Integrative Health Blog

Detoxing from the Salon

Posted by on Tue, Dec 03, 2019

Looking our best sometimes means a little extra makeup and a monthly trip to the hair salon for a touch up of our “new growth”. But with all of the talk about chemicals found in our personal care products, how can we continue to look fabulous and at the same time, make sure we are not being harmed by our choices?

Beginning in the 1940’s, the US has introduced a few thousand new chemical products into the market each year. This equates to about 85,000 chemicals that our great grandparents were never exposed to and that our bodies now have to process. Such chemicals can be found in the foods we eat, the inside and outside environment in which we live, and the personal care products that we place on our bodies.

When we were young and invincible, our outward appearance often mattered most. We didn’t think about the long term consequences of our shampoo or lipstick - just as long as it did the job that it was marketed to do. As our bodies begin to age, however, could these same products be causing us harm? As it turns out, our increasing waist size, minor unexplained aches and pains, gastrointestinal problems and progressively aging skin changes can, in fact, be related to the same chemicals that once made us look gorgeous.

Over time, if we do not regularly and safely remove them from our body, these cumulative toxin exposures can impact the development of many chronic diseases.

So let’s be smart and learn to detoxify.

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Tags: detoxification, toxins

It's official! Food IS NOT food

Posted by on Mon, Oct 22, 2018

Well, we sort of knew that, given the genetically modified corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, sugar beets, and the list goes on1. In this case, however, I am referring to an NPR story2 on the new dietary habits of animals at the Melbourne Zoo.

“ . . .the monkeys are no longer allowed to eat bananas. And the pandas are getting pellets instead of plums. In fact, fruit has been phased out completely. That's because the fruit that humans have selectively bred over the years has become so full of sugar, the zoo's fruitarian animals were becoming obese and losing teeth.”

How ironic that, in this case, humans are the “canary in the coal mine”3.

The author being interviewed goes on to describe the fruit we see in stores today as something not found in nature, that is, beautiful to the eye and sweet in taste, but “robbed” of nutritional value.

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Tags: holistic nutrition, toxins

What's In Your Sunblock? Tips for Healthy Sun Protection

Posted by on Mon, Jun 25, 2018

Last Updated: July 14, 2021

Some time ago, I blogged about my friend who was instructed by her primary care doctor to use sunscreen daily, all over. At that time, the doctor suggested SPF 45, but he has since retracted that recommendation and now suggests using SPF 100. I have recently delved a little deeper into this issue for several reasons.

In my previous blog, I alluded to the fact that finding a sufficiently protective sunscreen isn’t always so easy for everyone. Active and inactive ingredients can pose problems for some (more on this below). Looking for SPF 100 products can narrow the field even further. Secondly, if physical sun screen creams and lotions leave you looking like an extra from The Walking Dead, you are unlikely to continue applying enough sunscreen.

On the other hand, according to my friend’s doctor, physical screening like hats, shirts, long sleeves, etc. is insufficient because of her autoimmune disease diagnosis. Her physician also suggested that she plan to get all of her vitamin D from a bottle for the foreseeable future since she needs to stay completely out of the sun. Lastly, sun screening technology continues to advance in ways that users should be aware of - and here I mean protective clothing, accessories and supplements. There is a lot online about choosing an appropriate SPF, so I won’t address that in this blog.

She asked: how do I pick a sunscreen product I feel safe using every day, all over?

Good question.

As a holistic physician, I get questions all the time about what may be a healthier alternatives for food, water, cleaning products, skin care products, etc. Enter Environmental Working Group, or The Environmental Working Group is an environmental organization that provides education and research on toxic chemicals, agriculture and public land. They offer Consumer Guides to skin care, pesticides in fruits and vegetables, home cleaning products and more with safety and hazard ratings for ingredients in each category.

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Tags: holistic health, toxins

A New Health Statistic To Worry About

Posted by on Mon, Apr 17, 2017

Life expectancy is one of those statistics we just knew would inch up every decade and with each generation.

We were sure we would live longer than our parents and our kids will live longer than us.   As health research improves, health challenges are identified and the population becomes more informed, so it makes sense that we would continue to live longer.  Until now, common sense would suggest that the odds of reaching 100 years old in great health would continue to steadily improve.

Sorry to break the news and dampen your life longevity celebration- but The National Bureau of statistics just revealed that life expectancy decreased for the first time ever. This means that we will not live longer than our parents and our children will not reach our life expectancy.

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Tags: toxins

How the Environment Can Impact Your Health: What’s in Your Water?

Posted by on Tue, Feb 09, 2016

By now, you’ve probably heard more than you ever thought you would about the drinking water in Flint, Michigan.

Politics aside, it’s a pretty heinous situation when the water you drink, cook with, wash in and are billed for regularly, contains unacceptable levels of lead1 and trihalomethanes2, and raises questions about being the source of an outbreak of Legionnaires disease3.

Kind of makes you wonder . . . what’s in my water?

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Tags: water, detoxification, toxins

3 Steps to Detoxify Your Body and Lower Your Toxin Load

Posted by on Thu, Dec 04, 2014

What does it take to be healthy in a modern, toxic world?

We are lucky to be living in a fast paced modern world that has brought us so many amazing benefits.

