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Our Toxic World and Our Own Toxic Threshold

My husband holding my newborn son in 2002.

Every person has a toxic threshold: that level at which their body can no longer handle the toxins it absorbs. It’s when you cross that toxic threshold that things start to go awry and the body that used to function perfectly now starts to show symptoms ranging from hives to asthma to migraines to neurologic disorders or other symptoms.

To protect our health, we want to limit our toxic exposures as much as possible because, even when you are aware and proactive about it, you will still be exposed to some level of toxicity every day through the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.

The Environmental Working Group did a study analyzing the cord blood of newborn babies around the U.S. They found that the average baby is born with 200 contaminants already in their cord blood. Two hundred chemicals, including carcinogens, hormone modulators, perfluorochemicals,petrochemicals, pesticides, plastics, BPA,  pharmaceuticals, and more.

From birth, our kids are already behind the eight ball and well on their way to crossing their own personal toxic thresholds. It’s no wonder that we are seeing a dramatic increase in kids with allergies because their bodies just can’t cope anymore.

The other night I watched the new movie about Liberace, “Behind the Candlelabra,” starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. In one scene, Liberace describes how he became sicker and sicker, and eventually deathly ill, until he realized that the dry cleaning fumes emanating from his elaborate costumes were killing him.

Sometimes something as simple as a course of antibiotics can push someone over their toxic threshold and into a downhill health spiral. You never know what your body can’t handle until it shows up and demands your attention in a negative way.

A friend recently told me that she had started a new medication that gave her hives. She ceased taking the drug, but the hives continued for a while and her doctor started her on daily corticosteroids and an antihistimine. Despite all these efforts, she is still finding hives every so often. She has crossed her toxic threshold and, in my experience, her cascade of health issues is beginning.

I tried to impress on her the importance of acting sooner rather than later to calm her body, before the symptoms escalate. Once you cross that toxic threshold, it takes almost superhuman efforts to bring your body back beneath it. I suspect that, once crossed, the threshold drops significantly, so that now the person must take extra care in their toxin exposure and try to allow the body to heal.

What should you do if you cross your toxin threshold?

1. Eliminate all artificial foods and food additives. Get rid of The Scary 7, GMOs, and processed foods.

2. Eliminate synthetic fragrances and colors from personal care products, laundry soaps, and cleaning products. Stop using dryer sheets.

3. Use all-natural cleaning products, including dish soap, dishwasher soap, laundry detergent, and surface cleaners.

4. Use all-natural, safe personal care products and cosmetics.

5. Filter your water for chlorine and chemical contaminants.

6. Consider a parasite cleanse.

7. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet: good. Better: learn your own individual anti-inflammatory foods because each body is unique.

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