Is your makeup bag the most likely cause of your autoimmune disease? Environmental toxins.

The Autoimmune disease series.


Long ago I watched The Autoimmune Disease Summit and watched a talk given by Aristo Vojdani, PhD, who is focusing his research on environmental triggers, which include toxic chemicals, infections, dietary proteins and peptides, in complex diseases.

Vojdani has found  that toxic chemicals account for around 50-60% of autoimmune diseases.  He implies that this is the most important area to consider when treating such a disease.

He says that 30-40% are caused by dietary factors and 10% by infections.

The words resounded in my ears so much that I kept my notes and have to bring them to you today:

“Autoimmunity is the body fighting back”… It is a “protective adaption”.

This might seem to be really unhelpful right now…to hear that your body is actually doing the best it can with what it has to deal with.  But when you understand the mind boggling numbers involved in this, you may start to see this in a whole new light.

He explains that it takes the body about 1,000 years to adapt to a new environment.

In the last 100 years we have seen a chemical explosion.

The very air that we breathe is tainted, with clouds of toxic chemicals shadowing our lives.  Mercury is pumped into our air at a rate of 6 million pounds per year.

Toxic metals have become a pervasive threat and can be hard to eliminate from your system. Amalgam fillings (mercury), bridges and braces (nickel) in your mouth and vaccinations are laced with these hazardous metals.

Our water supplies are also heavily polluted and we are often encouraged to drink more water to stay healthy.   Our seas are also taking a huge pollution hit.  Eating fish now carries a health warning, with children advised against eating tuna, marlin and swordfish, as levels of mercury are concentrated higher up the food chain.

Professor Chris Exley is a world specialist in aluminium.  He explains how pervasive this neurotoxin is:

It is in cosmetics, sunscreens and antiperspirants, as well as being used as a buffering agent in medications like aspirin and antacids. It is even used in vaccines. We know aluminium can be toxic, yet there is no legislation to govern how much of it is present in anything, apart from drinking water.”

“When the amount of aluminium consumed exceeds the body’s capacity to excrete it, the excess is then deposited in various tissues, including nerves, brain, bone, liver, heart, spleen and muscle,” he explains. “We call it the ‘silent visitor’ because it creeps into the body and beds down in our bones and brain.”

There are more than 80,000 chemicals in our commercial products with around 10,500  ingredients used in personal care products, according to the Environmental Working Group.  Parabens, pthalate esters, sodium laurel sulphate, chlorine, fluorine.  These things are in our soaps, lotions, toothpastes, deodorants and even in the water that we drink.

“Fragrance can often be behind many adverse reactions to traditional beauty products, causing skin rashes, asthma, and even headaches,”

“Fragrances are considered to be among the top five known allergens, with one in every 50 people suffering possible immune system damage, according to the EU’s Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-food Products.”…

Dr. Lipman, An Integrative & Functional Medicine Physician and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center.

Mascara may seem fairly innocuous and an unlikely source of fragrance ingredients, but they’re often used in makeup to cover up harsh chemical odours. Certain fragrance compounds can cause issues such as  headaches,  and asthma.  Some mascaras also include retinyl palmitate and parabens, which  can mimic estrogen and disrupt your endocrine system.

Most of the time we have absolutely no idea what we are slapping on our faces or under our armpits.

Arsenic, mercury, aluminum, zinc, chromium and iron have all been found in cosmetic products such as foundation, nail varnish, lipstick, eyeliner and mascara.

But even when we have left the house there is a new arsenal to consider;

In addition to this the acidity levels in  fizzy drinks can cause leaching of such phenols from its plastic container or the lining of the aluminium can that it is in.

Packaging and it’s plastic chemicals is another source of problems.

Even if you feel that your autoimmune disease has no basis in such a toxic soup, this daily assault on your body is going to divert valuable resources from your body, hampering its efforts of healing your already compromised body.  This persistent lethal cocktail is not going to help you in any way and so doing everything that you can to minimise your risk of exposure can only be a benefit.

If you feel like you may have chemical issues and sensitivities then Cyrex labs offer tests (array 11); that test for responses against 12 of the most common environmental chemicals.

So ten things that you can do to reduce your risk of chemical exposure:
  1. Keep an eye on your dental work – minimise your risk.
  2. Make your own beauty products.
  3. Get a water filter and consider an ioniser/air purifier for your home.
  4. Use glass drinking bottles (or stainless steel – although you need to check the quality as aluminium can even be in these)
  5. Ensure pipework to your house is ‘safe’.
  6. Cut fish from your diet.
  7. Eat organic to avoid pesticide, fungicide, herbicide and GMO ridden foods.
  8. Re-consider the pesticide fed meat source that you use and it’s antibiotics and hormone use.
  9. Ensure that you minimise prescription drugs – another source of disruptive chemicals (check out the side effects)
  10. Swim in the sea rather than a chlorinated swimming pool.
Want to get started?

Click here for some ideas on making your own toothpaste.

This might seem overwhelming to you right now…(so just imagine how it feels for your body!).  Just start small and introduce changes when you can.

Next week I’ll be looking at ways of getting this stuff out of your system, gently.

With love

Gemma x

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