Chemical Poisoning and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) - how to reduce the body load
The underlying principles of treating chemical toxicity and chemical sensitivity are as follows:
1. Reduce chemical exposure (clean up your environment, eat organic food);
2. Improve your ability to detoxify chemicals by taking nutritional supplements (vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids - see my Nutritional Supplements), high dose B12 and magnesium, and eating a high protein diet (amino acids are used to make fat soluble compounds water soluble so they can be excreted - see my Stone Age Diet); In fact, more often I now prescribe the ketogenic diet - please see Ketogenic diet - the practical details and My book The PK Cookbook - Go Paleo-ketogenic and get the best of both worlds.
3. Reduce the load of chemicals already accumulated in the body - see below. This also improves the MCS suggesting that many sufferers are reacting allergically to chemicals constantly present in their bodies.
4. For those who are also chemically sensitivity, consider desensitisation using EPD or neutralisation.
How to reduce the body load
- (The different ways of getting rid of chemicals from the body)
Chemical overload, by which I mean heavy metals, pesticides and volatile organic compounds, get in the way of the normal healthy biochemical function of the body and stop it from working normally. Overall they have the effect of accelerating the normal ageing process so that we get diseases before our time. With the current load of chemicals that humans are now exposed to as a result of pollution of the environment, we can expect to see people developing diseases of old people when they are young. We can expect to get degenerative conditions when we live to 100, but not in our forties and fifties!
I am increasingly coming to the view that we should all be thinking about doing detox regimes all the time because we are all unwittingly exposed to chemicals either from pesticide and heavy metal present in foods and drugs, from increasing air pollution as a result of polluting industry, from increasing contamination of our water supply and from chemicals used in the building industry, cleaning industry, cosmetic industry and so on. Even stainless steel saucepans are made up of 14% nickel, which is a known carcinogen! Many people have dental amalgam fillings. All vaccinations contain either mercury or aluminium as their adjuvant.
So whilst one can do one's best to reduce one's daily exposures, we will all be inevitably carrying a certain load of these chemicals and whatever can be done to reduce the load is going to be very helpful. There are many ways by which these chemicals and heavy metals can be excreted and the options are as follows:
Take my standard regime of nutritional supplements - see Nutritional Supplements.
If the body becomes deficient in a mineral such as zinc or selenium, then it will go for something that looks similar. Nickel, for example, is closely related to zinc and so if one becomes zinc deficient, the body will grab nickel and incorporate it in an enzyme which should have zinc. The same is true for many other metals. The reverse is also true, if one has a nickel or a mercury load, then taking high doses of zinc or selenium will help to displace this mercury so that it can be excreted. So taking good levels of trace elements is very helpful in getting rid of heavy metals.
Many toxins are removed through the liver and minerals and B vitamins here are essential to achieve this. Taking a good multivitamin, minerals and essential fatty acids facilitates detoxification.
Vitamin C will tend to strip out minerals, both good and bad. High dose vitamin C is very helpful for getting rid of mercury, cadmium, aluminium and so on, but will also facilitate the excretion of the beneficial minerals. So it is important to combine high dose vitamin C with a good multimineral, such as my Mineral Mix.
Iodine again is a good chelater of heavy metals. It is present in the Mineral Mix in high doses. See Iodine.
Taking high dose probiotics shortens gut transit time and reduces the enterohepatic circulation of bile, which may be high in toxins. See Probiotics.
Far Infra Red Sweating
This can be used either orally or intravenously to reduce heavy metal load and is of proven efficacy. There are some concerns about some of the chelating agents mobilising mercury into the brain rather than out of the brain, which I suspect explains why chelation has slightly fallen out of favour in some circles.
Anything which reduces gut transit time will help to reduce toxic load. There is no doubt that some people find this very helpful and feel well subsequently.
Massage and Lymphatic Drainage
Raymond Perrin has demonstrated that osteopathic techniques to improve lymphatic drainage do help many patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. He postulates that the mechanism of this is to reduce toxic load and the immune reaction against that toxic load which results from tissue damage.
Improve Antioxidant Status
Many chemicals exert their malign influence through the production of free radicals, so improving antioxidant status will limit damage. See Antioxidants.
Reduce Load of Recreational Drugs
Alcohol, caffeine and many prescription drugs (such as paracetamol, statins, etc) have to be detoxified through the liver. Taking these drugs will therefore block the metabolism of other xenobiotics and effectively increase their toxicity.
