The overload of toxins in our air, water, food and environment is wreaking havoc on human immune systems, as well as damaging the plants and animals we share the planet with. After learning even a little about the devastating amounts of chemicals all around us on a daily basis, and their severe toxic effects, it’s easy to become depressed, or feel utterly hopeless in being able to do anything about it. Further below, you will find 20 small steps you can begin to take to protect, and even heal, your immune system.
Everything from the formaldehyde in our carpet, fluoride in our water, glyphosate in our food, and Sodium Laurel Sulfate in our body care products can have our immune systems working overtime every minute of the day. As toxins attach to the proteins of our cells, our immune systems can begin to see our own cells as “invaders” and vigorously attack them. Essentially, this means a body begins fighting it’s “self”, and this, in layman’s terms, is the definition of “Autoimmune Disease”.
From the very beginning of mankind, human immune systems only needed to fight off five kinds of invaders: Molds, Bacteria, Virus, Fungus and Parasites. The immune system can, and has, adapted to be able to fight off newly-mutated viruses, for example, but most toxic substances are another story. Many of the toxins in the products we use (even this computer I’m typing on that is made of oil and plastic) are engineered in such a way that they quickly infiltrate and disrupt the ability of our immune systems to combat them.
If you’ve noticed the sharp “rise” in autoimmunity and new disease over the past two or three decades, think about what has changed in our environment and way of life during that time frame. Typically, you can quickly see how the rise in immune dysfunction correlates with the sharp rise in toxin levels, the move away from normal foods to processed foods, the levels of pollution, the immune disrupting chemical “advancements” in pesticides, the lack of time spent outdoors to help build immunity, increases in electronic pollution, and on and on.
In my own lifetime, I recall when microwaves became popular, literally everything was starting to be made from plastic, and soy was the big (not so smart) “health fad” that ended up a permanent ingredient (or cheap filler replacement) in numerous foods we still buy today. Today, ground beef, vegetables, and milk products, for example, don’t even “taste” like I recall from my childhood. For timeline correlation between the introduction of toxins and deteriorating human health, you might like to reference 11 Graphs that Show Everything that is Wrong with the Modern Diet.
Not all newly introduced toxins or lifestyle changes will have an instant effect on the population, so we need to take serious responsibility for controlling our own, individual and family situations immediately! By the time the scientific community “catches up”, or fully understands the repercussions of these toxins and practices, it could be too late to reverse the damage done upon all living things on Earth.
The good news is that our bodies are continually regenerating, adapting and fighting for us all the time. Even in the case of autoimmunity, it is slightly reassuring to know our systems are still firing off attacks against perceived invaders, even though the immune system is randomly and inaccurately targeting everything, and promoting dis-ease. We can also continue learning, and urging regulatory agencies to get up to speed, forcing them to clamp down on corporations like Monsanto that promotes things like glyphosate and uncertain bio-engineering practices. We can, and should, educate our children and grandchildren to give them the tools and habits that will help shape their lifelong habits, resistance to toxins, and autoimmunity.
In order to help protect our bodies and allow them to come back into balance, there are many things we can do right now:
- Install an Air Purifier in the Home. Further, go through every room in your home with the goal of identifying and remedying, or removing, potential toxins and autoimmune triggers.
- Install a Water Purification System and remember to address the water you bathe or shower in. Our skin absorbs 60% of the toxins in our environment, and unlike ingested toxins, those absorbed through the skin do not pass through the liver for cleansing before they are dumped into the body.
- Have Mercury-laden Dental Amalgams Removed professionally. “Silver” fillings contain up to 55% Mercury. Drinking acidic or hot beverages can dramatically increase the amounts already seeping into your body. Drilling out of these fillings presents hazards in itself as particles become airborne. Certain precautions can be taken to help protect the patient from this added exposure during removal.
