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- So, if chemicals in our food, water, cleaning products, air and the surrounding environment can make us fat, what foods can help flush these out of our bodies (detox)?
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- We are only 10% human. What? Microbes outnumber human cells by 10 to 1 and are essential to our health.
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News You Can Use
Who are these nurses? They are independent RN Patient Advocates (iRNPAs): highly qualified clinical RNs who have completed an advanced educational program: the RN Patient Advocates/University of Arizona College of Nursing Learning Intensive. There are now iRNPAs in 25+ states.
Where are they leading? There is a whole world of advanced medical research and clinical practice emerging globally: The Functional Medicine Chronic Care Model and Integrative Medicine. Sure, you may have heard the words, but do you realize the significance of this for your own health and well-being? This is the medicine of WHY? not the current medicine of WHAT?
Following the pattern of conventional medicine – so very valuable for acute medical situations such as heart attacks, strokes and surgery – does not lead to success in reversing the epidemic of chronic illness facing everyone on the planet right now. Understanding the underlying causes of illness – rather than just suppressing the symptoms – can lead to healing. iRNPAs know how to access this information, guiding you and your loved ones to physicians and therapists knowledgeable in this new medical approach.
Want to access advanced medical knowledge for yourself and your family? RN Patient Advocates are required to be knowledgeable in all these medical fields: conventional medicine, the Functional Medicine Chronic Care Model and Integrative Medicine. They teach, they guide. In this way iRNPAs can ensure the integrity of the diagnostic process (10-40% of all diagnoses are incorrect according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality).
Once there is a correct diagnosis in place, iRNPAs research the full range of your treatment options in all fields of medicine – researching globally as well!
So, what can be done to get more accurate diagnoses? Another iRNPA leading edge approach: the MEDiKEY. This highly valuable tool can be a lifesaver. Typically, our medical records are scattered between several offices, are part paper and part electronic, are not presented to the right people in the right format at the right time.
How can this MEDiKEY help with this medical information gap? iRNPAs create a synoptic chronology of your entire available medical history that tracks Trends, Gaps in Care, Errors, and Clinically Significant Events that may be obscure, buried in your record. This tool is widely appreciated by physicians across the country and by ER personnel as well. It is typically 5-6 pages, double spaced, written in medical-ese. Physicians can get a grasp of the reality of your medical history in minutes. This reduces your risk of medical error!
A study published in The Lancet Neurology in March, 2014, and further reported upon in Time and Forbes magazines as well as by Dr. Mary Ackerley clearly demonstrates a direct link between 11 industrial chemicals and the development of our childrens’ brains resulting in reduced IQ, autism, ADHD, increased aggression tendencies, delinquent behaviors, and dyslexia. These are commonly used chemicals.
So what about the genetic factor? Doesn’t this have a major role in these problems? Yes, it does account for about 30-40% of the neurological problems in children today. The remaining 60 – 70% is caused by chemicals in our environment.
So, what are these chemicals and where are they found?
Lead – still present in the old paint in buildings – as it turns into dust in the air and on the floor – lowers IQ, linked to brain development deficits
Methylmercury – presence due to maternal intake of fish containing high levels of mercury during pregnancy (such as tuna, swordfish, mackerel, orange roughy, and shark)
PCBs – these chemicals are linked to reduced thinking ability in infancy and childhood; present in electric transformer materials as well as motors and capacitors; often found in fish
Arsenic – found in soil and water (and thus in our food supply), it is also legally fed to chickens (other than organic)
Toluene – this is absorbed into our bodies through fingernail polish (unless stated “toluene free”) and paint thinner and other solvents
Manganese – found in drinking water; absorption is increased in the presence of fluoride – linked to ADHD and diminished intellectual ability
Fluoride – higher levels connected with a 7 point decrease in IQ in children. Mary Ackerley, MD, MD(H), a Harvard trained psychiatrist teaches us that “Of all these neurotoxins perhaps the most widely available is fluoride. Over 70 percent of public water is fluorinated to improve dental health. Yet there have been more than 23 human studies and 100 animal studies linking fluoride to brain damage.”
Chlorpyrifos (organophosphate pesticide) and DDT – these are banned in the US but are still in use in agriculture in many other countries; still found here in infant cord blood samples and linked to brain developmental problems that persist up to age 7
Tetrachloroethylene – used in dry cleaning; linked to hyperactivity and aggressive behaviors as well as increased risk of psychiatric diagnoses; ** mothers in certain professions such as nursing, chemist, hairdressers have a greater exposure
Flame retardants – these are omnipresent in our society – in our cars, our mattresses, airplanes, decorative wood products, roofing components (see list here) – prenatal exposure linked to neurodevelopmental disorders
BPA (bisphenol A) – a common additive to most plastics, is a potent endocrine system disruptor and is strongly suggested to disrupt neurodevelopment in children – look for the “BPA free” labels!
