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HOLISTIC HEALTH - January 2018 - Kansas City

A New Year…A New Commitment to Your Health

By Nancy Russell, M.D. and Debbie Rodman, RN, APRN


Here we are at the beginning of a new year. Many people make resolutions to change their behavior in some way or another. Research shows that the top three resolutions are: 1) lose weight, 2) eat healthier, and 3) exercise more. Stop using tobacco products is in the top 1 to 7. What do these have in common? They are all related to health. What else? They are all related to toxins. Let me explain.


Many toxins are stored in fat cells. Therefore, losing weight releases toxins. Inversely, detoxing facilitates weight loss. Exercise releases toxins through perspiration. Healthy food choices support the body’s detoxification system.


Let’s talk about tobacco products in more detail. It is well established that tobacco contains toxic chemicals, some of which are carcinogens. But did you know tobacco also contains radioactive material, such as lead and polonium? These penetrate the leaves from a commonly used fertilizer. Once they are absorbed, they cannot be removed. A person that smokes 30 cigarettes a day for a year receives the same amount of radiation as a person exposed to 4,000 chest x-rays. This is 444 times more annual radiation than a worker at a nuclear power plant receives.


What exactly constitutes a toxin? Toxins are simply a potentially harmful substance. They may have negligible effect, make us ill, or be deadly. Toxins occur from two sources: inside our body (endogenous) due to normal cellular metabolic processes and from outside our body (exogenous/environmental) such as plastics, food additives, radiation, pesticides, herbicides, petroleum products, fluorine, and chlorine etc. 


Here are a few statistics:

  • Each second 683 pounds of toxic chemicals are released into our air, land, and water by industrial facilities around the world.

  • This amounts to approximately 10 million tons (over 21 billion pounds) of toxic chemicals released into our environment by industries each year.

  • Of these, over 2 million tons (over 4.5 billion pounds) per year are recognized carcinogens.This amounts to about 143 pounds each second.     



The good news is our bodies are designed to naturally and continuously remove toxins. There are two kinds of toxins: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble toxins are easily flushed out of the body by the blood and kidneys. Fat-soluble toxins such as preservatives, food additives, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, plastics and other environmental chemicals are more challenging for the body to remove.  


The sad news is as we are bombarded with more and more environmental toxins, it is becoming increasingly difficult for our bodies to effectively remove them.


Please join us next month as we continue our discussion on environmental toxins. We will include topics such as: toxic load, those most susceptible, replacing toxic substances with healthy alternatives, and detoxing safely. 


Rather than make the same ‘ole New Year’s resolution/s, how about doing something different this year? Make a commitment to decrease toxic substances in your everyday life. This new year’s resolution may be easier that you think. After all, toxins are “everywhere!” 


You could begin by making a couple of lists:

  1. Items in your environment that may be toxic. 

  2. Ways you can decrease or eliminate these toxins. Your lists don’t have to be created immediately.


Keep adding to them as something comes to mind. Get your family and friends involved. Make it fun―perhaps a contest―create prizes for the most changes! Even minor changes can make a substantial difference for your health.

Evolving Magazine

Kansas City

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Nancy Russell, M.D. has been a holistic Internal Medicine physician in the Kansas City northland for over 30 years at 5140 N. Antioch Road in Kansas City, MO.


We would love to hear from you regarding your list of toxins, revelations about items you did not know were toxic and your positive changes. We have a professionally trained staff eager to assist you along your journey to improved health! 


Her phone number is 816-453-5545 and website is where you can get more information. Dr. Russell is board certified in holistic medicine and is a member of the American Holistic Medical Association and a prior board member.


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