If you have signs of toxicity, there are some simple things that you can do to lessen the toxic load on the body by being aware of your environment.
For many of us, the pandemic has resulted in increased stress, overeating the wrong foods, abrupt changes in lifestyle and not making the best decisions for our health. All this may result in signs of toxicity such as:
- Allergies and skin changes such as acne, eczema, wrinkly skin
- Digestive issues, sluggishness, gas, bloating
- Fatigue, low mood, mind fog or forgetfulness
- Weight gain
- Stress, anxiety and trouble sleeping
- Hormone imbalances
If you have signs of toxicity, there are some simple things that you can do to lessen the toxic load on the body by being aware of your environment. We are bombarded by toxins every day by the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the products that we use on our bodies and to clean the environment we live in. If you focus on making some small changes, it could help lessen the burden on the liver and aid in lessening the above symptoms.
- Be aware of your environment by eliminating those things that cause hormone disruption and inflammation.
- Eat a cleaner, whole foods diet.
- Exercise regularly: three to seven times per week.
- Spend time doing what you love to do more often than not.
- Take time to connect with nature.
- Consider doing a liver cleanse under a physician’s watch to avoid detoxing too fast.
- Spend time in a sauna to help eliminate toxins and heavy metals through sweating.
Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDRs)
We are exposed to many hormone-disrupting chemicals that can alter or mimic hormone activity. They are called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDRs). They are responsible for contributing to obesity, diabetes, female and male reproductive infertility or cancers, inflammation and thyroid issues. EDRs are in household chemicals, personal products, plastics, and foods.
Here are the most common EDRs that can disrupt your environment and ways to avoid them.
Top EDRs are found in:
- BPA and BPS-Bisphenols
- Personal products
- Air pollutants
- Mold exposure
Pesticides are found on fruits, vegetables and herbs. It is important to eat organic as much as possible, especially from the dirty dozen list – the top 12 commercially available fruits and veggies that are laced with heavy pesticides.
The most common genetically modified foods are sweet corn, alfalfa, apples, soybeans, squash, potatoes and sugar beets. Therefore, choose organic.
Bisphenols are found in plastics, water bottles, plastic food wrap, canned foods, drink packaging, Keurig coffee cups, soda cans and receipts.
How to avoid BPA/BPS:
Don’t cook or wrap food in plastics. Heating food in plastic activates BPA. Storing fatty foods in plastic containers causes more BPA to leach into the food. This is another reason why fast food is so bad. All fast food containers are lined with plastic and as most fast food is high in fat, this increases BPA exposure.
Don’t buy foods that come wrapped in plastic.
Use stainless steel or glass containers to store and reheat foods. Also, drink water from a glass or stainless steel container.
Skip the receipt. Handling receipts increases BPA exposure.
Buy foods that come in Tetra Paks, BPA-free cans or glass. Aluminum cans use epoxy and BPA as liners.
Phthalates are found in flexible plastics, adhesives, detergents, vinyl flooring, rain coats, cleaning products, food packaging, household dust, personal products, perfume, fragrances, plastic bags and shower curtains.
To avoid phthalates, do a two-day avoidance of exposure to BPA and phthalates by reading labels and avoiding exposure. Use an air purifier in the home. Eliminate dust. Eat more broccoli, cabbage and kale to help eliminate the phthalates through the kidney and liver.
Read Labels of Personal Products
There are many chemicals in the daily products you use on your skin that it absorbs. The skin is your largest organ and it does a great job acting as a protective barrier. Read labels to bring awareness of what you are putting on your skin and hair, as well as what you are using to clean your home and clothes.
Highly toxic household/personal products ingredients are:
- Triclosan is an antibacterial and disrupts hormones. It is found in toothpaste and soaps.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate is linked to skin irritation, cancer and neurotoxicity.
- Propylene glycol is found in antifreeze and is a skin irritant.
- Parabens mimic estrogen and are absorbed through the skin.
- Oxybenzone is common in sunscreen and cosmetics. It mimics and disrupts hormones, causes cancer and endometriosis.
- Formaldehyde is a preservative used for embalming. It irritates the GI tract, lungs and skin.
- Toluene irritates skin, eyes and the respiratory tract.
- Fragrance hides hundreds of chemical mixtures that companies are not required to report.
Some of the most toxic exposures in the air come from vehicle exhaust, cigarette smoke and flame retardants. They have been linked to cardiovascular disease, strokes, neurological problems, dementia, infertility, birth defects, lowered cognition, obesity and diabetes.
The best thing to do is limit exposure from car exhaust, cigarette smoke and flame retardants. Household air purifiers help limit exposure to dust and phthalates and will help minimize your exposure to other common air pollutants.
Many people are exposed to household mold. Some unexplained illnesses can be linked to mold exposure, especially when the home has had water damage, moldy smells, condensation or poorly ventilated air conditioning. Some of the most common symptoms are cough, chest tightness, asthma, joint pain, fatigue, chronic sinus issues and allergies. Air purifiers may help, but it is essential to remove and treat the mold.
If you desire to have improved energy, vitality, mood, digestion, skin, sleep, or lose weight, awareness of toxins and how to avoid them is the best step toward lessening the toxic load on the body, and with consistency will improve your symptoms and overall health.
If you desire to improve your hormone balance and limit congestion from all the environmental toxins, or need a kickstart into creating healthier eating patterns, then a physician-monitored liver cleanse program may be right for you. FBN
By Christina Kovalik NMD, LAc
Dr. Christina Kovalik NMD, LAc, The Vitality Doctor, is a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist specializing in hormone optimization, optimal health and vitality. She is a new Flagstaff resident, practicing since 2004, and opened her second location in Doney Park in 2020. For more information, visit thevitalitydoctor.com or call 928-863-6086.