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Beating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Ten Ways I Reduced My Chemical Exposure

By Jody Smith HERWriter
 
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My naturopath Dr. Kelly Upcott and I share the view that as we tackle my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome together, I need to reduce the toxic load on my liver and enhance my immune system. Reducing chemical exposure has been a step in the right direction.

Not all products calling themselves natural or boast about containing green tea or lavender are benign. Look past the emphasis on their ethereal special ingredients. What we want to know is, what else is in there?

All the tea tree oil in the world isn't going to cancel out any toxic chemicals we're also getting in the bargain.

I got busy reading labels, and did web searches to find out what these foreign sounding ingredients really were.

Some of the things I wanted to avoid were Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Parabens and Phthalates. These chemicals are in a lot of products most of us use every day.

They are in soaps, shampoos, hair color, makeup, toothpaste, dish detergent, laundry detergent, shaving cream, moisturizers, and many types of cleaning agents.

I started looking for products that didn't contain any of them. It was harder than I expected it to be. But not impossible.

Here are some of the changes I've made over the past three years.

1. Cleaning products

Instead of most commercial cleaners and bleach, I clean with vinegar and baking soda. Hydrogen peroxide is also good for many types of cleaning.

2. Laundry detergent

I've bought detergents that were more environmentally friendly. I've used borax in place of a portion of detergent. I've added baking soda to a load of dirty clothes instead of bleach.

I'm very fond of soap nuts. They grow on trees and are 100 percent natural. A few in your washer will make your clothes clean and static-free. Love 'em.

3. Fabric softener

Even before I found soap nuts, I'd quit using dryer sheets. I'd discovered that 1/4 cup of vinegar in my washload would prevent most static cling. You don't have to wait for the rinse cycle, throw it in with your detergent. (Or your soap nuts).

4. Toothpaste

Add a Comment2 Comments

Jody Smith HERWriter

Hi there.

It certainly bears talking about, and helping people become more aware.

Some people will be amazed at the difference limiting their chemical exposure can make.

Thanks for writing.

March 25, 2010 - 7:16pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Terrific post. I encourage everyone to make the connection between environmental chemicals and chronic conditions. Thank you!

March 24, 2010 - 6:42pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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