Updated: Dec 17, 2020
“Toxins damage every aspect of our physiological function and play a role in virtually all diseases." Joseph Pizzorno, ND, The Toxin Solution
Yet, for anyone seeking answers from mainstream medicine, the word “toxin” is unlikely to be mentioned as I discovered serving as my late husband’s staunchest health advocate 16 years ago. I desperately wanted to know what had suddenly transformed him into a debilitated stranger whom I barely recognized.
A year after exhaustive consultations without answers in mainstream medicine, we were finally led to a biotoxin researcher whose revolutionary biomarkers demonstrated multiple imbalances from chronic biotoxic exposures. We also learned Rick’s genetics were severely compromising his ability to detoxify his heavy body burden. At last, his previously undiagnosed mold exposures and markers indicative of Lyme, along with earlier heavy metal testing indicating high levels of lead, cadmium aluminum, and others combined together to create an inflammatory firestorm. These were driving factors of his seemingly rapid deterioration of body and brain and gave us a new roadmap to follow—the importance of detoxification.
Detoxification was never mentioned during any of our conventional consultations since toxicity wasn’t ever considered. Yet, what a difference when detoxification was introduced! Within days, amazing changes were taking place! Unfortunately, since toxicity was not recognized, and without earlier proper protocols, his full recovery was compromised. This is in alignment with Pizzorno’s statement, “The research shows that toxins are far more damaging than any other known disease factors.” Yet, if doctors don’t consider and test for toxic impact as a possible source of inflammation, health recovery is unlikely since the source of inflammation isn’t being addressed.
Integrative and functional practitioners like Dr. Pizzorno have long recognized the toxic roots of many symptoms fueling a wide range of toxic-related imbalances. Natural/integrative medicine recognizes, evaluates, and treats patients by identifying and addressing the root causes of disease. Their evaluations, far different than in conventional care, include precision biomarkers identifying toxicity exposures, nutritional, digestive, metabolic and hormonal imbalances and others to determine underlying issues in need of healing.
Unfortunately, mainstream medicine typically treats symptoms rather than exploring these critical, underlying conditions at the root of symptoms. Multiple symptoms can manifest and their conventional treatments only treat them without identifying the cause flaring the inflammatory symptoms. That’s why many traditionally-treated patients suffer chronic health issues because this paradigm focuses on treating symptoms rather than getting to the root of their issues, thereby perpetuating them.
As toxic impact has dramatically increased and infiltrated into our daily lives, with chronic health issues such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia and other brain-related conditions, also on the rise, their link is now compelling. Statistics demonstrate this is happening in all age groups. “This can’t be simply dismissed as due to lifestyle, nutritional deficiencies, or the increasing age of the population,” says Pizzorno.
Although Rick was initially diagnosed with toxic encephalopathy in 2005 following the consultation and testing by a doctor/mold researcher, this was largely invalidated by his subsequent mainstream medical team. Eleven years into his illness, he was diagnosed by a neurologist to be in the late stages of Lewy Body Dementia.
However, a year after my husband’s death, after comparing Rick’s lab results with those outlined in The End of Alzheimer’s by Dale Bredesen, MD, clearly identified toxicity as an underlying factor in Type 3 Alzheimer’s. His lab work was in perfect alignment to that outlined in detail in Bredesen’s book. It legitimized the toxic nature of the inflammatory process that caused years of suffering with a manifestation of symptoms affecting both his brain and body. It finally put all the puzzle pieces together demonstrating the toxic nature of his neurodegenerative disease.
Dementogens made by molds such as Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Penicillium and others were found repeatedly in Type 3 Alzheimer’s patients. Research links mold to an estimated 500,000 Alzheimer’s cases in the U.S. alone and important to have a mycotoxin test, especially if you or loved ones have noticed cognitive decline. Rick’s biomarkers indicated extremely high inflammatory reactions linked to biotoxins.
Internationally-recognized, Dr. Tom O’Bryan was among a large slate of prominent health professionals featured in The Toxic Mold Summit airing online last summer. O’Bryan addressed the gut-brain connections related to neurodegenerative diseases. “Sixty to 65% clinically of Alzheimer’s patients, the type of Alzheimer’s they have is largely inhalation Alzheimer’s, it’s what they’re breathing that has triggered the inflammation eventually causing all the scar, the crud in the brain that progresses into Alzheimer's.”
It’s that toxic “crud” in the brain that’s flaring inflammatory processes, transforming toxin-laden people into unsuspecting neurologically-impaired patients. Understanding the role toxicity plays is vital for us all to consider in reducing our own toxic burdens, and as an undiagnosed factor in chronic health issues. Small doses over time do add up and why reducing our toxic load through detoxification is such a critical health choice for us in today’s toxic times. More about that in future posts.
With the pervasive and pernicious presence of toxins throughout our daily lives firing up chronic issues, they must be addressed if we are to avert their links to debilitating and life-threatening health issues. From this journey, many insights were gained for making some very smart choices living in our toxic times--among them, seeking wisdom from health professionals who recognize toxicity as an underlying factor of chronic health issues for both prevention and healing.