This month, in honor of Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month, I am sharing my top articles about reversing autoimmune diseases. In the last article of the series we’ll cover how toxins lurking all around us contribute to autoimmune disease! If you’ve enjoyed this series, sign up for my free weekly newsletter so you continue to receive fresh articles and new autoimmune-friendly recipes in your inbox each week!
For many people, 80% of healing occurs while simultaneously addressing Pillar I (Heal Your Gut) and Pillar II (Get Rid of Gluten, Grains, & Legumes). If you haven’t seen full reversal of your symptoms, we need to dig deeper. Pillar III is all about addressing and reducing your exposure to toxins.
As I do in my book, I want to give you some powerful information, and I don’t want you to get overwhelmed or freaked out. The point of this article is to give you enough information for you to know toxins are a serious issue for all of us and especially those with autoimmunity and other chronic illnesses, and then I want to focus on the solution. It’s the solution that really matters here, and it’s what you need to take away from this article. My intention is to give you actionable steps to help you to reverse and prevent autoimmunity. Ok, here we go!
What is a “toxin”?
A toxin is a poison–any substance that’s dangerous to the human body. That includes things you know are a problem such as heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium, industrial chemicals and pollutants, and pesticides. But it can also include common products you may not think of as being toxic, such as home cleaning products, body products, and even makeup. Then there is a category many have never even heard of –mycotoxins (the volatile-organic compounds released by certain types of mold).
How do toxins get into your body?
You might be thinking you aren’t exposed to many toxins because you live a very “clean” lifestyle. In reality, you are exposed to thousands of toxins every day, even if you don’t live in a polluted area or work in an industrial job. They’re found in the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, and in the cosmetics, cleaning products, and cookware you use every day–and in fact our government has approved them and said they are safe. As of right now, about 80,000 chemicals are registered for use in the US, and every year about 1,700 more are quickly approved in less than a month and with little to no testing. Our government leaves it up to the company itself to do the testing and tell us it’s safe. And if a product is made up of five ingredients they test each one separately for safety–not all five together. And yes, these chemicals do wind up inside your body.
So how do these toxins end up in our bodies?
We breathe them in through the air, we eat and drink them, and our skin absorbs them.
We breathe them in: People spend an estimated 90% of their time indoors. Considering that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, it’s no surprise that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top 5 environmental risks to public health. Of course, there’s pollution outside your home too, and toxins can easily build up in your body when you are constantly breathing them in.
We eat and drink them: A conventional diet is full of pesticide-treated produce and animals who have been given artificial growth hormones and antibiotics. The National Research Council claims that, in children especially, dietary intake of pesticides accounts for most pesticide exposure.
Since more than half of your body is comprised of water, the quality of your water is tied directly to your health. Heavy metals, chemicals from plastic, and other pollutants can get into your body through your drinking water, or through your skin when you bathe. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) discovered in a 3-year study that 85% of the population in the US consumes water with about 316 contaminants, most of which are completely unregulated.
We absorb them through our skin: Your skin is your largest organ and your main barrier to the outside world. Substances ranging from the beneficial to the bad come into contact with your skin and can be absorbed into your bloodstream. That includes the chemicals in soap, makeup, lotions, and cleaning products, and even heavy metals and pollutants in water.
The average person uses 10-15 personal care products per day, each with 125 different ingredients, and many of these chemicals are approved for use by the FDA with little or no safety testing.
It may seem like just a little exposure here–to pesticides when you eat conventionally grown produce–or a little exposure there–to mercury in your dental fillings. But each exposure adds to your body’s toxic burden. Think of your body like a cup, and toxins like drops of water: if your cup is already full because you have a leaky gut, a poor diet, infections, and stress, those small, cumulative toxic exposures cause that cup to overflow. When it does, you’re pushed down the autoimmune spectrum into full-fledged autoimmune disease.
Toxic Triggers: How Toxins Cause Autoimmunity
The effects of toxins on our bodies is complex. After all, there are thousands of chemicals out there, and we’re just beginning to understand how they work on the body–not to mention, how they work in conjunction with one another. What we do know is that a heavy toxic burden puts you at greater risk for developing an autoimmune disease, and there are a few theories as to why.
One thought is that certain toxins, especially heavy metals, physically damage your tissues. Your immune system no longer recognizes these damaged cells as part of your own body, and attacks them, thinking they’re foreign invaders.
