Are Your Health Problems Due to Environmental Toxins?

by Dr. Connie Hernandez, ND

Last weekend, Dr Marcel and I attended an environmental medicine conference in San Diego.

Dr. Connie Hernandez, ND
Dr. Connie Hernandez, ND

San Diego is one of the world’s most pleasant cities. The temperature was, as always, lovely, and Balboa Park, Mission Bay, and La Jolla beckoned us with their charms.

Yet our enjoyable stay was tempered by the horror show that was presented to us by the conference speakers.

Here at Pacific Naturopathic, we like to consider ourselves fairly enlightened about the dangers of environmental toxins. But we were horrified by the extent of the problem, and by the close connection between environmental toxins and all manner of dangerous immune and autoimmune diseases.

Marcel and I frequently see patients whose complaints are related to their exposure to toxins in the environment. So we’re very familiar with the “usual suspects” – the standard catalog, familiar to everybody, of air pollution, chemicals in the water supply, harmful plastics, etc., etc.

But we were shocked to learn of the large array of lesser-known toxins lurking in our modern world – often together with their better-known cousins.

You may have heard of Roundup, the weed killer from Monsanto that contains glyphosphate, a highly carcinogenic chemical. Yet Marcel and I were completely aware that Roundup contains several other “inactive” ingredients that are many times more toxic.

It’s so ironic. Even as the world becomes aware of the dangers, we choose to ignore them selectively, as it suits our convenience.

We refuse to drink from plastic water bottles, yet we’ll blithely calm our babies with plastic binkies and baby bottles.

We love the feel of 100% cotton clothing. Yet we ignore the wise advice to wash away the chemical pesticides before we don our spanking-new cotton duds.

Ever since New Yorker staff writer Paul Brodeur published his landmark Currents of Death in 1989, we’ve been fairly drowning in scientific evidence that electromagnetic radiation is creates havoc with our bodies’ intracellular communication.

Brodeur presented an abundance of evidence that exposure to electromagnetic fields from power lines may cause cancer and other illnesses, and that microwave radiation from radar and communications equipment poses serious health hazards. He detailed and disputed the government and industry-funded studies that claimed such radiation is safe, and charged that a cover-up of the dangers has been engineered by industry, government, regulatory agencies, and academia.

emf-effects-on-bodyGee, hasn’t everybody heard the message? It’s common knowledge today that holding cell phones to our ears is dangerous – yet how many of us bother to plug a headset into our iPhone 6s?

We know that the dangers I’ve cited so far are just a tiny fraction of the army of environmental hazards that can create great harm, by encouraging cancers and other diseases.

They do this, in part, by making our immune system go bonkers. Put more scientifically, when our patients come to us with symptoms of progressive immune dysfunction or autoimmune disease, we consider it a big red flag signaling a need to treat the patient for toxicity.

Did you know that mold exposure – yes, brace yourself, your bathroom is dangerous – can cause abnormalities in the immune system’s T and B cell populations?

Or that arsenic, lead, and mercury are implicated in autoimmune diseases?

Glyphosphate-based pesticides such as Roundup disrupt the immune system. And, guess what, your living room can kill you, too – because the harmful effects of chronic exposure to volatile organic compounds commonly found in household items that include memory foam, furniture, carpets, paint, flooring, air fresheners, and many, many other materials, include allergies and autoimmune-related complaints.

environmental-toxinsLiving in our chemicalized and contaminated world, we face many dangers. The futuristic dystopia of Bladerunner has arrived.

We’d need more fingers to count even the most common toxins in our food, water, air, and all the handy-dandy products we use in our kitchens and bathrooms.

Feeling overwhelmed and depressed?

Well, I’m happy to tell you that there are a few simple, easy preventive and protective steps we can take to stay clean, healthy, and toxin-free.

We can purify our water, buy non-GMO organic food, avoid chemically treated products, keep our cell phones away from our heads, and turn off the wi-fi when not in use.

We can purchase reasonably priced air filters for our home and office. In addition, we can clean up our innards with a toxin-removing dietary cleansing regime. These sophisticated cleansing programs can help clear our bodies of toxins while stabilizing our cellular membranes and undoing a great deal of the damage.

In cleansing, our first goal is to optimize the body’s major channels of elimination: the lymph, liver, colon, kidney, and skin.

We can do this by dietary change, drainage remedies, and special nutrients and botanicals. An infrared sauna is another safe, effective way to eliminate toxins through the skin. (I’ll talk about infrared saunas in an upcoming article.)

In our practice, we now have the access to advanced diagnostic tests that were developed to measure the body’s toxic exposure and reactivity. If you’re concerned about your exposure, or feel that your present illness may be environmentally related, we’ll be happy to discuss your concerns. Give us a call today: (650) 917-1121, or use the contact form to send us a message.

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