Let's start with defining what toxins are. Toxins can either be internal or external. Through its normal metabolism the body forms by-products, which are a source of internal toxins that can be harmful if not neutralized or eliminated. External toxins come from our environment and include things like alcohol, pollution, pesticides, tobacco, heavy metals, medication and oral contraceptives.
Toxins are frequently categorized into groups based on their health impacts such as carcinogens, which are known to cause cancer, or neurotoxins that affect the brain and nervous system. Other classes include hormone disruptors and developmental toxins, which can impact reproduction and fertility. "Obesogen" is a more recent term used to refer to toxins that increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Names of particular chemicals that you may have heard of are PCB's, parabens, toxic heavy metals, phthalates, BPA, and chlorinated pesticides. These chemicals can be found in household cleaning products, cosmetics, dry cleaning, plastics, food and water, air fresheners and perfumes, furniture, detergents and more.
So now that you know what toxins are, it's important to understand the impact on our bodies. First of all, toxins tend to be stored in particular organs or tissues especially the brain, bones, kidneys and of course our fat cells. When we accumulate toxins at a rate faster than we're eliminating them, our bodies become overburdened and our detoxification pathways simply cannot keep up. Once in the body toxins can cause inflammation and DNA damage, as well as interfere with hormone production and function. Not only do toxins influence our health, but their effects are passed down to future generations.
So how do you know if you're toxic?
Our health is quite complex and the cause of illness is often multifactorial. That being said, with today's level of exposure it is always important to assess whether toxic burden could be causing, or at least contributing to your health issues. Some of the health concerns related to toxicity include:
- Autoimmune disease
- Frequent colds and flus, chronic infections
- Early puberty
- Thyroid disorders
- Anxiety & depression
- Obesity & diabetes
- Kidney failure
- Chronic fatigue & fibromyalgia
- Nutrient deficiencies
For more information, come join me for a detox workshop where you will learn about the benefits of detoxification and how to support your body's natural ability to detoxify. You'll also learn about offending toxins in your environment so that you can reduce your exposure- knowledge is power!!