Toxins/Detox | Integrative functional medicine blog

"Any fool can Know. The point is to understand" - Albert Einstein

Cleaning Products are destroying your lungs

Most of us have grown up knowing a few certain truths.

A couple of those are, smoking is bad for you, and being clean is good.

In fact, many have taken the entire clean thing to an entirely new level. Seems that just about everything is anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti —viral, anti - something or another. And its killing out guts, and other things!

Anyway, moving on. Did you know that cleaning might be just as bad for you as smoking.
In fact, recent studies suggest that if you use certain cleaning products you might as well smoke. Don't, just in case that wasn't obvious.

A new
study shows the lung decline over 20 years caused by using conventional cleaning products (which have NO federal regulations for health or safety) equals that of smoking 20 cigarettes a day. For those of you that dont know, In Canada 1 pack generally has 25 cigarettes, in other countries they often have 20. So lets just make it easy and say 1 pack a day.

The only reason I know is that I looked it up. I generally hear patients and people say they have a "pack a day" habit so I was curious how it compared. Now you know!

So there you have it. It's about 1 pack per day.

The toxic chemicals used in cleaning products damage the lungs little by little, adding up to a significant impact that rivals a pack-a-day smoking habit. That is not an insubstantial amount.

The Norwegian study tracked 6,000 women over two decades. That's a long time to track someone. Can you say "stalker"?

There were 3 different groups.
1. Women responsible for keeping the home clean (the stay at home mom)
2. Women who cleaned as a job (Maids, housekeepers, hotel cleaners, etc.)
3. Women NOT regularly engaged in cleaning(those that have a cleaning person or those who work).

Compared to the women who didn’t clean house, the regular home cleaners (group 1/aka house mom) and occupational cleaners (group 2 / the business mom) who used cleaning sprays and other products showed an accelerated decline in lung function.

Think of all those fumes and chemicals getting sprayed into a fine mist all over the place. The finer and wider the spray of mist the more area it covers, but also the smaller the particles it creates and generally the more we inhale and the deeper into our lungs it gets. This may be part of the reason why vaping may not be as good as some people think.

This study was the first of its kind to look at the long-term effects of cleaning products on the respiratory tract and the results are not really all the surprising. We don't use these cleaning products in our house or in my practice. But on the rare occasion that we do use it, it always the hold your breath, spray and run type "cleaning".

There have already been studies demonstrating the short term effects. The studies have already established a link between the cleaning products — bleach, glass cleaner, detergents, and air fresheners — and an increase in

In fact, the women who cleaned regularly in the Norwegian study also showed an increased rate of asthma. Which is not a surprise. If the cleaning products created short term asthma why wouldn't it create long term asthma. DUH! Sometimes things are so obvious yet no really puts it together or thinks about it if there hasn't been some sort of study to confirm something.

Breaking news! Getting punched in the face twice hurts as just as much
or more than a single punch.

Household cleaners are toxic and damaging to multiple systems
in the body, not just the lungs.

The lungs aren’t the only part of the body conventional cleaning products damage. They also impact the brain, immune system, hormonal system, and liver. Which are pretty important areas.

For instance,
phthalates are used in the perfumed scents many cleaning products have. Phthalates lower sperm counts, cause early puberty in girls, and raise the risk of cancer and lung problems.

Perchloroethylene (PERC), a solvent used in spot removers, carpet and upholstery cleaners, and dry cleaning, raises the risk of Parkinson’s disease and cancer. And I've seen many clients develop MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) after living above a dry cleaners for a period of time.

Here's a couple little hints.
1 - Don't live above or next to a dry cleaners
2 - Look at the types of businesses that are around you house and work
3 - If you start to notice you can't smell or taste things, that is not a good sign!!

Although hundreds, if not thousands, of studies have repeatedly demonstrated the toxicity of chemicals in common household ingredients, their use in manufacturing is largely unregulated. Big money!

People see that certain products work well for what they are supposed to but they don't think of the possible side effects. Ignorance is bliss I suppose. It's also not an excuse!

Our over exposure to toxic chemicals has been linked to skyrocketing rates of autoimmunity and even
autism (check out our page on Autism) which is a neurological presentation of autoimmunity in many people.

In the past few decades we have seen autism increase tenfold (10 times), leukemia go up more than 60 percent, male birth defects double, and childhood brain cancer go up 40 percent (which may partially be due to all those EMF waves that kids get exposed to at such an early age). Check out my upcoming series on EMF's and subscribe to my youtube channel. Those are some Sobering statistics.

