Staying up to date with cutting-edge education is not just a requirement to maintain my professional standing, but it’s also a personal passion of mine!
I always want to know the “Why?” not just the “What” or “How. “ Call me nerdy that way, but it’s just what gets my juices flowing. Education is a fascinating thing…once you know it, there’s no turning back. In a way it is a commitment to holding yourself accountable to putting what you learn into practice.
I recently attended a practitioner training that focused on the impact of environmental factors on our health, and how to zone in on root causes that are often overlooked.
One flaw in our current healthcare system is to stop at symptom control, rather than delve deeper und uncover hidden causes underlying our epidemic of diagnosed chronic health issues.
I want to share one health nugget with you, namely the health implications of suffering from a TOXIC BURDEN, caused by exposure to Heavy Metals, and the body’s inability to effectively clear out Heavy Metals (and also non-metal toxins for that matter, but that’s a topic for another time!).
We can’t ignore our Toxic Burden when we are dealing with chronic health issues, including cancer.
Here’s what I learnt at the Seminar about how elevated levels of toxicity of these most common Heavy Metals over time can impact your health:
Mercury – from silver, amalgam dental fillings, vaccines, fish, especially salmon and tuna, volcanic emissions. Mercury is a known neurotoxin, affecting brain function and mental health, even at very low levels. 
Lead – from gasoline additives, plumbing, paint from prior to 1982, cheap jewelry. Lead is known to suppress the immune system, is associated with chronic hypertension, kidney problems and cognitive disturbances.  High levels have been detected in kids diagnosed with ADHD and Autism. 
Cadmium – from shellfish, cigarette smoke – the passive smoking problem, tire-steel belts. Cadmium is known to be a contributor to osteoporosis. 
Arsenic – from Seafood, Herbicides, Chicken – often added to poultry feed at 6-9 times the levels considered by the Environmental Protection Agency as “safe”  in order to create fatter chicks faster. Arsenic is a known carcinogen, linked to liver, lung, skin, kidney, bladder and prostate cancers, as well as diabetes, heart health, brain function, digestive issues and autoimmune diseases. 
Aluminum – from deodorants, over the counter antacids, cooking utensils and cookware, food such as anti-caking agents, and conventional baking powder. When municipal tap water is purified, it comes into contact with aluminum filters during the last stages of the process. Interestingly I heard that those cities with the highest aluminum levels in their water have the highest rates of Alzheimer’s. Other adverse effects of excessive exposure to aluminum include dementia, hyperactivity and learning disorders. 
Allow me to add one more…
Antimony – from flame-retardant material, industrial applications such as soldering, brazing, smelters; long term exposure can lead to irritated eyes, skin and lung inflammation, stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal issues and affect your heart health. 
Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed?
We live in a modern world and are constantly exposed to the above, sometimes unknowingly, sometimes in situations that are seemingly beyond our control.
I truly feel that one reason we may feel stressed out by this is that it is still NOT a common practice in our healthcare paradigm to include heavy metal toxic evaluation and treatment as standard of care to address and heal from root causes underlying our chronic diseases.
Why you should know your Toxic Burden?
A simple search for validated research can show that for some of the above-mentioned heavy metals no clear conclusions could be found.
Each one of us has their own toxic cocktail to content with, and some of us can clear these more efficiently than others if we have healthy and fully functioning detox pathways.
Toxins slowly accumulate over time, leading to a so-called toxic body burden or total toxic load.
This can become overwhelming for the body, slowly eroding its ability to function properly in the following areas:
- Heart health
- Brain function
- Hormone balancing
- Stress resistance
- Inflammation control
- Digestive functioning
- Gut Health
- Nutrient absorption
- Waste removal
- Cellular energy metabolism in our mitochondria
Love Your Mitochondria!
The mighty Mitochondria deserve a special shout out!
Mitochondria are tiny cell organelles inside each cell, in liver and muscle cells there can be thousands. They can be compared to little power plants, producing cellular energy, also known as ATP (Adenosine-triphosphate), via a process called cell respiration, and they also play a role in cell growth and programmed cell death and regulating overall cell metabolism. 
When mitochondria become damaged, sometimes by way of mutations, this sets the stage for chronic disease development, such as cancer or autoimmune disorders.
