Do you have biotoxicity/neurotoxicity?

Do you have biotoxicity/neurotoxicity?

Neurotoxicity refers specifically to the condition that occurs when the brain or other nervous tissues are affected by toxins.

Neurotoxicity refers specifically to the condition that occurs when the brain or other nervous tissues are affected by toxins.

by Dr. Gary Kaplan — 

Biotoxicity occurs when the body’s normal biochemical systems managing digestion, respiration, joint flexibility, brain function, etc., are impaired after a person has inhaled or otherwise ingested toxins, such as molds, insect bites, heavy metals, food preservatives or other harmful chemical agents. In most people, the liver is able to break down these toxins, allowing them to pass through the intestines for excretion from the body.

In about 20 percent of the population, however, this elimination process fails. This group lacks the proper liver enzymes to break down toxins, so instead of being excreted, the toxins are reabsorbed through the lining of the intestines back into the body. The body then sequesters the toxins where they can damage the muscle tissue, nerves and nervous tissues in these “holding areas.”

Neurotoxicity refers specifically to the condition that occurs when the brain or other nervous tissues are affected by toxins.

Biotoxicity can manifest in various ways. These include:

  • If the toxins are filtered to your muscles and joints, you may experience joint inflammation and muscle pain.
  • If the toxins are sequestered in the lungs, you may have difficulty breathing.
  • If the toxins stabilize in brain tissue, you may suffer from chronic headaches, depression, poor memory or other cognitive difficulties.


Biotoxicity/neurotoxicity common symptoms 

Any of the following symptoms may indicate the presence of biotoxins or neurotoxins in your body. These include: joint and muscle pain, chronic headaches, sleep problems, fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, irritability and depression, digestive problems, decreased libido, weight gain/obesity, decreased ability to focus, poor memory and wheezing.

The symptoms of biotoxicity/neurotoxicity are also similar to those of other diseases and conditions, including: fibromyalgia, migraine/chronic headaches, clinical depression, ADD/ADHD, chronic fatigue syndrome, recurrent sinus infections/chronic sinusitis, asthma that is unresponsive to conventional therapy, and autoimmune diseases, such as: psoriatic arthritis, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.

Anyone can be at risk for exposure to biotoxins, as they can occur in your own home, at work or during travel. The 20 percent of the general population lacking the enzymes needed to break down biotoxins are particularly vulnerable. And if the underlying cause of your pain or illness is biotoxicity or neurotoxicity but your treatment plan does not include detoxification treatment, your overall recovery is likely to be incomplete and slower than it needs to be.



If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, especially if your condition has not responded to conventional medical treatment, I recommend doing the following three things:

  1. Take the time to talk with your doctor about your history of possible exposure to biotoxins.
  2. Take the online Visual Contrast Sensitivity Test. This inexpensive and noninvasive test is a sensitive indicator of your exposure to a variety of toxins.
  3. Undergo genetic testing (HLA testing) to determine if your body has the enzymes necessary to breakdown biotoxins.


Effective treatments 

A variety of treatments are available to patients suffering from biotoxicity or neurotoxicity disorder, but there is certainly no one-size-fits-all remedy. Your treatment plan should be individually tailored after consideration of your overall medical history, current symptoms, genetic makeup, lifestyle and history of exposure to biotoxins. In essence, a detoxification regime is designed to “draw out” the biotoxins from whichever tissue they have been stored and “bind” the toxins at the molecular level so they can finally be eliminated from the body.

Medications used to treat biotoxicity and neurotoxicity include cholestyramine, Actos, antibiotics, anti-yeast remedies and anti-fungal compounds. Lifestyle changes include dietary changes, such as an amalose-free diet and the addition of nutritional supplements, including omega-3 fatty acids, chlorella, vitamin D, magnesium and D-ribose.

Before purchasing any over-the-counter nutritional supplements or herbal remedies, it is important to note that their quality and efficacy can vary widely depending upon the manufacturer and the dosage consumed. Also be aware that supplements can interact with other prescription medications — enhancing or undermining the effectiveness of other medications and/or even creating new and unexpected problems.

Be sure to ask your physician to provide you with an individualized treatment plan recommending the specific nutritional and herbal products and dosage levels that would most benefit you, given your diagnosis and other medications you are currently taking.

The most important thing you can do to improve your health and well-being is to limit your environmental exposure to biotoxins by removing mold from your home, making changes to your diet and adding specific nutritional supplements that can help ameliorate the damaging effects of toxins in the body.


Gary Kaplan, D.O., is board-certified in both family and pain medicine and practices in McLean, Va. He is the author of: Total Recovery: A Revolutionary New Approach to Breaking the Cycle of Pain and Depression. He has appeared on Good Morning America, NPR, NBC News, as well as in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 4, August/September 2015.

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