If you've got a chronic illness like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, or Lyme disease, you're probably following your doctor's advice to eat healthy, reduce stress, maybe even drink green drinks or take supplements. You think you're doing "everything right" or "eating healthy," but you might be hurting your efforts to get well by not paying attention to the harmful effects of the products you use at home. The single most critical thing you need to know is that everything you eat, put on your skin and surround yourself with impacts your health and well-being... in ways that may surprise you.
Take the artificial sweetener aspartame, for example. It's a synthetic chemical composed of the amino acids phenylalanine and aspartic acid, and it's found in NutraSweet, Equal, Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, as well as sugar-free gums, candies, yogurts, breakfast cereals, and hundreds of other products that kids and adults eat (like sugar-free Kool-Aid, Jell-O pudding and some Popsicles).
According to the book While Science Sleeps, an in-depth analysis of the medical and scientific literature written by food scientist Woodrow Monte, Ph.D., there appears to be a link between brain lesions found in MS patients and aspartame.
The book reveals that MS symptoms are identical to those of methanol poisoning. Methanol is contained in aspartame and is metabolized into deadly formaldehyde within the brain. Dr. Monte says that individuals who have been exposed to this poison over a long period of time, in fact, develop MS. "Dietary methanol may be the root cause of MS and possibly other diseases," he says, and advises people to avoid aspartame "as if it were a matter of life or death."
What you're cleaning your body and your home with may actually cause more harm than good, especially if you have chronic illness. An unknown proportion of Lyme disease patients become chronically ill and are plagued with persistent infections. They then become hyper vigilant about making sure they steer clear of germs. "One way Lyme patients try to stay healthy is to constantly disinfect their homes using antibacterial cleaning products, but ironically, these can burden an already compromised immune system," says Dana Walsh, who was featured in the documentary film Under Our Skin and has successfully recovered from Lyme by adopting a holistic and toxic free lifestyle. "So much money is spent on protocols for healing, but detoxing the home environment is simple and affordable, with the longest lasting impact," she added.
Dana, along with her partner Brent Martin, is producing a free tele-summit Sept. 18-20 addressing Lyme and chronic illness, which is on the rise. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that 300,000 Americans are getting Lyme every year, and the toll is growing.) Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., Ph.D., is one of several experts featured on the summit, and will address electromagnetic fields (EMF radiation), and its impact on chronic disease.
"I personally suspect that the exposure to electromagnetic fields in the home and the microwaves from cell phone radiation are driving the virulence of many of the microbes that are naturally in us, and makes them aggressive and illness producing," said Dr. Klinghardt, well known for his successful treatment of neurological illness using integrative medicine. Shielding patients from EMFs "has been a more successful strategy to treating Lyme disease and to get people neurologically well than any of the antibiotics or any of the antimicrobial compounds," he added. Dr. Klinghardt will be speaking in depth about this on the Lyme summit.
The first place to start if you have a chronic illness is to become intimately aware of what goes in you, on you and surrounds you. Awareness can bring about change. As Richard Cohen, Emmy award-winning TV producer (best known as Meredith Vieira's husband) who's lived with MS for over 30 years said in a recent AARP interview, "If you live with any serious chronic condition, do not look to a doctor and say, 'Cure me.' Instead, educate yourself, learn all you can, open your mind and trust your instincts."
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