My Four Simple Steps To Reduce Toxins And Maintain Health With IBD
Last updated: September 2021
The incidence of IBD in the general population is rising exponentially.
According to the CDC, an estimated 3 million people suffered from IBD in the U.S. in 2015, which is a 1-million-person increase from the 2 million figure of 1999.1 Some studies have attributed this to water pollution, air contaminants, food toxins, and other environmental factors such as radiation from cell phones.2
Can reducing toxins really help with IBD?
But which, if any, of these environmental factors are the most critical cause of the rising rates of IBD? The jury is still out.
That said, it seems logical that toxins and contaminants might lead to the increased number of IBD diagnoses over time. They might also cause an exacerbation of symptoms. Certainly, toxins are not great for our general health and well-being, regardless of whether a direct link to IBD can be proven.
Hence, below I list four of my techniques to reduce toxins and contaminants and maintain optimal health.
My four methods to reduce toxins
You don't have to be a resident of Flint, Michigan to know the water we drink can be dangerous. Many water systems simply do not filter out all contaminants. Some studies have found tap water to contain things like aluminum, chlorine, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, lead, even arsenic.3
Yes, our water, in certain instances, can poison us. Hence, buy a Brita filter, drink bottled water, boil the water you drink, or take other measures to protect yourself, since drinking arsenic, in even a small quantities, is unlikely to do wonders for an inflamed digestive tract.
Particularly in big cities, the air tends to have pollutants such as carbon monoxide, lead, and sulfur dioxide.4 L.A. smog is the perfect example of how industrial waste products can affect the whole aurora of a city itself.
Again, this has not been proven, but when you have an inflamed digestive tract and breathe in toxic chemicals such as smog, I believe it is unlikely to be great for an autoimmune condition. Hence, an air purifier in my house or apartment makes sense. Another option, of course, is moving to a more rural area with less heavy industry.
A great deal has been written about the danger of GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms). In fact, in many European countries, GMOs are outlawed.5 Not so in the U.S., where chemical companies have tremendous influence.6
My take? The major issue isn't so much that the plants and fruits are genetically modified, and hence not entirely natural. It’s that this modification is specifically designed to help the crops survive being sprayed with pesticides. This means food ends up with more pesticide residue. Hence, I eat organic when I can, and when not possible, I am always sure to wash my produce.
Turning off cellphones
When not in use, it's been shown that cellphones emit low levels of non-ionizing radiation.7 How toxic this is seems debatable. Certainly, the issues around 5G are now frequently popping up in the news cycle, where questions are being raised about whether 5G phones may, in fact, increase cancer risk, cellular stress, etc.8 And again, the jury is still out on many of these potential emerging risks.
The point being, I think it’s probably wise to turn off cellphones when not in use. For example, at night, I power down my phone or at least put it on airplane mode. As IBD patients, there is no need to make our problems worse through unneeded radiation.
I avoid toxins to avoid inflammation
I believe these are just some of the methods Crohn’s or colitis patients can employ to avoid environmental toxins that may exacerbate inflammation.
To be fair, it’s unlikely following these steps will put you in remission. Still, every little step in the right direction counts. Thanks for reading, and, as always, feel free to comment below.
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