Detoxification for women’s health

Detoxification for women’s health

Chemicals that build up in the body will start to affect a woman’s health if they are not removed.

Chemicals that build up in the body will start to affect a woman’s health if they are not removed.

by Dr. Marianne Marchese — 

Chemicals in the environment can disrupt the normal activity of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and other hormones in women. These chemicals are known as hormone- or endocrine-disrupting compounds. Women are exposed to hormone- disrupting compounds every day, often without knowing it.

The exposure to chemicals comes from numerous sources, including: pesticides found on fruits and vegetables; non-organic meat and dairy products tainted with dioxins; fish that have high levels of mercury and pesticides; unfiltered well water and city water; Bisphenol-A and phthalates in plastic beverage bottles, tablecloths, shower curtains, plastic food wrappings and plastic food storage containers. Chemicals also come from household cleaning products, cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, dry cleaning, carpet, vinyl floors, furniture, air fresheners and mattresses.

Studies have shown that low-dose daily exposure to these chemicals can affect women’s health, affecting the hormonal system and leading to breast cancer, endometriosis, infertility, fibroids, fibromyalgia, thyroid disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and more.

 

Detoxification 

Chemicals that build up in the body will start to affect a woman’s health if they are not removed. The basic principle behind detoxification is to remove the toxins stored in your body. This is done by releasing any stored chemicals from fat tissue, organs and extra cellular spaces. Once released, they will re-enter the blood stream and be metabolized through the liver. This is why it is critical to support liver detoxification pathways and the organs of elimination to get the toxic byproducts out of the body.

The four steps in detoxification include mobilizing stored toxins, supporting liver metabolism, elimination from the body and avoiding re-exposure to environmental chemicals. The first part of detoxification involves getting the stored toxins released back into the blood stream.

Methods used to mobilize pesticides, solvents and fat-loving chemicals are caloric restriction, sauna therapy and chelation.

Caloric restriction can release chemicals stored in adipose tissue into the blood stream. These chemicals can then get redistributed to other organs and tissues.

Sauna therapy also can be used to mobilize and excrete chemicals stored in the body. Several studies have been published on the Hubbard protocol form of sauna therapy. A study done on seven rescue workers from the World Trade Center disaster showed that sauna therapy reduced symptoms, as well as blood levels of chemicals. The workers had health complaints that ranged from headaches, breathing problems, muscle and joint pain to skin rashes. The study measured their blood for levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans. After undergoing the Hubbard sauna therapy protocol, all seven had a reversal in symptoms: PCB levels declined by 65 percent, and dioxins and dibenzofurans were below detection limits.

Chelation is the pharmacological mobilization of heavy metals from storage sites within the body and is another method for mobilizing toxins. The three main chelating agents used in the U.S. are calcium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (CaEDTA), dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) or 2,3-dimercapto-1-propane sulfonic acid (DMPS).

Once the chemicals are released from storage, they need to be broken down to be eliminated from the body. Liver metabolism will need to be supported. A good multivitamin and mineral is required to provide cofactors for liver phase one and phase two enzyme pathways. These should include: vitamins A (from mixed carotenes), C, D and E, all of the B-vitamins, calcium and magnesium, zinc and copper, molybdenum, kelp and iodine, selenium, choline and inositol.

Other nutrients to consider include: whey, green tea, curcumin or tumeric, arcticum (burdock), taraxacum (dandelion root), silymarin (milk thistle), beet root, artichoke, DIM, calcium-d-glucarate, NAC, ALA, methyl B12 and methyl folate.

Once the liver breaks down the released chemicals, they must be eliminated through the kidneys and bowel. Methods to support elimination include castor oil packs, sauna therapy, fiber, coffee enemas and colonics.

Lastly, it is important to educate women on how to avoid re-exposure to chemicals in the environment.

 

How to avoid toxins in your daily life 

Buy only organic fruits and vegetables that are free of pesticide residues, and hormone- and antibiotic-free meats and dairy products. Eat wild fish low in mercury, such as wild Alaskan salmon, blue crab, flounder, haddock, pollack and trout. Buy fresh or frozen foods and avoid canned foods lined with plastic.

Filter your own water and drink out of glass containers rather than plastic. Do not store or heat food in plastic containers — use glass. Purchase a home air filter and use earth-friendly detergent, cleaners and soaps. Avoid herbicides and pesticides, and use natural pest control instead of insecticides.

Natural, organic, non-bleached tampons without a plastic applicator are best. Use only nontoxic cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, deodorant and other products. Avoid the use of fragrances and remember that unscented is not fragrance-free.

Replace vinyl mini blinds, shower curtains and placemats with fabric. Use a nontoxic dry cleaner or air out dry cleaning before bringing it into the home. Remove your shoes when you enter the home. If you are building a home or remodeling, use earth-friendly, nontoxic materials.

 

Marianne Marchese is a naturopathic physician practicing in Phoenix. She is the author of Eight Weeks to Women’s Wellness, and is an educator. She completed a postgraduate residency in Integrative Medicine and Women’s Health and training in Environmental Medicine. 602-493-2273 or 4wecare.com. 

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 5, October/November 2015.

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