A further cautionary note from Dr. Ackerley, based on these studies, “The take home message is clear. When we ponder why the rate of childhood autism has skyrocketed to 1 in 77 males or why so many children are now diagnosed with ADHD, the role of numerous toxins documented to cause neuronal damage , both in isolation and synergistically in combination, must be considered. Eating organic and living toxin free may seem expensive in the short term, but long term it may prevent untold future brain damage across generations.”
You can learn more following the links above.
Let’s protect our children!
There are chemicals in our food and skin products that have been linked to disrupting our endocrine system. So what is your endocrine system anyway?
It is an interconnected system of glands in your body that control your entire metabolism! It includes the Hypothalamus and the Pineal and Pituitary Glands in your brain, your Thyroid Gland and Pancreas, your Thymus Gland and Adrenal Glands as well as the Testes and Uterus.
The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org), an independent research and education organization, recently published a list of the most harmful chemicals that can throw your endocrine system off the track, opening the way for serious chronic health conditions. Let’s take a look:
BPA A chemical used in plastics (like the plastic lining most canned foods) that imitates estrogen, fooling your body into thinking it’s the real thing. It is linked to breast and other cancers, obesity, early puberty and heart disease. 93% of Americans have BPA in their bodies. Avoid It by eat fresh food rather than canned whenever possible. Wash your hands after handling receipts because the paper is often coated with BPA!
- Dioxin Dioxins build up in the body from materials manufactured with chlorine or bromine (like bleached or bromated flours) and can disrupt both male and female reproduction. It is also a powerful carcinogen. Cut down your exposure by eating fewer animal products and avoid bleached (white)flour products.
- Atrazine Atrazine is highly toxic and is used widely on corn crops and is pervasive in water supplies. It disrupts reproduction, is linked to breast tumors and can delay puberty. Avoid it by drinking water filtered through a reverse osmosis process.
Phthalates They trigger the “death-inducing signaling” in the testicular cells, causing them to die prematurely. Phthalates can trigger abnormal hormone changes, lower sperm counts, and lead to obesity, diabetes and thyroid problems. Avoid it by avoiding plastic containers, plastic wrap make with PVC (label #3), and skin products that list “fragrance”.
- Perchlorate Perchlorate is in rocket fuel and currently contaminates much of our produce and milk. It competes with iodine in your body, resulting in thyroid hormone imbalance – so critical to balanced metabolism in adults and to proper brain and organ development in infants and young children. Avoid It is pretty much impossible to avoid it in food. But, by drinking water treated with reverse osmosis and making certain you get enough iodine in your diet, you can reduce its effects.
- Fire Retardants These chemicals contaminate the bodies of people and animals all over the planet – even in polar bears! They imitate thyroid hormones, disrupting your metabolism. This can lead to lower IQ and other significant health conditions. Avoid Virtually impossible to avoid, there are some ways to help reduce exposure such as using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner, not reupholstering foam furniture, and not using cheap carpet padding.
- Lead Lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal that is very toxic to the body. It is linked to a very wide array of health problems such as permanent brain damage, lowered IQ, hearing loss, hypertension, kidney damage and nervous system problems. It also disrupts your hormones. Avoid Old paint is a major source of lead – its powder in the air is breathed in and children eat the lead dust off the floor. Drink water that has been through reverse osmosis (you might want to buy your own filter).
- Arsenic This toxin is in your food and drinking water in small amounts that accumulate in your body. It is a causative factor in cancer and it disrupts your hormones. It can lead to insulin resistance (which leads to diabetes), osteoporosis, and can suppress your immune system. Avoid Use a good reverse osmosis water filter.
- Mercury This is an extremely toxic material that can cause serious nervous system disorders, disrupt normal pancreatic production of insulin and the hormones that regulate women’s cycles. It concentrates in the fetal brain and interferes with its development. Pregnant women are at great risk. Avoid Many types of fish- such as tuna and swordfish – are contaminated with mercury. Wild salmon and farmed trout are good alternatives.
- PFCs These chemicals are used to make nonstick cookware and 99% of us have them in our bodies. One of its compounds (PFOA) never degrades – ever – and is linked to low sperm quality, kidney and thyroid diseases. Avoid Stop using nonstick cookware as well as stain and water resistant coatings on furniture, carpets and clothing.
- Organophosphate pesticides These are neurotoxic compounds used in pesticides to disrupt the nervous system of insects and are still in use despite a large array of scientific evidence that they affect brain development, lower testosterone levels and alter thyroid hormones. Avoid Buy organic produce (check out this RNPA bookmark to learn which produce should best be purchased organic and which are okay to buy without the organic label).
- Glycol Ethers These toxins – common in paints, cleaning products, brake fluid and cosmetics – shrink testicles! Children who are exposed have greater risk of asthma and allergies. Avoid Check out EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning to select healthy cleaning materials. Avoid anything that contains EGBE and DEGME – read those labels!
Knowledge is power; you can learn to protect yourself and your loved ones in this environment heavily laced with toxins.