Biopsy studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reveal that chemical toxins are now present in the bodily tissue of all humans. This alarming fact illustrates just how inevitable toxin and heavy metal exposure is in today’s society. What’s even more alarming is the fact that toxic buildup in the body not only prevents the immune system from properly functioning, but is linked to increased incidence of cancer and chronic disease across the board. Thankfully, there are a number of Functional Medicine treatments and proactive steps you can take in your daily life to help reduce and mitigate heavy metal exposure.
1. Start at the Source
In order to reduce the amount of toxins making their way into the body, it can help to analyze what we invite in ourselves. In other words, food and beverages! Even seemingly healthy foods can be common carriers of heavy metals — largely a result of residual pesticides left on fruits and vegetables. In fact, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that more than 70% of non-organic fresh produce in the U.S. contains these toxins. Some best practices for reducing the toxins in your diet include:
- Buying organic whenever possible, but especially for dairy products and the “dirty dozen” (twelve produce items found to have the worst pesticide exposure)
- The dirty dozen include strawberries, spinach, kale/collard greens, nectarines, apples, grapes, bell/hot peppers, cherries, peaches, pears, celery, and tomatoes
- Avoiding fish with high mercury content, i.e. shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna, orange roughy, marlin, Chilean bass, lobster, halibut, and snapper
- Using a home water filtration system, as a three-year investigation by the EWG found that about 85% of drinking water in the U.S. contains more than 300 contaminants
2. Examine Your Environment
The mouth isn’t the only way that toxins enter the body — the breath is another major highway that chemicals and heavy metals use to sneak in. Since the majority of our time is spent in our homes and workplaces, taking a few preventative steps in your immediate environments can help drastically reduce the airborne contaminants you breathe in on the daily:
- Consider using an air purifier system that has the capability to clean the entire air room every 20 to 30 minutes
- Replace furnace filters every 6 weeks with a high-quality, pleated filter that is rated at a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 7-9
- Avoid smoking and wearing shoes indoors
- Stick to non-scented cleaning supplies, especially laundry detergent and fabric softeners
3. Implement a Detox Routine
While the above steps are helpful preventative measures for reducing toxin exposure, they unfortunately won’t eliminate toxins that have already been acquired in the body. This is where Functional Medicine and a personalized detox routine can help! At Michigan Health and Wellness, our Functional Medicine experts will conduct a thorough examination through blood, food sensitivity, urine, stool, and hair tests to determine how best to help you detox from heavy metal exposure. Detoxification treatments and protocols, including Ozone Therapy, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, and Far Infrared Sauna, are also available at our center to help aid the body in clearing out harmful contaminants.
To learn more about detoxification options for heavy metal exposure at Michigan Health and Wellness, reach out to our team for a FREE consultation.