Correct Hormonal Imbalances, especially Thyroid and Adrenal Function
Many toxins are fat soluble and therefore reside in fatty departments and cell membranes, do not get into the bloodstream and cannot be detoxified by the liver. Patricia Kane in America has demonstrated how high dose lipids, such as phosphatidylcholine (soy lecithin), egg yolk (must be soft), fish oils, vegetable oils, seed oils and nut oils, if taken in high doses, will physically displace the contaminated oils in our body so that the contaminants can be excreted. She uses this regime in combination with many of the above, such as FIR sweating, colonic irrigation and massage, to facilitate detoxification of patients with neurological disease such as autism and Parkinson's disease.
EPD or Neutralisation
When people get exposed to chemicals, they can sensitise to them. Desensitising techniques can reduce this sensitivity and the best results are achieved when desensitisation is combined with reducing the toxic load. See Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation (EPD).
Exercise again combines many of the above because it provides a combination of heat and sweating, massage, increasing metabolic rate and reduced gut transit time. As the body heats up it will radiate far infra red!
Avoid wood burning stoves, if sensitive
Many MCS sufferers are very sensitive to wood-burning stoves. There is a significant risk that wood smoke might make some MCS sufferers worse. This is especially the case if they have asthma already. Please see here for the testimony of Carolyn Wysocki, President of ECHO, (Ecological Health Organization, Inc.) at a US Senate Hearing of Members of the Environment Committee - Testimony of Carolyn Wysocki, President of ECHO, (Ecological Health Organization, Inc.), to US Senate Hearing of HB 6215 An Act Concerning Operation of Wood Stoves.
Co-factors to Facilitate Detoxification
In the liver there are two phases to detoxification - firstly an oxidation reaction followed by conjugation in which a co-factor is stuck onto a xenobiotic to render it water soluble so it can be peed out in urine. These co-factors include amino acids and therefore a high protein diet is helpful. Glutathione is a common co-factor and is often low in patients with chemical poisoning. Sulphur compounds are also very helpful such as sulphate and this may explain why Epsom salts in the bath or taken internally also facilitate detoxification.
A good example of this in action came out of the research into thalidomide. This drug prescribed to women in pregnancy as a "pregnancy safe hypnotic" caused serious birth defects if the women took it between the 38th and 42nd day of pregnancy. But not all babies were affected. This drug was tested in rats - no offspring were abnormal. This was a mystery to researchers, until someone had the bright idea of putting the rats onto nutritionally depleted diets. Then they started to get the foetal abnormality of phocomelia ("flipper limbs"). It was a combination of toxic stress (the drug) and nutritional deficiency which caused the problem to become apparent.
Monitor progress with fat biopsies
It is quite easy to do a fat biopsy to monitor progress (see Fat biopsy for pesticides or Volatile Organic Compounds). It is interesting that the levels of chemicals in fat are measured in mg per kilogram of fat. This is the sort of level one would find in blood if one were using a drug such as an antibiotic. This indicates how loaded up humans are generally! Morticians have noticed in recent years that dead bodies do not decay as fast as they used to because they are already pickled with chemicals!
I was very interested by a book recently published "The Detox Diet" by Dr Paula Baillie Hamilton which explains how chemicals in foods and the air interfere with internal metabolism to make us fat and lethargic - indeed she points out that farm animals are deliberately fed hormones, antibiotics and pesticides to make them fat and lethargic - therefore they do not have to eat so much in order to put on weight (cheap meat!). Many chemicals are persistent and concentrate up through the food chain. If human beings were presented to Smithfield meat market for consumption we would be declared unfit for humans because we carry such a load of toxic chemicals! See Amazon Link for "The Detox Diet by Dr Paula Baillie Hamilton
- Nutritional Supplements
- Stone Age Diet
- Detoxing - Far Infrared Sauna (FIRS)
- CFS and Adrenal gland problems
- Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation (EPD)
- Ketogenic diet - the practical details
- My book The PK Cookbook - Go Paleo-ketogenic and get the best of both worlds.
- Testimony of Carolyn Wysocki, President of ECHO, (Ecological Health Organization, Inc.), to US Senate Hearing of HB 6215 An Act Concerning Operation of Wood Stoves.
- Amazon Link for "The Detox Diet by Dr Paula Baillie Hamilton
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