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Terrible Toxins

Updated: Mar 21


Do you spend much time wondering what you might be breathing in besides air? How about what you are ingesting besides food? Or what about the products use on your skin, or things you touch regularly?


Whether or not you have contemplated these ideas, this post is for you. Toxicity can be incredibly varied, depending on your unique exposures.


One thing is for sure: toxins impact both histamine clearance as well as acting as a trigger for mast cell activation.



How it works

To understand how they impact histamine clearance, check out our sink analogy in Histamine & the Gut. Think of it this way: toxins have the potential of turning on your tap. Could be a trickle, could be full blast, could also be seen as locking the tap in the 'on' position.



They also have the potential of slowing down or plugging up the drain at the bottom of the sink. This means your sink has the potential of filling up with water faster than it can drain. The overflow is the problem here -- that's what is driving your symptoms.


Inhaling, ingesting and skin contact are all ways that toxins can enter your body. Toxins are pervasive in the air we breathe, on the food we eat, in the water we drink, and in products that we use in our daily lives such as body care products (shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, creams and lotions...), laundry products or household cleaning supplies.


3 Toxins You Need to Consider


Mold

Mold spores can trigger histamine release from mast cells and basophils (two types of immune cells). (1, 2)


Mold can happen in damp areas such as air conditioners or where water leaks or damage have occurred. This could be at work or home, and it may not be visible.



Since it may be hiding in walls, air conditioners or under flooring, you need to test your home or workplace, and you need to test yourself to see if mold metabolites (mycotoxins) are showing up in your body.


Some foods can also contain mycotoxins such as coffee, nuts, grapes or grains. The good news is that the Histamine Haven Protocol is low mold. Our protocol doesn’t contain foods high in mold, or we use preparation methods to remove mycotoxins. (link to Shopping List)


Heavy metals

Heavy metals increase mast cell activation in asthma (3), and induce mast cell degranulation. (4)


If you have had silver mercury amalgam fillings in your teeth or have had a job or hobby using metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, thallium or mercury, then there is a higher likelihood that you have toxicity.


Even if you haven’t had known exposure, these metals are pervasive in our environment and can show up unexpectedly in your body. Once in the body, they persist, they build up. Testing is worthwhile to see if they are the root piece triggering your personal histamine issues, even if you have no known exposures.


Glyphosate

Glyphosate activates mast cells. (5)

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup. It is most commonly used on corn and soy crops and has become pervasive in our water and food supplies. Soil and water glyphosate contamination are problems around the world, and contamination levels differ depending on where you are in the world.


The research article The Global Environmental Hazard of Glyphosate Use has a map showing the world’s soil contamination. It's truly mind-boggling!

If you live in the States, check out the Environmental Working Group's website to learn about some of the foods that have high glyphosate content, along with a host of other articles on this subject.

Glyphosate toxicity testing is recommended, in order to start figuring out what might be triggering your mast cells and histamine release in the first place.



 

Steps to Take

Test.


Luckily you can test for all of these different toxins to see if they are present in your body. Testing is an important step to do to rule out whether toxins are triggering your symptoms.

To explore testing you will need to seek out a functional or naturopathic doctor who is able to do this type of testing.



Eliminate.


The next step is to eliminate exposure to the toxins that test results have revealed. This step can be tricky if mold is involved. Mold restoration or even moving to a different home may be required.


Air or water filtration systems are useful tools to make sure you are breathing clean air and drinking clean water. If cost is an issue, consider filtering the air in your bedroom where you spend a significant amount of time while you sleep, and a simple carbon filter -- replaced regularly -- to clean your drinking water.


Clearance.


Once you have eliminated exposure, it is important to work with a practitioner to support clearance of toxins from the body. Expect this process to take time.

Toxins need to be cleared by the same liver pathways that you use to clear histamine. Supporting these pathways can help with both histamine and toxin clearance. Our protocol is designed to help – we’ve got lots of nourishing foods that support these metabolic pathways in Histamine Haven – but additional supplements or supports are a good idea and may even be necessary if some of these pathways are genetically compromised. This is where working with a trusted and skilled practitioner may be of benefit.


See our Additional Resources page in our Online Community for a list of some lab tests you can do on your own without a practitioner.


Which toxins are triggering your mast cells? Have you had testing done? Any surprises?

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