Helping protect your body from toxins

Unfortunately, it is not possible to be toxin-free in today’s world. Toxins have gotten into our air, water, food (even organic), and our bodies. Everyone carries hundreds of toxins in their bodies, even newborn babies. I should say specially newborn babies. I often tell my clients that it's not about living a perfect life and avoiding all toxins. It's about limiting the toxins that we can so that when we do get exposed to toxins we can't avoid they have less of an effect on our bodies.

When a person has a highly reactive immune system, various toxins and heavy metals can trigger inflammation in the same way a gluten sensitivity can, causing a flare up of autoimmune and inflammatory symptoms. By using functional medicine principles to keep inflammation as low as possible, we can help prevent toxins from becoming immune reactive.

Much like my previous post on
chronic viral infections causing or triggering autoimmunity, chronic toxin exposure can do the same thing.

To accomplish this, first avoid toxins as much as possible and use non-toxic products in your home and on your body. The Norwegian researchers suggested cleaning with a microfiber cloth and water. I have some other recommendations too.

Also, eat an anti-inflammatory whole foods diet consisting primarily of produce, nurture healthy gut bacteria, exercise regularly, spend time in nature - grounding, have healthy social interactions, and supplement with compounds such as vitamin D and glutathione precursors (the body’s master antioxidant). These are a few ways to support the body and make it more resilient to the many toxins it must battle.

I have included a few links to some of the products we use in our house and practice. But also consider some simple natural products as well such as:

1. Baking soda - Great for grease and grime
2. Castile Soap - This is a type of soap that is 100% Plant oils
3. Vinegar - This has so many uses, almost too many. There are entire books on how to use vinegar
4. Lemon Juice - Great for mold and mildew. Works for grease and can put a nice shine on some hard surfaces.
5. Olive oil - Can work as a polisher
6. Borax - This is often an ingredient in many natural cleaning products and recipes. We use it in our homemade laundry detergent.

Natural cleaning products:
Honest Cleaning products
Method Natural Cleaners
Seventh Generation

We will also be adding some blog posts on some recipes for natural cleaning agents that work great. Including toothpaste, laundry detergent, a great all around cleaner. And last but certainly not least is my all natural weed killer.

If you have any questions, comments or recipes of your own you would like to share post it in the comments and consider subscribing to our youtube channel.

Keep it clean, but a little dirt never hurt anyone either.
I'm Dr. Craig Mortensen
Be Healthy, be happy!

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Antibacterial soap in your toothpaste? YUM!

Tooth brushers beware. If you are using a certain type of toothpaste you may be ingesting this toxic ingredient that was just banned in hand sanitizers, hand soap and body washes.

Triclosan is in antibacterial soap and other products that has been used in some “anti-bacterial” products for years but was recently banned by the FDA because the safety of theses products was not clear.

Translation - Oh shoot, this stuff is bad, we messed up, lets get rid of it quick. But not completely because then the chemical companies will be mad at us.

The FDA banned 19 different antibacterial products, one of the most common being triclosan.
Read More…

Your tampons (and other feminine products) are toxic to your lady parts and body.

This ones for all the ladies out there ;-) Are Your tampons (and other feminine products) toxic to your lady part and body? Yep. Probably.

This subject is often one of the most often overlooked areas of health for many women, yet possibly one of the most important and easiest to improve. IF….. You know what to look for and why.

We are talking about feminine hygiene products. So guys, if this subject makes you a little squeamish or uncomfortable then you should at least forward this blog and the rest of this video onto your female significant other so that they can be aware of the risks.

Sadly, millions of women and girls absorb high levels of toxins every month thanks to lax manufacturing standards of tampons and sanitary pads. These products are loaded with highly absorbable industrial contaminants — the body takes in more toxins through the vaginal wall than through ingestion.

Part of the problem is that manufacturers are not required to list the ingredients used in tampons and sanitary napkins. However, the main material used in these products, cotton, is a crop notorious for genetic engineering and HEAVY use of pesticides.

Feminine hygiene products also contain synthetic fragrances, bleaches, foams, gels, anti-bacterial agents, and surfactants all in an effort to improve the marketability and profitability of their companies.

Although the FDA offers recommendations, there are no regulations manufacturers are required to follow regarding the use of toxic chemicals in these products. So buyer beware!

So Why are toxins in tampons more dangerous than other routes of exposure?

Lack of regulation and oversight means anything goes in manufacturing of feminine hygiene products, including the use of cancer-causing chemicals.

Vaginal tissue is far more permeable than other areas of the body. In fact, it’s so good at absorption that drug companies are looking at ways to deliver
drugs vaginally as a way to bypass metabolization. It’s very similar if not the same as using a suppository.

