Managing Toxic Body Burden Part 3: The Connection to Illness
In Part 1: Managing Toxic Body Burden, we talked about where these toxins are lurking and in Part 2: How to Protect Yourself, we talked about steps you can take to protect you and your family from the most common exposures.
Now we dive into the 'why'. Why try to protect yourself? Why worry about what's in our air, water, and food? Why concern ourselves when toxins are everywhere and it seems there's little we can do about it?
Because being informed and taking the proper steps could save you from diseases known to be associated with environmental toxins.
This article is a short compilation of research and excerpts from experts I have accumulated and found to be informative and helpful.
Which Illnesses are Toxic Chemicals Connected to?
"Toxic body burden, or having a high load of these toxic chemicals are linked to cancer, respiratory diseases (asthma), neurological diseases (Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis), endocrine problems (thyroid), diabetes, and obesity.
"There does appear to be links between environmental toxins and glandular health. Many environmental toxins are endocrine disruptors to name a few phthalates, parabens and BPA which are found in personal beauty products, cleaning products, fragrance and plastics."
And According to Alternative-Doctor.com, Toxic Body Burden has been linked to: heart disease (the #1 killer in the world), cancer (the #2 killer in the world), autoimmune disease, metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, behavioral disorders, allergies, and severe hormone imbalance.
Which Illnesses are Heavy Metals Connected to?
"Many metals are used in the body as essential components of enzymes and other biological molecules. These metals are required in trace amounts, but when present in larger quantities, they can cause severe toxicity by impairing the immune system, impacting hormonal function and disturbing other important biological processes." Antonio Jimenez, M.D., N.D., C.N.C. via Hope4Cancer.org.
"Prolonged exposure to these elements, including arsenic, nickel, lead, and cadmium, has been associated with various diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases." [PubMed]
How Many Chemicals are Lurking in our bodies and in What Amounts?
Body Burden: Findings and Recommendations from the EWG tested 9 individuals for chemical toxins that are linked to cause cancer, autoimmune disease, birth defects, autism & ADHD.
"In total, the nine subjects carried:
- 76 chemicals linked to cancer in humans or animals (average of 53),
- 94 chemicals that are toxic to the brain and nervous system (average of 62),
- 86 chemicals that interfere with the hormone system (average of 58),
- 79 chemicals associated with birth defects or abnormal development (average of 55),
- 77 chemicals toxic to the reproductive system (average of 55), and
- 77 chemicals toxic to the immune system (average of 53)."
Here are the 7 chemical groups they found in the 9 subjects. There are 167 total compounds in each of these groups and an average of 91 per person. (from TABLE 2)
- Dioxins and Furans
- Organophosphate pesticide metabolites
- Organochlorine pesticide metabolites
- Other semivolatile and volatile chemicals (24 classes)
From the same EWG article, "Toxic effects do not require high doses.
"Hundreds of studies in the peer-reviewed literature show that adverse health effects from low dose exposures are occurring in the population, caused by unavoidable contamination with PCBs, DDT, dioxin, mercury, lead, toxic air pollutants, and other chemicals.
"The health effects scientists have linked to chemical exposures in the general population include premature death, asthma, cancer, chronic bronchitis, permanent decrements in IQ and declines in other measures of brain function, premature birth, respiratory tract infection, heart disease, and permanent decrements in lung capacity.
(EPA 1996, EPA 2000, Gauderman, et al. 2002, Jacobson and Jacobson 2002, Jacobson, et al. 2002, Kopp, et al. 2000, Longnecker, et al. 2001, NAS 2000, NTP 2002, Pope, et al. 2002, Salonen, et al. 1995, Sydbom, et al. 2001)."
Directly from the Environmental Working Group Body Burden: Findings and Recommendations. Check out the full article for more information.
It's safe to say that these chemicals and metals all around our environment are a big contributor to disease and chronic illness, but, that doesn't mean we're powerless against them. By knowing where they're coming from (see Part 1: Sources of Contamination) and steps to take to avoid them (see Part 2: How to Protect Yourself) we can arm ourselves against chronic illness.
In Part 4 of Toxic Body Burden: How to Cleanse, we finally discuss how to safely cleanse and detox!
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To your health and healing,