But, at the same time, we see unintended problems like chemicals in household and personal care products, energetic pollution (WIFI, cell phone, anyone?) and malnutrition from eating “convenient” processed food, all of which are contributing to toxicity-related health problems. Many chronic psychiatric and medical problems may be caused by toxins derived from chronic infections, environmental exposures from the air, food and water, psychotropic drugs, medications, genetic vulnerabilities and gastrointestinal imbalances. Efforts to help patients detoxify can take up the lion’s share of your time with a medical provider, but you can make some lifestyle and dietary changes today that will assist natural detoxification and begin to improve your health status. 

Here are 3 ways to detoxify to help your body rid itself of health-stealing toxins.

Step 1: Avoid or minimize exposure to toxins.

Step 2: Enhance the detoxification of toxins already stored in the body.

Step 3: Make detoxification a way of life.

Step #1 Avoid or Minimize Exposure to Toxins

Limiting exposure to toxins can be relatively simple. For example, adopt a routine lifestyle habit that includes consumption of organic food and filtered clean water, and avoidance of air pollution wherever possible. Minimize contact with Wi-Fi, microwaves and high power lines, and wear devices which decrease their biological harm to offer some protection. If you are a health care provider or healer, since toxicity is the cause of so much disability, make it a routine activity in the care you provide to design a program to mitigate this exposure side of the equation.

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Tags: detoxification, toxins

Are Allergies No More Than Toxicity?

Posted by on Fri, Sep 26, 2014

Autumn Frandsen ND

                Allergies can develop at many points in a person’s life, often going unnoticed or unrecognized until they are a major hindrance. They can present as a sinus infection, headaches, itchy eyes, and even colitis. I have found that emotional turmoil, stress, exposure to chemicals, poor diet, defects in detoxification pathways, and frequent antibiotic use can all cause allergic reactions. The threshold for toxicity is different in everyone and once it is reached the nervous system and immune systems become hyperactive. At that point it is no longer enough to use antihistamines and anti-anxiolytics. A more holistic allergy treatment must be focused on unburdening the body through increasing antioxidants, repairing damaged caused by inflammation (particularly in the gut), and desensitizing both the nervous system and the immune system.

                There is a delicate balance between the nervous system and the immune system. Adrenal function affects both of them greatly and in those with pronounced stress, whether physical or emotional, adrenal output is usually diminished. At any given time there can be surges of cortisol, causing the nervous system to by up regulated, which in turn causes hyperactivity of the immune system as it searches for stressors and invaders. This increase in immune system reactivity causes increased inflammation, leading to destruction of the GAP junctions in the gut lining. This causes “leaky gut” and suddenly (or insidiously) food allergies or sensitivities never before present or bothersome increase in number and symptom presentation.

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Tags: allergies, toxins

5 Toxic Food Choices and Simple Ways to Trade Up

Posted by on Fri, Jun 06, 2014

Over the past few decades, a lot has changed about food and about our food choices. 

The food industry is constantly trying to keep up with our changing lifestyles by offering us foods that are easily eaten on the run, or that have longer shelf life.  Recently, the food industry has been offering solutions to our childhood obesity epidemic by offering low-calorie and low-fat food.  But most of the time, these foods contain toxic ingredients that are contributing to disease rather than improving health.  If you’re trying to improve your child’s health by replacing regular soda with diet soda, encouraging “low cholesterol” refined carbs, or “low-fat” dairy products, read on to find out how such choices are detrimental to your child’s health. 

Artificial sugars: More and more children are using artificially sweetened foods and beverages in an attempt to curb the obesity epidemic.  But aspartame, and other forms of artificial sugars are toxic chemicals.  Aspartame is associated with numerous symptoms, such as headaches, joint pain, fatigue and even seizures.  Moreover, the main reason for its use, weight control, often doesn’t work.  A recent study showed that regular consumption of diet soda actually is associated with weight gain.

Trade up: If you want a low- or no-calorie sweetener, switch to Stevia or Xylitol which are natural.

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Tags: obesity, holistic nutrition, toxins

GMO's and Your Right to Know

Posted by on Wed, Oct 16, 2013

Mark McClure DDS

Enclosed is important and timely information about GMO foods (Genetically Modified Organisms). Many of us are very aware of the dangerous health consequences of GMO’s but unfortunately most Americans are not. It is that ignorance that permits the “food and agriculture industry” to keep US citizens in the dark. The problem is just trying to find out if and/or which foods we may be eating have been “Genetically Modified”.  It does make a huge difference.  It is time to be fully informed and activated.

Health Issues and GMO Labeling

Here is some information about this GMO issue and the important vote being held in Washington State, which if passed can go a long way in demanding proper enforcing of labeling regulations.

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Tags: autism, integrative health, toxins, GMO, glyphosate

Hurry- We've Got a Second Chance to Label GMO's

Posted by on Wed, Oct 09, 2013

When I was little I loved to read science fiction. But had I picked up a comic or book with a suggestion that in the future, my food will have poison and toxins sprayed on it, and that this was legal, and that I would have to pay extra to not have poison in my food, and that this ‘safe’ food would have a special name, ‘organic’,  I would not have believed it... nor would I have bothered to read it. Mark Twain once said that truth is stranger than fiction… because fiction has to be credible. 
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Tags: toxins, GMO, glyphosate