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Reduction of Toxic Load

All traditional health care systems have believed that toxin accumulation is a contributor to health care problems. Therapies that support cleansing and detoxification are a part of most traditional healing traditions. Over the last 100 years there has been growing scientific evidence to support this concept.

When talking about Toxic Load we are referring to the accumulation of chemicals or molecules that are foreign to our biological systems. These products are referred to as Xenobiotics. Xenobiotics may originate externally from toxic chemicals in the environment. They may originate internally from foods we eat or medications or supplements we take. We may absorb xenobiotics from the living organisms in our gut when there is Dysbiosis and Leaky Gut Syndrome.

The issue of Toxic Load contributes to many health problems. A scientific article from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggested that more than 75% of cancer is caused by diet and environmental factors. In addition toxic exposure is a contributing factor to cardiovascular diseases, (heart attack), cerebrovascular diseases, (stroke), neurodegenerative diseases, (Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease), and Immunologic diseases (arthritis, thyroiditis, chronic infections). Environmental pollutants stockpile in the body contributing to the chronic diseases.

Common intoxicants include:

  • Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium
  • Arsenic, which is found in pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, wood preservatives, paint, tobacco, and manufacturing residues
  • Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons, which come from diesel exhaust and jet fuel
  • Plastics are ubiquitous in our environment. Many scientists believe that plastic molecules compete with the hormone binding sites of cells. This may be a contributing factor to infertility, precocious puberty and cancer.
  • Neurotoxins can come from chronic infections, (Lyme Disease), industrial pollution, foods and exposures (Pfeisteria).

Signs and Symptoms of Toxic Load:
The signs and symptoms of toxic load are all inclusive. The patient and the clinician must have a high index of suspicion. When normal people subject themselves to a biopsy of fat tissue, toxic chemicals are always present. Simply stated, we are all intoxicated, some of us are more symptomatic than others. Some of us handle the intoxication better than others. Ultimately, to optimize health we must attend to reduction of the toxic load.

Testing for Toxic Load:

There are a variety of sophisticated and very expensive tests to detect toxic load. By and large they are not done because of their expense and because there is rarely insurance coverage. We assume that there is a toxic load and include a detoxification program in our treatment program.

The Heavy Metals lend themselves to relatively inexpensive testing:

The Hair Mineral Analysis is a good screening test for heavy metals when done by a laboratory that is experienced, uses the best equipment and institutes good quality controls. When positive, confirmatory tests are indicated.

The Heavy Metal Challenge Test is the confirmatory test. We collect a preliminary urine specimen as a baseline. We give substance that pulls toxic metals from the body and repeat a urine specimen. This is considered the best way to look for toxic metals. The routine blood tests do not measure the toxic burden in other body tissue other than blood. The challenge test measures the toxic burden of all the tissues.

Toxic Effects Core Profile (Metametrix Lab): this is an extensive test that measures for Volatile Solvents, Chlorinated Pesticides, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Organophosphates, Bisphenol A, Phthalates and Parabens.

This is an expensive test. It can be indicated when a person is very ill and there is a high suspicion of a toxic burden contributing to the illness.

Treatment of Toxic Load:
The first strategy is to reduce exposure to additional toxins in the environment. Simple measures include a good water filtration system, the consumption of organic foods when possible, and food preparation practices that do not create carcinogens, (barbecuing is an example).

We have outlined additional measures in the chapter on Detoxification and Cleansing.

Far Infra Red Sauna: This is a special device that removes toxins by causing sweating. It is favored over the regular sauna because it is safer and more tolerable. I generally advise patients to use the sauna two to three times per week. Patients with hypertension, heart disease and diabetes should use a sauna under supervision. Individuals with these problems should only use the Far Infra Red Sauna under medical supervision.

Lymphatic Enhancement Therapy: This is a unique therapy, which combines manual techniques and gentle application of a tri-modal therapy, (light, sound and microcurrent). It supports drainage of congested areas of the limbs and torso. It helps to regulate autonomic nervous system and endocrine system balance. This therapy is provided at our offices.

The removal of toxins is aided by supporting the detoxification systems of the liver and the gut with appropriate diet, nutritional supplements and herbal products.

Chelation is the process of using medications to remove undesirable metals from the body. A health care practitioner who is experienced in chelation therapies should supervise this process.

There are a variety of Product at Crossroads Apothecary that support detoxification and Toxic Load Reduction. These are best used under the supervision of a health care practitioner.

We are always here to help out in whatever way we can.