Turning the Tide of Toxic Exposure by Andrea Brisson
We’re all exposed to various toxins every day. The body has self-protection mechanisms for processing and eliminating these toxins. Water soluble toxins enter via the lungs, skin and GI tract and exit via the lungs, skin, GI, and kidneys. Excess water soluble toxins are stored in the joints, blood, tissue and muscle. Many of the toxins that enter the body are fat soluble. The liver has to convert fat soluble toxins into water soluble substances that can be excreted from the body.
During the liver’s detoxification of fat soluble substances, free radicals are produced in the oxidation process. Too many of these can be damaging to liver cells (whereas antioxidants can help reduce this damage). Excess fat soluble toxins are stored in the fat cells, central nervous system, and bone marrow.
When our bodies are overtaxed with toxins or inefficient at processing due to damage, the toxins build up in our bodies leading to effects such as:
• Immune System: autoimmune conditions, allergies/post-nasal drip, chronic fatigue, skin rashes, dark circles under the eyes
• Nerve System: MS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, memory decline and cognition problems, joint and muscle pain, headache
• Endocrine System: thyroid, adrenals, fertility, Diabetes, weight gain/difficulty losing weight
• Cardiovascular System: heart disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, high blood pressure, intolerance to exercise
• Cancer We can take preventative measures to reduce exposure to toxins (such as diet and environmental changes like reducing exposure to smoke and chemicals, using air filters and masks, eliminating mold, etc.).
We can also help our bodies better eliminate toxins, for example by exercising and using a sauna as well as taking supplements that support the body’s detoxification process. Supplements that are useful for anyone living in Shanghai include liver detoxification support, antioxidant support, probiotics, and a comprehensive multivitamin/mineral.
For people concerned about toxicity, especially anyone experience symptoms as mentioned above, functional medicine offers scientifically based protocols for testing. These include: blood panels, saliva panels (which can test for oxidative stress, heavy metals, food allergies, auto-immune problems, bacteria, fungus, yeast/candida, and other toxins). The results then dictate a plan of treatment and post-testing can determine how well the plan is working and any adjustments needed. Periodic testing can be done to monitor toxicity, which may be especially important for those with past issues or who regularly experience high toxic exposure (which, unfortunately, includes most of us living in Shanghai).
To learn more about toxicity and important steps to protect yourself in Shanghai, sign up for Andrea’s FREE Healthy in Shanghai talk, Turn the Tide of Toxic Exposure, on October 17th from 2:00-4:00 PM in Body & Soul’s Lifestyle Center, in Xintiandi.
Andrea is a leader in natural and alternative techniques. Her vast knowledge of health, healing & rehabilitation brings an eclectic approach to the unique needs of her patients. Andrea offers consultations in our Century Park Clinic – Pudong and Downtown Clinic – Xintiandi. Click here to schedule an appointment with her.