Environmental Toxicity and its Long-Term Impact on our Health

As the incidence rates of many chronic diseases continue to rise in our society, the success in finding a single curative (and not just palliative) measure to treat any of these chronic diseases continues to elude us. While almost all physicians today know how to effectively treat most acute conditions (say, a strep throat), the same cannot be said in many cases of chronic health conditions.

One of the most well-established causative factors commonly shared by diseases such as cancer, diabetes, allergies, autoimmune conditions, chronic fatigue, neurological disorders and pain syndromes (e.g. fibromyalgia) is environmental toxicity. Although scientists and doctors have long understood the long-term health consequences of individual exposure to various environmental toxins (i.e. heavy metals, dioxins, solvents, plastics and pesticides, just to name a few), only more recently did we begin to see the connection between the cumulative effect of the various types of environmental toxicity and the epidemic rise in chronic diseases. Fortunately, some clinically trained health practitioners, including state-licensed and board-certified Naturopathic Doctors (visit www.naturopathic.org), are qualified to effectively address the many health issues stemming from chronic environmental toxic exposures.

As a general preventive measure, below is a list of basic health tips to help your body counter the negative impact of environmental pollutants; please consult with your primary health care provider in assessing the appropriateness of the individual recommendations based on your own health history.

  1. Eat only organic produce whenever possible to minimize exposure to pesticides and other chemical-based agricultural pollutants.
  2. Stay hydrated to optimize urinary clearance of water-soluble toxins; spring water is ideal. Avoid tap water.
  3. Exercise daily to promote sufficient perspiration (our skin is the largest detoxification organ and sweating helps remove toxins that have been rendered water-soluble by the liver).
  4. Protect your liver health by eating plenty of dark leafy greens (e.g. kale, dandelion greens) and other liver-friendly veggies (broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and artichokes), as well as dark berries (including raspberries).
  5. Eliminate processed foods and ensure good fiber intake in facilitating regular bowel movements.
  6. Eliminate coffee and soda, drink instead green tea, rooibos tea, or roasted dandelion root tea.

If you are interested in using natural medicine to improve your health and would like to do so under the care and guidance of a qualified Naturopathic Doctor in the Madison, WI area, you have come to the right place. If you would like to learn if Naturopathic Medicine is right for you, you can schedule a brief consultation with Dr. Ruddy (either in person or by phone) or book a full appointment at (608) 441-1590. (See Your First Visit)