Because compounds absorbed vaginally do not pass through the liver first, which is responsible for detoxification, this also means they go into the bloodstream in much higher concentrations than if they were ingested and they don’t go through the first pass detoxification of the liver.

Additionally, the thin ridges of the vaginal wall not only provide more surface area to enhance absorption, they also can retain chemicals.

In addition, even conventional sanitary pads contain a myriad of toxic chemicals, plastics and synthetic fibers that sit against the permeable skin of the vulva for days every month. Not a good thing. This is a delicate area and should be treated as such.

Toxic chemicals in feminine products

Sadly, most feminine hygiene products are loaded with toxins. This includes not only tampons and pads, but also feminine wipes, washes, douches, sprays, and creams.

Some of the many chemicals they can include are dioxins (often considered the most toxic and abundant toxin in our environment). They also often contain other bleaching chemicals, pesticide residues, anti-bacterials, unknown fragrances, dyes, spermicides, phthalates, and surfactants (also used in detergents).

Studies show the chemicals used in feminine hygiene products have been linked to cancer, hormone imbalances, reproductive harm, allergic rashes, and asthma.

Douches in particular have been linked to numerous reproductive and health disorders and should be avoided.

Safe alternatives in feminine products

Fortunately, natural alternatives exist, although they are dwarfed in number by the brands with toxins (look online for more options). Go for chemical-free pads and tampons, or consider the menstrual cup or even cloth pads. Click on the links to view the recommendations.

For other feminine products such as wipes, washes, sprays, and douches, remember that the body is innately intelligent and functions best with the right support.

Support your vaginal health by minimizing sugars and starchy carbs to prevent the yeast and bacterial infections that drive women to these products.

Taking probiotics can also support vaginal health, and these days you can buy
brands geared specifically toward feminine health.

One special recommendation that I would like to make, or more of a recommendation from me on behalf of my wife is called the
Hesta Women's Organic Cotton Menstrual Sanitary Protective Panties Underwear. It is basically a Sanitary napkin (aka panty liner) built into a pair of reportedly super comfy pair of underwear.

My wife picked these up a few years ago and loves them. There is still probably not a month that goes by that she doesn’t ask me “Don’t you just love my new underwear”. I think she likes them, A LOT! So check them out.

Also, in addition to eating a whole foods diet, rule out a sensitivity to gluten, dairy, or other foods — many women have found food sensitivities causes vaginal itching and inflammation.

I’m Dr. Craig Mortensen

Be healthy, be happy

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4 Steps to a less toxic kitchen

4 steps to a less toxic kitchen.
toxic kitchen

We are continually bombarded by toxins. We are even getting exposed to them while we cook.
Most people don't even think twice about what they cook their food with. Recent innovations in cooking utensils and appliances are not as safe as we think of them to be. They get sold as “easy to clean, non-stick, time and lifesaving innovations” that you can’t live your life without. But they fail to inform you of the dark side. The silent killer that lurks beneath. wooooooo…..(scary music).

Read More…

I can't hate Glyphosate enough!


Glyphosate is in so many foods the the average American eats its scary. It’s hard to avoid and it does so much damage. Glyphosate is used in 160 countries around the world. Since the introduction of the chemical its’ use has increased 15 times. Its’ common name is round up, and with 1.5 BILLION pounds used every year, it no wonder its’ causing so much damage.

Read More…

Natural tips for controlling psoriasis


Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that is characterized by itchy, scaly skin plaques. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown; however, more and more evidence suggests that the immune system can be a culprit when it is chronically stimulated, causing an overproduction of cytokines, which maintains an inflammatory environment.
Read More…

The ingredient banned in Europe almost every U.S. woman is exposed to.

What ingredient is BANNED in Europe yet almost every girl and woman in the U.S. is exposed to daily?


What is all the Hype? Why is it banned in Europe? Why should you care?


Parabens are a class of preservative that are widely used in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products.
Read More…

Why stinky armpits might be good for your health.

Why stinky armpits might be good for you.

What is lurking in your deodorant?

Deodorant is such a wonderful thing! Can you imagine if we didn’t have it? Life would not be very pleasant, at least not for those around us. I personally love my deodorant. Let’s take a look at what helps us to not stink so much.

stinky armpits
Read More…

What is lurking in those scented things we all love so much?

toxic perfume

Do you love getting scented candles for different seasons? How about lotions or soaps? You can get wonderful yummy scents in just about everything these days. But, where do they get those scents from and are they really all that wonderful or safe? Read More…

Why sleeping in your bed may be more dangerous than you ever thought possible.

