I’m lucky enough to have a dad that had spent a LOT of time researching this field after he got sick, and a step mum who stood by him and has supported Dr Greenberg by creating an online website and a smart phone app to share his knowledge and wisdom.
If you are interested in finding out how Dr Greenberg came to the conclusion that toxicity is the cause for over 80% of chronic illnesses, then you seriously need to read this article!
Dr Greenberg is now 80 years old but he knows what he is talking about and has helped many patients. He created Chelorex, which rids the body of heavy metals and toxins. I have taken this myself and was left feeling incredible. I noticed a difference after taking Chelorex for a single week. My thinking was clearer and I had a lot of energy. I felt that I was performing well in all areas of my life. A very bold statement I know.
DETOX SCIENCE – Heavy Metal Testing and Detox Education
THE GREATEST CAUSE OF DISEASE
In their 1974 report on toxic metals the World Health Organisation stated that 82% of all chronic degenerative disease was caused by toxic metal poisoning. If this estimate is even approximately accurate, then toxic metal poisoning is the single greatest cause of disease.
HOW DO TOXIC METALS CAUSE DISEASE?
Toxic metals have a powerful affinity for sulfur with which they form highly stable complexes. Thus, these toxic metals bond to sulfhydryl groups on enzymes and sulfur containing metabolic intermediates and cofactors, affecting every major metabolic pathway. These metals are highly toxic to mitochondria… the energy producing organelles of the cells, causing mitochondrial dysfunction resulting in inhibition of ATP synthesis, free radical production, inflammatory cytokine release, tissue damage and premature aging. In fact, 85%-90% of free radicals are formed in the mitochondria.
In the decades since D. Harmin originally proposed the free radical theory of ageing, numerous studies have demonstrated the presence of free radicals and oxidative stress in a host of degenerative diseases. How are we exposed to these toxic metals? Since the advent of the industrial revolution levels of toxic metals in the environment have risen over one thousand fold. Activities such as mining, electric power generation, manufacturing, cremation, and domestic and industrial waste disposal, have polluted the air water and food supply. Added to this are vehicle emissions, medical and dental procedures such as vaccines and amalgam fillings (50% mercury) and personal care products.
More recently a new threat from toxic metals in the form of depleted uranium (DU) has become a matter of concern. Within a few days of Gulf War II a huge increase in air-borne uranium was detected in NYC and in the UK. A number of articles have noted that explosion of munitions containing DU creates a fine dust. This dust is carried by wind into the atmosphere from where it is dispersed over the entire northern hemisphere (and possibly the southern hemisphere as well). Within 3 years we began seeing the consequences. In an article dated April 6, 2006, James Howenstine, M.D. reported that the incidence of lung cancer in the US has risen from 175,000 new cases in 2005 to 172,000 cases in the first two months of 2006 a six fold increase. In Iraq the incidence of all types of cancer has increased dramatically including cancer in children, which previously was rare.
TOXIC METAL POISONING SYMPTOMS
My own interest in toxic metals and detoxification began in 1990 when I began doing hair analysis on all of the patients in my practice of neurology and psychiatry. I was amazed to find that every person who worked with his hands had metal poisoning; painters, plumbers, electricians, welders, machinists, jewellers, metal workers, computer technicians, etc.
Dentists were severely affected due to working with mercury as were their dental assistants and office staff. At least 80% of my patients with chronic illness had high levels of toxic metals in their hair analysis. Almost everyone with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia had metal poisoning, the majority from amalgam fillings. It was a transformative experience. Their illnesses included hypertension, heart failure, auto-immune disorders, diabetes, vascular disease, arthritis, depression, suicidal ideation, ADD, insomnia, irritability, impaired memory, anxiety, impulsiveness, tremor, seizures, intense headaches, chronic pain, arthritis, fluid retention, numbness and tingling, constipation or diarrhea, Parkinsons syndrome, Reynaud’s syndrome, brain fog, cold hands and feet, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, porphyria and immune suppression.
Chronic exposure to heavy metals inevitably leads to chronic depletion of glutathione which together with selenium is necessary for the detoxification of chemicals and metals, for protection against free radicals and for the conversion of relatively inactive thyroxine to the much more active T-3. Depletion of glutathione impairs the livers ability to excrete toxic metals and chemicals causing accumulation of these toxins and leading to impairment of mitochondrial function with associated chronic fatigue and also to the development of chemical sensitivities and to the release of inflammatory cytokines. The inability to deiodinate thyroxine results in a functional thyroid deficiency which usually is associated with low body temperatures and normal thyroid blood tests.
Initially I tried to use synthetic chelating agents such as DMSA and DMPS. However these agents produced extremely severe adverse reactions in my patients, especially those with multiple chemical sensitivities with impaired detoxification mechanisms. I soon began looking for natural, non-toxic detoxifying agents in order to avoid the severe fatigue producing and immune suppressing reactions that I experienced with synthetic chelators.
Realizing that glutathione levels were depressed in chronic metal poisoning along with thiol levels, antioxidants and essential minerals such as zinc, selenium, and magnesium and that glutathione was absolutely essential for the detoxification of metals and chemicals in the liver as well as for normal thyroid function, I put together a detoxification regimen using glutathione precursors such as acetyl cysteine and glutamine as well as lipoic acid, a natural thiol chelator known to support glutathione levels.