- Stop using Fluoride and drinking Fluoridated water or mouth rinses. Fluoride is linked to brain damage. Many experts agree that Fluoride has no benefit to dental health.
- Replace Dishes, Food Storage Containers and Cooking Pans and Utensils that have plastic, aluminum, or non-stick coatings with those made of glass, cast iron, stainless steel, stoneware, or Xtrema Ceramic Cookware.
- Do Not Drink Hot Liquid from a plastic cup, or K-cup with a plastic lid. Think about your coffee maker. Is it also made of plastic? The BPA from plastic easily seeps into hot liquids. BPA-Free plastics are potentially MORE dangerous than BPA because of the BPS or BPF.
- Replace Processed Foods and take charge of your diet with Free Paleo Reboot Book. A healthy diet doesn’t have to be difficult. Read 10 Tips for improving your diet to optimize health. Our immune systems are under constant attack, even if we don’t experience symptoms. When the immune system eventually does go haywire, it’s trying to tell you there are root causes which need to be addressed in order to bring things back into balance.
- Remove and Replace Fluorescent Lights with incandescent or LED.
- Smart Meters emit high frequency radiation, but you can ask your power company to have it transmit only once per day to dramatically decrease your exposure to radiation, or install an EMF blocking device mentioned below. This is especially useful for apartment dwellers exposed to the neighboring apartments no matter what they do within their own home.
- Turn off WiFi at Night and when not in use, or consider switching to wired Internet.
- Place an EMF Blocking Device on cell Phones, laptops, handheld gaming systems, and more. This is especially important for children, along with limiting the amount of time spent online or with gaming devices as there is a direct correlation between stress, illness and things like social media.
- Discontinue use of Baby Monitors – these emit dangerous RFs (Radio Frequencies)
- Bring a Total EMF Shield to Work with you. They are only 9 inches high and can protect an area of 20,000 square feet. Consider the work environment itself. Is there exposure to harmful pollutants, exhaust or chemicals?
- Move Beds and Cribs away from Walls where wiring is located. When we sleep, our bodies are even more susceptible.
- Put your Bare Feet in the grass and Play in the Dirt. Not only will you be “grounded” from the dangerous electrical frequencies, but you will also be exposed to microbes that can strengthen your body’s immune defenses system.
- Test for Mold in your Home with a device like the MOLDetect® Sample Test Kit – price includes Lab Analysis and Consultation.
- Replace Toxic Household Cleaners and Personal Care Products with non-toxic and effective natural products. Watkins offers NPA certified home care products, or you can make your own. Read the labels on the products already in your home and research the ingredients.
- Practice Organic Gardening and Lawn Care rather than spraying dangerous herbicides and pesticides. One of my favorite organic gardening guides discusses numerous ways to repel unwanted pests without chemicals, along with companion planting and other tricks. It is called Rodale’s Garden Answers.
- Autoimmune Diseases may be Active for Decades before Symptoms Appear so it is vital that we take steps to clean up our diet and environment BEFORE symptoms appear. Discuss root causes and current medications with your Physician. Some pharmaceuticals can aggravate or trigger autoimmunity. Replace your doctor with a Naturopath Physician if needed.
- Reduce Stress and Treat Yourself Well. Plenty of studies point to toxic relationships, abuse, or trauma as a primary “trigger” of (sometimes much later) autoimmunity. If possible, remove yourself from relationships that are chaotic. Get plenty of exercise, rest, and relaxation.
- Dana Sourcebook of Immunology Chapter One, January 2006
- How Your Body Gets Rid of Toxins Naturally, My Science Academy, September 2012
- The Truth about Soy Foods, Dr. Mercola, September 2010
- BPA Safety and BPS, BPF, John Barron Baseline of Health Foundation, February 2016
- Why Kids Need Dirt, Wellness Mama, January 2017
- Questions Persist: Environmental Factors in Autoimmune Disease, NCBI Library of Medicine Journal, June 2011
- Personal experiences and own knowledge