CHEMICAL EXPOSURE

Chemical exposure can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, skin problems, digestive problems, recurrent Candidiasis, allergies and even cancer. Some occupations that involve chemical exposure are farmers, hairdressers, photographers, refinery and factory workers, airline employees, truck drivers, auto mechanics, painters, doctors and x-ray technicians.

Just living on earth gives us a fair amount of chemical exposure. How close do you live to a highway or airport? Air pollution is concentrated in the cities, but exists throughout the country. Farmers use liberal amounts of pesticides on their crops and liberal amounts of antibiotics in their animals. The amount of chemical exposure Americans get is unprecedented in history. Cancers of the liver, kidney and lymphatic system are on the rise. For people who are chronically ill, people who have multiple symptoms, who may be described as ?just plain sick,? chemical toxicity is often one of their issues.  

In the midst of this chemical bath we all are taking are people who suffer from many symptoms; they are like canaries. Coal miners used to take canaries into the mines; if the canary died, the miners knew that there were dangerous gasses present in the mine. In our society we have people who are exposed to the same chemical burden we all are. They, however, suffer with headaches, digestive problems, sensitivity to smoke and perfume, fatigue, muscle pains, joint pains, asthma, eczema, dizziness, back pain, neck pain, edema, PMS and any number of other symptoms because they have trouble handling the chemical burden that we are all exposed to. They are like the canaries in the coal mine; they suffer before anyone else.

The "body burden" of chemicals is tested by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention every two years. It has found that the average American now has 116 synthetic compounds in his or her body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. These include dioxin (from burning plastic), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (from auto exhaust) and organochlorine pesticides. Of course there are about 75,000 different chemicals produced in the United States each year, 3,000 of which are produced in quantities greater than 50,000 tons each year. Chemicals that were banned decades ago persist in the soil, air and water. DDT, banned 34 years ago, still exists in detectable levels in many people. It would be interesting to see the CDC?s result if all of these chemicals were tested for. 

Recent studies have detected these pesticides, plastics and polymers not only in umbilical cord blood, but in the placenta, in human milk and in the bloodstreams and body fat of infants. These substances may have far reaching effects on our health. One toxin threatening mothers and children is mercury. Mercury has been linked to breast cancer, autism and attention deficit disorder. In 2002, a study found that nearly 15% of American women of reproductive age have enough of this contaminant in her blood to endanger a developing fetus. 

In 1993, Mary Wolff, an associate professor at New York?s Mount Sinai Medical Center, published a paper in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,  indicating that exposure to certain chemicals may indeed play a role in breast cancer. Women with high blood levels of DDE, a DDT breakdown product, had a much greater risk of developing breast cancer -- four times higher than women with low levels of DDE. DDT, an insecticide banned in the US in the 1970s, can mimic the hormone estrogen and is a known endocrine disrupter. Scientists from the University of Liverpool published research in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine stating that exposure even to small amounts of certain chemicals can increase the risk of developing cancer - particularly for infants and young adults. A study on rats published in the Dec. 6, 2006 online edition of Reproductive Toxicology found that environmental exposure to biphenol A during fetal life may possibly cause breast cancer in adult women.

Cancer is on the rise. Statistics in the United Kingdom indicate that between the years 1971 and 1999 Non- Hodgkin's Lymphoma has risen 196% in men and 214% in women, the incidence of prostate cancer and testicular cancer have increased by 152% and 139% respectively, breast cancer has risen by 75%,  multiple myeloma has increased by 100%  in men and 86% in women. These figures are from the Office for National Statistics (UK). Since 1990 cancer incidence has increased by 19% worldwide (World Cancer Report 2003, Frankiish, 2003, Shibuya et al., 2002). The rate of cancer in children, adolescents and young adults is increasing by 1.5% each year.

The incidence of diabetes and obesity may be increased by toxins in the environment. Research appearing in the journal Diabetes Care (30:622-628, 2007) indicates that that OC pesticides and nondioxin-like PCBs may be associated with type 2 diabetes risk by increasing insulin resistance, and POPs may interact with obesity to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Researchers at the University of New Hampshire found a connection between obesity and environmental pollution.

Research appearing in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (Vol. 92, No. 1 196-202) observed  declining levels of testosterone that does not seem to be attributed to health or lifestyle and the authors concluded that ?These results indicate that recent years have seen a substantial, and as yet unrecognized, age-independent population-level decrease in T in American men, potentially attributable to birth cohort differences or to health or environmental effects not captured in observed data.? One possible explanation of the lower testosterone levels is chemicals in the environment. Studies have that found environmental impacts on testosterone levels. For example, testosterone levels were lower in US Air Force veterans exposed to dioxins (Environmental Health Perspectives, Nov. 2006, vol. 114, #11). Testosterone levels were also lower in men exposed to phthalates at work (Environmental Health Perspectives, Nov. 2006, vol. 114, #11). Infertility in women has also been linked to chemical exposure. Exposure to BPA (biphenol A) is linked to prostate cancer in men.

