Toxic Overload and Fatigue: The Effects of Toxins on
Your Body

Fatigue is a common health complaint. It is, however, one of the hardest terms to
define, and a symptom of many different conditions.

Fatigue is common. Around 20% of Americans claim to have fatigue intense enough to
interfere with their having a normal life. Physical causes are estimated at 20-60%, and
emotional causes are the other 40-80%. The challenge is how to tell what is causing
your fatigue.

Disrupted sleep is a common cause of daytime fatigue. Worry, anxiety and depression
keep women of all ages on high alert, tossing and turning throughout the night. Hot
flashes and night sweats — caused by hormonal imbalance and resulting in disrupted
sleep — lead inevitably to fatigue. Adrenal insufficiency due to stress, poor diet choices,
or the effects of perimenopause on thyroid function and melatonin synthesis, also leads
directly to fatigue.

We often see women who have all these problems. It’s no wonder they feel tired all the
time!

Poor diet and nutrition are often behind hormonal imbalance and the resulting lack of
energy. This is especially true of women who are yo-yo dieters or follow low-fat, high-
carb eating plans. These women often suffer from insulin resistance or hypoglycemia,
which disrupts their bodies’ glucose/energy metabolism. They get a burst of energy
from high-carb foods, but quickly wilt, and need to start the whole cycle again. Not to
mention the damage this does to thyroid function over time.

All of these can be a result of toxic overload from pesticides, insecticides and the like.
A study in last year's British Medical Journal estimated that perhaps 75 percent of most
cancers are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors, including exposure to
chemicals. Another report, this one by the Columbia University School of Public
Health, estimated that 95 percent of cancer is caused by diet and environmental
toxicity.

This is really not surprising when you consider that estimates show most Americans
have somewhere between 400 and 800 chemicals stored in their bodies, typically in fat
cells.
Some of the short- and long-term effects of these toxins include:

•        Neurological disorders (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, depression, attention deficit
disorder, schizophrenia, etc.)
•        Cancer
•        Nutritional deficiencies
•        Hormonal imbalances         
•        Enzyme dysfunction
•        Altered metabolism
•        Reproductive disorders
•        Fatigue
•        Headaches
•        Obesity         
•        Muscle and vision problems
•        Immune system depression
•        Allergies/Asthma
•        Endocrine disorders
•        Chronic viral infections
•        Less ability to tolerate/handle stress

The 10 Most Common Toxins

The following toxins are among the most prevalent in our air, water and/or food supply.
This list is by no means all-inclusive, as thousands of other toxins are also circulating in
our environment. Keep reading to find out tips to avoid these toxins and others as much
as possible.

1.        PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls): This industrial chemical has been
banned in the United States for decades, yet is a persistent organic pollutant that's still
present in our environment.

Risks: Cancer, impaired fetal brain development
Major Source: Farm-raised salmon. Most farm-raised salmon, which accounts for
most of the supply in the United States are fed meals of ground-up fish that have
absorbed PCBs in the environment and for this reason should be avoided.

2.        Pesticides: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60
percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides and 30 percent of insecticides are
known to be carcinogenic. Alarmingly, pesticide residues have been detected in 50
percent to 95 percent of U.S. foods.

Risks: Cancer, Parkinson's disease, miscarriage, nerve damage, birth defects, blocking
the absorption of food nutrients
Major Sources: Food (fruits, vegetables and commercially raised meats), bug sprays

3.        Mold and other Fungal Toxins: One in three people have had an allergic
reaction to mold. Mycotoxins (fungal toxins) can cause a range of health problems with
exposure to only a small amount.

Risks: Cancer, heart disease, asthma, multiple sclerosis, diabetes
Major Sources: Contaminated buildings, food like peanuts, wheat, corn and alcoholic
beverages

4.        Phthalates: These chemicals are used to lengthen the life of fragrances and
soften plastics.

Risks: Endocrine system damage (phthalates chemically mimic hormones and are
particularly dangerous to children)
Major Sources: Plastic wrap, plastic bottles, plastic food storage containers. All of
these can leach phthalates into our food.

5.        VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds): VOCs are a major contributing
factor to ozone, an air pollutant. According to the EPA, VOCs tend to be even higher
(two to five times) in indoor air than outdoor air, likely because they are present in so
many household products.

Risks: Cancer, eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual
disorders, and memory impairment
Major Sources: Drinking water, carpet, paints, deodorants, cleaning fluids, varnishes,
cosmetics, dry cleaned clothing, moth repellants, air fresheners.

6.        Dioxins: Chemical compounds formed as a result of combustion processes
such as commercial or municipal waste incineration and from burning fuels (like wood,
coal or oil).

