Environmental Toxins and What You Can Do About Them

There is no question that we are living in an extremely toxic world - heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, plasticizers, solvents, PVC, gasoline additives, flame retardants, petroleum byproducts, etc. make their way into our food, water, air supply and countless products in our environment often without us even being aware of it. Sadly, these toxins have a profound impact on our health and well-being.
 
According to the Center for Disease Control's Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, "Most American adults and children have accumulated numerous potentially toxic chemicals.
"[1] Many health consequences result from these exposures including things like hormone disruption, thyroid disorders, lowered immunity, chemical sensitivity, ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, cancer, mitochondrial damage, etc. To achieve complete wellness, it is essential to eliminate as many of these toxins from your body and your surrounding environment.
 
Many great clinicians and researchers are working to draw attention to the health implications of these toxic chemicals and methods for cleansing these toxins from the body and the environment. Just this past March at the Medical Academy for Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS) conference, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Stephen J. Genuis in a lecture titled "Sweat Therapy to Diminish Toxicant Burdens". In this lecture, Genuis, presented his research on toxic burdens and his conclusion that, "induced perspiration in sauna can be used as a modality to diminish chemical agents in the body." For more information on Dr. Genuis's research, see his website as well as research compilation in the links below.[2],[3]
 
 Dr. Stephanie Seneff is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory who is doing extensive research on glyphosate, the active ingredient found in Round-Up, and the relationship it has to many chronic diseases like the ones listed above. Glyphosate is an ingredient responsible for the toxicity that comes from many genetically modified foods. For more information on Dr. Seneff's work, see her website with links to many articles, presentations and videos.[4]
 
At Bio Energy, we offer many options for assessing the level of toxins in your body. One of the foundational tests we use to evaluate nutrition, the NutrEval though Genova lab, provides a starting point for this evaluation. It provides some markers for toxicity including Styrene, MTBE and red blood cell analysis of select heavy metals. In addition, we can use the NutrEval test to evaluate mitochondrial damage in addition to identifying how well your body is methylating, which is an essential biochemical process that supports detoxification.

Beyond the NutrEval, more advanced testing for heavy metals and chemicals can be done with select urine tests. The heavy metal urine challenge test determines level of metals being excreted from your system after being challenged with a chelation agent. The GPL-TOX screen, is a non-metal chemical profile that screens for the presence of 172 different toxic chemicals.[5] If you have any questions about these tests or are interested in having them done for yourself, please make an appointment with a provider at Bio Energy to discuss in more detail. 
 
What basic steps can you take to eliminate toxins from your body?

1.     One of the most important measures we can take for overall health is to consume plenty of filtered water - at least ½ your body weight in ounces daily
2.     As often as possible consume organic, non-GMO foods
3.     Exercise to promote sweating and detox
4.     Take steps to heal your gut, which is an important pathway for detoxification
5.     Work with a holistic provider to correct micronutrient deficiencies
6.     Clean up your environment. Stop using pesticides and lawn sprays/fertilizer that is not organic. Eliminate toxic soaps, make-ups and beauty products. Check your products on the Skin-Deep Cosmetics database through the Environmental Working Group -  http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
 
Get involved politically by supporting citizen groups that are fighting for a clean environment and non-toxic food system. Groups to consider becoming involved in are listed below.

1.     March Against Monsanto - http://www.march-against-monsanto.com
2.     Mom's Across America - http://www.momsacrossamerica.com
3.     Alliance for Natural Health - http://www.anh-usa.org
4.     Weston A Price Foundation - https://www.westonaprice.org/category/action-alerts/
5.     World Mercury Project - https://worldmercuryproject.org
 
It's easy to become overwhelmed by the knowledge that toxins are so prevalent in our environment. While the information here barely scratches the surface, there is a plethora of research and resources out there to help educate you about toxins and the consequences they have for your health. It's unfortunate that we must think so deeply about chemicals and toxins that have become ubiquitous in our environment. My advice is to start with the basics. Consume clean food and clean water. Educate yourself and create consciousness about these issues in your local circle of family and friends. Slowly, eliminate toxic products from your home. Finally, partner with a holistic provider who can work with you on a detox program tailored for you.

   - Maria Gahry, DNP, RN, FNP-BC 


[1] http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/pdf/FourthReport.pdf 
[2] https://www.stephengenuis.com
[3] https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Stephen_Genuis
[4] https://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/
[5] https://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/gpl-tox/
Author
Maria L. Gahry, DNP, RN, FNP-BC Maria is a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), with board certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and graduate certificate in Complementary and Alternative Medicine. As an FNP, caring for families across the lifespan, the foundation of her practice is focused on the use of integrative and holistic methods to prevent illness and treat root causes of disease. Maria believes the relationship with her patients should be a collaborative partnership, with the goals for optimal health defined by the patient. Maria earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 2009 from Wayne State University. She graduated from Wayne State University's DNP program in December 2015, joining Bio Energy Medical Center in the spring of 2016. Her doctoral research focused on the screening and treatment of thyroid disease, which she considers an often-overlooked health problem that influences the development of many other health problems.

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