Chemical stress... What is it, and do I have it?



I am writing this blog for all of those people who I talk to everyday who are one multiple medications and living in toxic households who are unaware of the stress that is all around them. If you have ever wondered “What is actually in this make-up that dries out my skin”, or “I wonder if this cleaning product is getting into my body” or “What are the side effects of this new medication”, this article is for you. We are marketed to all day every day. The new skin line is out or there is a new fragrance of laundry detergent. We aren’t being told what is in any of these products, though. So I am going to talk about some of the biggest chemical stresses we encountered daily without even thinking twice about it.


First, let’s think about our daily life and what is from nature and what is not. This includes everything you encounter.


We can start with our morning routine. We get up and start getting ready. Think about what the shampoo, conditioner, body wash or soap and even the toothpaste we use. A lot of them have things like fragrance and lathering agents and other chemicals that can be irritating to the skin or nervous system. Some of them are even known carcinogens… That’s kind of scary. Then, if you’re a woman, you are going to put on some moisturizer, foundation, mascara and maybe some perfume. A lot of these products include an ingredient called phenoxyethanol which can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. Most commonly though, it causes skin irritation. Our products can also have effects on our environment. Polyethylene terephthalate microbeads are found in some facial scrubs. These microbeads are harmful to the biodiversity and the environment. They are microplastic which then goes into the Great lakes and oceans causing water pollution.


I remember when I first starting learning about what was in the products I was using every day. I was told about an app called ThinkDirty. This has saved my life, seriously. All the research is there and all you really have to do it look at the number the product is rated. Ratings go from 0-10. The ratings are 0-3 are clean, 4-7 are half n half, and 8-10 are dirty. This is how I started choosing new products and discarding old products.

If you are looking to make a change, take it slow. If we were to throw out all our beauty, bath, and cleaning products, it could get very overwhelming and expensive. It’s a process and that’s ok.


Moving on, let’s talk about cleaning products. We all know that we should be wearing plastic gloves when we clean the house, but do we? Better yet, why should we have to? Do you really want to clean a surface that you do food prep on with a product that you need to wear gloves to use? Kind of freaky. Those chemicals stay on the surface and can easily be absorbed into food. Likewise, you can be breathing in a lot of these products which then can go to the blood stream. We may not all be aware of the options out there, but I’m sure we’ve all noticed that there are more vinegar-based products coming out. That is because vinegar is a great alternative to harsh chemicals, and it does a great job of killing bacteria and clearing scum away because of its high acidity. If you want more information about cleaner cleaning products check out Grove Collaborative.


Ok now that we are ready for work and we’ve cleaned the house, we’re ready to make breakfast where we take our first set of pills for the day because most people have morning and afternoon or evening pills. Many of us don’t consider the medications we are prescribed from our doctors could be causing a stress on the body. Medications can contain artificial compounds that are hard for our body to break down and handle. Most medications have side effects, right? Well that is because they may be affecting one area of the body, but they are damaging another. A great example of this is aspirin. Everyone has heard that long term aspirin use causes kidney and gastrointestinal issues. When we take aspirin for long periods of time, we get irritation to the stomach lining. Then we get prescribed another medication to reduce the acid reflux and heartburn. That medication decreases the acid in the stomach, which makes digestion harder and less effective. This can then lead to an ulcer in the lining of the stomach because we are still taking the aspirin which is still irritating our stomach lining. So you can see how this could become a vicious cycle of medicating one problem and causing another. The point of going into all of that is, we are used to looking at the body as different parts. In reality, our body is one organism that simultaneously works together to coordinate all bodily functions. The chemicals we put into our bodies cause stress on many systems. The kidneys are working overtime to filter the chemicals, the liver is charged with detoxifying our body which is flooded with chemicals when we take multiple medications a day.


Don’t get me wrong, I know there are some medications out there that are saving lives. I am only saying that many of the problems that we are taking medications for, are lifestyle diseases. Of which can be prevented and controlled with healthier eating, sleeping, exercising and the commonly overlooked, mental health practices.

When we only look at the symptoms, we miss what is actually causing our problems.





Resources:

Grove Collaborative = Household/Cleaning Products

ThinkDirty App = Ratings

Crunchi = Cosmetics

doTerra = Essential Oils, Supplements, Cleaning Products, Beauty products (shampoo/conditioner, skin care etc)


These are few that I use regularly or I know of that are clean.

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