How Toxic Are You?
Updated: Jan 31
Toxins that We are exposed to every day
This is a daunting question for many. Most of us are afraid to question the toxic load we are dealing with on a daily basis. Sometimes we really have no idea how to start assessing the question to start with.
If you are not sure about your toxic load, I’m going to cover an easy way to start considering the toxins you are exposed to regularly and I’m hoping getting to know them will help you start being more mindful and making some healthier choices in your day-to-day life.
What Are the Main Sources of Toxins?
What you eat. All overly processed and refined foods, sugar, chemicals, pesticides, and GMOs,
Food sensitivities and intolerances
Cleaning products made with harsh chemicals
Personal care products that are loaded with additives/chemicals. Cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, hand lotions, etc.
Emotions: stress, anger, frustration, anxiety, any kind of emotional distress
Health / Physical: infection, disease, weakness, age, stress, psychological
Your environment: where you live and work
Outdoor pollution: exhaust, smog
Indoor pollution: dust, mold
Habits: alcohol, smoking, drugs
But Why Should I Worry About Toxins? Doesn’t the Body Detox Itself Regularly ?
The answer is that these different kinds of toxins can fill up our “barrel” overtime.
These are only some examples of toxins that can fill up your “barrel” and contribute to chronic illness and health complications. Oftentimes it’s an accumulation of many toxins that leads to an overflowing barrel. In holistic health, the goal is to reduce exposure to as many of these toxins as possible.
What Exactly Causes My Toxic Load to Overflow?
Let’s start with the most obvious.
Food is a powerful resource for us to survive. It’s a big part of our life therefore a poor diet can have major implications on our health, as we already know. But are we doing everything we can to reduce toxin exposure in our foods? Here are ways that our nutrition can contribute to ill health:
Exposure to allergens, sensitivities and intolerances
Processed foods, junk foods, high in sugar, high in poor quality fats
Food additives, preservatives, colors and flavors
High carbohydrate foods with low nutritional value (refined flours, sugar, refined grains, etc.)
Poor quality meat raised with antibiotics and hormones, in poor living conditions
Indoor Environmental Toxins
Indoor air quality is especially important, since we spend most of our time inside buildings or at home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that indoor pollution levels may be up to 100 times worse than outdoor pollution, and is considered among the top 5 environmental risks to the public. Think about the quality of air in your workspace, in your home, and wherever you might spend a great deal of time. These are some of the contributing factors:
Mold, dust, pet dander and fur
Artificially scented air fresheners, cleaners
Laundry soap, dryer sheets and fabric softener
Furniture and carpet off-gassing
Fresh paint (VOCs)
Outdoor Environmental Toxins
Depending on where you are in the world, the environmental toxins that you’re exposed to outdoors may be significantly different from one person to the next. These are some factors to be aware of:
Smog, heavy metals
Vehicle exhaust fumes
Mold, pollen, grass, other allergens
Pesticides and herbicides
Health and Beauty products
When was the last time you thought about the products you put on your body? In this post I talk about the importance of double-checking what’s in your health and beauty products, especially cosmetics, lotions, hair-care products and perfumes. Here are some of the main contributing products.
Perfumes and scents
Shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash
Makeup and cosmetics
Face wash, moisturizer
Hair styling products, shaving gel
Medications and Drugs
Prescription medications can be essential for survival and I’m not saying they don’t have an important place in healthcare. But know that medication goes through the liver’s detoxification process to be broken down, and prescription medications can be especially hard on the liver.
Other “drugs” include cigarettes and tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and even recreational drugs which also put additional stress on the body and often require some form of detoxification.
Here’s a list of some of the big ones:
Over the counter medications
Cigarettes and tobacco
Viruses, Pathogens, and Infections
When was the last time you considered how bacteria, viruses, mold and yeast can affect your health? These are often considered the silent stressors because we usually don’t know how they’re affecting us until we’re quite sick. Mold can be incredibly toxic, some viruses and parasites can contribute to low-grade inflammation and unexplained symptoms, candida can contribute to a whole host of system-wide symptoms and be difficult to treat – especially in the standard medical system.
Here are some of the big contributors in this category:
Candida and yeast
Heavy metals, including silver or amalgam dental fillings
Emotional and Mental Stress
We can’t forget about our emotional and mental layer. We carry our emotions in our body, and if we don’t address them or deal with them properly, they can appear as physical pains. Our emotional state can dictate our physical health, so it’s important to be self-aware and take care of our mind and soul just as much as our physical body.
Here are some emotional or mental stressors that can contribute to the barrel:
Loss (loved one, job, possessions, freedom, self)
Emotions like hate, guilt, fear, envy, jealousy, worry, suspicion, heartache
Constant busy-ness, high expectations, pressure, perfectionism
Always trying to be more, do more, feeling like you’re not enough, lacking gratitude
Negative or poor attitude, thoughts, beliefs
Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and Radiation
This is a much newer stressor than some of the others, as we see the rise in wireless technologies and radiation around the world. Here are just some of the common sources that you may be exposed to on a regular basis:
Cell phones and towers
Wireless internet (routers, computers, phones, etc)
Bluetooth and bluetooth gadgets (headphones, monitors, fitbit, etc)
High tension wires, power lines
Electrical appliances, television
X-rays and CAT scans
What You Can Do About Your Toxic Load
As you may have guessed by now, I’m passionate about creating a lifestyle that encourages health and reduces the risk of illness. My hope for you is that you can start looking at the small changes you can make to help promote optimal health while reducing your toxic load. This isn’t meant to scare you – it’s meant to inspire change.
Our bodies are strong and will do everything they can to stay healthy. They just need a little help. You can start by taking the time to consider what fills your barrel.
Take a Good Look at the Sources Above and Ask Yourself Where You Can Make Changes in Your Life.
Start small. Pick one thing and find a healthier alternative. Make this healthy alternative a part of your routine and once it no longer seems like something new, find another thing to add or change. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Make manageable lifestyle changes instead of trying to rewrite your life.
The important thing here is that we are in control of our toxic load. Start reducing the number of toxins in your life today.