Hoffman Centre for Integrative & Functional Medicine

Chronic Illness Begins with Environmental Toxins

Chronic Illness Begins with Environmental Toxins

Our bodies are in a constant state of flux – always in a give-and-take relationship with the outside world. That interchange never stops. The problem is the outside world has become increasingly filled with toxins.

Modern chronic disease was born out of this phenomenon. Sadly, allopathic medicine does not address environmental toxins or chronic disease. As more people fall victim to chronic illness, however, it’s incumbent on all of us to consider the impact the external environment can have on our internal bodies.

Exposure to Toxins

Exposure to toxins has become a risk for everyone. No one is exempt. More and more people are fighting chronic illnesses that go misdiagnosed – or even unrecognized as illness – because they don’t fall into the standard cache of diseases according to allopathic medicine. We are not merely biological machines, yet a mechanistic view of the body has led to a constricted view of illness and wellness.

Our present medical system is not equipped to assist patients in locating what’s causing their chronic disease. In my practice, it is not uncommon to see patients who have visited twenty or thirty physicians without receiving any clear answers. They feel deeply frustrated, even helpless.

Many are told that they have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or depression, but they aren’t given any guidance on environmental toxins, detoxification, or treatment. Some are prescribed anti-depressants, which of course do nothing to address the underlying issue: chronic exposure to toxins, leading to chronic illness.

The reality is that, as our environment becomes more polluted and pesticide use more widespread, as we unwittingly come into contact with dangerous chemicals through cosmetics or food additives (some commonly used chemicals inhibit hormones that are critical to immune system functioning), and as our bodies become repositories for heavy metals like mercury (from dental fillings) or mold biotoxins (from water-damaged buildings), more and more people are suffering chronic diseases that leave them in a nearly constant state of exhaustion, mental fogginess, anxiety, and physical pain, among many other symptoms.

Maybe you feel this way, or know someone who does.

Homotoxins

A century ago, the German physician Dr. Hans Heinrich Reckeweg developed a working model of how disease originates in the body, showing that the entire manifestation of symptoms and disease is the interplay between two factors: toxins (which he called homotoxins) and the defenses of the body.

Homotoxins enter the body through the lungs, the gut, and the skin. They make a series of inroads until they reach the holy grail of the cell’s nucleus and mitochondria. The nucleus is where our DNA is stored and where we regenerate new cells—up to 60 billion per day.

There are defenses the body initiates to halt this progression. However, if those defenses are weak—as they are in people with modern chronic disease – the homotoxins keep marching on until they get to our DNA and mitochondria in a way that significantly alters the body’s normal replication of cells, resulting in degenerative diseases, and ultimately, cancer.

There is an overwhelming body of data linking environmental toxins to degenerative diseases like heart disease and diabetes, neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

Disease does not just happen. It manifests when toxins enter our porous bodies and penetrate to our core. There is a causal chain that sets every chronic illness into motion—beginning with exposure to toxins. Understanding this chain is the first step toward healing.

New Patients

My new patients begin their path to wellness by filling out a toxicity questionnaire and undergoing an indoor home assessment and heavy metal testing. Once the clues have been culled and we know the toxicity of the patient’s body and environment, it’s time to turn our attention to detoxification and healing.

When patients are empowered to recognize their particular causal chain and are presented with treatment options that transcend the boundaries of allopathic medicine, they become awakened to the real possibility of healing.