Poisons in our bodies and the importance of liver and kidney support in the treatment of autism and other chronic conditions.
Some of the best research in this field has been funded and published by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit watchdog organization which deserves a great deal more funding and coverage in the press. Among the poisons which accumulate in the body tissues we can include numerous pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, solvents, heavy metals, and pharmaceutical drug residues. For those wishing to read some of the research, I direct you to two web sites. The first is the organization just mentioned at www.EWG.org. The second is the ATSDR which is the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a division of our own government's Centers for Disease Control. A third excellent site is the Center for Food Safety (.org).
Why are our body tissues accumulating all these poisons; in what way does this have a possible or probable negative or causal effect on Autism and other chronic conditions; and what steps can we take to aid our liver and kidneys in the elimination/detoxification process? These questions and issues are the reasons for this article.
According to the dictionary, a toxin (as opposed to a poison) is substance produced by living cells or organisms. In common usage however, it is something which is toxic or poisonous in some way to our bodies. I will therefore use the words toxin and poison interchangeably throughout this article, although, if this was being published in a peer reviewed scientific journal, I would need to differentiate between these two words.
Some toxins/poisons can cause death rapidly, such as a bite from certain extremely poisonous snakes or other venomous reptiles, or breathing in the vapor from an extremely toxic poisonous gas in a high concentration. Most toxic substances to which humans are generally exposed are far more insidious and take years or even decades worth of slow continual exposure and accumulation, before any noticeable symptoms begin to appear.
A poison is always dose-dependant. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is very poisonous in high concentrations, but in low concentrations and when mixed with adequate air or oxygen, has been used for decades as an anesthetic in the general dentistry. The rotten egg smell which is observed with even minute concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas becomes extremely deadly when this gas is in inhaled at higher concentrations and has been used in chemical warfare. Chlorine and fluorine gasses can easily blister or kill a person fairly rapidly at high concentrations. When they exist dissolved in our water, as they are used in the municipal water supplies of many cites in the United States, they will take decades before they show any increase in cancer rates for those who bathe in and drink these same poisons. Similarly, the amount of chlorine gas which is breathed due to our use of this toxic chemical in household cleansers and bleaches generally does not cause an acute reaction. I, however, will not use chlorine containing products (bleaches, sterilizing cleansers, etc.) in my home or office. These are just a few examples of how we unconsciously expose ourselves to poisons in our daily lives.
The second issue regards the length or time of the exposure. It is well documented that inhaling smoke from chemically treated tobacco used in commercial cigarettes may increase the risk of lung cancer. Will this risk increase if only one or two cigarettes have been smoked in an entire lifetime? I would highly doubt it. It takes many years of regular smoking before obvious damage becomes noticeable. Even after a decade, it is only seen in a small percentage of individuals and most often, not in those with truly adequate intakes of protective nutrients. This may be why the Japanese, with their high consumption of nutrient and antioxidant dense seaweeds, have a much lower rate of lung cancer than the U.S., even though they have a much HIGHER per capita rate of cigarette smoking. Similar examples could be shown for pesticide and asbestos exposures versus the health (disease) conditions that long term exposures have been shown to cause.
In addition to cumulative exposure, an even more important issue is interactive exposure of multiple toxins. In many cases, one poison may be only mildly toxic at a specific concentration, but when it exists in the body in combination with a second or third (or dozens) of other mildly toxic poisons, the effects become multiplied hundreds or even many thousands of times. One excellent example of this was an experiment done with rats. The LD-1 of lead (the dose which would kill one rat out of one hundred) was mixed with the LD-1 of mercury, and these two combined to give a tiny lead and mercury dose which instead of killing just two rats out of 100, it killed the entire 100! This is why the few safety studies which have been carried out on cleaning products, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other chemicals are basically worthless. They always test only single chemicals and never multiple exposures in the way we are exposed to them in real life. Let me once again mention that one of the best independent web sites of a nonprofit "watchdog" agency, where you can read more about our body burden of toxins, is the Environmental Working Group at www.EWG.org. Please support them as they are monitoring the polluters and looking out for our health and the health of those we love.
A few well researched poisons and some of the places they may be found in our daily lives include:
* Chlorine in our drinking water, our laundry, and many household cleansers
* Chloramines in some drinking water, in place of or in addition to chlorine (it is more dangerous and much more difficult to remove with regular home water filtration)
* Fluoride in our drinking water, tooth pastes, numerous foods that have been manufactured in cities with fluoridated water, and it is still used by less knowledgeable dentists.
* Toxic chemicals in our air fresheners, deodorizers and "plug ins"
* Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides--in and on our fruits and vegetables and in our air
* Heavy metals such as the mercury in every silver amalgam dental filling
* Hormones, steroids and antibiotic residues-in our meats, dairy and farm raised fish
* Numerous toxic chemicals in cleaners, polishes and solvents we use in our homes and offices
* Hundreds of poisons in small amounts in the air we breathe which is always worse indoors.
