October 14, 2021

Toxins – Part 1

It’s a jungle out there!!!
Poison in the very air we breathe.
Do you know what’s in the water that you drink?
It’s amazing how much we are all exposed to.
Why Are Toxins So Harmful?
Toxins can and do negatively affect every part of the body. Toxic effects on the brain include poor memory and concentration, erratic behavior, word confusion, mood issues, headaches, vertigo, and cravings. Toxic brain exposures, as from alcohol abuse, are also linked to accelerated mental decline.
Common toxins can be absorbed through the skin (when you rub in a cream, for example), ingested (when you eat or drink), or inhaled (when you breathe). Use these lists to see if you’ve possibly been exposed to any toxic substances:
Toxins that can be absorbed when ingested or applied to the skin:
•    Polluted or tainted water (including lead and arsenic)
•    BPA (bisphenol A, found in plastics, food and drink containers, dental sealants, and the coating of cash register receipts)
•    PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) found in paints, plastics, and rubber products
•    Heavy metals, such as:
◦    Mercury: in “silver” dental fillings (which are 50 percent mercury), contaminated fish, and distributed ubiquitously in the
◦    Lead: in contaminated drinking water, soils previously exposed to environmental contaminants, old and peeling paint, paint,
     lead pipes, aviation fuel
◦    Cadmium: in soils treated with synthetic fertilizers and industrial waste sites
•    Excessive alcohol, marijuana, “lifestyle” and various illegal drugs, some prescription drugs
•    Many pain medications, notably prescription opioids and other narcotics, or benzodiazepines commonly prescribed for anxiety
     or insomnia
•    Chemotherapy can cause a long-term “brain fog” or “chemobrain”
•    General anesthesia can result in long-term memory loss in some patients
•    Artificial food dyes and preservatives, including bromates, nitrates or nitrites (processed meats), tartrazine dye (linked to
     asthma), MSG, red dye #40 and other “#” dyes. The artificial sweeteners aspartame (blue packets) saccharin (pink), and
     sucralose (yellow) all are linked to toxic effects on the body. The body’s detoxification systems often cannot process artificial
     chemicals that don’t occur in nature
•    Herbicides such as glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer, with residue present in genetically modified
•    Pesticides including organochlorines and organophosphates, many of them powerful neurotoxins
•    Apples sprayed with diphenylamine (used to prevent the browning of fruit skin)
•    Foods manufactured with plastic equipment, leaking plasticizers
Toxins that can reach the tissues when inhaled:
•    Air pollutants, whether industrial or associated with lifestyle
•    Smoke from cigarettes, other tobacco, or marijuana; “vaping” of inhalants, secondhand smoke from being around smokers. All
     hot gases entering the lungs can be toxic.
•    Automobile exhaust—carbon dioxide and monoxide, but also numerous categories of small particulate matter that come out
     the tailpipe
•    Cleaning chemicals
•    Welding, soldering fumes
•    Asbestos
•    Fireplace/campfire smoke
•    Paint and solvent fumes
Harmful Toxins That You Are Exposed to Everyday
These and other toxins may affect you without you even knowing it. In addition to those listed above, here’s a closer look at three everyday toxins people may encounter.
Beauty Products
The average American woman uses about 12 personal care and cosmetic products daily. The average man uses about 6. The chemicals in these products are easily absorbed into your skin and transported to every organ in your body. That means that while you’re trying to look good on the outside, you may be poisoning yourself on the inside. Try to use natural products without “fragrance” and free from acrylates, aluminum,  formaldehyde, oxybenzone, parabens, triclosan, polyethylene glycols, and phthalates hidden in the walls of plastic containers (go for glass wherever possible). Never reheat food in plastic containers.
Products containing lead are also a major cause for concern. Surprisingly, there are no regulations that require lead be removed from one of the most widely used cosmetics: lipstick. When 30 of the top lipstick brands were tested, lead was found in 60 percent of them. To learn more about how to avoid buying and ingesting lead-contaminated lip products, visit Safe Cosmetics.
While smoking and drug and alcohol abuse have long been known to increase cancer and heart disease, many people don’t realize that they are also linked to mental conditions including an increased risk of dementia. Recently published research from the Amen Clinic documented that regular marijuana users had decreased blood flow to the hippocampus, a brain region crucially involved in learning and memory.
Alcohol kills brain cells, shrinks brain size, increases the risk for dementia. It lowers blood flow to the brain, is linked to inflammatory bowel disease, nerve pain, liver failure. It is linked to 7 different cancers. Alcohol can impair decision-making, make a gentle person aggressive, is a major cause of incarceration and financial problems.
Mold exposure is toxic to brain function. Signs of mold exposure include sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and skin irritation.
If you suspect that you’ve been exposed to mold, the first step is always to remove yourself from the moldy environment. You can also do a blood test that measures a protein, TGF Beta-1, found throughout the body that plays a role in immune system function and is often high in mold exposure (also called mycotoxin exposure). The normal level is below 2,380; 0 is optimal. Mold exposure can raise this to >15,000.
Mold treatment can consist of binding agents and other medications, such as antifungals, as well as metabolic support supplements.
In many cases mold, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other toxins can damage the brain and result in decreased neurological function including memory loss, noticeable personality changes, difficulty concentrating and other signs that often lead to misdiagnosis. It’s important to realize that toxic exposure and its effects on the internal structure of your brain can trigger both long and short-term effects.
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