Have you ever thought you could we be harming ourselves and our families by buying a normal mattress? That seems strange, how could a mattress harm you? Read More…

Is Our Water Poisoning Us?

Unless you’re doing something about it, YES IT IS!
poison in the water A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.
But the presence of so many prescription drugs, and over-the-counter in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.

How do the drugs get into the water?
People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers
Researchers have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.
Just Some of the pharmaceuticals found in the water include medicines for
pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness, Anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications, metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine, sex hormones.

These have been found in Many water supplies from Southern Ca all the way to New York. Contamination is not confined to the United States. More than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world.

Perhaps it's because Americans have been taking drugs — and flushing them unmetabolized or unused — in growing amounts. Over the past five years, the number of U.S. prescriptions rose 12 percent to a record 3.7 billion.

Some drugs, including widely used cholesterol fighters, tranquilizers and anti-epileptic medications, resist modern drinking water and wastewater treatment processes. Plus, the EPA says there are no sewage treatment systems specifically engineered to remove pharmaceuticals.

One technology, reverse osmosis, removes virtually all pharmaceutical contaminants but is very expensive for large-scale use.

Something you can do at home is to add a reverse osmosis water filter for your own drinking water.
Here are a couple of my favorite options (I try to buy made in the US. That is were I live.)

APEC Water - Top Tier - Built in USA - Certified Ultra Safe, High-Flow 90 GPD Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (RO-90)

APEC - Top Tier - Built in USA - Ultra Safe, Premium 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ROES-50)
5 Stage Home Drinking Reverse Osmosis System PLUS Extra Full Set- 4 Water Filter

Another issue: There's evidence that adding chlorine, a common process in conventional drinking water treatment plants, makes some pharmaceuticals more toxic.

Human waste isn't the only source of contamination. Cattle, for example, are given ear implants that provide a slow release of trenbolone, an anabolic steroid used by some bodybuilders, which causes cattle to bulk up. But not all the trenbolone circulating in a steer is metabolized. A German study showed 10 percent of the steroid passed right through the animals. Where does the rest go? If the public consumes this meat much of it ends up in our systems.

Ask the pharmaceutical industry whether the contamination of water supplies is a problem, and officials will tell you no (Not surprisingly). "Based on what we now know, I would say we find there's little or no risk from pharmaceuticals in the environment to human health," said microbiologist Thomas White, a consultant for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

But at a conference last summer, Mary Buzby — director of environmental technology for drug maker Merck & Co. Inc. — said: "
There's no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds are getting into our water sources.”

Recent laboratory research has found that small amounts of medication have affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells and human breast cancer cells. The cancer cells proliferated too quickly; the kidney cells grew too slowly; and the blood cells showed biological activity associated with inflammation.

Also, pharmaceuticals in waterways are damaging wildlife across the nation and around the globe, research shows. Notably, male fish are being feminized, creating egg yolk proteins, a process usually restricted to females.

"I think it's a shame that so much money is going into monitoring to figure out if these things are out there, and so little is being spent on human health," said Snyder.

Our bodies may shrug off a relatively big one-time dose, yet suffer from a smaller amount delivered continuously over a half century, perhaps subtly stirring allergies or nerve damage.

Many concerns about chronic low-level exposure focus on certain drug classes: chemotherapy that can act as a powerful poison; hormones that can hamper reproduction or development; medicines for depression and epilepsy that can damage the brain or change behavior; antibiotics that can allow human germs to mutate into more dangerous forms; pain relievers and blood-pressure diuretics.

For several decades, federal environmental officials and nonprofit watchdog environmental groups have focused on regulated contaminants — pesticides, lead, PCBs — which are present in higher concentrations and clearly pose a health risk. However, some experts say medications may pose a unique danger because, unlike most pollutants, they were crafted to act on the human body.

"We know we are being exposed to other people's drugs through our drinking water, and that can't be good,"
says Dr. David Carpenter, who directs the Institute for Health and the Environment of the State University of New York at Albany.
This article was found on the front page of yahoo news on – line and is not some abstract finding. Wellness is a choice that we all have to make on a daily basis. We are being besieged from all angles even if we are not aware of it. Inform yourself and fight back as best you can.

Fight on,

Dr. Craig Mortensen

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Dry Brush your way to a healthier body and more youthful skin.

Dry brushing = Better Health + Better Skin

dry brushing

It’s benefits include exfoliating the skin, increasing lymphatic drainage, detoxification, unclogging pores and supposedly decreasing cellulite.

