3 Chemicals That Are Making You Sick
The chemicals and germs that we encounter daily can have disastrous effects on our health. Infectious diseases are bouncing back to new levels of virulence after decades of largely being pushed back by advances in vaccines, antibiotics and other treatments. Industrial and agricultural chemicals are often found to be harmful only after having been in widespread use for years. For example, a 2014 report conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in Lancet Neurology found that a growing number of chemicals are linked to brain disorders in children. The report found new evidence about six newly recognized neurotoxicants that have negative health effects on children: manganese, chlorpyrifos and DDT (pesticides), tetrachloroethylene (a solvent), and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (flame retardants). The report’s authors warn that many more chemicals likely remain unidentified as neurotoxicants. Of course, these chemicals were harmful all along but are only now understood to be so. How many more chemicals that we encounter daily are harming our health? To me the answer is to minimize contact with these chemicals as much as possible.
Washing our hands frequently with soap and water and avoiding touching our eyes, nose and mouth where these invisible threats can actually enter our bodies creates a create a clean zone around our bodies so that nothing gets in. This powerful “first line of defense” is one of the best ways to protect ourselves from getting sick. In fact, simple hand washing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related illnesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (such as colds).
Taking things one step further, there is a very simple habit you can create that will eliminate an enormous amount of pathogens, pesticides, and heavy metals from entering your living space: simply take off your shoes when you step inside your house.
The bottom of your shoes have several hundred times more bacteria than your toilet seat!
What do you do to protect yourself and your family from these hidden chemical threats?
Stop Getting Sick – Stay Healthy Instead
Our bodies are remarkably good at taking care of themselves. Why then, do we get sick at all? We get sick when our bodies’ defenses are overrun.
Most of the time, we think about being “well” as avoiding colds and the flu so we can go about our daily schedule. We eat right, get some sleep, try not to drink too much, and generally keep healthy so we don’t miss a lot of work or feel lousy. That is the working definition of staying well for a lot of people.
For some people, however, staying well has an entirely different meaning. To those who battle ongoing diseases like MS, cancer, lupus, multiple sensitivity disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other conditions, staying well can mean the difference between a productive life and one spent as a prisoner to their disease.
It’s my belief that the key to staying well is two fold: to minimize exposure to pathogens and environmental chemicals that can make us sick and also to keep our defenses strong through adequate sleep, exercise, a health-promoting diet, and practices that preserve our beneficial microbiome. I’m not a doctor, but when I look at people who are sick, it often appears to me that not only was there exposure to the disease, but there was a simultaneous lowering of the defenses that let the illness take hold.
Throughout my book, “Living Well”, I discuss good practices for promoting robust health: getting eight hours of sleep each night and setting regular daily schedules; exercising and avoiding sedentary behavior; seeking out healthy foods and avoiding empty calories and additives; and protecting and fostering the beneficial microbes that play an integral role in our good health. Following the Living Well Program will give anyone an excellent foundation in warding off illness.
What do you do to avoid getting sick?