Sunday, January 15, 2017

Are Toxicants Bringing You Down?

What are Toxins and Toxicants?

Toxicants abound all around us!  Day in and day out, we are surrounded by innumerable toxins and toxicants alike.  Naturally occurring toxins exist in living organisms such as the poisonous mushroom or the venomous spider. Toxicants, on the other hand, are created by human beings and regularly encountered on a daily basis.  People fully understand natural toxins are harmful and generally do fairly well avoiding them.  Unfortunately, our lives are inundated with man-made toxicants not so easily eluded, such as:

synthetic fragrances in cosmetics and cleaning products
plastic and BPA in water bottles
mercury in dental fillings and fish
pesticides and GMOs in produce
flame retardants in clothing and furniture
medications like birth control pills
over the counter pain relievers and antacids  

The toxicants we come into contact with or ingest every single day begin to build up in our bodies and impact our physical and mental functions.  They have the power to make us feel sick and miserable.  

Mainstream science and medicine lag years behind when it comes to admitting that certain chemicals and drugs, which were initially promoted as completely safe, were actually causing great harm.  In a rush to put the latest and greatest chemicals and drugs into use, safety studies are often inadequate and funded by the very corporations responsible for their production.  Take for example the pesticide DDT which was promoted as completely harmless and widely used in the US from 1950-1980.  DDT was used as a mosquito and agricultural pesticide for 30 years before serious notice was taken that it was an endocrine disruptor causing an increase in cancers, infertility, and birth defects, and even destroying the reproduction of predatory birds.  Adversely affected men, women, and children were the naive participants who had to carry the burden of proof that DDT was a dreadful toxicant to be avoided at all costs. 

You owe it to yourself not to be an unaware participant of the current broken system and of corporations who do not have your best interest in mindIf you long to be a healthy and thriving individual living a vibrant life, you must take action on behalf of yourself and play the leading role in your health and well-being.

Is Your Lifestyle Making You Crazy?

Often when we experience ill-feeling symptoms of depression, anxiety, or pain, we want a quick fix and run to the medicine cabinet for a pill to take or drive to the doctor's office for a prescription to be written.  Quick fixes only bring short-term results and often carry negative long-term consequences.  Before reaching for the next quick fix, take a moment to wonder and ask yourself two important questions: 

Why am I feeling this way?  
What could be causing these symptoms?  

Symptoms are the way in which our bodies tell us that something is out of balance.  Symptoms are the language of the human body.

Our lifestyle habits and environmental exposure have a great deal of influence on our health and mood.  Some of the most commonly used and worst health offending toxicants to women are:

birth control pills
acid-reflux medications
over the counter pain relievers

These frequently used toxicants lead to the disruption of your mood, hormones, brain function, and digestion. 

Is Your Food Making You Blue?

The body’s ability to properly combat the constant onslaught of toxicants is dependent on proper nutrition.  Everything you put on your body and into it has the potential to bring harm or healing.  Not only is it imperative we take a closer look at our personal environment and lifestyle, we must gain greater awareness of one of the most significant factors in our daily life: the food we eat. 

Gluten, GMO's, pesticides, processed food, dairy, and added sugars trigger inflammatory and hormonal responses in the body and create imbalance and dysfunction.  A dysbiosis in the gut often leads to a cascade of other problems in the body and the brain which subsequently show up as symptoms of depression and anxiety.  Ancient medicine understood the importance of the gut and its role in wellness and disease.  It has taken too long, but more current studies and scientific proof are revealing the immense wisdom spoken by Hippocrates (the father of medicine) that “all disease begins in the gut”. 

When we put any food into our mouths, we are not just simply fueling the body; we are providing it with vital information.  The nutrients found in food are crucial instructions to your cells telling them what to do next and how to best support the whole body’s function.  Proper nutrition is absolutely key not only for a healthy body but equally so for a healthy mind.  Eating the wrong foods or lacking the necessary ones can make you feel anxious, weepy, and even like you are losing your mind.

It’s Not All in Your Head

Mainstream thought is that depression is a neurochemical deficiency which can only be cured with long-term use of anti-depressants.  However, this is far from the truth!  Depression and its related conditions are most often the resulting symptoms of excessive inflammation in the body and a compromised immune system due to a lack of essential nutrients and an exposure to toxicants.  Depression can be improved and healed completely with doable lifestyle, environmental, and dietary changes.

In future posts, I will share more in-depth information on the effects of the toxicants mentioned here and the changes you can make to detoxify yourself and be a happier, healthier you.

[This post was initially written as a sample blog submission for a writing job with Dr. Kelly Brogan who wrote the book titled A Mind of Your Own.  The post didn't get me the job, but I felt it had beneficial information that could be of help to others. I am considering continuing on in subsequent posts with the information promised.]

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