Limiting environmental toxins important in avoiding chronic health problems

Eoin Roe, Chiropractic

Call 087 958 2362

Chronic health problems are often very complex, so paying close attention to the interaction between the nervous, endocrine and immune systems – three systems that are interconnected – is very important.

Factors that can play a significant role in how well these systems operate together and the resulting impact on your health include environmental toxins, stress, exercise, exposure to pathogens and sex and age.

The central nervous system stimulates the glands involved in the immune system and glands that produce hormones through direct nerve connection from the brain. Hormone signals from the endocrine system influence both the nervous system and the immune system and the immune system can communicate via the release of cytokines or neurotransmitters that can influence the endocrine, gastrointestinal or nervous system. 

You may have read recently about forever chemicals; compounds that can have a profound effect on the signalling ability of hormones, neuro transmitters and immune proteins.  When these chemicals get into your system through food or drinking water, they can bind to hormones and immune proteins, altering their shape through a process known as haptenation.  This can seriously affect your functional ability and lead to problems like infertility, weight gain, energy, mood issues and autoimmunity.

Unfortunately these chemicals are becoming ubiquitous but there are things we can do to limit exposure.

Firstly, if you work with chemicals, make sure you are using the correctly protective equipment gloves and masks. You may also want to think about what you are drinking and eating out of. Food and water are best stored in stainless steel, aluminium or glass containers and plastics of all types should be avoided. Filtering water and using a HEPA filter to filter the air in your house are also options.

Secondly, supporting your immune, endocrine and neurology can be important.

The most effective thing to help your immune system is sleep, preferably in tune with the circadian rhythm – which means going to bed early and rising early, getting seven to eight hours sleep.

Exercise is also very important. Not only will this help you to sleep better, it is the best way of dealing with stress and activation of the HPA axis (Hypothalmic-pituitary Adrenal axis).

To support your nervous system, as well as sleep and exercise, making sure that you have adequate nutrition is important. Choose a diet that is high in antioxidants (fruit and veg) but also low in sugar. Your brain relies on glucose for fuel but when blood glucose levels fluctuate from skipping meals and eating a high sugar diet your brain does not function as well as it should.

Thirdly, supporting the detoxification pathways can be done through diet and there are supplements that can be helpful.

Increasing fibre in the diet can be very beneficial to make sure that your bowels are moving efficiently.  A diet high in fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds will increase fibre intake and provide lots of antioxidants – you do want to be careful that these foods have not been sprayed and, if organic fruit and veg is not available to you, they should be washed.

At a cellular level, a supplement called NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) is a precursor to glutathione, which is the main antioxidant in the body. This is a cost-effective supplement that can help your body to detoxify more efficiently. You can also use Glutathione supplements but these are more expensive.

Eoin Roe is a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and Chiropractor based in Skibbereen please feel free to contact him through or on 028 62081.

WCP Staff

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