What unknown toxins are you exposing yourself to in your daily life that could be disrupting your hormones? Make sure to listen/watch this episode for practical tips on how to find these toxins and clean up your life.
03;25 - What symptoms arise from exposure to toxins?
04:10 - What are the most common toxins in daily life?
07:15 - What is personal evaluation and how to cut out toxins?
10:50 - What is the goal of detoxification?
12:40 - What brands of products are good to use?
17:10 - Side effects of detoxification
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Hi, welcome to the Dr. Lam show. I'm Dr. Carrie Lam and today we have Wendie Trubow MD, MBA. She is a functional medicine gynecologist, and very excitingly going to talk to us about her new book 'Dirty girl: Ditch the toxins, Look great, Feel freaking amazing'. We know that women all over the world are dealing with lots of toxins, and maybe it comes out as pre-menopausal symptoms, or they have hormonal issues going on. So we would just love to dive down and deep into what Dirty girl is about. Dr. Trubow received her MD from Tufts University in 2000, and has been practicing functional medicine since 2009. She's very passionate about helping women optimize their health and their lives. Women, we are multitaskers, work, at home, and relationships and spirituality, they all matter. We're so grateful to have you here. Dr. Turbow.Wendie Trubow:
Great to be here. Call me, Wendie.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
Why don't you tell us about how you came to this journey in writing this book?Wendie Trubow:
Such a great question. This question never gets old. We do functional medicine, and part of that is the toxins. About two and a half years ago, I really turned my attention to doing the work on myself, for the toxins. I had already done all the foundational things, I'm gluten free and dairy free. I dealt with my Candida, I dealt with all my nutritional deficiencies. I did all this stuff on myself. But right after I came back from vacation to Paris two and a half years ago, my hair started falling out and I gained a whole bunch of weight. And I was like, that's not what I'm looking for in my health. Let me gain nine pounds said no woman ever basically. So I did all the toxins work on myself because I knew okay, my guts good. My adrenals are reasonably good given that I have four kids and a bunch of two businesses and employees. My adrenals are in as good shape as it could be. I didn't think it was perimenopause, per se although I'm in the right age range. And so I did the toxins work and I found that I have a whole bunch of toxins. So I have mycotoxins. I had a number of strains of mycotoxins, which are the toxins from mold. I had lead and mercury. I had a number of environmental toxins, including gasoline fume, exhaust, perchlorate, plastics, you name it, I pretty much had it. And I looked at my husband, who's also my partner, and I said, I am such a dirty girl. And then I said to him, oh, that's the book we really need to write because we are the poster children for healthy living. And if I have all this being cognizant and conscious and aware and careful, what does everyone else have if they don't have the same kind of background and tools? So we wrote this book so that people could have access to how to do this in their daily lives? How do you do it? How do you get rid of it? How do you even figure out if it might be a problem?Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
You're right, a lot of the women we talked to maybe they don't have the education, they're not eating good diets they use a lot of perfume, they are microwaving their food in plastics, right? But some women don't feel anything maybe until down the line when they hit menopause. And some are even more sensitive. They start having even at a young age, you know, adolescents start having PMS, or pain with their periods or endometriosis, or even gut issues, and they don't know why. Right? And then they have gone through and changed their diet, like you said, and but still something else is irritating their system. What are some examples of toxins that people are consuming daily, and they don't even know about it?Wendie Trubow:
You've already hit on a couple. So glyphosate is a herbicide used worldwide as the most commonly used substance on crops. It not only is a cancer promoting agent, according to the World Health Organization, but it's also a disrupter of the microbiome, which is critical for proper hormone balance, especially for women. So that's one and that's in foods that have been treated most of the grains. Actually, ironically, and disappointingly, all of the chickpeas in the United States, even organic are contaminated with glyphosate, which is I get this question a lot. Like what am I going to do? And I said, well pick your battles right. Maybe you eat the hummus but make sure you do some extra detox. So that's one. People are exposed if they're living in houses that were built before 1978, there's potentially lead in the paint. So they're getting a toxin exposure there. There are everyday toxins from all the body products that we use. There's a lot of endocrine disruptors and then one that you also mentioned was microwaving, and plastic, which is my personal hotspot of don't put food in plastic. I'm okay if you drink a cold liquid in plastic, as long as you put the cold liquid in, and it didn't arrive to you on a truck. But if you're going to microwave, don't put it in plastic because that releases more chemicals into your food that you're eating and their endocrine disruptors and for women, that then leads to that cascade of all those things you mentioned around PMS, breast tenderness, hormonal or irregularities, heavy periods, irregular periods, endometriosis, you name it.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
