Sunday, August 14, 2016

How to Maintain Health in a Toxic World

I had a patient with diabetes that no matter what she did her blood sugars were not in control.  After working on diet, exercise, emotions, supplements and medications, I had her do a test for heavy metals.  Her test showed dangerously high for arsenic.  She told me that she had grown up near the Kennecott Copper Mines in Utah, and all the houses down to her street were condemned for arsenic poisoning.We did IV chelation therapy on her to reduce her arsenic load, and she was finally able to lose some weight and get her blood sugar under better control.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, brought to the forefront for a moment the hazards of chemicals, pollutants and industrial dumping to our and our children's health.  But Flint isn't the only city in danger from lead poisoning.  5 percent of Flint children tested positive for elevated lead levels compared to 8.5 percent in Pennsylvania, 6.7 percent in parts of New York State, and 20 percent in Detroit.  In the U.S. as a whole, more than half a million children between the ages of 1 and 5 still suffer from lead poisoning.  And lead is only one of thousands of toxic metals and chemicals we are exposed to.

The entire U.S., in fact the entire world, is in the midst of a toxic crisis.  Over 200 toxic chemicals are found in our blood and in breast milk.  A 1995 study showed that 287 chemicals were found in the umbilical cord blood of newborns, with the majority of them known carcinogens and neurotoxins. The President’s Cancer Panel even stated, “… To a disturbing extent, babies are born ‘pre-polluted.’”
 In 2014, a review in The Lancet Neurology noted industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for rising rates of neurodevelopmental disabilities.  This includes autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia and other cognitive impairments.

Environmental toxins come from many sources:  Waste products from industry, mining and industrial farming enter our air, ground and water supplies.  Toxic cleaning supplies fill our cabinets.  Known carcinogens such as pthalates are put into our skin and hair products.  Adjuvants in immunizations are known neurotoxins and carcinogens.  Many food additives that are determined by the government to be safe for consumption have never been studied for the effects of long-term consumption.  Fire retardants are in our furniture and clothes.  Toxic chemicals are in our carpets.  Even toys are often made from toxic chemicals.

So in a world where toxins are ubiquitous and the solutions seem to be far away, what can we do to keep our and our children's health from being affected?  Here are a few things that can be done:

  • Eat fresh whole foods rather than packaged and processed foods with lots of chemicals.  Eat organic as much as possible.  Eat pasteurized organic meat and wild caught low mercury fish.  Even a month of eating organic can dramatically improve your health.  
  • Buy products that come in glass bottles rather than plastics or cans.
  • Filter your water.
  • Replace non-stick pans with glass or ceramic.
  • Vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Buy BPA-free, fire-retardant, stain resistant free toys and clothes.
  • Use natural cleaning products or make your own.  Vinegar and baking soda can clean a lot.  Hydrogen peroxide or colloidal silver can sanitize.
  • Use organic and natural toiletries, shampoos, detergents and skin products. Use fragrance-free products to avoid phthalates.  Use vinegar instead of clothes softener.  1/2 C vinegar in 2 C water makes an excellent hair conditioner.
  • Visit your integrative, functional or naturopathic physician to be tested for toxins and to learn healthy ways to detoxify your gut, liver and kidneys.
  • Since we can't avoid toxins even doing our best, use supplements such as SpringTree's Detox and Chelate.
My next blog will be on more specific ways to detoxify.

Until we meet again,
Dr. Judi


Barbara said...

More information on fluoride in the water and how to filter it out of drinking water. I have not found a filter that filters out fluoride. Thanks.

Dr. Judi said...

Great question. This is from

Tap water consumption is, on average, the largest daily source of fluoride exposure for people who live in areas that add fluoride to the water. Avoiding consumption of fluoridated water is especially critical for infants. If you live in area which fluoridates its water, you can avoid drinking the fluoride in one of three ways:

Water Filters: One way of avoiding the fluoride from tap water is to purchase a water filter. Not all water filters, however, remove fluoride. The three types of filters that can remove fluoride are reverse osmosis, deionizers (which use ion-exchange resins), and activated alumina. Each of these filters should be able to remove about 90% of the fluoride. By contrast, “activated carbon” filters (e.g., Brita & Pur) do not remove fluoride. For more information on water filters, click here.
Spring Water: Another way to avoid fluoride from tap water is to purchase spring water. Most brands of spring water contain very low levels of fluoride. Some brands, however, do contain high levels (e.g., Trinity Springs). Before consuming any bottled water on a consistent basis, therefore, you should verify that the fluoride content is less than 0.2 ppm, and ideally less than 0.1 ppm. You can find out the level of fluoride level in some of the popular brands here. You can also find out the fluoride level by calling the number on the water label. (Most companies have this information readily available.)
Water Distillation: A third way to avoid fluoride from the tap is to purchase a distillation unit. Water distillation will remove most, if not all, of the fluoride. The price for a distillation units varies widely depending on the size. Small counter-top units cost as little as $200, while large units can exceed $1,000.

If you don’t know if your area is fluoridated, you can find out by contacting your local water department. If you live in the U.S., you can also find out by going to FAN’s State Fluoride Database.