Individually we know that many of these chemicals are dangerous. Very little research is done on combinations of chemicals. An article appearing in the May 10, 2006 issue of Scientific American does look into the dangers some of these chemicals have in combination. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have tested four herbicides, two fungicides and three insecticides commonly used in American cornfields. Low concentrations (0.1 ppb) of the chemicals did not have much effect on developing tadpoles. When the tadpoles were exposed to all nine chemicals they developed endemic infection. The survivors ended up smaller than their counterparts raised in clean water--despite taking longer to mature into adults. So individually the chemicals did no harm, but in combination they were deadly. When you consider that there are about 100,000 different chemicals that we are exposed to, it may make you wonder what the long-term health effects are. 

In general, when you think of chemical toxicity, you think of liver, but there is more to it than liver function. Some doctors diagnose and treat chemical toxicity with almost unbelievable detail?to the point where you might wonder, ?How did he come up with that?? Often the patient?s problem is not that the liver has trouble removing the chemical, but rather the body can?t get the chemical to the liver to get rid of it. This is another reason why you want someone trained in nutrition to help you with your health and not just do it yourself. Coming up with an effective detoxification regimen takes some skill and knowledge. 

Chemicals can bother you on a cellular level and the fats you consume can make the situation worse. Trans fats are produced when oil is hydrogenated. The food industry bubbles hydrogen through an oil, making it a sold fat. This makes the food have a longer shelf life and look more appealing. Have you ever made a meal that had a sauce? When it is stored in the refrigerator overnight, the sauce separates into oil and a solid material. This would happen to packaged food if the oil was not hydrogenated. Look at any bottled, creamy salad dressing; with few exceptions, they contain hydrogenated oil. Hydrogenated oils are in a lot of commercial baked goods as well. They are everywhere and you need to avoid them. 

Some think that the consumption of trans fats makes it harder for the body to get rid of chemicals. Cell membranes consist of a layer of lipid (fat) between two layers of protein. The theory is that if you eat a lot of trans fats, they become incorporated into your cell membranes. Because the molecules of the trans fats are shaped differently than those of natural fats, chemical toxins will adhere to them more readily. The cells are not only vulnerable to chemicals, but viruses and bacteria as well. One of the very first things someone who gets a lot of colds and infections should do is to get off of hydrogenated oils and start taking the appropriate essential fatty acid. Some folks believe ADD, depression and anxiety as being at least partially caused by eating too many trans fats. Nerve cell membranes have a lot of lipid (fat) and eating trans fats not only affects their function, but also makes them vulnerable to chemicals, viruses and bacteria.

Another theory that is a little out there is that viruses in the brain are a lot more common than we think. These viruses may be responsible for depression, anxiety, Parkinson?s disease and other neurological problems. This is only an idea that is being discussed, and not necessarily Gospel.
Usually when we think of chemical toxicity, we think of the liver. Sometimes the liver does become overburdened and can cause symptoms. Women suffering from PMS, for example, often respond to liver support because of the liver?s role in eliminating hormones when they are no longer needed by the body. Symptoms such as headaches, mid-back pain, fatigue, arthritis, and even recurrent Candidiasis may be linked to the liver as well. Toxins eliminated in the bile can irritate the digestive tract, making it difficult to get rid of a Candida overgrowth.

The concept of liver congestion has been around for a number of years. An overburdened liver that is not doing a particularly good job can cause an increase in pressure in the venous system. Many think that this increased pressure is the cause of spider veins, varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Another thing that you see in someone who needs liver support is blanching between the shoulder blades. The skin is ruddy, and if you press your hand onto the back, you can see a white handprint for a few seconds.

Other signs that indicate liver problems are pain between the shoulder blades, pain under the bottom of the right rib cage (these can also be from the gall bladder), bizarre or surrealistic dreams, metallic taste in the mouth (also a gall bladder sign), poor tolerance of smoke, perfume or chemical fumes, peeling skin on the heels and tenderness when the middle of the front of the third rib is pressed. 