And how can people who are listening tune into their bodies and see how these chemicals are affecting them?Wendie Trubow:
I think part of the challenge is even recognizing that something's not great. I had a pretty clear switch that I gained nine pounds and my hair fell out. That was what we tracked back to a lead exposure, because we were in Paris right after the Notredam tower burned. And all this lead was released into the air, and we slog through it. So I had a pretty clear exposure, but that was like flicking a switch. It's not usually like that. It's usually like, I don't have as much energy as I used to, or have a couple more pounds than I used to, or I'm not sleeping as well, or I had the worst period over the last few months, or my boobs hurt. So it creeps up on us. So the most important thing is to take stock and go, do I feel amazing? And if the answer's no, then the question is, what could be causing that? Are there any low hanging fruits to impact? Or does it need a bigger overhaul? And then you do functional medicine? So that's like, what you do in the practice of it is sleuthing it out?Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
And so what is a personal evaluation? And how can the people who read your book, how do they know what to cut out? Or do they do it entirely cold turkey or gradually?Wendie Trubow:
Okay, so let's take that systematically. How I think I really feel that this journey is best done with a trained professionals because no person is an island. It's so easy to get overwhelmed and sidetracked and off track. We all need support. So my first recommendation is don't go it alone, go see a functional medicine provider, or an integrative nutritionist or someone who can get you on your path. That's one. And then the second part is, how do people address this and you really hit on that. There's lots of ways you can make change in your life, and it has to be attainable and sustainable. So first, you have to figure out, are you someone who does well with small changes? If you need to change your diet do you just need to master breakfast? And then go on to lunch and dinner? Or are you someone who needs to wipe the whole slate clean and convert your entire diet overnight, throw everything out? You have to figure out who you are and what resonates for you. Some people, you give them a plan. And they're great, you say great, come back and talk to me in three months. And some people you give them a plan and a week later, they're like, I need help. You then have to figure out are you someone who works better independently? Or are you someone who works better in collaboration. And then when you figure out whether you're a fell swoop or an incremental change, and on your own or coaching person, that's going to figure out your quadrant and how you approach change. So when you've figured yourself out, you know, because you have to honor it. You can't give the person who needs slow change a full diet makeover or they're going to fail and they won't win and then they're not inspired and empowered. So in the book, what we look at is sort of category by category. It's designed, you could read the book and go, Okay, I'm going to overhaul my life. That's about not filling the pump. So don't get exposed to all these things. The next part of it is getting the diagnosis of what's still in your body now that you're no longer putting it in and how do you get it out. So there's sort of two parts. So the books designed to walk you through okay, here's your water and here's your food, here's your makeup and here's what you're sitting on, and the bed you're sleeping on, and the air quality. So it walks you through all of those, you can go as fast or as slow as you like. You don't have to do it all at once.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
I definitely agree that each person is different and so having someone walk through it by a functional provider or someone who is understanding, a coach of your sensitivities, right? Because I have had people who crash if they detox too quickly. So go very slow and slow. If you don't know what to do, you walk with your provider, and you have someone answering your questions along the way. Because you can get really wrapped up in all the little details. But the big picture is, find someone who can help you along with this detoxing and lifestyle changes that you're going to be making.Wendie Trubow:
You make a great point that, you think about however old you are, when you start this process, you didn't get those toxins overnight. And most of the time, it's better to do something gently and slowly. So the goal isn't to torture you, the goal is to make you feel better. So how do we make you feel reasonably good. It's fatiguing to do detox, it's tiring, but there's going to become a point where you get used to it, and then you feel better. So that's really critical not to do it too fast.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
You kind of brought up also that you have steps. So if a woman is using cosmetics, what can they do? Do you have a lists of things that are bad or things to stay away from?Wendie Trubow:
