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Everyone wants to find the most efficient path to health, wellness, and longevity. This overwhelming demand creates an abundance of products and protocols claiming to be the best. One of the hottest buzzwords amongst these products is the detox. And while a true detox/cleanse can not be overlooked as an intricate tool to utilize during the construction or renovation of our health, there exists a separate targeted approach that is just as, if not more important when it comes to creating an internal environment that facilitates the ability to thrive.
What we are talking about is fortifying the site where the bulk of our immune system resides.
We are talking about ensuring that maximum potential is achieved when it comes to reaping the benefits of the foods we consume via absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals; and conversely minimizing the risk for nutritional deficiencies and infection.
We are talking about rebuilding the major barrier systems of our body that protect us from exposure and subsequent damage to our respiratory system, digestive tract, skin, and brain.
We are talking about optimizing and balancing the immune response and not ending up as a statistic representing the alarming growing number of seemingly idiopathic auto-immune conditions sweeping the country.
We are talking about setting the stage to grab control of glucose and insulin levels, weight and minimizing the stress response from within.
The foundation for health that we’re talking about is an optimally functioning GI (gastrointestinal) or digestive tract. Healing and sealing any intestinal permeability or a leaky gut is absolutely essential when looking to address a countless number of issues. Improving function on this level often times leads to an attenuation or outright termination of seemingly disconnected signs or symptoms. When we recognize, respect and comprehend the complex interwoven matrix that is our bodies, this holistic approach becomes not only understandable but mandatory for attaining true health from the inside out.
For a number or reasons (diet [food sensitivities or high sugar/carb], antibiotics, chlorinated water, excessive use of NSAIDs, etc.) our intestinal wall can begin to falter. This is problematic due to the fact that the majority of our immune system resides there and because it serves as a major barrier system in our bodies.
It’s relation to the three other major barrier systems (blood brain barrier, lungs, and skin) becomes blatantly obvious when gut dysfunction leads to mental fog, fatigue and forgetfulness, respiratory infections and asthma, or psoriasis and eczema, respectfully. Further strengthening of the relationship is seen when correction of the gut dysfunction leads to a change in many of the aforementioned conditions.
This is where full acknowledgement and respect must be paid to the holistic nature of our bodies. When one of these barrier systems is effected, damaged or dysfunctional, the effects can be seen amongst the others. Never is this so obvious as when healing and sealing the intestines, coupled with an elimination diet leads to massive improvements or outright resolution of what appears to be unrelated issues.
If a leaky gut is left unaddressed, undigested food particles and other organisms that would otherwise be refused access, freely enter into our bloodstream. This causes the immune system to do it’s job and launch an attack on the unwanted visitors.
The problem occurs as the immune system is called upon to perform this search and seizure so frequently that it becomes hypersensitive and begins to attack our own tissues, some of which have a similar molecular structure to the unwanted invaders. This can manifest as allergies, asthma, rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis), hypothyroidism; even MS depending on the tissue attacked.
The longer the door is open and an attack persists, the more tissues that can suffer as condition after condition can begin to mount. It is for these handful reasons, and countless more that fortifying the gut by way of clearing, replacing and rebuilding is at the core; the foundation of attaining optimal health.
More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates appeared to be onto something when he stated, “all disease begins in the gut.” In a relatively short time, the changes I’ve witnessed personally and clinically have been nothing short of game changing for all involved.
The knowledge and path to practical implementation exists and is waiting.
As always, we’re ready when you are.
As we make our way through another hot summer, it is almost inevitable that some time or another you’ll be fortunate enough to cool off in a refreshing pool. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ruin the swimming pool experience for you. But, being someone who frequently swims laps, I began thinking more and more of the chemical-rich liquid I was submerging myself in. When I coupled that with the fact that during a workout, your pores expand, I realized I was opening the door wide to let all that pool water in my system.
Throughout the journey deeper and deeper into living a health conscious life, the subject of clean water no doubt deserves a position at the top of the list. In a recent post we addressed the subject of safer drinking water (https://clarkechiropracticwellness.com/2013/06/26/whats-in-the-water/) and the same rules can be applied to the water we shower and bathe in.
All of the nastiness we mentioned in the previous post has a second portal of entry into our systems by way of absorption through the skin. This post could easily now go the direction of the importance of filtering your home’s bathing water as well, but we’ll stick to the pool situation.
Fortunately, in a pool, most of the aforementioned nastiness that we see in regular tap water is destroyed by a chemical concoction. Unfortunately, most of the nastiness in the pool is destroyed by a chemical concoction. The leader of this chemical gang is the infamous chlorine which is added to pool water for the same reason it is added to our drinking water, as a disinfectant.
THE ISSUE WITH CHLORINE…
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledges chlorine as a pesticide whose purpose is to kill living organisms. Exposure to chlorine does just this to our bodies, destroying cells and tissues. Most of us recall how irritated our eyes would get when we would foolishly swim for hours with our eyes open. That irritation is a blatant sign of damage being done.
In addition to being recognized as a carcinogen, increased exposure to chlorine has also been linked to respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis, as well as to the destruction of beneficial bacteria in our gut. The bacterial homicide should come as no surprise as we just stated that chlorine indiscriminately kills living organisms, good and bad. If you’ve read any previous posts you already know the importance of these bacteria (aka gut flora) to ensuring proper digestion and as the gateway and bulk of our immune systems.
(This is the bacteria that are supplied by taking the increasingly popular “probiotics.”)
WHAT CAN YOU DO???
Never swim in a pool again. PERIOD.
You still there?
Of course I am kidding. As with everything in this world, we can take the information, formulate a healthy plan, and try to limit our exposure. However, we also need to keep on living and if you’re like me, swimming in a pool is something that I will choose to continually partake in.
Most of us aren’t fortunate enough to have access to afford a chlorine free pool, yet. So when it’s time hop into that invitingly blue oasis, keep these thoughts in mind:
RINSE BEFORE SWIMMING
The logic behind this is to rinse off any sweat that has accumulated on your body. One of the main components of our sweat is ammonia. When this ammonia combines with the chlorine from the pool water, it forms a dangerous byproduct of chlorination called a chloramine. These carcinogenic byproducts can trigger the production of free radicals in our bodies, causing cell damage.
LEAVE THE “P” OUT OF THE POOL
Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about here. Just as with our sweat, our urine also contains a large amount of ammonia. Politely relieving yourself in the community pool creates a concentrated cloud of the above mentioned chloramines for you and your neighbors. How considerate.
UTILIZE VITAMIN C
A study conducted by the USDA’s Technology and Development Program concluded that vitamin C effectively neutralizes chlorine. This technology is now being utilized in vitamin C filters to lessen the chlorine and chloramine levels in shower water. For purposes of the pool, vitamin C can be purchased as a topical cream which can be applied pre and post swim in an attempt to lower the chlorine exposure.
It should be noted that the above suggestions will not eliminate exposure to chlorine and its by- products. What we are trying to do here is provide suggestions that can lessen the exposure, allowing you to continually enjoy a summer tradition with a little peace of mind.
Enjoy the rest of the summer.