This list does NOT include ozone, which IS NOT a pollutant, but rather is a helpful gas produced by nature in order to help detoxify the pollutants. It should not be called a toxin and its proper uses in medicine and dentistry are extraordinary.
* Toxic chemicals in the stain repellents on our new upholstered furniture
* The chemicals that give that "new car" smell Formaldehyde which out gasses from carpeting and press board in our homes
* Toxic vapors released from the toner in our copiers and laser printers
* Fire retardant chemicals in our furniture, mattresses, and children's clothing and bedding
* Numerous different types of chemical "additives" in our foods and toiletries
The list above is just the tip of the iceberg, but I wanted to be sure you understand how extensive, pervasive and invasive these chemicals are in our homes and in our lives and therefore in our bodies.
The conditions for which there is published research documenting the connections between some of these poisons and diseases include cancer, Parkinson's, ALS, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and many neurological diseases including many listed as "of unknown origin." The MD, PhD experts at the scientific conferences I attend each year continue to mention a very important disease link. They keep saying that almost every degenerative disease, auto immune disease, mental/emotional/behavioral condition and a plethora of others, are most likely caused or greatly aggravated by the numerous toxic chemicals absorbed into our bodies on a daily basis. These same toxic substances are the ones which our industrial society continues to formulate, manufacture, and produce more and more of every year. These same poisons are the ones which most of us unknowingly (or knowingly) use in our homes and businesses as well as on our bodies and in our mouths every day.
Autism is now at epidemic levels in the US, and if it were a contagious disease it would be labeled as such, based on these numbers. The best way to not determine the causes of Autism, is to not investigate with an open mind and a desire for each and every possible truth. For those who have examined the evidence thoroughly, with no desire for anything other than the truth and with no financial bias, it is apparent that toxic substances have a large role to play in this condition. Rather than argue as to whether mercury, aluminum, pesticides, phenol, formaldehyde, or some yet to be investigated poisons are either a large or small part of the problem, why don't we at least support the detoxification channels of the body more adequately in all health and medical practices. Since it is a well established fact (unless you live in a pristine rainforest) that we all accumulate many dozens if not hundreds or even thousands of poisons, which we would be much better off without, let us support our body's ability to eliminate more of these substances.
Luckily, it is possible to reduce our risks by reducing our body burden of chemicals through whole body detoxification. In most cases, I, and numerous other informed and trained professionals around the world, have seen untold symptoms reduce or even dissapear completely as the individual's toxic load is gradually reduced through proper detoxification. In the case of Autism, those practitioners who appear to get the best results are the ones who help their patient's bodies to slowly and carefully reduce their toxic load. This will include the toxic metals such as lead and mercury as well as numerous other poisons, some of which are known to be included in vaccinations although there are many other sources as well.
In the 25-plus years I have been helping people improve their health and in the eight-plus years that I have been lecturing to physicians, dentists, and other health professionals, I continually see one important area being ignored. This area is the tremendous need to support the two major organs responsible for clearing poisons from the body. Although we know that some poisons are expelled through the skin (the reason sauna therapy can be so beneficial) and some through breathing, it is our liver and kidneys which have the job of processing these toxic substances and readying them for elimination through our stool and urine. For some reason, these extremely important organs are most often overlooked even by holistic practitioners. To further compound this already severe problem, the available laboratory tests used to determine whether these organs are working properly, are so poorly able to accomplish this task, that their test results can often be useless. The tests I am referring to are BUN, Creatinine and eGFR for kidney function and the two liver enzymes ALT and AST (sometimes still referred to as SGOT and SGPT). It turns out that we have two separate problems with these tests. The first is that the organ must be operating at more than 60-70% BELOW optimal capacity, before these levels begin to creep out of their laboratory ranges. The second is that certain poisons, in the case of liver function, actually prevent the liver from manufacturing these indicator enzymes that would show that a problem exists.
I consider one of the single most important processes that we can do for autism, and most other immune and neurological conditions is to always make certain that we give slow, steady, adequate support to the patient's liver and kidney function. This single relatively simple process, if carried out correctly (slowly, gently and for many months) will always be helpful and supportive to any and all other therapies being used. Many individuals, and I see this a lot in autism, will be made demonstrably worse, when a detoxifying process such as sauna or chelation (IV or oral) is used. This is caused by overloading the ability of the body to handle the quantity of toxic substances that this process is forcing to be processed through the liver and kidneys. In all cases, the practitioner should have known to go much slower, and then titrate up the dose cautiously so as never to cause any major reaction. It is even more important however, to first take the time to prepare the body for the onslaught of this poison release by appropriately supporting liver and kidney function with good products, slowly, and for an adequate period of time, generally one to three months or more. It is important to understand that as we support these organs with properly formulated herbal, nutritional, homeopathic, or combination products, we are also accomplishing detoxification. Since the purpose of this support is to effectively help these organs drain out their accumulations or overloads of existing toxic substances, we are most definitely detoxifying them and therefore the body. I always need to explain this both to physicians and patients so that they do not feel that liver and kidney support is in some way holding them back from the all important chelation or detoxification which will begin next. Rather, it is the first line of detoxification so that the second line will not make them feel worse instead of better!