I look at it the other way, as opposed to because the list of things to stay away from is so long. I started this process and I went, okay, let's look at my makeup that I had at the time. I started going by what's this product? What's this ingredient, and then I would go look it up. And after two ingredients, I was like, this is not a good use of my time and this is very overwhelming. So I flipped the conversation instead of looking at what to avoid, I look at what are good sources. And what we recommend is use the Environmental Working Group EWG.org. Because they've really done the research. They're the data hogs and it's wonderful, because they've gone through what's safe, what's not safe, and have rated everything. You can plug in what are you using and the odds are good that they've reviewed it. So I aim for products that have the Environmental Working Group seal of approval, and they often display it. It's a green beautiful logo on their products. So if you see that, you know, okay, this has been vetted by a group that I trust. Hmm, how about that app - Think dirty? Yep, I have that too. So that's another great resource. Think dirty, and the EWGDr. Carrie Lam, MD:
Yeah. Are there certain companies that you like to use, or that you know, for sure are safe because some of the things that we think are safe or not safe?Wendie Trubow:
So I tend for product specific. Yeah, so I really go by EWG but so I really like Beautycounter for makeup. There's the Honest Company. Myers for cleaning supplies, Aspen cleaning. Clove, I think also has a whole line of cleaning supplies that are clean. So there's a number of companies,Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
These all can be disrupting and you don't even know it laundry detergents, cosmetics, and water bottles. How would you go about detoxing somebody?Wendie Trubow:
I call it stop filling the pump. So for example, I did my environmental toxins report. My toxins from gasoline fume additives were super high and you get it through inhaling the fumes. I said to my husband, I think I'm going to stop pumping my own gas. And he said to me, well, that costs more. And I said, Well, we're gonna have to pick our battles here because we're either going to pay at the pump for me not to pump it or we're going to pay when I get demented and need full time care. I kind of want to go for option one. And he was like, okay, when you put it that way, that's a reasonable sort of approach. So the first is figure out the things that you've got exposure to and stop exposing. For some people that might mean taking out their mercury fillings or I mean, you live in California and sushi is big, right? So but the high mercury fish in sushi can get you toxic. I mean, Jeremy Pippin was toxic like 15 years ago from eating Sushi. So stop filling the pump up with things that are toxic. But to do that, you have to first figure out what are your toxic force, you have to do the testing, and then stop exposing, and then bump up detox ability. So improve your liver function, make sure phase one and phase two are in good shape. Make sure you're either a good methylator or getting methylated B vitamins. Sweat! Everyone tells me like a badge of honor. I don't even have to use deodorant. I don't sweat. I'm like, that's bad. You need to sweat. I don't want you to be stinky, but you got to sweat. It's good. And sweating is exercise. Also Epsom salt baths are great sauna, electric blankets, anything that gets the body moving. Then things that specifically can bind to the toxins depending on what they are. So glutathione, NAC, things for metals like DMSA, EDTA, DMPS, anything that binds to what you're trying to get, and gets rid of it. So I usually recommend doing that with a provider, not alone. You can overshoot, especially if you're doing metals, because unless you're just using like parsley and cilantro, you can overshoot and pull out your minerals and nutrients. So we don't want to do thatDr. Carrie Lam, MD:
So that's really good and going step by step, because you might have one you might have all. It's not just one or the other. Right? I had a friend who ate maybe a can or two cans of tuna a day. And he started losing his hearing and you have a lot of mercury in you. You definitely need to get that out. So it's you have to be careful about your intake. Like you said, stop the intake, and then pull it out slowly and gently. So tell us about your experience about detox reactions?Wendie Trubow:
If you go too fast, too hard, you can react and it spans the gamut. So the most common reaction I see is fatigue, that people feel like a truck ran over them, and I experienced it. And the first round of metals removal that I did, I could barely lift my head up after 830 at night. I was going to bed and after six weeks it lifted. But fatigue is a huge one people can notice. Then sometimes things get worse before they get better. When you stir the pot and start getting rid of the toxins, sometimes the symptoms get worse. So you could notice a little bit of increased hair loss. You can notice that your gut is more irritable if that's your Achilles heel. Sometimes you can respond to the treatment with gut irritability, because it's meant to put the bound toxins in your gut and that's irritating. You can have nausea, or headache or pretty much any other symptom. The most common ones I would say are fatigue, abdominal irritation, hair loss, nausea, not vomiting, but headaches or dizziness. And those should get better. If they don't, then it means that the treatments is too strong and you want to back it down. Because again, the goal is not to torture you the goal is to help you.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
