"Beat autoimmune. The 6 keys to reverse your condition and reclaim your health" - book notes, part 4

Minimize toxins (p. 139)

Chronic illness is basically a failure of containing the toxic soup in us

Defining toxins (p. 142)

  • toxin: often used as catchall for all harmful or poisonous substances. Technically, it refers to any harmful protein produced naturally by living organisms, like snake venom, bacterial waste, and other internally produced chemicals
  • toxicant: any harmful or poisonous, man-made or naturally occuring substance, like chemicals, metals, mold, or radiation
  • toxic: capable of producing harmful or poisonous effects
  • neoantigen: new compound, often a combination of a toxicant that binds to human tissue (e.g., BPA binds to human protein), which the immune system views as dangerous and attacks in an autoimmune response
  • exposome: the full range of environmental exposures that influence our health

Exotocsins (outside toxicants) include chemicals found in air, water, and food:

  • chemicals used in industrial production and farming, water treatment, dry cleaning, home cleaning, and body care products
  • metals, including mercury, lead, aluminium, arsenic, and cadium, which are found in water, fish, soil, air we breathe
  • medications, including many prescription drugs, antibiotics, and vaccines
  • many food additives, preservatives, sweeteners, like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and artificial sweeteners
  • many genetically modified organisms (GMO) contain built-in pesticides or herbicides
  • many allergic foods, including gluten, dairy, soy, etc., can be especially toxic to people prone to autoimmune issues
  • air pollution, including secondhand cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust
  • mold, which produces poisonous mycotoxins (e.g., aflatoxin and Ochratoxin A [OTA])
  • heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chemicals formed when you use high-heat cooking or char-grill meat, poultry, or fish
  • chronic or heavy exposure to electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and “dirty electricity” - high-frequency voltage variations/spikes on electrical wiring - may be associated with many chronic health disorders, including autism, infertility, heart disease, and brain cancer

Endotoxins (inside toxins), also known as biotoxins, are byproducts made by your own body and/or by critters that live inside you:

  • bacteria, fungus, yest in high proprotions and/or harmful species in your gut can be toxic
  • yeast and candida produce a toxic chemical related to formaldehyde (used in embalming fluid) called acetaldehyde
  • lipopolysaccharides (LPS), bacterial toxins, can leak into your bloodstream and even cross the blood-brain barrier, causing and outsized immune system reaction in your body and brain. LPS has been detected in higher levels in the brain of people with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, compared with controls
  • poorly detoxified hormones, like estrogen or xenoestrogens (toxic chemicals that complete with estrogen) may recirculate and bind to estrogen receptor sites, blocking normal hormone functions
  • chronic stress and negative thinking can disrupt your neuroendocrine system and the balance of your microbiome, edging out beneficial bacteria and setting the stage for harmful bacteria to take over
  • lasting, unresolved, or unexpressed negative emotions like anger, grief, or resentment can get stored in your nervous systems. Maybe you have heard the phrase, “the issue is in the tissue”. Many integrative cancer experts can attest that unresolved emotional pain contributes significantly to the development of cancer

Chemicals can have toxic effects through a variety of mechanisms and even at very low doses. They can: (p. 147)

  • harm the gut - disrupt microbiome balance and cause a leaky gut
  • impair the immune system
  • damage mitochondria, our cells’ internal energy source
  • damage cellular DNA and cell membranes, changes that can even get passed to the next generation
  • disrupt hormone balance, blocking thyroid function or estrogen levels
  • cause oxidative stress, which means your body breaks down faster than it can repair
  • block insulin receptor sites, promoting obesity, diabetes, and cancer
  • hamper detoxification via poisoned enzyme systems
  • hamper the body’s ability to make and recycle glutathione, the master antioxidant, which your body needs for detoxification
  • bind to your tissues and form a new, foreign molecule called a neoantigen, which the immune system views as dangerous and attacks in an autoimmune response

Signs of a heavy total body burden: (p. 149)

  • energy problems: profound fatigue, lethargy
  • sleep troubles
  • digestive problems: bloating, constipation, diarrhea, foul-smelling stools, gas, heartburn
  • aches and pains: headaches, muscle aches, joint pain
  • sinus problems: chronic post-nasal drip, congestion
  • mental issues: depression, brain fog, trouble concentrating
  • neurological problems: dizziness, tremors
  • weight problems: unexplained weight gain or weight-loss resistance
  • skin problems: rashes, eczema, psoriasis, acne
  • hormonal issues
  • high or low blood pressure

Some of the most common toxicants scientifically linked to autoimmune disorders: (p. 154)

  • pesticides: DDT, Atrazine

    • main sources of exposure: water and conventionally raised (non-organic foods)
    • conditions they are linked to: ADHD, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, early menopause, Parkinson’s, RA, lupus, cancers
  • bisphenol A (BPA)

    • main sources of exposure: plastic beverage bottles, canned foods, sales receipts
    • conditions they are linked to: multiple autoimmune conditions, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases
  • mercury

