Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Importance of Being Your Own Health Advocate

I haven't been feeling well these past few days and I've been thinking a lot about the connection between the chemicals I'm exposed to and my health. The sad thing is, most health professionals don't or won't ask about the chemical-health connection when you go in for a visit.

I try to be as non toxic as I can when it comes to the personal care products I use. I try to eat a healthy diet and live a healthy lifestyle, but unfortunately chemical exposure is unavoidable.  There are over 80,000 chemicals in our homes and the environment, some of them persisting for over a million of year. Some medications taken by our grandmothers may even have an affect on us, like the supposed anti-miscarriage drug diethylstilbestrol or DES.

Even the products that claim to be safe may be misleading. For example, some manufacturers have replaced the estrogenic bisphenol A (BPA) with the still toxic BPS. There are also "non toxic" companies that still use fragrances and perfumes in their products.

This is why label reading is a must. Just like you read for nutritional data, we must begin to read for toxicity data. When you go to the doctor, talk to them about any chemicals that you may have been exposed to. If you work in a chemical factory, tell them and express your concerns. Take a proactive and preventative role in your own healthcare, particularly if you are pregnant or have young children.

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