Environmental Illness & Toxicity
Environmental Illness & Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Environmental Illness (EI) or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a term coined to those people who feel ill when around fragrances, cleaning products, plastics and other products. Environmental triggers play a significant role in producing symptoms, and the illness itself. Symptoms can range from allergies, headaches, dizziness, and breathing difficulties to almost total incapacitation in serious cases. Previous diagnoses can include depression, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue.
Some who suffer from environmental illness become sensitive to almost everything in their environment. They may be allergic to pollen, mold and animal dander, be made sick by a large number of common foods through immediate food allergies and delayed food sensitivities, and be unable to tolerate even tiny amounts of everyday chemicals such as in cleaning and cosmetic products. New carpeting or furniture, or even that ‘new car’ smell can be debilitating. These people are often referred to as ‘universal reactors’ because their bodies react to so many environmental triggers. People suffering from environmental illness can be so sensitive that they are unable to work in an office or other enclosed environment without becoming ill, which is known as sick building syndrome.
Chemically sensitive people are sometimes referred to as the canaries of the 20th century. Canaries were used by miners starting during the 1700s to detect explosive methane gas and later in the 1900s to detect lethal carbon monoxide. The canaries were so sensitive that they would faint and keel over long before the miners would even notice the dangerous gases. This was a sign to get out of there fast. In a similar fashion chemically sensitive people are detecting toxic elements in the environment well before others are able to sense it.
EI and MCS is not only a chemical burden in the body, it also reflects the inability of a person to metabolize everyday chemicals as efficiently as the rest of the world. Often these people have difficulty doing so because they are deficient in the nutrients that run the detoxification pathways.
At Conscious Living Alternatives, we use several laboratory tools to help identify and detect your body toxic element level. Customized detoxification programs are recommended to remove as many of your environmental triggers as possible, in a gentle manner (see organ detoxification & cleansing program). If you are dealing with advanced body burden, additional tests can determine damage or malfunctioning of normal processes from such exposure, and customized programs are developed to restore optimal function and enhance well being.
Synthetic Chemicals & Pollutants
You do not have to suffer from EI or MCS to have a body burden of chemicals.
“Studies now confirm that diet and environmental chemicals cause 95% of cancers.Furthermore, as the first generation of man exposed to such an unprecedented plethora of daily chemicals, we have learned that stored or un-detoxified chemicals can mimic any disease. ‘Incurable’ chronic diseases that were thought to have no known cause often disappear once toxic chemicals are gone.” Sherry Rogers, M.D.
Many people come in regular contact with pesticides, herbicides, formaldehyde and solvents in their own homes. Did you know that our home is literally full of toxins? It’s likely that everything you use for cleaning house, for bathing, even for dental care, contains toxic substances. Often, the product labels only tell a fraction of the story. (visit www.ewg.org)
Do you wash your children in formaldehyde? You do if you use Johnson’s Baby wash.
Do you use fiberglass to wash your clothes? You do if you use Tide.
Do you use Agent Orange to clean? You do if you use Lysol.
These chemicals can cause asthma/allergies, fibromyalgia, eczema, chronic fatigue, cancer, and many other illnesses and ailments. They are associated with increasingly common diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and autism. They often mimic natural hormones and block or alter the production of natural hormones and enzymes in the body. Many have been linked to a variety of pathologies including neuropsychological dysfunction, leukopaenia, dyspnoea, and anemia, to name but a few.
The National Cancer Prevention Coalition lists these items among the top cancer-causing products: Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, Crest Tartar Control Toothpaste, VO5 Hair Conditioner, Clairol Nice N Easy Hair Color, Ajax Cleanser, Lysol Disinfectant.
Chronic exposure to a number of occupational and environmental pollutants is a growing concern in today’s industrialized communities as their effects on human health are profound. Over 87,000 synthetic chemicals have been developed since World War II and the human body cannot effectively remove many of these chemicals from its frame. They are found in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the material our homes are built with, the clothes we wear, and the products we use in hygiene.
Here’s a quick trip through a few chemicals that we are exposed to everyday. These chemicals end up in the body with no way out. Our chemistry was not designed to metabolize some of these dangerously carcinogenic man-made chemicals that definitely have no place in body function:
- Xylene is a ubiquitos petrochemical solvent. Outgases from gasoline, paints, glues, plastics, carpets, furnishings, construction materials, industrial and traffic exhaust.Turns to formaldehyde in fire extinguishers. Found in 100% of human fat biopsies.
