- Mercury toxicity
- Chemical toxicity
Environmental toxicity refers to the slow build up of synthetic compounds like BPA and heavy metals in the human body. This does sound alarming but it is a reality of modern society. Where does this stuff come from?
Plastic is used everywhere and can even off-gas (break down and release pieces into the air) and be breathed into the body. BPA and some other synthetic compounds are very similar in shape to estrogen and can attach and trigger human hormone receptors and affect downstream organ function and perhaps even fertility.
Many people are aware of heavy metals (mercury, arsenic, cadmium, lead, etc) coming from seafood but they are also present in car emissions, certain types of paint, pesticides, unregulated herbal medicines and cigarettes. Each type of heavy metal has a different capacity to accumulate in certain organs or even replace important minerals in the body like iron and calcium.
General practitioners are very good at diagnosing and treating extreme and acute heavy metal poisoning. They remove these heavy metals either through a stomach pump or a process called chelation. A special type of drug that binds to the heavy metals is delivered intravenously into the blood to be removed from the body together with the heavy metals. However, these procedures are only performed in acute toxic situations that pose significant health risks to the patients.
Naturopathic doctors are prepared to treat subclinical levels of bioaccumulation. Like general practitioners they screen for potential sources of contamination and encourage its removal. A thorough detoxification program is prescribed for the removal of the toxic metals or chemicals.
Herbal and nutritional supplementation is part of the program. Extra support to the liver using herbs such as milk thistle works to enhance the function of the liver. Special diet and lifestyle modification are part of the program.