In our increasingly industrialized world, chemicals are everywhere. We have relied upon these chemicals to help us grow our food, provide our water supply, build our homes and cure our diseases.
In many ways, these chemicals have been crucial to our development and growth in modern society. But many doctors and researchers have also recognized that some of these chemicals can be toxic and cause serious health problems for those who are exposed to them over time.
The good news is that by understanding the effect of these toxic chemicals, you take steps to avoid an abundance of toxins in your system so that you can feel balanced and well.
When many are first introduced to the idea of toxicity as a health issue, they often wonder why their body can't process the chemicals they encounter. After all, if we are all being exposed to the same chemicals, why isn't everyone sick? Doesn't our body filter out toxins?
The short answer is yes. In fact, keeping toxins out of the blood is one of the primary roles your kidneys and liver play in your body. Detoxifying the body is an essential function, and when you are properly nourished, well-rested, and have access vitality in your cells, your body can keep the toxins at bay.
Below are some sources of toxicity that may be contributing to your symptoms.
1. Heavy Metals
Heavy metals are an often overlooked source of toxicity, especially because some amount of these metals is present in everyone's body. Toxicity is a matter of the body becoming overloaded by these heavy metals. The biggest culprits are arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury.
While regulators have caught on to the dangers of many of these heavy metals and have taken some steps to reduce our exposure, all of these compounds were used for decades in everything from lead pipes carrying our drinking water to mercury fillings inside our teeth.
2. Synthetic Foods
The foods we eat on a daily basis can be another source of toxicity. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are developed in a lab in order to tolerate pesticide use and are prominently used in the production of staple crops like soy and corn, ultimately finding their way into almost all processed foods.
Other toxins in our foods include hormones, preservatives and artificial sweeteners. In general, if you are ingesting a diet high in processed foods, fast foods, and industrially raised meat or dairy products, there's a good chance that the food you're eating is making you feel unwell.
3. Occupational Risks and Home Environment
Millions of workers in the United States are exposed to chemicals that can cause system toxicity, including those in food services, cosmetology, health care, mechanics and construction.
And it's not just at work. Our home environment is rife with toxic exposure from the synthetic carpets we walk on to the metal fixtures in our showers. Compounded with the fact that we spend the majority of our time at home indoors, the result is increased exposure to toxic chemicals.
4. Electrosmog (EMFs)
The level of exposure to electromagnetic frequencies in our world today — from computers to cell phones to television sets — is unprecedented in the history of humanity. However, researchers are only just beginning to understand how this exposure can cause increased toxicity in the body.
All of this toxic exposure can cause ongoing damage inside of your gut, which is inextricably linked to your immune system, with about 80% of the cells in your immune system residing in your gut.
When your body is inundated with toxins, your immune system unsuccessfully tries to manage the onslaught. This can lead to an overgrowth of the bacteria and fungi that naturally populate your gut and aid digestion. Eventually, your body must deal with two levels of invasion: clearing toxins from external sources and then managing the overgrowth of bacteria or Candida in your gut.
Ultimately, your digestive system can stop functioning properly and you end up without the nutrients you need to properly energize your cells — making it even more difficult for your body to maintain a healthy balance.
If you think you're suffering from a toxin overload, you may want to perform a Functional Medicine detox, which can decrease inflammation and toxins in your body. It does so by temporarily removing problematic foods while simultaneously improving the detoxifying power of your liver.
Another option is an at-home toxicity test. Take Casey, for example. Casey was a 45-year-old accountant who had to walk on crutches, was barely able to eat solid foods, and had no answers in terms of what could be making him sick. Before his career in accounting, he had spent several years in his youth working as a firefighter. The amount of toxic exposure firefighters experience can be extremely high, especially since when homes burn, and a wide variety of toxic chemicals are released.
When he completed his toxicity test, it became clear that toxic exposure was wreaking havoc on his body.
Casey was then given a personalized protocol to help him rid his body of these chemicals and fortify it with the missing minerals and vitamins he needed to rebuild. In a few months, he was back on his feet and feeling better than he had in years.
Through our understanding of toxicity in our environment and how toxic exposure happens, we can mitigate and manage how much toxicity we subject our bodies to, find ways to detoxify and finally feel well.