Regulating the thyroid
Selenium was added to support glutathione metabolism and to improve thyroid function along with magnesium and zinc to stimulate metallothionein synthesis. Cilantro was added to help mobilise CNS toxic metals and chlorella to prevent reabsorption of toxic metals from the GI tract. Other nutrients were added to protect mitochondrial function, to enhance membrane permeability, to protect CNS and visual function as well as leukocyte integrity and function.
HOW CHEMICAL AND METAL TOXINS HAVE A PROFOUND ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE ENTIRE FUNCTIONING OF THE BODY.
It is crucial to realise that toxic metals and chemicals cause mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondria are the tiny organelles in each of your body cells that produce energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. When these toxins poison the mitochondria, impairing the production of ATP mitochondria begin to produce enormous quantities of free radicals.
These are highly reactive molecules that steal electrons from whatever they encounter in the body. This causes inflammation, malfunction, damage and premature ageing. Lacking ATP to fuel the functions of our vital organs including brain, liver, kidney, intestinal tract, thyroid and adrenal glands as well as other tissues including immune cells, cartilage and connective tissues results in persistent fatigue, impaired sleep and brain fog, loss of vitality and immune dysfunction. The latter leads to chronic viral, fungal and bacterial infections such as Lyme Disease. Impaired immune function may also manifest as multiple allergies and chemical sensitivities leading to increased inflammation.
NEW HOPE FOR CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS
Chronic pain disorders constitute a serious problem in this country for several reasons. Experts recognised the persistent chronic pain is strongly associated with chronic depression and about 50% consider suicide at some point. In fact, the risk of suicide is at least doubled in chronic pain patients compared to the general population.
A variety of treatments have been utilized with generally disappointing results. The pharmaceutical agents that have been frequently used include acetaminophen, anti-inflammatory drugs, anticonvulsants, antidepressants and opioids. These agents have a high frequency of adverse side effects including death from overdose. It is well-known that chronic pain patients have a high incidence of anxiety and depression, have difficulty focusing, and are often disabled. Studies of brain function reveal and impaired function of the prefrontal lobes and impairment of neurotransmitter activity especially serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.
Heavy metal and chemical toxicity
One factor that is generally overlooked is the problem of heavy metal and chemical toxicity. Over 20 years ago I performed in an informal study in my neurology practice by ordering a hair analysis on every patient who came to my office. I was shocked by the results, which showed that 80% of all my patients had obvious heavy metal toxicity including almost 100% of patients with chronic pain disorders. Many of these patients suffered from chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders as well.
At the time, physicians didn’t fully comprehend the relationship between these disorders. However, in 2010 Jerry Tenant M.D. published his marvelous book, Healing Is Voltage. Dr. Tennant points out that the body is unable to heal itself if its cell voltage is too low. He states that normally the cell membrane potential is -25 mV. When an injury occurs, the cell membrane potential increases to -50 mV until the damage is repaired, when the membrane potential returns to -25 mV and the pain is resolved. If the cell cannot increase its membrane potential, it cannot be repaired and the pain will become persistent. On the other hand, if the cell membrane potential can be increased to -50 mV, the body is able to heal itself and the pain abates.
Patients that Dr Greenberg saw
In my experience, patients with chronic pain have an energy deficiency caused by a combination of toxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, thyroid deficiency and nutritional deficiencies. We have known for many years that metal and chemical toxins including pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, herbicides, trans fats and rancid fats cause mitochondrial dysfunction which impairs the ability of your body to produce energy. Similarly heavy metals and chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride as well as soy products impair thyroid function. This impairs energy production since body metabolism will not be optimal when body temperature is low due to the fact that all enzymes in the body are temperature sensitive.
Furthermore, your body needs essential nutrients in order to produce energy. Consequently nutrient depleted processed foods loaded with chemical stabilizers and preservatives cannot provide adequate energy. Finally, your muscles are linked to your critical organs and are responsible for recharging these organs through exercise. This causes people with a sedentary lifestyle to be much more vulnerable to energy depletion.
Pharmaceutical drugs have not provided and cannot provide a solution to the problem of chronic pain. These drugs are known to cause mitochondrial dysfunction with impaired energy production furthermore they require detoxification by stage I,II and III detoxification mechanisms . If the detoxification system is overwhelmed and poorly functioning, they can produce adverse side effects which can be lethal. Many anticonvulsants cause brain dysfunction, mineral deficiencies, and thyroid dysfunction. Antidepressants, contrary to belief, cause depletion of neurotransmitters and hormonal dysfunction. Opioids interfere with the function of the body’s natural pain control mechanisms and suppress immune function. Anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen cause liver and kidney dysfunction and suppress cartilage formation as well as causing mitochondrial dysfunction.
Why are chronic pain disorders on the rise?
In summary, chronic pain disorders are becoming an increasingly frequent and difficult problem because of our toxic environment, impaired nutrition, lack of exercise and dependence on synthetic chemicals for treatment. On the other hand, cellular energy can be restored by appropriate detoxification, lifestyle changes, improved nutrition, avoidance of toxins and exercise. A first and very important step is to perform a hair test to determine if your detox system is overloaded and if you have significant levels of toxins as well as nutritional imbalance.
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