Hidden Toxic Stressors We Don’t Think About, Part 2

In the last issue of Red Clover Clinic Newsletter, we introduced the topic of hidden toxic stressors, including  signs your body is struggling with toxicity and if so, how to address toxicity.

In this issue, we offer questions to help you analyze how toxic your diet and environment are.

Is your water safe?

Do you drink water straight from the tap? You might consider getting some kind of filtering system. There are many chemicals hiding in tap water, including chlorine and fluoride, things that are added to our water that purportedly protect our health. The problem is, if you’re struggling with toxicity, these things will only add to the problem. Check out Tap Water Toxicity & Your Guide to Water Filters for more information.

If you think that bottled water will keep you safe, think again! There have been many reports that the water used in many brands of bottled water is simply tap water. Furthermore, most bottled water is stored in plastic bottles, which can leach chemicals into the water, also adding to increased toxicity. There are good options available, but I recommend doing your research.

What’s hiding in your food?

When grocery shopping, do you take the time to read labels? If not, it’s time to start. Processed foods have many less-than-nutritious ingredients added to them and are typically high in hidden sugars, preservatives, additives, and food colorings. Food additives and colorings have been associated with hyperactivity and allergic reactions. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame are considered to be neurotoxins. Even “healthier” alcohol sugars like xylitol can cause digestive distress. Check out 6-Step Checklist to Avoid the Worst Ingredients for some information on on unsafe food ingredients.

Another source of toxins in food is residue from herbicide and pesticides. See Are You Eating the Most Pesticide- Laden Produce? for a list of the 2017 “dirty dozen” foods. Choosing foods with the “Organic” label will help protect you from these harmful chemicals. Organic Farming: 5 Major Benefits will help you better understand the benefits of organic farming.

Another label to look for is “Non-GMO.” Genetically modified foods are heavily sprayed with chemicals, most notably Roundup, which is associated with many health problems, including infertility and cancer. Read this article for more information on the dangers of Roundup: Monsanto Roundup Linked to Infertility and Cancer. There is also some concern with how genetically modified foods themselves affect the body. All in all, it’s better just to avoid them!

Are there hidden ingredients in your health and beauty products?

Do you live by the motto “beauty knows no pain?” You might be surprised to learn that the pain caused by health and beauty products is more insidious than you think. It is just as important to read labels on your cosmetics, lotions, hair products, and perfumes as it is on your foods. There are many chemicals that find their way into these products, some of which are endocrine disruptors, such as phthalates. Don’t forget about nail polish, hair dye, hair treatments…and bath bombs. Check out the Environmental Working Groups safety database of cosmetics.

Are your cleaning products safe?

More and more, people are becoming aware of the dangers associated with cleaning products. Aside from chemical burns and lung damage due to inhalation, cleaning products contain fragrances and other chemicals that can overtax our bodies’ detoxification mechanisms. Something as simple as dryer sheets can wreak havoc with our endocrine system as well as cause harm to the environment.

Bleach seems to be a common cleaning product that finds its way into even the most natural of homes. Read The Dangers of Bleach + Never Mix Bleach with These Three Cleaning Ingredients to learn more about the dangers associated with bleach.

By this time you may be asking, what can I clean my house with? Here is a great resource for safe and natural cleaning products: The Best Natural Cleaning Products to Limit Your Toxin Exposure.

Do you take medications, get the flu shot or have amalgam fillings?

This is where the can of worms I mentioned in the last newsletter gets “wormier.” I have no desire to get between a client and their medical doctor or dentist. My goal is to provide resources for my clients to educate themselves on risks associated with things like medications, vaccines, and amalgam fillings. My primary concern is detoxification and whether or not your system is overburdened or not. In other words, can your body handle the extra burden of one of these treatments? Sometimes certain treatments are necessary, and you have to find other ways to promote detoxification. Other times it’s better to find safer alternatives.

Do you find yourself taking ibuprofen daily to help with your aches and pains? Doing so brings about an extra burden on your kidneys, liver and digestive system. Think about whether you want to risk long-term effects. Check out Take Painkillers Often? Here’s How to Avoid Ibuprofen Overdose for a great discussion of the risks associated with ibuprofen as well as some good alternatives. If acetaminophen is what you use, you still need to exercise caution. Read Long-term Acetaminophen Use & Health Risks to learn about several studies that have been done on the dangers of long-term acetaminophen use.

The flu shot is also a sticky topic. Whether you choose to get it or not is up to you. Just know you may have to do some extra detoxification from the additives and adjuvants (a substance that enhances the body’s immune response to an antigen) in the vaccine as well as from the immune residue of the attenuated viruses. Whether or not you get the flu shot, 12 Flu Natural Remedies is a good article on how to stay healthy during the flu season

Most of us have or have had amalgam fillings in our mouths. They are about 50 percent mercury, which is a very dangerous substance to expose our bodies to. There are now many alternatives to these potentially harmful fillings that are also cosmetically more appealing. If you are thinking of having your amalgam fillings replaced, you may want to consider coming in for some Nutrition Response Testing first, so we can get you on a program to prepare your body for the procedure. If your detox pathways are already overburdened, going through the process of removal will expose you to more mercury, causing potential side effects. It is also best to seek out a holistic dentist who will take more precautions to protect you from the mercury. To learn more about amalgam fillings, read The Dangers of Amalgam Fillings.

The benefits of detoxification

To recap, it is important to assist your body in the detoxification process to maintain and/or improve your health. There are many things you come across in your daily life that may be increasing the toxic burden on your body, and it is good to be aware of how you can make better and safer choices.  The more you control what you can, the less the stuff you can’t control—such as air pollution—will impact your health.

Again, here are the benefits of making less toxic choices:

  • Decrease toxic load of the body, and improve liver function
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Aid weight loss
  • Promote skin health
  • Increase energy and mental function

If you need help figuring out what might be causing you symptoms of toxicity and would like to improve your body’s ability to detoxify, Nutrition Response Testing can help!