What is Body Burden?

We Live In A Dirty World.
Billions of chemicals are released into the air and water (2010 EPA statistic). We have those things are visible to us and that we readily aware of, which is evident by the chemicals that are released into the air and water. Then there are those chemicals that are not so obvious they are almost invisible to us. Greater than 80,000 of them produced and used commercially and 10% of those are used in everyday items especially household cleaners and personal care products. What is even more frightening is less then 7% of those chemicals are being tested for safety on our health and the impact on the environment. These chemicals are everywhere. They are in the food that you eat, the water that you drink, and the air that you breathe.

We know these things are out there, but how do we know they are having a negative impact on our health? How do we know that they are doing anything to us? After all, we cannot live in a bubble. We know we are going to be exposed to many of these things, it is inevitable, but how do we know they are really placing a burden on our health?

In 2004 there was the Environmental Working Group umbilical cord blood study. They tested umbilical cord blood of 10 babies born in August and Sept of that year. They found a staggering 287 chemicals! So from birth these toxic compounds are already there. Many of these chemicals were banned in 1978 after the government enacted the U.S. Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976. You may ask yourself, how does this happen? How did chemicals that have not been manufactured since the late 1970’s end up in babies born today? They are called persistent organic pollutants or POPs. POPS get bio-magnified, which means they do not easily degrade, but rather get broken down into the soil content which delivers them to our water and food supply. In general, most of the toxins we are exposed to are fat-soluble and they are attracted to the fatty portion of cells throughout our body – so the more fat we have, there’s the potential of having a higher level of toxicity and weight issues.

What is body burden?
This “body burden” is the amount of “xenobiotic” (foreign) substances and their metabolites that accumulate in an individual or a population. Imagine a tea cup being filled. Normally, the immune system, liver and kidneys work harmoniously to remove toxins at the same rate as they are encountered. However, once our toxin levels are in excess of our body’s capacity to remove them, these toxins build up and are stored until they can be removed. Many of these toxins stored in our bodies for years and we can go for years without experiencing any negative symptoms, but once the burden of toxins, which come from both external and internal sources becomes too high – visualize the teacup overflowing – one starts to feel the ill-effects. This is when we need work to reduce our burden.

What Can I Do About My Body Burden?

  1. Find the sources and stop the exposure
  2. Increase your nutrient status, namely glutathione (or N-Acetyl Cysteine), Magnesium, Vitamin C, Selenium, and B Vitamins.
  3. Eat Clean. Whole, organic food – mostly vegetables and fruit, protein and good, healthy fats like olive oil and avocados.
  4. Optimize your detoxification pathways by participating in a yearly cleanse (optimally 2 times a year)
  5. Work with a doctor who can help to indentify your burden and safely help you to reduce it by implementing a cleansing program or heavy metal chelation. Call my office to set up your

Environmental Intake and learn how to decrease your body burden today.

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What is Discover Health SF?

I will take an integrative medical approach to your health. My philosophy in practice is to merge naturopathic and conventional medicine — it is truly about holistic health care. My treatment plans carefully blend natural therapies and evidence-based, medical science, to treat and prevent chronic disease.

Dr. Youngren is a graduate of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.

She completed a two-year clinical internship that included all naturopathic modalities and a one-year specialty residency in General & Environmental Medicine.