- Toluene sources are nail polish, artificial nails, cosmetics, inks, cements, shoe polishes, cleansers, leather apparel and furnishings, plastics, solvents, newly dry cleaned clothes, new construction, renovated offices, carpeting, printing operations, glues, paints, industry, heavy traffic, adhesives, purses, valises and attaches, boots, coats, sanitizing agents, home cleaners, and cigarette smoke. Metabolizes to a lethal form and has an addictive potential equal to that of alcohol and opiates. Exposures may lead to: any symptom imaginable… soft spoon shaped nails, abnormal periods, liver damage, abnormal blood counts, heart attack, depression, poor memory, brain fog, numbness and tingling (paresthesias), poor coordination, inability to properly metabolize cholesterol, un-diagnosable neuropathies, and cancer (carcinogenic). Inhalation and absorption of toluene from fingernail polish can results in brain fog, mood swings, depression, high cholesterol, poor memory, paresthesias, cancer and even addiction to the chemical.
- Benzene is an aromatic hydrocarbon that is produced by the burning of natural products and in the manufacture of plastics, detergents, pesticides, and other chemicals. It is a component of products derived from coal and petroleum and is found in gasoline and other fuels. Benzene can be absorbed through the skin. Research has shown benzene to be a carcinogen (cancer causing). With exposures from less than 5 years to more than 30 years, individuals have developed, and died from, leukemia. Long-term exposure may affect bone marrow and blood production. Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, unconsciousness, and death.
- Styrene also known as vinyl benzene. Found any place you will find plasticizers (like phthalates or vinyl chloride): styrofoam, plastic coffee cups, meat trays, plastic wrap, fruits, vegetables, heated plastic wires in walls, appliances, computer housing, etc. Metabolizes to benzene. Produces many metabolites including epoxide known to bind to the liver and cause serious hepatitis. Found in 100% of human fat biopsies.
- Phthalic Acid Esters also known as Phthalates are used in the manufacture of plastics (wrap & bottles) to allow for flexibility and to soften resins. Not only that, but it is found in everything from makeup to detergents, shampoos to time-released pharmaceutical drugs. This toxin is a well-known endocrine disruptor (interferes with action of every hormone), acts as a fertilizer for cancers, and causes neurological and developmental disorders. Phthalates have also been implicated in abnormal fetal development, especially in male fetuses. Phthalates lead the pack in terms of quantity in our environment.
- Parabens. Parabens are a widely used family of preservatives found in many cosmetic, pharmaceutical and industrial products. Parabens have inherent estrogenic and other hormone related activity and have been implicated in the growth and development of human breast cancer cell lines.
Our level of toxic exposure and contamination is much greater than our body’s elimination mechanisms can possibly handle. It therefore is essential to aid the body in the removal of these harmful and potentially deadly waste products.
At Conscious Living Alternatives, we use several laboratory tools to help identify and detect your body burden level. Customized detoxification programs are recommended to remove as much of the toxin load as possible, in a gentle manner (see organ detoxification & cleansing program). If you are dealing with advanced body burden, additional tests can determine damage or malfunctioning of normal processes from such exposure, and customized programs are developed to restore optimal function and enhance well being.
Many people have mercury in their mouths in the form of silver dental fillings. Mercury and other metallic components can gradually migrate out of the tooth and build up in the body. Our waterways are highly contaminated with mercury. Fish is a common source of mercury contamination via the food chain. In Switzerland silver fillings have been abandoned and considered as a toxic substance to place in the mouth. Mercury is associated with both autism and Alzheimer’s, and it is know to be directly toxic to the nervous system.
Recent studies have shown that cadmium has estrogenic influences to the uterus. Cadnium can be found in batteries and cigarette smoke. Cadmium is associated with hypertension.
Arsenic used to preserve wood and as a herbicide is a common pollutant found in water supplies. Lead is still of concern and can be found in older paints and pipes. Arsenic and lead for example can displace calcium and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Due to high levels of exposure to heavy metals in our environment such as dental amalgams, paint, immunizations, industry, agriculture, etc. many people are suffering from heavy metal toxicity. Heavy metals can bind with a variety of tissues throughout the body and cause severe health problems.
Heavy Metal Signs & Symptoms can include: Irritability, Tachycardia (Fast heart rate), Excessive Itching, Depression, Bloated Feeling, Unexplained Fluid, Twitching Muscles, Rashes/Irritations, Numbness/Tingling, Burning Tongue, Metallic Taste, Cold Hands and Feet, Headaches After Eating, Jumpy/Jittery/Nervous, Leg Cramps, Memory Problems, Frequent Diarrhea, Ringing Ears, Frequent Insomnia, Chronic Inflammation, High Blood Pressure, Shortness of Breath, Chest Pains, Anemia-Chronic, Frequent Heartburn, Neuropathy, Constipation, Constant Pain in Joints, Indecision.
Some of the conditions that can be associated with heavy metal toxicity includes dementia, neurological problems, immune deficiencies, attention deficit /hyperactivity disorder, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia.
By performing an analysis of elements in urine, potentially toxic elements such as lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, beryllium, arsenic and aluminum, and assessment of the efficiency of renal resorption of essential elements such as magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium are revealed. This is an invaluable tool for the confirmation of toxic element burden and monitoring of detoxification therapy. Once confirmation is made of a toxic element burden, suggestions are made to safely clear them.