Total Body Burden
Ever wonder why you can’t loose weight? Or no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to overcome an illness or get back on top of your game? You are likely Tox-sick.
Did you know, sadly enough, that there is not a single space left on the plant today that has not been contaminated with pollution? Toxins are in the air we breathe, the water we drink and bathe in, and the foods we eat. Over time these toxins bio-accumulate or build up in our tissues and cells, much faster than we can eliminate them. The accumulation of toxins in our tissues lead to nutrient deficiencies, weight gain, brain fog, hormone imbalance, allergies, ADD, chronic disease, auto-immunity, cancer, and the list goes one. Suzanne Somer’s new book, TOX-SICK, is a collaborative collection of interviews with physicians that are well-trained Environmental Medicine doctors, including my mentor, Walter Crinnion, ND. The book quotes, “We are sick as a result of being under the greatest environmental assault in the history of humanity and our bodies have reached their tipping point”.
Our body’s burden of toxins has exceeded capacity and the result is illness. The good news is that with cleaner, greener, and more healthful living, we can detoxify and heal!
How did we get so toxic?
According to the Environmental Working Group, “We know that: U.S. chemical companies hold licenses to make 75,000 chemicals for commercial use. The federal government registers an average of 2,000 newly synthesized chemicals each year. The government has tallied 5,000 chemical ingredients in cosmetics; more than 3,200 chemicals added to food; 1,010 chemicals used in 11,700 consumer products; and 500 chemicals used as active ingredients in pesticides. In 2000 major U.S. industries reported dumping 7.1 billion pounds of 650 industrial chemicals into our air and water” and that is in a single year! The issue is two-fold, we have dumped far too many compounds in our environment and secondly that these compounds have a very long half-life, meaning that they do not breakdown easily. For example, DDT, a pesticide that was banned in the USA in 1972, was still found in American soil 15 years later. Other toxic compounds like lead or mercury have a half-life of 20 years or more.
Just how toxic are we?
Total body burden of the average individual has sky rocketed. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) found that newborns begin their lives with exposure to as many as 287 toxic chemicals! This is because we pass on a percentage of our body burden to our babies, which may explain why many children have allergies, asthma, poor immunity, ADHD, and many other illnesses. Most adults that were tested by the EWG, showed to have 53 chemicals that have been linked to cancer, 63 compounds that are toxic to the central nervous system and the brain, 58 chemicals that cause hormone imbalances, and 55 chemicals that cause immune system dysfunction and lead to autoimmunity, or a weakened immune system. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), total body burden is the sum total of chemicals, toxic heavy metals, and other dangerous and poisonous substances that are stored within our tissues and cells in our body at any given time.
Our immune system and our liver and kidney’s normally work together to remove toxins from our body. However, once our body’s capacity to eliminate these toxins is exceeded, our body starts accumulating them instead. Think of a coffee cup and imagine continually adding coffee beans to it. Once the cup is full, the coffee beans have no where to go, so they continue to pile up until the cup starts overflowing and creates a mess around it. The same happens in our bodies. Once these toxins accumulate, they start overflowing and creating symptoms and issues that lead to illness and diseases.
The types of illness varies greatly depending on the type of exposures and our genetic susceptibility. According to Harvard School of Public Health, “Toxic chemicals may be triggering recent increases in neurodevelopmental disabilities among children, such as autism, attention deficit, and dyslexia”. Fibromyalgia, auto-immunity, and infertility, has been linked to toxic exposures and it has also has been reported that 95% of cancer is caused by diet and environment!
Although the effects of the chemicals we use on a daily basis won’t cause harm right away, they build up in our system and can be dangerous to our overall health. Not only can this body burden be dangerous for us as individuals, but it can also impact our babies and children, and future generations.
What can we do to protect ourselves and heal?
We will be providing much more information on how to protect yourself from toxic exposure and how to detoxify your body, in future blog posts, so please look for that information in subsequent posts. For now, here are a few tips… The first step to reducing total body burden is to avoid future exposures. Every aspect of our daily lives can affect our total body burden, which is why it is so important that we focus on cleaner living. Focus on the basics, clean food, clean air, and clean water.
Stop consuming processed foods that are loaded with chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives. Use non-toxic personal care products. Create a clean home environment by eliminating pesticide use in the home, eliminate toxic cleaning products, avoid purchasing furniture that is made from pressed woods or toxic fabrics, purchase high-grade HVAC filters and home air purifiers or add plants that help to filter the air. Water filtration is also important in that our water source is also usually loaded with toxic chemicals.
The second step is that you start to replete the vitamins and nutrients that these toxic compounds strip from your body. This alone will help with liver function, kidney function and facilitate detoxification. Third step is to start a detox regime that includes gut, liver, and antioxidant support.
There is hope! With a little work, you can heal your body and you can continue to thrive, despite how toxic our world has become. Our bodies are quite resilient and they can repair and regenerate if we provide the right environment.
- (EPA 1997c, EPA 2002b, EPA 2002c, FDA 2002a, FDA 2002b, FDA 2002c)
2. 8 Weeks to Women’s Wellness by Dr. Marianne Marchese
3. Detoxify or Die by Sherry A Rogers, M.D.
4. Tox-sick by Suzanne Somers
5. Jason Allen, Melissa Montalto, Jennifer Lovejoy, and Wendy Weber. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. December 2011, 17(12): 1175-1180. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0572