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Allergic — Or Toxic?

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Sneezing. Headaches. Fatigue. Irritability. Joint pain. Brain "fog". These could be allergy symptoms. But that's often not the whole story.

Your body may be overloaded with environmental toxins.

By my mid-30s I was a physical wreck, even though I was supposedly doing everything right: eating organic food, exercising, not smoking, and aiming for eight hours' sleep a night. Yet I had a baffling list of symptoms that was five pages long and confounded medical professionals. My most distressing issue was a growing hormone imbalance — because when chemicals accumulate in the body, they act as hormone disrupters.

Despite my best intentions, I unknowingly contributed to the problem. I frequently "permed" my hair, swam daily in a highly chlorinated pool, and used conventional cleaning and personal care products. Drano unclogged my sink, ammonia-laden Windex kept my mirrors shiny, Clorox removed bathroom mold. I also used scented, chemically-derived shampoos, conditioners and skin creams, moussed my long hair, polished my nails, spritzed on perfume.

After awhile, the body just says, "Enough!"

We're living in a highly toxic world. Only a fraction of the chemicals in common use today have been approved by the FDA. The level of air, water and soil pollution far exceeds what our bodies were designed to handle. As a result, after several decades of life, many people may start to experience strange symptoms, as the toxins our bodies are unable to eliminate through our kidneys, bowel, liver, lungs and skin accumulate in our fatty tissue, where they can cause far ranging, often perplexing symptoms. We're allergic, all right — not necessarily to trees or flowers, but to something more sinister.

I began making the rounds of top doctors in allergy/immunology and endocrinology, as well as several holistic physicians and a doctor of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). None of them recognized what was really going on with me — or suggested that I needed to detox my body and change my lifestyle.

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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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