No one escapes – plastics are everywhere in the environment and you’ve got the toxic residues of plastics in your bloodstream right now. The wide-spread use of plastics in packaging, cosmetics, and medical products means that, like it or not, your body is absorbing them and has to find a way to deal with the consequences.
If your exposure is high, or if your ability to detoxify is weak, plastic-related health problems could emerge. One group of chemicals used as plasticizers – phthalates – is particularly likely to cause problems since they mimic the actions of your body’s hormones.
Unfortunately, there’s rarely a specific warning flag that you’re suffering from too much phthalate exposure. The toxic overload can show up as a vague symptom whose cause is hard to pin down: fatigue, memory difficulties, sleep impairment, skin eruption, systemic inflammation, hormone imbalance, or brain fog.
That’s why you may have to get tested to understand the extent of the problem. For my patients, I typically use a urine test from Great Plains Laboratory called GPL-TOX Profile, which measures the levels of the breakdown products of phthalates (and other chemicals we’re exposed to.)
Once you determine that phthalates could be contributing to your problems, I can offer some strategies to help you fight back. Here are some suggestions:
- Avoid using plastic for food storage. Use glass and waxed paper instead.
- Check your skin care products and cosmetics and choose safer alternatives.
- Include regular servings of cruciferous vegetables in your diet. They boost your body’s ability to detoxify hormones and hormone-mimicking chemicals. Cruciferous vegetables include: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress and radishes.
- Choose a nutrition supplement that includes calcium-d-glutarate (which hooks onto phthalates as an early step in the detox process) along with di-indolmethane (DIM), one of the active constituents of cruciferous vegetables. If you sign up for my online nutritional products distributor Wellevate, I can send you information about a specific product I recommend that contains these nutrients.