Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Our toxic world

Don't you think it's kind of strange that so many people seem to have chronic illnesses, that autism is on the rise in a big way, that conditions such as multiple sclerosis have no known cause or cure?

Did you know that there are many diseases just like MS, that have known causes, and that MS is just a catch-all term for demyelination without a known cause?

And what about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Nobody knows what causes that, either.

How can "we don't know why this happens" be a valid diagnosis of any condition?

So, what could be causing all of this? Well, for one, our environment is full of nasty toxic chemicals that are absorbed by everyone and everything. We're just now hearing the news about how nearly 25 percent of toys now being tested contain lead (try HealthyToys.org for safer options).

As time goes on, I think exposure to all of these toxins can cause a chain reaction of events that ends up with you being miserable.

But chemicals aren't the only thing that can start your body down the road of being constantly out of whack. Dust, pets, seasonal allergies, those chemicals we use for cleaning, pesticides in food -- all of this stuff will also contribute to your allergic load.

See, there's only so much that our bodies can take. That's why, for example, I noticed that when my seasonal allergies went into overdrive, so did my rheumatoid arthritis. I found that if I cut back to more non-allergenic foods when my allergies were going nuts, my arthritis would calm down, as well.

So what's affecting you? Heavy metal poisoning, chemicals in your bedding and sheets, particulate pollution from semis on freeways...some people are more sensitive than others, of course, but we're bathing, sleeping, dressing, and driving in a toxic sludge of chemicals each and every day. Because I live in California, there's even a sticker on my car saying it contains cancer-causing chemicals.

What does that have to do with gut dysfunction, you might be asking?

When your body is constantly overwhelmed with all of this crap, your body is undergoing a lot of stress. Your immune system is trying to fight off a bunch of stuff, and it gets confused (autoimmune disease) and overwhelmed (immune dysfunction).

So you end up with an exhausted system that can't fight off the most basic infections. Eventually you get sick with something you just can't fight off by yourself.

Then your doctor prescribes antibiotics. Antibiotics can be great, when necessary and not overused, but they kill good and bad bacteria alike. And when the good bacteria isn't replenished immediately, bad bacteria step in to fill the void.

As your condition progresses, more good bacteria die as more bad bacteria fill in the void. And most of the good and bad bacteria that reside within you are in ... the digestive system, the heart of your immune system.

When the bad bacteria thrive, they damage your digestive system further. The system becomes so damaged, that larger particles of food start to leak through the barrier that's supposed to not let them through until they're good and digested.

That's leaky gut syndrome. It can also be caused by or aggravated by gluten intolerance. In sensitive individuals, gluten tears and rips its way through your intestines. It's called the "protein with teeth" for that reason.

When these bits and pieces of food leak through your intestines, your body has to do something with them. It tries to use them, and so it starts sticking them into your tissues wherever it can.

In certain individuals, your immune system gets suspicious of these little not-digested food particles, and eventually, something triggers your immune system to attack them. Unfortunately, while attacking these "invaders" your body starts destroying your own tissues in the process. That is how, it is postulated, leaky gut syndrome can start an autoimmune disease.

A large percentage of autistic kids have gut dysfunction. I know my son has gut dysfunction and immune system dysfunction. For example, as a reward for my son's good behavior, we would take him to the play area in a local McDonald's. If he received seven good behavior stickers, he got to go play.

And EVERY SINGLE TIME (I kid you not), he would get sick within 24 hours. Every time. Why? Because his body is out of balance and working in overdrive.

My son was born toxic, as are most of us today. He was exposed to toxins through me. He was born with a ventricular septal defect, a small hole in his heart. These defects have been linked to maternal exposure to air pollution. Did it contribute to his condition today? I don't know, but it's interesting, you know?

So why don't they do more studies on it? Because it's not profitable. Medicine is a big big big big business. Studies are done on drugs, because drugs make money.

Go to the Arthritis Foundation web site. In the past, the warnings were that "fad" diets were dangerous. Now, on the "alternative" section of the web site, it begrudgingly devotes a few lines to possible food intolerances.

I'm taking the much-hailed Enbrel. The package insert lists risks such as heart failure and lymphoma.

Oh, but click on over to the sponsors page:

http://www.arthritis.org/meet-our-sponsors.php

Abbott, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wyeth. The page is a who's who of the biggest drug companies in the world.

Of course the Arthritis Foundation will say diets are dangerous. Don't want to make the sponsors mad, now do we?

I saw a fascinating video about how toxic our environment is, and how consumerism is at the heart of why our planet is being trashed at a fantastic rate. We are all contributing to this mess, every day. It's about 20 minutes long; you can view it here:

http://www.storyofstuff.com/

Not a single doctor I've ever seen has thought that food, allergies, or our toxic environment just might be contributing to a chain reaction that seems to be at the heart of "modern" diseases we are seeing today.

2 comments:

wendio said...

I love and adore this post. Can I marry it? Thank goodness for the 'net.

The SCD girl said...

Thanks. :) My blog is kind of new so it's sometimes a bit tumbleweed-strewn around these parts. :)

Susan