Remember, in most people, toxins have been accumulating for a very long time, and in children, since conception. Even though the symptoms may have begun only in the last couple of weeks (or years) this is simply due the body finally becoming so overburdened that it could no longer handle the poisonous quantities which had been building up for a lifetime. It is because of this, that detoxification must be done slowly! Imagine never cleaning your home for the last 20-50 (or more) years and then having someone with a commercial vacuum cleaner move through the house. You would stir up so much dust that you would have to stop immediately and would be coughing for hours. In the case of detoxification of the human body, it might even send you to the hospital. Detoxification, must be done correctly and slowly. The body must be "prepared" for the detoxification process.
There are so many benefits to reducing our toxic load that they are almost endless, but a few include (everyone is different); more energy, better elimination, less or no more headaches, better and more recuperative sleep, improved memory, pain reduction, reduction or elimination of various skin conditions, reduced tingling in body parts, regulation of irregular heart beat, better hearing, improved smell or taste, and many others. The single most important benefit for many is the huge reduction in the risk of developing numerous degenerative and possibly even fatal diseases. In the case of autism, the best results continue to come from those practitioners who work to remove poisons from the body tissues, while at the same time repleting deficient nutrients.
If we continue to expose ourselves to all of the same toxins every day, then it will be a great deal more difficult (and slower) to rid the body of those which have already accumulated in our tissues. Learning where these poisons come from and what must be done to begin the detoxification process is not an extremely complicated educational endeavor. The education will take a bit of time and a commitment on your part just like any important knowledge you have ever decided to acquire.
The first job is therefore to slow down the amount of incoming poisons. This means you have to switch to non-toxic toothpastes, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, cleansers, detergents, waxes, air fresheners, pesticides, foods, deodorants (never anti-perspirants), etc. I have added some of these product recommendations to my web site at this address - http://naturopath4you.com/imphlth.htm.
The next job is generally to complete one to four (or more) months of slow but adequate liver and kidney support. There are hundreds of pretty bad products on the market and a handful of really good ones. Use whatever you have found to work best for yourself, your clients or your patients. If you want many of my own procedures and product recommendation they are clearly covered, along with printouts, on my 2 hour Detoxification DVD available from a non profit foundation at www.ppnf.org After I have done at least 30 days of liver and kidney support, I generally continue this support while adding in the products I use which begin to pull or chelate out specific poisons, but that would be another article.
One of the most important pieces of information regarding liver and kidney support, whether it is for an autistic child (or adult) or for any other condition (or as a preventive therapy) is the following. If any dose of a properly prescribed, high quality, liver or kidney support product, causes any reaction, stop the product. You are either using too high a dose, too frequent a dosing schedule, or the patient is so toxic or easily triggered, that you need to do only one organ (such as the liver) for a month or so before adding in the product for the other organ. Disregard the instructions on the product bottles as they are often too high and will cause reactions. Slow is better and simply raise (slowly) towards the appropriate dose for the body weight of the patient. Note that I did not say age, I said body weight. We are treating the cellular structure and not the birth certificate. I will slowly work up to a higher final dose with a 150lb child, than I will with a 110lb adult.
I would wish you good luck, but it is my expert opinion that luck has little to do with better health. Proper and valid knowledge combined with correct and orderly application of that knowledge are the keys to attaining almost every goal in life. Improved health is no different and so I wish you a combination of the desire to improve the health of your family or your patients and the necessary effort to carry out this important desire.
About The Author
David Getoff is a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist, A Board Certified Traditional Naturopath, and an elected member of both the International College of Integrative Medicine and the American College of Nutrition. He is on the teaching faculty of the American College of Integrative Medicine and Dentistry and is the Vice President of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation. Dr Gettoff has produced over a dozen video and audio educational recordings and teaches classes, lectures, and seminars for physicians, dentists, and the public. His professional website for information only (no products are sold to the public) is www.Naturopath4you.com.
by: David J. Getoff, CCN, CTN, FAAIM
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Author:||Getoff, David J.|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2017|
|Previous Article:||Nutritional protocols for soft-tissue injuries and joint health.|
|Next Article:||Review of systematic reviews for chiropractic as a possible alternative to long acting beta agonists in asthma patients who are unresponsive to...|