Environmental toxins and stress are both epigenetic factors that can activate HPV and affect fertility. In Part 2 of her series on HPV and fertility, Dr. Doni explains the connection.
Part 2 of Dr. Doni’s Series on HPV & Fertility
In the first article in this series, I went over what the Human papillomavirus (HPV) is and how typical HPV treatments can actually lessen your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. I also talked about epigenetics, that is, how stressors from your immediate environment affect the expression of your unique genetic code. In this article, I include environmental toxins in our environment on the list of stressors because they are known to activate HPV and also lower your fertility rate. This is especially true for those that exist all around us in our home! Learning what these toxins are, where they come from and how they really affect you is the first step towards healing.
You can get rid of toxins, stop HPV from causing abnormal cells, and have a healthy pregnancy. Removing toxins from your life and from your body can help get you there!
Staying Healthy and HPV-Free in a Toxic World
Once you know about how epigenetics work, then it really becomes clear just how much control you really do have over your healing journey! That goes for HPV as well.
Remember that when HPV is active in your body is when it becomes a major risk factor for cervical cancer (and other types of cancer). HPV becomes active when immunity is low. The major situations that lower immunity are poor diet, stress, and high toxic load. These same epigenetic factors can also set you up for issues with fertility as well.
Toxins can be found all around us these days. In traffic jams (in the form of car exhaust), in secondhand smoke, in harsh bleaches and cleaners, in the air from factory output, in the water from industrial waste and sewer lines, in pesticides such as glyphosate along the outside of buildings… the list goes on and on.
A lot of times the pollutants that exist in the outside world are pretty obvious. For example, ever see the brown haze that accents the L.A. skyline? Even though it can make a pretty intense sunset, that is actually chemical smog that can hurt you.
Sometimes we can smell or taste pollution or toxins that may be in the air or water. Other times, however, we may not even know they are there. For example, very few people have heard of the common toxin perchlorate (also called Perchlorate 7). Perchlorate is used in the aerospace industry and by the military. It is also found in explosives, firearms, rocket fuel, batteries, and some components for new cars. It is mostly an airborne pollutant that can show up in the food and water supply. Perchlorate is a halide toxin that can affect the thyroid and lead to autoimmune disease. According to Harvard Medical School, there is a direct link between inflammation of the thyroid gland and viral conditions like HPV.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies perchlorate as a “known carcinogen.” Yet pretty much everybody has some amount of it in their system!
Perchlorate is just one of the dozens of environmental toxins that may affect HPV progression and fertility. Remember that knowledge is power! Knowing about the toxins that exist in our outer world is the first step in doing something about it.
Environmental Toxins In Your Home
A report put out by the Environmental Working Group in 2005 shows the shocking truth when it comes to how all-pervasive toxins in the home really are. They state that a typical newborn will come into the world with “an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants” already in their system. A lot of the environmental toxins found in newborns can be traced to the home.
We will go into the importance of drinking fresh, filtered water (and not drinking from the tap) in the next article. Here are 11 other places you need to be aware of when it comes to home toxins:
The carpet in most people’s homes is just plain bad news when it comes to pathogenic microorganisms that (gulp) may be living amongst all of those tiny fibers. New carpet can also be a major source of man-made toxins such as benzene, ethylbenzene, acetone, styrene, and formaldehyde. All of these are considered “neurotoxins.” According to an investigation published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, there are over 200 different chemicals in commercial new carpets.
Anything that is made of a textile, such as curtains, mattresses, bedding, and even furniture coverings may contain Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, also known as PBDEs. These compounds are also neurotoxins that affect the brain as well as other organs.
When I ran a toxin panel on myself, I found high levels of this substance, which I believe came from a memory foam mattress. Upon replacing the mattress, the migraines I was getting significantly reduced or went away!
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US began phasing PBDEs out in 2004, but they can still be found in imported goods. PBDE can also be found in electronics, insulation, and plastics.
Whether it be hard plastic, such as in toys and appliances, or soft plastics like a shower curtain, plastic items in your home may contain not only PBDEs but also phthalates. Phthalates have been shown to have a direct effect on the reproductive system. An overload can bring on early puberty and also lower testosterone levels in men, according to a study put out by “Zero Breast Cancer.”
Phthalate is often called the “everywhere chemical” because it can be found in so many items.