Risks: Cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, chloracne (a severe skin
disease with acne-like lesions), skin rashes, skin discoloration, excessive body hair, mild
liver damage
Major Sources: Animal fats: Over 95 percent of exposure comes from eating
commercial animal fats.

7.        Asbestos: This insulating material was widely used from the 1950s to 1970s.
Problems arise when the material becomes old and crumbly, releasing fibers into the air.

Risks: Cancer, scarring of the lung tissue, mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer)
Major Sources: Insulation on floors, ceilings, water pipes and healing ducts from the
1950s to 1970s.

8.        Heavy Metals: Metals like arsenic, mercury, lead, aluminum and cadmium,
which are prevalent in many areas of our environment, can accumulate in soft tissues of
the body.

Risks: Cancer, neurological disorders, Alzheimer's disease, foggy head, fatigue, nausea
and vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart
rhythm, damage to blood vessels
Major Sources: Drinking water, fish, vaccines, pesticides, preserved wood,
antiperspirant, building materials, dental amalgams, chlorine plants

9.        Chloroform: This colorless liquid has a pleasant, nonirritating odor and a
slightly sweet taste, and is used to make other chemicals. It's also formed when chlorine
is added to water.

Risks: Cancer, potential reproductive damage, birth defects, dizziness, fatigue,
headache, liver and kidney damage.
Major Sources: Air, drinking water and food can contain chloroform.

10.        Chlorine: This highly toxic, yellow-green gas is one of the most heavily used
chemical agents.

Risks: Sore throat, coughing, eye and skin irritation, rapid breathing, narrowing of the
bronchi, wheezing, blue coloring of the skin, accumulation of fluid in the lungs, pain in
the lung region, severe eye and skin burns, lung collapse, reactive airways dysfunction
syndrome (RADS) (a type of asthma)
Major Sources: Household cleaners, drinking water (in small amounts), air when
living near an industry (such as a paper plant) that uses chlorine in industrial processes.

How to Avoid Toxins?

•  Buy and eat, as much as possible, organic produce and free-range, organic foods. If
you can only purchase one organic product it probably should be free range organic
eggs. Fortunately most grocery stores now have these available. If they don't contact
the store manager and encourage them to carry them. Additionally I believe raw milk
products are a key to staying healthy. They are best obtained locally but many people
have a great challenge finding them. I have made special arrangements with a dairy in
the only state that raw milk products are legal, California, so you can easily obtain them.

•  Rather than eating fish, which is largely contaminated with PCBs and mercury,
consume a high-quality purified fish or cod liver oil like Carlson's.

•  Avoid processed foods -- remember that they're processed with chemicals!

•  Only use natural cleaning products in your home. Most health food stores will have
these available or you can search online for them.

•  Switch over to natural brands of toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste,
antiperspirants and cosmetics. Same sources here, either your local health food store or
you can search on line.

•  Avoid spraying insect repellants that contain DEET on your body. There are safe,
effective and natural alternatives out there.

•  Remove any metal fillings as they're a major source of mercury. Be sure to have this
done by a qualified biological dentist. Although nearly any dentist is technically
qualified to replace your amalgam fillings, far less than 95 percent have any clue on how
to do it properly so your risk of mercury exposure is minimized. Please avoid the
mistake I have seen THOUSANDS of patients make and have your fillings replaced by a
non-qualified dentist. I made this mistake myself nearly 20 years ago. Do it right the
first time and save yourself the expense and grief. If you don't personally know a
qualified biological dentist, many people find one by contacting several of the health
food stores in their area and asking the employees who they know. This is typically an
excellent resource as they are usually networked quite well in the local health
community.

•  Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic
fragrances as they can pollute the air you are breathing.

•  Avoid artificial food additives of all kind, including artificial sweeteners and MSG

•  Get plenty of safe sun exposure to boost your vitamin D levels and your immune
system (you'll be better able to fight disease).

•  Have your tap water tested and, if contaminants are found, install an appropriate
water filter on all your faucets (even those in your shower or bath).

How do you know if you are toxic? Take our toxic questionnaires:
1.
Detoxification Questionnaire
2. Environmental Influences Questionnaire

If you find you are toxic...how can you detox?  Seek to build your health up through the
nutrition insights detailed in my Personalized Health Program, and then limit your use
of drugs (prescription and over-the-counter) as much as possible. Drugs are chemicals
too, and they will leave residues and accumulate in your body over time.
770-425-6068
Health & Wellness Blog
A Personalized Program is a great place to start! At Balanced Body Wellness Centre
each person is treated as a unique individual. Our personalized programs promote
natural hormonal balance with nutritional supplements, endocrine support formulas,
dietary and lifestyle guidance.

Call 770-425-6068 or e-mail us today to get started!
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