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What Are Toxins?

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What Are Toxins?


Toxins, for purposes of this discussion, are harmful chemicals and heavy metals in our environment.  The growth in both industrial and agricultural production over the past century has resulted in the introduction of hundreds of chemical substances and heavy metals into the environment.  For example, PCBs were used as cooling agents in electrical equipment before they were banned in the 1970’s, and still pervade the environment.  They are virtually indestructible and accumulate in the food chain.  They are carcinogenic and can damage the liver and nervous system.

Dioxins are also indestructible and were the culprit in the damage caused by Agent Orange.  Dioxins are contained in plastics, insecticides and herbicides and are a by-product of manufacturing processes that involve organic chemicals and plastics that contain chlorine.  When products containing dioxins are incinerated, they are carried into the atmosphere and settle on the land and water, where they are consumed by the animals and fish we eat. They accumulate in body fat.  They have been linked to ills as diverse diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, ADD, cancer, reduction in the body’s immune function, birth defects, miscarriages and modification of gene function. 

Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), such as formaldehyde, are found in many building materials, from paint to insulation and particleboard, in textiles, in pesticides and in household products.  They can cause a variety of health problems, including nausea, eye irritation and respiratory problems.

Cadmium is a naturally occurring heavy metal that pollutes the air when coal is burned.  It also enters the food chain and the water we drink.  It can cause damage to the lungs and cause kidney and bone disease.  It is one of over 4,700 compounds found in cigarette smoke. Other heavy metals include mercury, lead and nickel.

“Heavy metal toxicity” results from an excessive build-up of metals in the body, usually over a period of years.  These metals, as well as some of the toxins discussed above, are normally discharged from our bodies through the natural functioning of the liver, kidneys, colon, lymphatic system, lungs and skin.  However, a small minority of us have a genetic variation that impedes their perfect functioning.  For the rest of us, trace amounts of heavy metals and other toxins may accumulate, unnoticed, over time.  They are stored in the fat surrounding our cells.  As the toxic burden accumulates slowly, almost imperceptible changes occur that can impact our physical and mental health.

The symptoms are often misdiagnosed as a chronic condition, and treated accordingly; are simply dismissed as a normal part of the aging process or are greeted with bafflement and perhaps attributed to the patient’s imagination.  Nothing is done to test for heavy metal toxicity, so the source of the symptoms is never dealt with and the accumulation continues.

The toxic agents discussed above are but a few of the dangerous elements in our environment, the exact short and long term effect of which are being studied but may never be fully known.  

Heavy metal and other toxicity has been linked to many serious conditions, as discussed above, and removal through chelation can help improve them.  However, many of us have less serious, but nevertheless disquieting, problems that interfere with our quality of life.  Here are some of the symptoms that may indicate the presence of toxicity.

Symptoms of Toxicity
Loss of energy Nausea Body Aches and Pains
Memory loss Mental Fog Cold Feeling in Spots
Mild Depression Vision Problems Muscle Stiffness
Anxiety Nervousness Weakened Immune System
Restlessness Skin Irritation Chronic Fatigue

To learn more about toxins and toxicity click on the other links below:

Why Do I Need to Remove Toxins?
Symptoms of Toxicity