#4 Heating and cooling systems
Thank goodness we have heating and cooling systems for our homes! In many areas of the country, it would be hard to imagine what life would be like without it! That being said, sometimes even a wood-burning stove can be a source of environmental toxins. Propane and oil heaters can leach carbon monoxide (CO), especially if it is an old unit or not maintained. Finally, air conditioning units can contain Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are halide chemicals that affect the reproductive and endocrine systems.
#5 In your ceilings and walls
Why would the very walls of your home be of concern when it comes to toxins? The danger comes mostly in the form of toxic mold that can crop up quickly if left unattended. Mold grows best in an environment that is hot and moist. Over time, it can shed mycotoxins (i.e. mold waste) which affect the respiratory system, liver, and kidneys.
Exposure to mycotoxins such as Trichothecenes (i.e. Black Mold) can lead to autoimmune disease and neurological disorders and have also been linked to both bladder and thyroid cancer. Mold can grow in water-damaged carpet too. According to experts, up to 40% of all homes and office buildings have some kind of mold contamination. Be sure to listen to the How Humans Heal podcast episode on mold toxicity to learn more. LINK
Electro-pollution is everywhere and most people don’t even know about it. In our homes, it comes in the form of overexposure to Wi-Fi routers, Routers, our cell phones, electronic devices, SMART meters, and, recently, SMART homes that utilize 5G technology. Too much exposure to EMF radiation from these devices can lead to insomnia, headaches, autoimmune conditions, and even cancer.
A 2014 comprehensive review done by researchers at the University of California, San Diego found that Wi-Fi exposure can be especially damaging to children, including growing fetuses.
#7 Household cleaners
Take a look at all of those household cleaners in your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. More than likely, you will not be able to find an ingredient listing on that bottle of Lysol or Drain-O. That doesn’t mean that it does not contain some pretty serious carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and xenoestrogenic substances that can through fertility off balance and raise the risk for active HPV.
#8 Laundry detergents
You may be saying to yourself: I have to watch out for my laundry detergent too?
You bet! And here is why. According to a 2017 study conducted by Dr. Anne Steinemann of the University of Washington, more than 600 VOCs, or volatile compounds, can be found in the majority of the top brands of commercial laundry soap and dryer sheets! A lot of the dangerous compounds were connected with synthetic fragrances.
#9 Secondhand smoke
Even if you do not smoke (and if you do, quit now!), you and your family may be feeling the effects of second-hand smoke from other family members, neighbors, and even strangers walking down the street near your home. According to the Mayo Clinic, second-hand smoke can be just as dangerous as firsthand smoke. Ammonia, benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde, and cyanide are all chemicals that you and your family may be exposed to from second-hand smoke.
#10 Sundry products and makeup
Parabens, Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), formaldehyde, and even gluten can be hidden within many beauty products you may be using every day. Here’s more information about how to avoid toxins by Choosing Toxin-Free Products.
And you can take your knowledge of common household toxins to the next level by checking out my recent podcast interview with Emma Goldsmith.
#11 Metals: Lead, mercury, and others
Finally, heavy metal toxins are sneaky and can exist in many areas of your home. One of the most common sources of mercury I find in patients is from eating tuna too often. We are also potentially exposed to metals in our water as well. I will talk more about food-borne heavy metal exposure in the next article on “clean eating.”
There are potential exposures to heavy metals in our homes too. In particular, lead can show up in paint and dishware. Be sure to consider this when purchasing or remodeling your home, and when buying dishes.
The best thing to do when it comes to heavy metals is to test yourself to measure the levels of environmental and/or mold toxins in your body. Then, if we find the levels to be high, then can we design a specific plan to address them.
These tests are available from practitioners who specialize in environmental toxicity, and also from my office.
Detox Your Environment
And it’s always good to start by decreasing exposure to toxins in the first place! Here are my TOP 8 ACTIONS you can take NOW:
#1 Stop secondhand smoke
There are many organizations and programs that can help you quit if you do smoke. If you are exposed to secondhand smoke, you have the right to set ground rules for your own health and the health of your family. Talk to nearby smokers about maintaining distance from your home when they light up.
#2 Upgrade your flooring
Consider switching over your flooring to either tile or wood if you can. If you must have carpet, shop around, and make a non-toxic choice when you get it new. Whatever kind of flooring you choose to get, implement a “No Shoes” policy for your home. Wipe your pets’ feet before they come in as well so that outside toxins from grass and sidewalks stay outside.
