There is almost universal agreement among scientists and physicians that the environmental toxins and chemicals to which we are increasingly exposed are interfering with the immune system’s ability to distinguish self from non-self.
– Douglas Kerr, M.D., Ph.D., neurologist and neuroscientist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital from the forward to The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson-Nakazawa
Toxins are the main reason autoimmune disorders have become epidemic, affecting approximately 80 million Americans or maybe ten percent of people worldwide. Big culprits include environmental chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, farmed fish (fed GMO corn, soy, and wheat), plastic everywhere, and drinking water that often contains chlorine, traces of prescription medications, and lead.1https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/sourcesofwaterpollution.php Studies have found that babies born today have an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in their umbilical cord blood.2A Benchmark Investigation of Industrial Chemicals, Pollutants and Pesticides in Umbilical Cord Blood, Environmental Working Group, July 14, 2005, http://www.ewg.org/research/body-burden-pollution-newbornsTalk about an unfair start!
According to health educator, Chris Kresser, “Toxic burden is determined by two factors: the levels of toxic chemicals and microorganisms that we’re exposed to, and the function of our innate detoxification system. If our exposure to toxins is high and our detoxification system is compromised—due to genetic predisposition, environmental factors, or both—then our toxic burden will be high.”
Nearly half of us have mutations in our detoxification systems; and more than 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into the US environment each year, including 72 million pounds of recognized carcinogens. Only a small percentage of these chemicals are tested for safety.3The Great Chemical Unknown: A Graphical View of Limited Lab Testing, Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-great-chemical-unknown/ What can we do? We must protect ourselves proactively from the onslaught. And we’re not just talking about toxins “out there.” We also mean toxins “in here” like toxic gut bacteria, mycotoxins (toxic mold byproducts), and toxic stress.
We must do what we can proactively to lower our toxic load in order to unburden our struggling immune systems.
The good news is that we can make steady progress toward a lighter load every day with what we choose to eat, think, drink, and do.
Here are ten things you can do to lighten your toxic load:
There is SO much you can do to lighten your load and reduce your body burden. To avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer number of things to do, make it super simple and just pick one or two things that you will do, starting today.
Better yet, what’s one thing you’ll do to lighten your load right now?
Take good care!
P.S. Want my personal help beating an autoimmune condition? If you are ready, willing, and able to invest in your best health, and you live in the continental U.S. (except NY due to state laws) I offer Beat Autoimmune & Thrive Functional Natural Medicine programs over Zoom. I collaborate with naturopathic doctors (NDs) who are expert in resolving autoimmune root causes like chronic infections (e.g., Lyme, candida, parasites, etc.) and toxic burdens (e.g. mycotoxins from mold, heavy metals, and chemicals). Together we provide comprehensive, customized treatment plans, and collaborative, caring support. If you are ready to reclaim your best life please book a 30–minute discovery call with me to gain clarity, confidence, and explore the possibility of working together.
Photo by Tim Foster