“Mutations in mitochondrial genes can cause a diverse and often devastating array of human mitochondrial diseases, which can affect any organ in the body at any point during a person’s life.
The role of mitochondria in disease has been expanded beyond the respiratory chain, as defects in additional mitochondrial functions and behaviors have been linked to cancer, metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.” 
Strategically focusing on repairing mitochondrial damage is part of addressing the root causes, rather than just managing symptom control, and what we need to focus our attention on if we wish to recover and heal from our maladies.
Our toxic burden has a direct effect on how our mitochondria can become damaged, and, in turn, repair themselves. That is why an essential part of disease prevention, healing and optimizing longevity involves reducing our toxic burden, and healing the mitochondria.
Knowing how to avoid further exposure as well as helping our bodies clear out accumulated toxins, is key to supporting our bodies.
Standard health care does not address this when there are chronic symptoms that do not respond to standard of care, nor even from a prevention standpoint. Finding out what your toxic burden is rests on your own proactive initiative, and this is where functional doctors and corresponding laboratories can support you.
A word of caution is needed here. It may sound simple, but heavy metal detox is generally a lengthy process that needs to be done under competent supervision. All havoc can break lose if we loosen stored toxins and dump them in our bodies, particularly if our detoxification pathways are blocked. There is a real danger of re-toxifying ourselves and that can exacerbate the problem exponentially.
I always advise against trying this on your own with heavy metal detox remedies researched on the internet! Toxins need to be “coaxed” out of our cells, certain heavy metals need specifically selected chelators to bind with them and escort them out of the body via our detoxification pathways, involving our liver, kidneys, digestive tract, skin and lungs.
Chelating agents come in various forms such as liquid drops, IV infusions, capsules and tablets, sometimes prescription-grade. Dosages needs to be carefully adapted to your body’s ability to respond appropriately, and this process needs to be monitored. Side effects can be mild to severe, and for that you need to be guided by a qualified clinician who also monitors you to ensure it is an acceptable detox response, versus a more serious health ramification.
I have personally been on this detox path for years and understand just how delicate the detox dance can be! A successful detox protocol is like a symphony orchestra, with each instrument finely tuned and expertly played by individual team members who know how they each complement the whole group.
But don’t just take my word for it, here’s the link to a recent interview I had with board-certified Naturopathic Physician Dr. Christine Schaffner on the impact of heavy metal toxicity on preventing and healing chronic illness.
I devote an entire chapter in my book “Confessions of a Cancer Conqueror – My 5 Step Process to Transform your Relationship with Cancer” to this subject. Click here to receive a free chapter download if you want to read more.
The following references were provided at the conference I attended. Some of this research is over 20 years old! That was the point! This information has been known for a very, very long time. In addition, when you are presented with case study after case study of patient cases where not only a direct correlation between toxic overload and chronic symptoms is shown, but also a marked improvement and even healing has occurred due to interventions that involved systematic detoxification, it is pretty convincing that this is an area that needs to be addressed to ensure optimal health. Hu H Exposure to Metals, Prim Care 2000 Dec;27(4):983-96  Minder B, et al. “Exposure to Lead and Specific Attentional Problems in Schoolchildren”, J Learn Disabil 1994 Jun-Jul;27(6):393-9 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam  Environmental Health Perspectives 112 (2004):18  Smith AH et al., “Cancer Risks from Arsenic Drinking Water”, Environmental Health Perspectives 97 (1992), 259-67  Cooke K, Gould MH, “The health effects of aluminum – a review”, JR Soc Health 1991 Oct;111(5):163-8  Cooper, Ross G and Adrian P Harrison. “The exposure to and health effects of antimony” Indian journal of occupational and environmental medicine vol. 13,1 (2009): 3-10.  Johannsen, Darcy L and Eric Ravussin. “The role of mitochondria in health and disease” Current opinion in pharmacology vol. 9,6 (2009): 780-6.  Friedman, Jonathan R and Jodi Nunnari. “Mitochondrial form and function” Nature vol. 505,7483 (2014): 335-43.Also need link that shows my video where I chat about my book, not just where to buy my book and get bonuses, please can you locate that link and share it with me? I only have this one, and this is not good enough for cold traffic, they need to see my video. Please don’t use this one here.