#3 Keep up on maintenance
Your furnace, air conditioner, refrigerator, water heater, propane tank, fireplace, and other home equipment are all points where CO fumes and other contaminants can affect you. Be sure to perform maintenance on this equipment on a regular basis. Keep them clean and change the filters. Be sure to keep carbon monoxide monitors and smoke detectors charged up and at the ready as well.
#4 Use an air purifier
#5 Consider health when you buy new furniture
You can still have new furniture, appliances, and other products for your home and not have to compromise on health. Choose flame-retardant and chemical-free brands such as EKLAHOME.COM.
#6 Get a good water filtration system
You can get a filter that not only cleans and purifies your drinking water, but also provides you with clean, chlorine-free water for showering, taking a bath, and washing dishes. A company I recommend is AQUASANA.COM.
#7 Go green with home cleaners
The best way to stay safe with household cleaners is to simply choose brands that are free of harsh chemicals. Also, be sure to check out the Skin Deep Database put out by the Environmental Working Group for info on specific brands.
#8 Consider a move if your home, neighborhood, or town is not safe
This seems like a large and drastic step. That is because it is! But it is the right move if you feel that your health is seriously at risk.
It may also seem a little overwhelming to think of switching all of the household and sundry products you are used to safer brands. A good strategy is to choose one item a week to change out for a greener brand. By the end of a year, you will have switched out 365 products!
Remove Environmental Toxins Both Inside and Out!
A 2019 study conducted at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that exposure to industrial pollutants can harm the immune system. They also found that these effects can have an effect on future generations within a family!
That means that the reverse is also true. By reducing your exposure to toxins, you can significantly boost your immune system, which will fend off HPV and increase fertility. I see it all the time in my practice – when patients reduce their toxin exposure and go through a process of clearing them out, all of a sudden, they feel better, HPV goes to negative and they get pregnant when they were previously struggling to conceive.
There are many “detox” products and programs “out there,” so I know it can be confusing. Once we test for specific toxins, I then work with patients to create a specific and strategic plan to eliminate them based on what works best for that toxin. It helps to start by supporting the ways our bodies naturally excrete toxic substances, and then to support detoxification pathways with nutrients and antioxidants.
The way toxins get out of our bodies is through:
So we need to promote these pathways. You can increase sweat by using an infrared sauna. If your bowels are not moving at least once per day, then that needs to be addressed as well to prevent environmental toxins from being reabsorbed back into your body.
The top supplements I suggest for removing toxins are:
- Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant and cofactor nutrient for detoxification pathways in the liver.
- Zinc, also a strong antioxidant and cofactor nutrient for the liver.
- Glutathione, the “super antioxidant” in your body and a major player in detoxification in general
- NAC, a precursor nutrient to glutathione and an important nutrient for detoxification.
- B vitamins, such as B6, methylcobalamin, methylfolate, B2, and B3. These are all key players in methylation, which is essential for detoxification.
Again, if you feel you are concerned and want to take a targeted approach, it’s best to test the toxin levels first, then choose the appropriate support for the type of toxin(s) that shows up.
All of the suggestions above (as well as clean eating, which we will talk about in the next article) can help you reduce inflammation, continue to eliminate toxins, and put your body back to its most optimal state.
Get the Support You Need to Get Rid of Environmental Toxins!
I’ve experimented on myself with all types of cleanses for over 25 years, and I have guided patients to successfully reset their health after toxin exposure. What I can tell you is that you’ll get further in the long run by pacing yourself and supporting your body the way it performs best.
There’s no need to feel worse in order to get rid of environmental toxins. In fact, based on my experience, with the right support, you’ll feel better through the experience of getting rid of toxins, and your body will perform better for you!
7th April 2021
- CDC – Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Statistics
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Environmental exposures and autoimmune thyroid disease
- The lowdown on thyroid slowdown
- EWG: BODY BURDEN: THE POLLUTION IN NEWBORNS.
- Toxic Emissions from Carpets
- Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
- Pthalates: The Everywhere Chemical
- Toxicology Expert Dr. Jack Thrasher on Mold Exposure (Part 1 of 6)
- Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences
- Fragranced consumer products and undisclosed ingredients
- Health and societal effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products.
- Secondhand smoke: Avoid dangers in the air
- Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours