Juice fasts. Colon cleanses. Salt baths. Detoxifying face masks.
Countless stores, websites and infomercials market these and other products that claim to "rid your body of toxins,". Unfortunately, they're not really promoting the kind of detox that is an important part of substance abuse treatment. Instead, they're selling solutions to a problem that is essentially made up by them!
Why Are Toxins So Harmful?
Toxins can and do negatively affect every part of the body. Toxic effects on the brain include poor memory and concentration, erratic behavior, word confusion, mood issues, headaches, vertigo, and cravings. Toxic brain exposures, as from alcohol abuse, are also linked to accelerated mental decline.
Common toxins can be absorbed through the skin (when you rub in a cream, for example), ingested (when you eat or drink), or inhaled (when you breathe).
The first step in detoxing your personal care products is to take an assessment of what you already have. Unfortunately, things aren’t as straightforward as you might think. The simple word “fragrance” could mean that the product contains over a hundred different chemicals that together create that fragrance! Remember, the longer these chemicals stay on your skin (such as in moisturizers and makeup), the more likely they’ll find their way into your body.
The good news is; many people are discovering the links between toxic exposures in personal care products and health issues. They’re demanding safer personal care products, which means you’ll see more “clean” products popping up on the shelves as time goes on.
Harmful Toxins That You Are Exposed to Everyday
These and other toxins may affect you without you even knowing it! Here’s a close look at three everyday toxins people may encounter.
The average American woman uses around 12 personal care and cosmetic products daily. The average man uses about 6. The chemicals in these products are easily absorbed into your skin and transported to every organ in your body. That means that while you’re trying to look good on the outside, you may be poisoning yourself on the inside. Try to use natural products without “fragrance” and free from acrylates, aluminum, formaldehyde, oxybenzone, parabens, triclosan, polyethylene glycols, and phthalates hidden in the walls of plastic containers (go for glass wherever possible).
While smoking and drug and alcohol abuse have long been known to increase cancer and heart disease, many people don’t realize that they are also linked to mental conditions including an increased risk of dementia. Moreover, alcohol kills brain cells, shrinks brain size, and increases the risk of dementia.
Mold exposure is toxic to brain function. Signs of mold exposure include sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and skin irritation. If you suspect that you’ve been exposed to mold, the first step is always to remove yourself from the moldy environment. You can also do a blood test that measures a protein, TGF Beta-1, found throughout the body that plays a role in immune system function and is often high in mold exposure (also called mycotoxin exposure).
4 Ways to Avoid Harmful Toxins
Fortunately, the human body is designed to detox itself. It just needs assistance in performing the job! Here are four ways to reduce your risk of toxic exposure:
Detox Your Diet:
Buy organic, and always wash your food: neurotoxic pesticide levels are way lower in children who get organic foods. Always read and make sure to understand food labels-ignore natural: aflatoxins, arsenic, cyanide are all natural. Avoid using aluminum and Teflon cookware.
Drink More Water:
Your brain is 80% water, so avoid anything that dehydrates it - such as caffeine or alcohol. Being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require attention, immediate memory skills, and physical performance. Since water helps flush toxins from your body, it’s recommended that you drink three to four quarts of reverse osmosis or filtered (with charcoal) water every day.
Toss Toxic Cleaners:
Scan all the products in your bathroom and determine their toxic levels through any online app. Do a bathroom cleanse and throw out all toxic products.
Fortify Your Natural Defenses:
One of the best ways to protect yourself from harmful agents is to support your natural defenses with supplements. The body’s detoxification systems overlap with the immune system to help process toxic chemicals, avoid allergic and intolerance reactions, and destroy potentially harmful infectious agents. Everyone should be on a core supplement regimen!