them.
Last week we covered the first of 2 root causes of ALL disease. Nutrient deficiency. But in terms of priority, this week’s cause should be addressed first. Toxicity.
Why first? It makes the 1st root cause, nutrient deficiency, easier to address because addressing toxicity will increase overall nutrient absorption. When dealing with both issues at once, it’s a vicious cycle. Unfortunately both issues happening at the same time is all too common.
We’re going to cover how toxicity plays out in the big picture of our overall health. Things like:
- How to help mitigate it and what are the main toxins to look out for
- What some of the symptoms of high toxic load are (download the quiz to find out)
- What Bioregulatory Medicine is (aka Homotoxicology)
- The big picture of how genetics play into your health
- 6 action steps you can take now to help detox naturally
There’s also a downloadable toxicity quiz to score where you’re at on the “toxicity scale” as it were. From there you can determine what the best course of action will be going forward. You might only need to keep doing what you’re doing. You might need to take some steps to address some toxic overload. Either way, it’s critical to address this monumental aspect of wellness before doing anything else. Solving the puzzle that is optimal health doesn’t have to be as hard as it may seem.
What are some of the main toxins to look out for?
So first off, we need to address the fact that the body is constantly detoxing. The point I’m making is that we need to mitigate exposure to environmental toxins. Too many will push the body into toxic overload. Once this occurs it will manifest as symptoms of chronic disease.
There are roughly 77,000 environmental toxins out there. Conservatively, we’re exposed to at least 1000 a day. So what are the 5 most ubiquitous toxins of our day?
Here they are in no particular order:
- Glyphosate (pesticides) – this is one of many reasons we try to buy organic. If nothing else, make sure you buy organic produce on the dirty dozen list. I’ll also link to the clean 15 so you know what produce is okay to eat even if it’s not organic. Glyphosate is too big of a topic to address here. It will be addressed in detail next week in the post on gut health. In short, it’s bad news. It’s a neurotoxin. It opens up the tight junctions in your gut lining. And it messes with soil bacteria by interfering with the shikimate pathway inhibiting nutrient uptake. All 3 of those are a big deal.
- Heavy metals (mercury, lead, arsenic, etc.) – The main places you’ll be running into these is in seafood, amalgam tooth fillings and vaccines. In rare cases breathing lead paint dust when remodeling an older home. Heavy metal toxicity can be mitigated by eating certain herbs like cilantro which detoxifies heavy metals from the body. There’s also dandelion, red clover, stinging nettle, burdock root, ground ivy, milk thistle and neem.
- BPA/Plastics – This stuff is everywhere. And PR campaigns aside, it’s still making us sick. The main thing that causes harm is the endogenous estrogen content that builds up. This is bad for male and even worse for female endocrine systems. And we wrap our food in plastic all day long. Bottled water comes to mind. As I write this article I just unwrapped some cheese I had all snuggied up in saran wrap. Mmmmm. Endogenous estrogen…
- Flouride – This stuff is all up in your tap water. Assuming you’re hooked up to some kind of government water source. If you’re on a well, good on you. Flouride is also a neurotoxin. It harms the pineal gland in your brain. Amazing. Do yourself a favor and just buy filtered water or get a filter.
- Chlorine – This stuff is also all up in your tap water. The good news is that when you heat up your shower water the chlorine becomes a vapor and when you breathe it in it’s much easier for it to get into your blood stream. <— Sarcasm, in case you missed it. Chlorine kills beneficial gut microorganisms. Again, there’s a gut health article coming next week with more details. Get a shower filter and fix your life.
Is it really that big of a deal?
There are those that will dismiss this information regardless of what the evidence says. They’ll say homotoxicology is “quack science”. They’ll point to studies put out by the FDA, CDC, *insert government funded acronym*, ad nauseam about “safe” levels of these toxins.
My point is that no one from any of these organizations can explain the acute rise in chronic disease in Western society. The only truly rational answer is the evidence from thousands of years of medical history before allopathic medicine. We have to remember that although Western medicine is hands down the best there is for acute, trauma based injury and disease, they fall woefully short when it comes to treating chronic disease. But we also have to remember that in the scheme of human history, Western medicine is still a baby. It’s dangerous to assume any one field of science has it all figured out when it comes to the complexity of the human body.
What is Homotoxicology aka Bioregulatory Medicine?
I like this definition from the South African Society of Integrative Medicine:
“In the definition of Homotoxicology, disease is explained as the expression of an appropriate response against “homotoxins” (internal and external in origin) by the defense mechanism to maintain homeostasis. The response follows a dysregulation of the normal physiological phenomena. Examples of external toxins are infective organisms, allergens, tobacco, alcohol, smoke, drugs, pesticides, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, heavy metal molecules, solvents, vapours, glues and radiation to name a few. Endogenous toxins come from waste products of metabolic processes and inappropriate hormonal and neuro-hormonal secretions.”
In other words, doing everything we can to remove anything blocking the body’s ability to maintain it’s own optimal health. Our bodies are more than capable of doing this given a lifestyle devoid of excessive environmental toxins and a nutrient rich diet. Weird.
Here’s a helpful infographic that will help you visualize this field of medicine. It lays out the 6 levels of toxicity:
Stop blaming everything on genetics.
I’m guilty of this. I believed that because my grandmother died from cancer that I had a much higher chance of developing it. Or that since my sister is allergic to eggs that I might be too. The fact is that 95% of all disease is environmental. Here’s the crazy part. Genetics only come into play when one of two things (or both) happen. What are those things? Oddly enough they’re nutrient deficiency and toxic overload. Weird.
In summary, next steps and detoxing naturally.
So we’ve covered the main toxins to mitigate from your environment. You’ve learned about bioregulatory medicine and how genetics are NOT to blame and DON’T determine the outcome of your health. To reiterate, address toxicity first. Then address nutrient deficiency.
There are 4 natural ways that your body detoxifies:
How can you use these to your benefit? Healthy eating, proper hydration and exercise. Once again, weird. It’s beyond the scope of this article to go over the details of a targeted detox but there will be an article about it coming soon.
Here’s 6 actionable items to do for now:
- Take the toxicity quiz.
- Clean up your diet.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces each day of water.
- Sweat every day if you can.
- For now do your best to mitigate environmental toxins from your life.
- Check out our articles on Intermittent Fasting; it’s an excellent way to detox naturally.
No matter what, take action. Even if it’s SUPER small. That tiny step will create enough momentum to take the next one.