    • main sources of exposure: seafood (especially large, predatory fish like shark, marlin, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, tuna), dental amalgam fillings, coal dust in air
    • conditions they are linked to: CFS, headaches, depression, autism, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, MS, Parkinson’s disease, cancer
  • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)

    • main sources of exposure: farmed (e.g., Atlantic or Scottish) salmon
    • conditions they are linked to: autoimmune conditions, especially thyroid and RA, type 2 diabetes, chronic infections, cancers, lowered IQ
  • medications

    • main sources of exposure: antibiotics, antifungals, antihypertensives, anti-inflammatories, cholesterol-lowering meds, synthetic estrogens, oral contraceptives, biologics like TNF blockers, chemotherapy
    • conditions they are linked to: leaky gut, autoimmune conditions like lupus, Parkinson’s, RA, and cancer
  • aluminium

    • main sources of exposure: antiperspirants, aluminium-based household products, vaccines
    • conditions they are linked to: dementia, Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) spectrum, multiple autoimmune conditions
  • phthalates

    • main sources of exposure: flexible plastic (like shower curtains), food packaging, and storage - especially food microwaved in plastic, and personal care products, including lotions, nail polish, hair gel, deodorant, cosmetics, and fragrances
    • conditions they are linked to: obesity, infertility, birth defects in baby boys, asthma, endometriosis, fibroids, type 2 diabetes, lupus, cancer - notably of reproductive organs: prostate, uterus, ovary, and breast
  • food additives

    • main sources of exposure: processed, packaged and fast foods and beverages
    • conditions they are linked to: leaky gut, autoimmune conditions, metabolic syndrome (obesity, insulin resistance, elevated cholesterol, heart disease risk, etc.), and cancer
  • arsenic

    • main sources of exposure: water, chicken, brown rice, mining, wood preservative, pesticides
    • conditions they are linked to: autoimmune conditions, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gout, and lung, prostate, and liver cancer
  • mold and mycotoxins

    • main sources of exposure: water-damaged buildings
    • conditions they are linked to: allergies, asthma, mold illness, now commonly called chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS), autoimmune conditions

Factors that increase your risk of harm (p. 159)

  • increased or ongoing exposure
  • nutrient deficiencies (B vitamins, antioxidants, magnesium, selenium, etc.)
  • high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet
  • heavy metals
  • chronic stress and emotional trauma
  • intestinal dysbiosis
  • single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - common genetic variants in detoxification gene enzymes that indicate impaired detoxification capacity

Get the data (p. 164)

  • detoxification genetics

    • 23andme
    • DetoxiGenomic Profile by Genova Diagnostics
    • PCR by LabCorp
  • chemicals

    • Cyrex Array 11 Chemical Immune Reactivity Screen
    • Great Plains Laboratory’s GPL-TOX
  • metals

    • Doctor’s Data toxic metals panel
    • Quicksilver Scientific (QS) Mercury Tri-test
  • mold

    • Visual contrast sensitivity (VCS)
    • Great Plains Laboratory MycoTOX Profile
    • Realtime Laboratories

Turn off the tap (p. 166)

  • food

    • eat organic food
    • filter your water
    • cook with lower heat
    • use stainless steel, cast iron, or ceramic cookware
    • use glass food storage containers
  • body

    • use chemical-free body care products and cosmetics
    • work up a sweat
    • minimize medications
    • consider having your mercury amalgam fillings removed
  • home

    • vacuum your floors
    • clean up your indoor air
    • use nontoxic cleaning products
    • check for and eliminate sources of mold
    • remove shoes at the door
    • minimize your electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure

Optimize your organs of elimination (p. 169)

  • liver / gallbladder
  • kidneys
  • colon
  • skin
  • lungs
  • lymph / glymph systems

Gently push out toxins (p. 172)

In addition to eating detoxifying foods, upping hydration, and supporting your organs of elimination, certain nutrients can assist your body in successfully pushing out toxins:

  • glutathione (GSH)
  • omega-3 essential fatty acids
  • magnesium

Pull toxins out gently (p. 173)

The role of binders is to grab and safely escort toxnis out of the body, avoiding harmful retoxification

  • eat more fiber

  • use a gentle “cocktail” of binders

    • activated charocal
    • chlorella
    • cilantro
    • clay

General caution on binders: drink extra water with binders and consider taking extra magnesium and vitamin C to avoid constipation. Make sure to take thirty minutes before eating; and take medications or other supplements at least two hours before or after taking binders.

Extra step. Consider “big guns” for detoxification (p. 175)

If you have already followed the above steps and believe you are still dealing with a stubborn toxin burden, you may greatly benefit from working with an integrative practitioner skilled in the fine art of detoxification.

Summary (p. 178)

  • eat organic food
  • eat more fiber
  • use filtered water
  • use a HEPA vacuum
  • use chemical-free home and body care products