While toxins and toxic exposure is a major subject in its own right, in the context of general wellness it is important to even recognize that we are commonly exposed to toxins that both affect the body, and require that the body detoxify and/or eliminate them else they accumulate and cause harm.
Underlying this is the fact that chronic diseases often begin with a “gene-environment” mismatch. Thus, genetics, environmental exposure, and unhealthy diet choices can affect how well you handle the toxins to which you are exposing yourself. As the toxic burden increases, the stage becomes set for toxicity symptoms and disease.
There are confounding issues and complications everywhere you look in relation to toxins, toxic exposures, and toxic burdens.
It is most important that you decrease your exposure to toxins as much as possible, beginning with your food and drink.
We discussed focusing on “real foods” under the “Nutrition” section (above). This helps with avoiding toxins commonly added to our food supply, but there are many more levels on which to be concerned.
For example, the plastics chart shows many common plastics that are, in fact, considered a source of toxin exposure – not the least of which is the ever-present polystyrene cup. Even worse, these cups hold hot beverages commonly, the heat known to make the toxins from the polystyrene even more available in the cup-o-joe that you might be enjoying – not to mention putting a polystyrene cup into the microwave to heat up your drink.
BPA (Bisphenol A) is in many plastics, even though Canada (and others) have declared it a toxic substance. Some, but not all, of the plastics type #3 and #7 will contain BPA. Suffice it to say that this substance is a known endocrine disruptor and must be avoided.
While there are many sources of toxic exposure, through knowledge and awareness we can work together to significantly decrease the load and, if necessary, enhance your ability to detoxify and eliminate toxins (for example by properly assessing and addressing methylation issues – intimately linked to your detoxification processes).
Under the moniker of toxins, I will also place toxic metabolic products that occur as a normal part of metabolism. Unfortunately, some individuals, for complex reasons – may accumulate these products and thus subject themselves to much-augmented risks of cancer and other maladies. As one of many examples, Estrogen in the body exists in 3 forms (E1, E2, E3), The breakdown of E1 and E2 can be abnormal in such a way as to allow toxic metabolites to build up. This is known to greatly increase cancer risk but is rarely monitored or treated by traditional physicians. I can assure you that this was not covered as a condition to follow/treat in medical school. By appropriate testing and treating if needed, it is relatively easy to correct the toxic accumulation of estrogen metabolites if it is found to be a problem.
Other areas of General Wellness that FoundationMED focuses on include proper Sleep and Sleep Dynamics, as well as Stress and Stress Management.