You need to reduce the amount of chemical exposure that you receive. If you are regularly exposed to chemicals, take steps to minimize your exposure. If your job provides protective clothing, wear it. Make sure that ventilation is adequate. See if there are nontoxic substitutes. Taking trace minerals, vitamin C and other antioxidants may mitigate the damage done by the chemicals. Substances like lipoic acid, dandelion root and milk thistle can help the liver to heal.   

 Everyone is always being exposed to chemicals at some level. Air and water pollution exist everywhere on the planet. The problem is compounded by dumping poisons on lawns so they will be pretty and green and by using bug sprays, room deodorizers, certain cleaning agents, and other chemicals. This is chemical exposure that you can control. Tolerate a few more weeds and have an organic lawn, free of herbicides. Make compost and use it instead of chemical fertilizer. There are many companies that sell household products that are chemical free. Buy organically grown food and meats that are raised without the use of antibiotics or steroids. Look at the chemicals in your life and see which ones you can do without. 

If smoke, perfume or other chemicals bother you, or if you can?t stand to be around new fabrics, in new cars or around building materials, you may have to take more extreme steps in order to feel better. Create a chemical-free sleeping space. Seal off all heating ducts and make sure that the room is heated or cooled only with electricity. Seal all of the windows and the crack under the door. Don?t store your clothes in this room. Have no carpeting or synthetic fabrics in the room. A HEPA filter will cut down on indoor air pollution. Use cotton for sheets and window coverings. The chemical-free sleeping area is a rather extreme step, but necessary for many people. Of course, if you get someone to help you find the appropriate nutrient supplementation, chemical sensitivity will be less of a problem.

One thing worth noting: A trace mineral molybdenum (sold as MO-Zyme by Biotics), is a co-factor (a chemical that makes an enzyme work) for the enzymes that help the body to get rid of aldehydes, sulfites and ketones. Molybdenum is an especially good supplement for people who are bothered by smoke and perfume. People who get terrible headaches when they drink wine may be sulfite sensitive and will improve with molybdenum supplementation.

Many treat the liver with extensive detoxification programs or fasts. Detoxification is an ongoing process; your body is always detoxifying. It becomes problematic if you are taking on more toxins than you body can keep up with. If you want to reduce the toxic burden, you can try to do it all at once, or you can gradually improve the capacity to detoxify while reducing the toxins consumed.
You can simply stop consuming hydrogenated oils, caffeine, alcohol, chemical additives, refined sugar, and refined starch and eat pesticide-free produce. Dark green bitter vegetables are especially good for the liver. Eating foods that are high in sulfur is also good (onions, garlic and cruciferous vegetables). The alkaline ash diet would be especially helpful here, but you do need adequate protein to effectively detoxify.

Toxins are eliminated through the sweat. Exercising hard enough to break a sweat, and spending time in a sauna, are great ways to help you to eliminate toxins. Make sure that you drink plenty of pure water. You can supplement with trace minerals and products that support the liver. Biotics Research makes a product called MCS, which increases the effectiveness of phase II liver detoxification. (One of the ways the liver removes toxins is by binding them to a small, water-soluble molecule enabling it to be eliminated by the kidney. This is phase II detoxification.) Another product, Beta TCP, helps thin the bile, making it easier to eliminate toxins. Livotrit is general liver support.

Biotics has also put together a simple three step detoxification program. As stated earlier, there are many approaches to detoxification. The one offered by Biotics is fairly simple and easy to follow. It does not involve fasting for a long time. You can get more information about their detoxification program by calling our office.  We will give you more information and even put you into contact with patients who use this program and/or who have had similar symtoms as yourself. If you are concerned about environmental chemicals or want to follow a program that helps you to reduce the chemical burden that your body carries, let us lead you in the right direction.  We can provide you with much more information than is written here and can help you put together an effective program!


NEW DETOX TREATMENT FROM BIOTICS! 

Come into the office and get the exciting new video that will show you how to put an end to such diverse symptoms as fatigue, joint pain, allergies, sinusitis, immune problems, skin rashes, headache and other chronic symptoms. This short video can change your life!

CHRONIC DIS-EASE

Hundreds of millions of Americans suffer from some sort of chronic dis-ease every single day.  Their lives are burdened by any number of chronic health challenges.

As a nation, we seek to treat ourselves with over the counter remedies from the local drug store.  Unfortunately, these remedies only treat the symptoms not the underlying cause of our problem.

If symptoms become severe we often turn to traditional medicine for a solution.  Usually, we are just given a prescription that manages the symptoms more aggresively, but still does not address the underlying cause of our chronic health challenges.

  

This Three Step Program uses a holistic approach that combines sturctural adjustments, nutritional and herbal supplements and a controlled anti-inflammatory diet.  This program addresses the most common underlying causes of our declining health.