When The ND Becomes The PatientOct 19, 2018
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I talk to my patients about the role the environment plays in our health. I try to practice what I preach. I use toxin-free household products and eat organic foods. I detox regularly. To be honest, I thought I was doing a great job in my own life.
A few months ago, one of our lab companies came to give us a presentation. The representative discussed testing patients for toxic metals through urine. During my time as an ND, I have always jumped to get testing done. Food sensitivity, hormone testing, gut testing - I’ve almost done it all. I was excited to do this test to prove to myself how well I was avoiding the major toxic disruptors and to see if there were any areas I could improve.
The test was easy - I collected my urine for 6 hours, transferred it to a smaller container, and filled out one page of paperwork.
When the test came back a couple weeks later, I was shocked. I even asked one of my colleagues to check it over as I was SURE there was an error. For most of the metals, I was in the normal range. For lead and mercury, my results were extremely high. Where did I get exposed to these metals? In my pre-naturopathic life, I worked at a job during the day where I molded lead blocks and then would go to my second job at a sushi restaurant (where I took advantage of all the extra fish). The most shocking part of this discovery was that these exposures lasted only two years and happened over 10 years ago!
Excessive amounts of lead and mercury (not to mention other toxic metals) can cause stomach irritation, disrupt your reproductive system, and cause fatigue. I was determined to get rid of these metals ASAP!
Let me tell you what I am doing (and all of this can be done here at the clinic as well).
- Limiting further risks - being extra careful to eat only organic fruits and vegetables, eliminate seafood from my diet (this is one of the hardest things for me), and to drink reverse osmosis water.
- Infrared saunas - one of the best ways to detox through your skin.
- Colonics - making sure that my gut health is functionally optimally so I can eliminate any toxins through proper digestion.
- IVs - for the days when I am extra tired and need a boost
- Supplements - the remedies that I am taking focus on eliminating toxic metals and making sure my liver is functioning optimally.
- Seeing my own ND - Before doing a detox or taking any supplements, its always best to see a professional - even if you are a professional yourself.
What I learned through this experience was that environmental exposures can stay in your body for years and the best way to actually “know” if you are detoxing properly is to scientifically test.
Dr. Ashley Chauvin, ND