Autism Toxins and Detoxification
Evidence continues to mount that exposure to chemicals and air pollutants carries adverse outcomes for infants, including an increased risk for autism. The latest study looking at the impacts of bisphenol A (BPA) in rhesus monkeys found that when monkeys were given regular doses of BPA that mimic human exposure that it had profound reproductive impacts. BPA—a hormone-disrupting chemical used in hard plastics—has been banned from baby bottles and sippy cups but not from other plastic food containers, nor from the linings of soup and beverage cans or cash register receipts.Toxins are all around us. They are present in our air, our water, our food and the products that we use. Toxins are harmful to our bodies and our world. They interfere with the function of our cells, changing the way cells communicate with each other and altering their metabolic functions. Every day, we are bombarded by chemicals. The United States has over 80,000 chemicals in use, with the list growing every day.
The European Union (EU) has banned 30,000 chemicals that are regularly used in the United States. In our food alone, we use over 3,000 chemicals, none of which are tested for short term or long term health effects, many of which are banned by the EU. Toxins can be categorized into 4 broad categories, which include heavy metals, liver toxins, endotoxins and protein by-product toxins.
Our bodies have the amazing ability to remove wastes and toxins. We have four major areas that detoxify and eliminate for us. They include the liver, the skin, the intestines and the kidneys. The liver filters the blood, clearing away bacteria, old blood cells, bile salts, extra calcium and prescription drugs and their metabolites. It reduces toxins into compounds that the body can safely remove through the skin, intestines and kidneys. The skin can excrete toxins through sweat, such as DDT and heavy metals. The intestines remove toxins from bowel bacteria and fat-soluble toxins removed through the bile. The kidneys eliminate toxins through the urine that have been made water soluble by the liver. These systems work together to maintain balance in our bodies by neutralizing toxins and removing waste products and other harmful substances.
Let’s take a look at the toxins first.
Heavy Metal Toxins
Lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, and nickel are included in this category. Around 25% of the population in the United States is affected by heavy metal poisoning. Heavy metal toxicity has been implicated in several diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other severe neurological disorders. Early symptoms of heavy metal poisoning can be very vague. Therefore, they are often attributed to other diseases. It can include headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, indigestion, tremors, constipation, anemia and indigestion. Impaired memory and distorted thinking ability can indicate mild toxicity, whereas severe toxicity can lead to death.
The best way to determine the levels of toxins accumulating in the body is to analyze the toxin level inside the red blood cells. Heavy metals accumulate inside the cell where the damage is done, rather than floating around in the blood, which is what a serum toxin level measures.
If toxicity is present, a good detoxification program is needed. This includes chelation therapy to bind the toxin so It can be removed, high potency mineral and vitamin supplementation, sulfur containing supplements and foods and water soluble fibers. Those with adrenal fatigue syndrome do not do well with the detoxification program. Detoxification requires much energy from the body to chelate and dispose of the toxins and in can actually induce an adrenal crash.
The liver is the major detoxifying center of the body. It filters toxins and waste products from the blood. Substances can be direct toxins to the liver, such as alcohol and Tylenol (acetaminophen). In fact, the number one cause of acute liver failure in the Unites States is acetaminophen toxicity. Since the liver is so important in clearing the body of harmful substances, maintaining it’s health is critical. If the liver is becoming compromised, symptoms may include neurological and psychological symptoms that include depression, headache, mental confusion, fatigue, anxiety, joint pain, mental illness, brain fog, abnormal nerve reflexes and tingling in the hands.
Supporting the liver’s function is important. Compounds that support the liver’s detoxification systems include milk thistle extract, choline, methionine, glutathione, N-acetyl cysteine and lipoic acid. Any one with adrenal fatigue must take care if using these supplements. Even though they are natural, their bodies may not be able to expend the necessary energy for the additional detoxification.
These are toxins that are produced by abnormal bacteria and yeast in the gut. These toxins get absorbed and can disrupt normal bodily functions. Many different toxins have been linked to diseases such as Crohn’s disease, leaky gut, lupus, allergies, asthma, immune disorders and delayed food sensitivities. The body also forms antibodies against these small molecules and these can cross react with the body’s own cells, causing autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, myasthenia gravis and autoimmune thyroiditis. Independent research is being done right now mapping out the gut microbial flora (the bacteria and yeasts that are present in the gut) to determine if certain bacteria are associated with the development of certain diseases and whether or not certain bacteria present in healthy guts can improve the health of an individual.
Implementing a whole food diet including fresh vegetables can help to keep the gut clean. Taking a good quality probiotic and eating fermented foods can increase the good bacteria in the gut to resolve microbial balance or to prevent an imbalance (gut dysbiosis).
Protein By-Product Toxins
The kidneys eliminate the majority of toxic waste products from the breakdown of proteins, such as ammonia and urea. If you are healthy, drinking adequate clean water should allow your kidneys to clear the toxins adequately. Reducing protein may also help. For those with adrenal fatigue syndrome, additional salt may be needed and reducing protein too much may be detrimental sinc the body is in a breaking down state and needs the building blocks that protein provides.
Why do we need to detoxify? Well, our detoxification systems are overburdened with the toxins we are exposed to that we are unaware of, as well as with those that we are aware of. When we detoxify, our digestive tract is cleansed of waste products and filled with good bacteria that aid in normal microbial balance. Liver and kidney function is enhanced. Brain fog is eliminated making us more mentally clear. Our need for habit forming substances, such as sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and drugs gets reduced. And if done gently and under the supervision of a specially trained physician knowledge in the treatment of adrenal fatigue, it can enhance the recovery process of adrenal fatigue.
It would be wise to consider detoxification since we live with this burden of toxins in our environments. There are many vague symptoms that indicate we may benefit from a detoxification regimen. These include unexplained headaches or back pain, joint pain, arthritis, sluggish or failing memory, depression, lack of energy, brittle nails and hair, abnormal body odor, tongue coating, bad breath, unexplained weight gain, psoriasis, frequent allergies, history of heavy alcohol use, history of natural or synthetic hormone usage and history of exposure to cleaning solvents pesticides, drugs (prescription and otherwise) and chemicals.
If you or your child suffers with Autism, Autism Spectrum, ADD, ADHD, schedule some time to talk with Dr Hagmeyer and learn more about his natural- non drug approach.