How to live well in a toxic world
Physical maladies often are caused by body's response to pollutants
A few decades ago we didn't have all the autoimmune diseases and allergies that people are experiencing today. Just in the last 15 years many more people developed allergies to foods that once were not a problem, such as wheat.
We live in a very toxic world — foods are altered with synthetic hormones, antibiotics, radiated and genetically engineered. Heavy metals from amalgams and pesticides and many different chemical compounds pollute the air, soil and water. Also, we use more prescription and/or recreational drugs, alcohol and over-the-counter medications than ever before.
These substances pollute the bloodstream, the liver and other excreting organs like kidneys, liver, lungs, large intestine and skin. When these excreting organs are bombarded daily by these substances, an accumulation occurs, and the organs can no longer perform their jobs efficiently. At this point, auto-intoxication takes place.
Inflammation is one of the first signs of impaired organ function. Inflammation is a warning sign that something is not working right, something inside our body is stuck and is not being processed or eliminated correctly. Often it is a substance that our organs or systems cannot process because it is unrecognizable by them.
Taking anti-inflammatory drugs will not correct such a problem; it will just suppress the symptoms, and later the internal imbalance will show up again, maybe somewhere else, and can worsen.
Toxicity and inflammation create free radicals that damage your cells and can predispose your body to various diseases like chronic fatigue, IBS, Crohns, and more serious ones like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and cancer. Also, there is a connection between toxicity and weight and skin problems, because when the body's excreting organs do not work properly an accumulation of waste and fat takes place. This manifests in acne, psoriasis, eczema and obesity.
How do we keep our body functioning correctly? The first thing is to eliminate or reduce the exposure to unnecessary sources of chemicals, and to use environmentally safe products to clean your house. Buying organic foods is also recommended.
Keep the use of over-the-counter medications to a minimum. If you experience migraines, there may be a straightforward physical cause for it. You might have allergies to some foods you are not aware of, or your liver is congested from too many toxins, or there is a deficiency, or a combination of all of these problems.
A competent health practitioner can help you to detoxify your body by finding what organs are having trouble and balancing them using natural remedies. The over-the-counter medications usually don't resolve these issues, they are just a Band-Aid, and your pain will return.
Ask your health care practitioner what kinds of tests are available to detect which organs are not functioning optimally, and the types of natural approaches they offer to help re-establish a healthy internal function.
Flavia Kreis is a certified nutritional consultant and the owner of Integrative Nutrition and Wellness Center, located in downtown Mountain View. For more information, visit www.integrative-nutrition.com.