My journey with toxins probably started around the same time as yours. I wanted to talk about my relationship with toxins because I do not think I am very different from most other people. Although the details are most likely to be different, we drank from the same tap, ate the same food and breathed the same air. You may have been luckier than me with your health, but you may also still not know what it is that is making you sick and tired.
Our first exposure to toxins occurs before we are born, and often before we are conceived. It starts with the toxins that our parents were exposed to as well as their parents' exposure and back through the family. Women are born with all their eggs for life already made, so any exposure to toxins during their lifetime prior to pregnancy is going to have an impact on the developing baby. In research studies, as many as two hundred different toxins are identified in newborn babies, and a percentage of these are carcinogenic.
For many of us that grow up in rural and suburban areas, pesticide, herbicide and insecticide exposure is just part of life. In my childhood, from the time I was about 6 months to 2 years, the farmers in our area constantly sprayed their crops, which made me really sick. The doctors assured my mother that nothing serious was wrong and kept sending me home. They had not made the connection at that time between toxins and illness. My childhood after this was a constant battle with allergies, asthma, bronchitis, and food intolerances. It was not until I started researching toxins that I discovered that these symptoms are very normal for those who have a high toxic load. As they are becoming more and more prevalent, and the link between toxins and these diseases is not commonly known, I wanted to let others know what I have found out.
I also had all the prescribed vaccinations through my childhood and into my teen years. Now I am aware that these vaccinations contained and still contain mercury and aluminum, both heavy metals, amongst other horrors. I also travelled extensively in my twenties and thirties so have had many vaccinations and reactions through my life. Vaccinations are less damaging if your immune system is strong, but anyone who has been exposed to toxins and heavy metals has a compromised immune system. Mine evidently was compromised, and I think that the vaccinations contributed to my health problems.
My childhood was one of many bed rests and constant prescription medications and antibiotics, again, which probably did not help my already struggling immune system. I also have two auto- immune diseases, both inherited, which suggest to me that the immune system that passed to me was probably also struggling- my mothers and grandmothers both suffer from immune system deficiencies. I do not blame anyone, because I believe that everyone was doing the best they could with the knowledge they had to try to help me. It is ironic that the injections and the antibiotics that I was given to make me well may have in fact contributed greatly to my ill health.
The food we purchased at the store was treated with pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. Our home garden was organic, but like others, we consumed our share of commercially produced food.
Cleaning products in those days were similar to cleaning products of today. There were chemicals used in these products that are very dangerous to our long term health, but there was little knowledge of the long term exposure hazards. The chemicals that are used today to give us a germ free environment are more harmful because we are told to put them everywhere. Again, the irony is that if a child is exposed to germs and viruses, their immune system strengthens and they build a strong defense system for themselves.
I was a smoker until about eight years ago when I kicked the habit for good. In the beginning I was not aware that cigarettes contain horrific chemicals including arsenic, butane, ammonia, nicotine, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and dioxide and aluminum. It may be of interest to know that nicotine is also used as a cockroach killer and is an extremely effective insecticide. Even now when smokers know the ingredients in cigarettes and tobacco they still continue to use the products. However, knowing how harmful the smoke is, you can stay away from smokers if you would like to reduce your own toxic burden.
Sweet treats and sugary desserts were also my favorite food group. It did not cross my mind to think about all the chemicals used in growing and producing sugar. Perhaps my addiction to the substance would have made me justify consumption anyway. The result of a constant diet of sugar was dental problems, most commonly in the form of cavities. Cavities required metal fillings in those days, which are full of mercury. As we eat warm and hot foods the mercury leaks out of the metal fillings and contaminates our bodies. The term "mad as a hatter" actually evolved from mercury toxicity that affects the brain functioning. The symptoms include tremors and slurred speech as well as other neurological impairments.
Tap water, which we drank exclusively, was full of fluoride. Although originally touted as a way to help your dental health it has now been proven as a toxin. It is a by-product of refining aluminum which is also reported to contain barium, beryllium, lead, mercury, copper, arsenic and cadmium. In the European countries where they refused to have fluoride in their water system, the general health of their teeth is reported to be much better than those in the UK.
For a few summers I was a painter and would have to paint using gloss paints in closed, poorly ventilated quarters. I always felt incredibly ill after these jobs but continued to work there, not realizing the lead and additives I was breathing in. As a very active do-it-yourselfer I really cannot imagine the number of toxins I have inhaled or made contact with throughout the years.
Beauty products have also added to my toxic burden. I was cursed with prematurely grey hair and from the age of 18, and so I started to play around with hair colouring. My hair is dark brown and it was not until lately that I learned of the high levels of carcinogenic compounds and chemicals that are used in the dark hair dyes. Thankfully I only permed my hair once, but many women and men perm constantly, which also adds to the toxins in our body.
Different types of beauty and hygiene products continued to add to the toxic levels I was experiencing. I used deodorant that contained aluminum as well as perfume and make-up items that contain any number of toxic substances.
In addition to the items mentioned above and to keep the list manageable I also know I have been exposed to:
• Food contaminants including TBT, mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium
• Wood treatments (arsenic and others)
• Dry cleaning chemicals
• Fire retardants
• Nail polishes
• Varnish removers
• Fake spray tan
• Swimming pool chemicals
• Vehicle fumes
• Industrial cleaning products
• Plastic food containers
The list is probably endless as many contaminants are so common in our world we simply cannot escape contact. By the time I was an adult I suffered from severe depression, chronic respiratory problems, aches and pains and increased allergic reactions to a variety of things.
After reading "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson and becoming more aware of how we are polluting the planet I decided to make a change. I read as much as I could in this area. It had always interested me, but also started to look at how I could improve my own health by removing toxins.
The first thing that I did was switch to organically grown foods such as fruits and vegetables. This was relatively easy but the next step, ending my addiction to cigarettes, was more of a challenge. Eventually I was able to give up cigarettes and drinking completely, plus I also started using only organic and toxin free cleaning products and supplies. Not only did I remove toxic products from my environment but I also made the choice to remove toxic people as well.
One product I did add to my new health regimen was Activate Liquid Zeolite. On my journey to cleansing and detoxification of my body I have changed both my physical as well as emotional being. I am physically healthier with almost no respiratory problems and I have increased energy and enthusiasm for life. Not only does this product remove the toxins and chemicals that we have just consumed but it also helps to cleanse the body of stored deposits of the same toxins.
By giving your body the chance to become healthy you will notice significant changes. While you may have assumed that your lack of energy, illness or health conditions were due to natural aging, you are more likely suffering from a toxic overload that your body simply cannot handle. The toxins trick your body and prevent the natural processes of regeneration and healing. By detoxifying your body it can begin to work in the way it was designed to.
I am extremely passionate about sharing my story about how toxins impaired my health and how this process can be slowed, and healing can begin, regardless of your current age and health conditions. I know that if you give your body the best chance it will respond and you will feel stronger, healthier and happier than you have for a long while.
Wherever you live today, you are surrounded by toxins. It is impossible to escape them. However, today if you choose to educate yourself and make changes to your environment and lifestyle, you can reduce your exposure to toxins and begin to feel the benefits. Finally, we have a choice, and there is a better way.
Written by Caroline Nettle
Caroline Nettle is passionate about helping others to improve their health. http://www.toxinfreetoday.com is an online resource for information and products to help you to enjoy life after toxins. Sign up for the newsletter and receive the latest information about how to detoxify your life.