Another theory is that the damage inflicted by toxins elicits an inflammatory response from the immune system. The constant assault of chronic exposure puts the immune system on high alert. It begins attacking everything–including your own tissues.
All of this may seem overwhelming, but there is a solution. My goal is to give you enough information so you are informed and want to take action. I don’t want you to feel hopeless and paralyzed, because there’s so much you can do. Yes, you will always be exposed to toxins in your environment, but you can use these prevention and detoxification strategies to lighten your toxic burden, and help get your immune system back on track.
What is the Solution?
I like to break it into two main toxin-taming strategies: prevention and detoxification. You can of course read about these in more detail in my book.
The best thing you can do to lighten your toxic burden is to prevent the toxins from getting into your system in the first place. You may not have control over everything, but you do have control over your own home. I myself focus my efforts on keeping my own home environment as clean as possible: I eat only organic food and I use nontoxic cookware (see my guide to healthy cookware here).
If your home is toxin-free, you’ll have a little bit more leeway when you go out into the environment. Here are four ways to make your home as toxin-free as possible:
- Clean your air. You may not be able to clean the air outside, but you can keep the air inside your home as toxin-free as possible. I recommend getting a HEPA filter for your home and office.
- Clean your water. You absorb toxins in the water you drink, and you also absorb them through your skin when you bathe. I recommend installing water filters on your sinks and shower taps. I myself have a full-house filtration system. Avoid drinking out of plastic bottles (yes, even BPA-free plastics!).
- Buy clean food. Eat organic whenever possible. It can be expensive, so when you can only buy some things organic, buy organic meats. Animals are at the top of the food chain, and if they’re consuming pesticides in their feed, you are too, but in a magnified dose. In The Autoimmune Solution, I help you prioritize your grocery list by explaining which foods have the highest and lowest concentrations of toxins.
- Buy clean body products. You’ve heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” I like to add to that and say, “you are what you apply.” Many personal care products are made with hormone-mimicking chemicals that can be absorbed through your skin. If you find it overwhelming to replace your body products with cleaner options all at once, try replacing one item at a time over the next few months. Every replacement you make takes away from your toxic burden. In The Autoimmune Solution, I give you a list of common toxins found in body products and resources to help you avoid them.
Some of my patients face additional toxic burdens. When someone isn’t getting any better after going through The Myers Way®, I suspect that significant heavy metal exposure or mycotoxin exposure could be to blame. Treatment for heavy metal or toxic mold exposure may require prescription medications and should be done under the care of a functional medicine practitioner. I go into much greater detail on both of these topics in The Autoimmune Solution.
Prevention is key, because once you do have toxins in your body, you need to get them out. Your body is constantly working to excrete toxins on its own, and those of us with autoimmune diseases often have a harder time detoxing than others. A key part of The Myers Way® is supporting your body’s own natural detoxification.
Drink lots of water, and do something that will make you sweat. One of my favorite strategies is to use an infrared sauna to help detoxify. Infrared saunas are especially useful for those who are limited in their ability to exercise.
Most of your detoxing is done through your liver, so the goal is to support your liver during this process. The nutrients you’ll be eating while on The Myers Way® will help your liver mobilize the toxins that are in your tissues. Your body’s biggest detoxifier is glutathione, so I recommend supplementing with extra glutathione or N-Acetyl-Cysteine (which is a precursor to glutathione) while your body is trying to excrete toxins, especially if you are anywhere on the autoimmune spectrum.
A quick note from our founder-
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Help us create more awareness! Please SHARE this article...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:
just above your hips, lower belly, where your butt and legs meet... and even arms, neck and face.
However, there's good news:
Obesity researchers have now discovered a "metabolic jumper cable":
It jolts dead bodyfat back to life.
This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.
First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
- Not enough oxygen or nutrients reach fat cells, so they become unresponsive..
- Released fat can't be sent to other tissues to be burned, so fat cells suck it back in...
- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
- It wakes up un-responsive bodyfat with a powerful calorie-burning hormonal jolt....
- It pops open fat cells, sucks out the fat, sending it off before its yanked back in...
- It shuttles fat to your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys - even your bones - to be burned as energy.
Not only do those layers of "zombie fat" start coming off, but your entire body just works better.
Plus, as your whole body burns more calories, those patches of pocket obesity whittle away.
This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive.
It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know.
And on this next page, you'll find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
PS - Studies show that not only can healthy levels of this powerful calorie-burning hormone devour bodyfat and fortify soft muscle, but it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.
Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.
Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.