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Toxins and Fatigue

Toxins are and have been a part of the human situation forever. Even before the industrial era, toxins came from bacteria, yeast, and fungii in food, minerals and biological products in the water, and compounds in the air. Now that humans have turned into giant trash heap creatures, your detoxification systems are always working to keep you alive, but they can't always keep up.

Toxins are and have been a part of the human situation forever. Before the industrial era, toxins came from bacteria, yeast, and fungi in food, minerals and biological products in the water, and compounds in the air. Now that humans have turned into giant trash heap creatures, the range of toxins we encounter has broadened to include industrial chemicals, agricultural chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, and supplements, plastics that mimic hormones, plus we’ve encouraged some really funky strains of mold, yeast, and bacteria to grow. Your body has detoxification systems that are always working to keep you alive, but they can’t always keep up.

Toxins accumulate in our tissues and can cause a whole host of health problems. Naturally, the biggest of those problems on a day-to-day basis are exhaustion, fatigue, inflammation, and brain fog.

The Additive Effects of Toxins

It is never just one toxic substance coming in. The symptoms you might have from your body’s toxic burden are caused by the total – the additive effects of all of the things your body is trying, and often failing, to process. Every toxin that comes into your body needs energy to move it around, make it safe, or try to eliminate it. Toxins also often need specific resources to help your body eliminate them safely. Those resources are very often vitamins, antioxidants, or minerals.

Because safe handling of these substances does use these vital resources, we often see deficiencies showing up in particular areas that also contribute to symptoms we associate with toxicity. such as fatigue, brain fog, memory weakness, and inflammation or pain.

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Symptoms of Toxicity

Toxicity, as a word, is broad and vague and can be an umbrella over many more specific conditions like mercury toxicity, implant illness, mold-related illness, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc… Please understand this list is very general, and there are many other symptoms related to particular toxicities. Also, bear in mind I’m not talking about the symptoms of acute poisoning, which would probably be something else. This is more about normal toxins that build up over time, especially in people with genetic variants like MTHFR, GST, GPX, etc., who may not detoxify as efficiently as they would like. General toxic symptoms include:

  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Brain fog
  • Memory weakness
  • Bad breath
  • Irritability or edginess
  • Inflammation or pain
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Skin breakouts, rashes, or irritation

Voluntary Toxins

We take in so many toxins voluntarily. That includes alcohol, drugs, prescriptions, supplements, perfumes, and plastics that come in contact with our food. It also includes chemicals from daily products like nonstick or aluminum pots and pans, clothing, furniature, or bedding that is treated with flame retardants, water repellants, or stain repellants. This also includes personal care products like lotions, shampoo, and toothpaste, home goods like candles with fragrance, air fresheners, cleaning products, and all the things we use and consider necessary for a modern life.

You may be surprised to hear me include supplements and prescription drugs in the list, but remember these are foreign substances to our body. Even if a supplement or prescription is a substance that we could find in nature, we would never find it in such concentrated doses. The entire reason you take supplements or drugs is because they push your body to do something and force your body to respond. Doing something takes resources and may add byproducts to your system.

Toxins from Food, Water, and Air

Toxins coming in daily from our food, water, and air greatly burden our internal systems. Food-based toxins include agricultural chemicals, as well as toxic proteins or other factors that can be related to GMO foods. Also, obviously, food additives, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, stabilizers, and emulsifiers. Food is an industry with all the chemicals to go with that status. Also, mold, yeast, and bacterial residues in food can be a problem.

Water is filled with all of the things – chlorine and fluoride that are added on purpose, at least eight measurable pharmaceutical medications that are just ubiquitous in the water supply because so many people take them, and whatever chemicals are washing into the water table currently. Air is filled with chemicals and heavy metals from car exhaust, industry, and all of the chemicals we deliberately add to our homes (think air fresheners, cleaning products, etc…)

Also, consider that some buildings, often called “sick buildings,” may be particularly high in things like mold and mold toxins, radon, or particular chemicals that lead to the people in that building developing illness, feeling unwell, and generally building up toxins.

Surgical Toxins, Implant Illness

Surgeries, whether they’re life-saving or voluntary, often leave toxins behind in the form of dissolvable sutures, mesh, cleansing agents, or implanted items. These substances are as safe as we can make them, but people still do have reactions to them. The most notorious culprit is probably breast and other cosmetic implants, but even standard surgical materials can increase a person’s toxic burden.

Detoxification and Genetics

Humans can handle toxins to a certain degree, but your genes will contribute to how well you detoxify certain substances or classes of substances. MTHFR, for instance, impairs detoxification globally because it reduces the amount of glutathione, which is your body’s master antioxidant, that your body can make. Also, MTHFR specifically impairs the detoxification of estrogen, heavy metals, and some other toxins that need to be methylated to be eliminated. Genes that affect glutathione production outside of MTHFR, including GST, GPX, and CBS, also impair detoxification and the balance of free radicals to antioxidants in the body.

Also well-known to impair or enhance detoxification are the cytochrome-P450 system genes. Cytochrome P450 is the first step in the detoxification process, and we’ll talk more about it in future episodes. It relies on a series of enzymes to convert different toxins into other things to start the process of getting rid of them. Hundreds of variants in the genes make these enzymes, known collectively as the CYP genes. The variants can make a gene work better or work less efficiently, so this whole cytochrome process brings tremendous variability to our ability to withstand toxins.

A great example is the CYP 1A2 gene variants, which determine how quickly or slowly your body detoxifies caffeine. People with the fast metabolizer variants of CYP 1A2 can drink a cup of coffee within a couple of hours of going to sleep and still sleep like a baby. People with the slowest variants often have trouble if they have more than two cups of coffee daily or if they have any caffeine after noon. These CYP genes also often influence the metabolism of pharmaceutical drugs, so they are being tested more commonly for medical purposes.

Toxic burden is a major factor in your energy level and overall health. Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you with the idea of how many toxins you’re exposed to constantly, we will cover the basics about how to detoxify effectively over the next few episodes. Thank you so much for spending your time with me today.

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MTHFR is a common genetic mutation that can contribute to anxiety, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, infertility, and more serious conditions like breast implant illness, heart attack, stroke, chronic fatigue syndrome, and some types of cancer. If you know or suspect you have an MTHFR variant, schedule a free 15-minute meet-and-greet appointment with MTHFR expert Dr. Amy today.

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Amy Neuzil
Amy Neuzil

Dr. Amy Neuzil, N.D. is a leading expert in MTHFR and epigenetics, and she is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health and wellness for their genetic picture. She has helped thousands of people overcome health challenges using a simple, step-by-step approach that starts with where they are today. Dr. Neuzil's unique approach to wellness has helped countless people improve their energy levels, lose weight, and feel better mentally and emotionally. If you're looking for a way to feel your best, Dr. Amy Neuzil can help. Contact her today to learn more about how she can help you achieve optimal health and wellness.

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