Newsletter – April 2013

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April 2013 – Toxicity

We live in a toxic environment different from the world that existed centuries or even decades ago. In the world today we are fighting problems with pollution of our air, water, and food supply. As a result, it is no longer a question of whether we are toxic or not anymore but rather a question of how toxic we are. Today the prevalence of pesticide use is rampant and unfortunately they are not only present on the produce we consume. Pesticides and other toxins can be found in the air we breathe and the water that we drink. Many toxins including pesticides and heavy metals bio-accumulate through time as they are consumed by animal species and move up the food chain.

For the most part our bodies are pretty proficient at detoxifying and eliminating waste. Through generations of exposure to toxins we have developed or activated genes, primarily in the liver, that are responsible for producing the enzymes that help us detoxify ourselves. Each of us has a unique ability to perform these functions and a genetically preordained capacity to withstand toxic exposure. To borrow a commonly used analogy, one can describe this ability as a water barrel. The barrel typically begins empty and is of a certain size. As we accumulate and eliminate toxins the water level in the barrel rises and falls. We do not experience the symptoms of toxicity until the barrel begins to overflow, or our body cannot eliminate toxins as fast as we are accumulating them. Some of us have a larger barrel and an ability to detoxify the contents rapidly resulting in very few, if any, clinical symptoms. Others are not so lucky and struggle with the symptoms of toxic exposure.

Toxicities can affect many different systems in the human body including the nervous system, endocrine system, and the immune system. In nervous system toxicity one may experience brain fog, fatigue, numbness in the extremities, headaches and depression. With endocrine toxicity we commonly see hormonal imbalances including estrogen dominance, painful or irregular menstruation, decreased libido as well as impotence and erectile dysfunction in men. In immunological toxicity patients suffer from chronic low-level infections as well as recurrent acute infections such as bronchitis or sinusitis.

The good news is that there are ways that we can enhance our ability to eliminate toxins in a natural way. We can support our liver and other detoxification systems with adequate hydration and micronutrient status and we can identify and limit exposure to new toxicities through a healthy clean diet and the use of water and air filtration systems.

One of the biggest complaints many pet owners have is rashes on their dogs or cats. The first thing holistic Vets will often look at is what the animal is eating. Grains are one of the most common allergies for dogs and cats. It’s interesting how similar they are to us – as that is the most common allergy for people too. Eliminating any grain from your pets diet can make a big difference on his health and well being. And maybe you can cut back on the grains yourself. Grains can be detrimental to the health of your pet by creating inflammation in the body and destroying the gut lining. Lucky for us all there is a lot of grain free choices these days for humans and pets. My favorite grain free food for my own dogs and my foster dogs is Stella and Chewys. Wishing you a happy and healthy pet.

The Doctor Is In- Dr. Ward on Keep A Breast Website

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