Could Your Environment Be Killing You?
By Alex Strande, Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath
Environmental Illness is getting extremely serious. Prior to World War II, synthetic chemicals were seldom used. Some common synthetic products that can trigger environmental illness are: perfume, gasoline, diesel exhaust, cleaning agents, cosmetics, perfumed soaps, deodorants, fabric softeners, formaldehyde, nail polish, detergents, paint, new carpet, solvents, pesticides, natural gas, soft plastics, glue, acetone, particle board and varnish.
In 1945, total production of all these products was less than 10 million tons. Today, it is over 110 million tons. Between 1965 and 1989 a total of 4 million chemical compounds were described in scientific literature. Of the 60,000 chemicals in wide use in most western countries, only 2% have been extensively examined by scientists. This means that around 50,000 commonly-used chemical substances have not been examined for toxicity.
Because of the pervasive use of synthetic chemicals we see more cancer, allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety and/or depression, and autoimmune disorders such as MS, Lupus, ALS, IBS and Crohnís Disease. Not to mention a huge surge in children with ADD and or ADHD, autism, anxiety and depression. Never before have so many children been drugged with pharmaceuticals.
Think about this, the products we use on our skin are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This is why hormone and nicotine patches work. The chemicals we breathe go straight to our brains. So if we are bombarded with perfumes, formaldehyde, pesticides and other scented products, what are we doing to our bodies? Consider this: some of the ingredients in perfume are found in gasoline. Yes, that is the same thing you are pumping into your car!
Most fabrics are treated with formaldehyde to ensure a longer shelf life. Ever notice that most garments have an odd smell and are slightly stiff when new? That is formaldehyde! If you consider that so many products are scented such as soaps, detergents, shampoos, etc., we are assaulted from all sides on a daily basis.
Have you ever had a headache when you walked down the detergent aisle? Or become nauseous when someone recently sprayed perfume? Or did you get dizzy or congested after using cleaning products? Any of these examples could be chemical sensitivities. However, this is not the worst case scenario of what can happen when the immune system breaks down.
We canít really say when the immune system will break down or become hyperactive, manifest as an autoimmune disorder, and become MS or ALS. Our bodies can handle a certain amount of toxins. Over time, if our food, water, air and even buildings are polluted, our bodies become increasingly toxic. Suddenly, the body cannot deal with more toxins.
You may have adverse reactions to new carpet, paint, cleaning materials, dust or even molds when in the past you could tolerate these items without becoming sick. Suddenly you are developing odd allergic symptoms or worse. Autoimmune disorders are rampant. I see more MS and ALS patients than ever. It is not surprising since we are under chemical assault.
An allergy is typically described as an abnormal immune reaction to something you had been exposed to in everyday life. The normal immune reaction that protects your body from infection suddenly goes into overdrive and fights something off that you have been exposed to with no problem in the past.
Anything your immune system reacts to is called an antigen. If your immune system becomes sensitized to a particular antigen, it will manufacture antibodies to bind to that antigen. Classic allergies are a major component in all Environmental Illnesses. In Chronic Fatigue patients, allergies are present in 75% of all cases versus 10-20% of the general healthy public.
Many researchers are starting to admit that Environmental Illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue are the result of a neuroimmune dysfunction. This means the nervous system and brain are not functioning correctly. Ultimately, the nervous and immune system becomes hyperactive and begins to attack itself creating an auto-immune disorder. This is how a healthy patient can become chronically ill.
I deal with many problems related to Environmental Illnesses. These include those who are still dealing with allergies, as well as those who have manifested into a full-blown autoimmune disorder or even anxiety and depression.
After a full consultation with a new patient, looking at everything going on:
diet, exercise, lifestyle, and relationships, I come up with an individualized
protocol for that patient. Using therapeutic doses, I typically get results
within 7-10 days of commencing treatment if the patient is compliant. I work
with difficult cases in adults, adolescents and children. You do not have to
live with chronic illness.
Alex Strande, Ph.D., is a Traditional Naturopath and a Microbiologist. His office is located in Irvine, CA. He can be contacted for questions and appointments at (949) 587-1513. Visit www.simplyhealingclinic.com
Return to the March/April Index page