What exactly is dry brushing and why should you do it? Glad you asked.

Dry brushing has been around for centuries in Scandinavian and Russian culture. It involves the use of a stiff bristled brush (preferably natural fibers) that is used to brush the entire body. The way that it is performed is by starting at the distal (farthest) regions of the body. ie. hands and feet. Stroke in medium to short strokes towards the heart working your way up until you get to the heart. Start off with light pressure and progress to medium pressure as you become more used to the pressure. A good time to do it is first thing in the morning before your shower. Try to do it 3-4 times per week.

P.S. - Please don’t use toxic perfumes, colognes, deodorants, or lotions. Even if you don’t dry brush! Healthwave has some great alternatives.

The benefits of dry brushing are a 5 in 1 deal. Get 5 benefits for the price of 1.

Exfoliate: Using the stiff bristles over the entire body brushes off all the dry and dead skin cells from the body. By scraping off those dead cells it opens up the pores and exposes the new and fresh skin cells resulting in a more refreshed and youthful looking skin. Always a good thing!

Stimulating lymphatic drainage: The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system and the immune system. The benefits of stimulating those systems should be self explanatory. While the benefit of stimulating lymphatic drainage isn’t solely from the use of the dry brush, it is a great benefit. This benefit can also be achieved with a simple self massage of the extremities and lymphatic system.

Unclogs pores: This benefit is associated with the exfoliation that occurs with the dry brushing. By removing the dead skin and cells it helps to unclog the pores of the skin resulting in less blemishes, breakouts, ingrown hairs, dead and dry patches of skin, and many other common skin conditions. Pretty simple right? Basically you are scraping off the bad layer of skin. Makes sense.

Detoxification: This benefit is related to the previous 3 benefits. The skin is the largest organ of detoxification of the body. It has a surface area of approximately 22 square feet (2 meters) and weighs about 7.5 pounds. Research indicates that sweating is one of the best ways to detoxify the body. By opening the pores and stimulating circulation you are enabling the body to sweat better (not necessarily more) and thus increase detoxification.

As many of my patients know, I am a research and science geek. I like to see the proof. So when I looked into this claim it didn’t take me long to find multiple studies revealing that sweat can excrete Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead and Mercury. There is also some proof that Bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates can be excreted in the sweat to some degree. All good things to get out of the body.

As a side note, there are some reports that dry brushing can help in digestion and kidney function. But that route and mechanism is a little less clear. My assumption is that detoxifying by other routes puts less strain on the kidneys and that the increase in circulation aids in digestion.

If you’d like a way to increase your sweating, I highly recommend checking out a JNH Lifestyles 2 Person Far Infrared Sauna 7 Carbon Fiber Heaters. This is a great infrared sauna. Another good one I recommend is this portable one that is less than $200. Far Infrared Portable Sauna + Negative Ion Detox

Reduce Cellulite: This last supposed benefit is a little less clear. Many Health practitioners tout it as being able to help with cellulite, and it might, but I was unable to find any research substantiating that claim. Maybe partly because there is no money in conducting a study on it. My best guess on the way that is could help with cellulite is by increasing circulation you will increase blood flow to the skin. This will then essentially plump up the skin a little, giving it a more youthful looking appearance. By filling in those little depressions in the cellulite it will smooth out the skin.

Have a little intimate fun: One of the benefits that is perhaps a little more enjoyable and not something many people talk or know about is the intimate side of dry brushing. This one can actually be very beneficial. It has to do with SEX! ;-) So here’s what you do. Before a shower get all naked with your partner and take turns brushing each other from head to toe. Then let nature take its course. BTW sex has great benefits of increasing immune system, improves women bladder control, decreases blood pressure, lowers heart attack risk, lessens pain perception, improves sleep, and eases stress.

Which Dry Brushes do I recommend and where to get them.

BEST DRY BODY BRUSH for Vitality and Beautiful Skin - 100% Natural Premium Quality Bristles for Optimal Dry Body Brushing, FREE Pair Exfoliating Gloves as Bonus Gift for Shower, Detachable Brush Head with Strap, Polished Curved Handle for Long Reach, Dry Skin Brush ideal to Beautify Skin, Reduce Cellulite, Improve Circulation, Free VITALITY Body Brushing + Detox eBook, Great Gift Set, 90-Days Risk Free Purchase

Or another great choice that is a little less expensive but great quality.

Dry Skin Body Brush - Improves Skin's Health And Beauty - Natural Bristle - Remove Dead Skin And Toxins, Cellulite Treatment , Improves Lymphatic Functions, Exfoliates, Stimulates Blood Circulation

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