From time to time we all experience fatigue, headaches, and mysterious pains that leave us wondering why we felt fine when we went to bed, but ill when we woke up. Typically it’s a temporary thing that clears up with your morning coffee. If it’s being stubborn, you might need to take some ibuprofen. But what if those symptoms never went away? What if your headache, fatigue and general sense of feeling sick became your norm, affecting every aspect of your life?
In this episode I talk to guests who have suffered a variety of debilitating symptoms, they share their journeys as they searched for the reasons behind their deteriorating health. I also speak with several experts who discuss everything from the environment, to what we put in and on our bodies. You’ll learn how things you’re not even aware of may be sabotaging you, despite all your efforts to live a healthy life.
A practicing chiropractor, Dr. Daniel Pompa was also a competitive cyclist, he was gearing up for some big races when he started to feel fatigue setting in. He tells me he thought he was probably just overtraining, and pulled back a little, but the fatigue actually got worse. Dr. Pompa says it took a big toll on his ability to work, “I had a large practice, and it was just dwindling down to nothing. I would go to work and lay down in between patients.” Not only that, but he and his wife Merily had two very young children, a toddler and an infant. The chronic fatigue created anxiety which manifested into insomnia, which was affecting their family life. “He was not sleeping. He was anxious. He was angry. He was easily triggered,” Merily tells me.
The entire situation was exacerbated, Dr. Pompa says, by the fact that blood tests were coming back normal and specialists couldn’t find a problem. But finally, the Pompas had some answers after three years of suffering. You won’t believe the unusual tests that eventually discovered mercury poisoning from dental work. While all this was happening they decided Merily should also get tested, due to a history of cancer in her family. Fortunately, no cancer was detected, but both Merily and the children tested for high levels of lead poisoning. We discuss where it came from and what the Pompas did to address it.
A scientist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Dr. Trish Koman joins me to talk about the importance of our water systems. Dr. Koman explains exactly what happened to the water in Flint, Michigan. She talks to me about the lead in the pipes, how the change in the water source affected the pipes, and what the local government could have done to save the water. “They had an opportunity at that moment to put anti-corrosive agents into the water – but they chose not to do that,” she says. We discuss the reasons for the government’s decision, the effects of that decision and the future health of the residents of Flint. Dr. Koman says she can’t emphasize enough, the importance of knowing where your water is coming from.
My guest Wendy Myers is a functional diagnostic nutritionist. Wendy has a warning for all of us about heavy metals and chemicals in our foods. “The FDA and the USDA don’t regulate heavy metals in foods, even organic foods,” Wendy tells me. “There’s BPA and plastics. There’s pesticides in our food.” So what can we do? Wendy explains the difference between food grown in the U.S. and food grown in other countries, especially China. Even if the food is labeled USDA organic, she says, you need to look at where it was grown. “In China, the environment is much more toxic,” Wendy explains, adding that mercury, lead, and arsenic are much more present in the soil, air, and water of China than here.
Wendy gives me her top five worst foods for toxins, and what to look for in chickens and eggs. We also discuss what foods the World Health Organization has labeled as containing cancer-causing agents.
After a breast cancer scare in college, Kathryn Kellogg started taking a closer look at what she was putting both on and in her body. In her research, Kathryn tells me, she discovered a lot of everyday products contain endocrine disruptors. Now, essentially, your endocrine organs make hormones, just like the adrenal and thyroid glands do, so it’s important that they work properly. But, Kathryn found out, “You can find endocrine disruptors in things like cleaning products, beauty products, and even plastic.” To protect her health Kathryn cut a lot of products out of her life. She shows me the mason jar in which she has saved her waste from the last two and a half years. It’s pretty amazing.
Kathryn also tells me that when she moved to California, she was appalled by the litter problem. She was especially shocked by all the plastic she saw in the ocean. During our discussion Kathryn shares tips about small changes anyone can make to reduce their waste footprint. Find out what Kathryn calls the “big four” — items that are super easy to change out and that have an enormous environmental impact.
My friend Steve Ezell is the CEO of MyGreenFills, a company that only produces nontoxic products. After his three-week-old baby son developed a full-body rash, Steve tells me a family friend suggested the problem could lie with the laundry detergent. Sure enough, when they switched to an eco-friendly detergent the rash cleared up. Steve explains UV brighteners are used in detergents to make them appear brighter and therefore cleaner. And, he tells me, that’s just one of the very toxic byproducts that are in conventional laundry products, “You have perfumes, there’s dyes, fillers, buffers.”
Now, don’t forget, your skin is your body’s largest organ. Think about what’s happening to you, if your skin is wrapped in chemicals and toxins all day, every day. Steve shares how his company is revolutionizing laundry products and more, by leaving the chemicals and toxins out. Not only that, but he also tells me how MyGreenFills helps reduce plastics and your waste footprint with a refill program that uses significantly less packaging.
Rachel Pachivas is the COO of Annmarie Skin Care, an organic, wildcrafted skin care line. As we discuss on the show, there are so many chemicals and toxins in all kinds of products and nowhere is that truer than in cosmetics. Women put cosmetic products on their skin every day, so it’s super important to know what you’re using. Rachel shares some information with me that I think is kind of important. “According to laws, they don’t have to disclose certain percentages (of chemicals),” Rachel says, “So it’s nice to know that we can provide products that are clean. We want to use things that are straight from nature and that don’t have any effects on your health.”
Rachel shares the story of video bloggers Kevin and Annmarie Gianni, and how their journey to find a healthy cosmetic line lead to them creating their own. Watch as Rachel puts a purifying mud mask on her guest, Andrea Duffy, and hear Andrea’s reaction to it. “When you put the mask on it feels very cool. It smells almost like dirt. That’s a good way to describe it, just very natural,” Andrea explains. Andrea also tells us her skin feels tight, firm, and sparkling after the mask is washed off.