I love that principle that, if this is overwhelming, you have to listen to your body. Don't just push through, like trying to be superwoman, because it can make you worse. You can detox too much and actually crash. So listen to your body and learn to back down if needed, with the help of healthcare providersWendie Trubow:
I think that's such a huge thing to say. I'll speak for myself, I'm always the push through it person. I want to clean that one thing up or finish that one email or get it done. And it's such a disservice, A to me, and B to my children who I'm role modeling that you have to get things done even when you don't feel well. So the last few years, as I've looked at this really started to try to model what do I want my children to do? Because I want my kids to rest when they're tired, not push through. Certainly there's a deadline you might need to meet but most of the time it's not a deadline. It's a self imposed deadline. So as women how do we take a step back and say you know what, this can wait, no one's gonna die.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
Yes, exactly. Learning not to put in society pressure on ourselves, because over time that stress will lead to more fatigue. As you stress out, what we call our MDM stress response and neuro endo metabolic, your adrenals and your hormones and your immune system get affected. So that's very true. So what would you say are the most important tips that your readers can take from the book and even immediately start applying if they get it.Wendie Trubow:
So I really believe in the foundational behaviors as the first starting point. So get enough sleep every night, that goes back to don't push through, take care of your body, move your body regularly, and sweat. Don't worry about things that you can't change. Look for ways that you can take power back. What I mean by that is, especially the last few years, people have felt very powerless. I hear a lot of questions like, what if I get this illness? Or what if I lose my house? Or what if I lose my job? And my response is, that's not a question that empowers you. Change your questions so that the response you get allows your brain to start working on an answer, meaning, instead of asking, What if I lose my job, say, what are the steps I need to take, so I don't lose my job. And then what are the behaviors I would take if I did lose my job. I recommend this because it changes the brain to be action oriented instead of oriented towards being victimized and you don't have any control over it. So those are the foundational things. So reducing stress, getting enough sleep, eating food that's ideally unprocessed whole, clean, if possible. Organic meat that's grass fed, those things make a difference. That's the platform, right? That can be huge. Even seeing someone hate going to bed at one of the morning is unhealthy for you. Let's address that, because I can't help you until you stop tanking your adrenals. We really need to get your adrenals cared for because they're little quivering puddles on the floor. Let's get them boosted. Then we can start dealing with the rest. So dealing with gut health. Other things around detox, I would say, try to eat organic fruits and vegetables, because you want to avoid the pesticides, herbicides and insecticides they've been sprayed with. That would be a low hanging fruit as far as I would be concerned. If you can't do 100%, organic, I would go by the Environmental Working Group has the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15. So that can be your guide of what to avoid and what to focus on. Then for people who are doing construction, if it's an older house, don't be around it when you tear it down and don't live in it while you're doing the construction because you're getting exposed to lead, potentially. And if you've got fillings that are relatively new, and you have a Mercury issue, I'd consider getting those out. But that's also best done with a biologic dentist and within the setting of a proper safety control.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
that's really great tips. Wendy, thank you so much. So if people wanted to find you, where would they be able to go?Wendie Trubow:
There's a bunch of ways. We're on Instagram, fivejourneyshealth, Twitter, fivejourneys, Facebook, fivejourneys, and our website is fivejourneys.com. And the five is spelled out on the website. I don't think I mentioned that we have a special gift for your listeners, that anyone who tunes in can get for a limited time, a free copy of the book, because we really want to get the word out and get people healthy. So we ask that you pay the shipping, but they can get a free copy of Dirty girl ditch the toxins look great, feel freakin amazing. If they go to fivejourneys.com/free book, that will get them into the section that's hidden. That'll get the free book.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
That's really awesome. Thanks for that, and listeners get on that free gift. And we're so thankful that you're here to teach us about detoxing, and how to do it safely. Welcome to our Dr. Lam show and we hope that if you've liked it, make sure you like subscribe and share with everyone who you think really needs to hear this, and we hope to see you next week.Unknown:
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