Environmental Toxicants and Brain Health
We wanted to get additional information on environmental toxins and brain health, so we reached out to Doug Cutler, N.D. a Licensed Naturopathic Physician who practices at Cutler Integrative Medicine in Bingham Farms, MI.
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Among his many areas of expertise, Dr. Cutler has advanced training in environmental medicine and genetic polymorphisms, specializing in both naturopathic medicine and integrative medicine; and including chemical and toxic metal syndromes.
What toxicants in our environment do you see affecting brain health the most?
An estimated 80,000+ chemicals (10,000+ in food processing) have been developed, distributed and discarded into the environment over the past 50 years, so it is no surprise that human adipose tissue from U.S. residents has revealed over 700+ chemical contaminants that have not been chemically identified.
Based on the medical literature, aluminum (water/dust/food) and total pesticides have the greatest impact (Odds Ratio / % Above Threshold) on brain health long term. BPA and other plastics are having the biggest impact on brain health and brain development with our babies in the womb.
Are there other causes of brain health issues?
Our foods! We have underestimated the importance of the gut-brain connection and the negative impact that chronic inflammation has on neurological health.
We now know that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can cause white brain lesions for some patients. Previous traumatic brain injuries (TBI's) are also overlooked, but have many options for treatment.
What are symptoms one could experience?
Symptoms could include behavior or personality changes; a change in vision; headaches or other unexplained pain; muscle tremors/weakness, numbness or tingling; slurred speech; decreased alertness, fatigue, poor cognitive abilities, memory loss, confusion or chronic depression; unexplained weight changes; sleep issues or chronic nausea.
What tests are used to identify toxicants in the body?
Depending on a patient’s history, family history and environmental toxicant exposures, other specialty type labs (toxicant focused) can help rule out any current exposures. Urine and blood work is the standard for toxic metals to rule out and eliminate chronic inflammation.
What are solutions you recommend?
Avoidance! Avoidance! Avoidance! No amount of treatment matters when there are current exposures.
ScoreCard.org is a pollution information website people can visit to see the top toxicants and pollutants for their zip code.
Have a proper environmental toxic exposure workup with a medically trained specialist who has extensive training in environmental medicine.
Individualized treatment is the best course for patients, but more importantly, determining the underlying cause(s) of symptoms which aren’t always toxicant related.
What developments do you see taking place for treating other neurological brain health issues?
The positive impacts we see with neurological diseases are toxicant avoidance, eliminating chronic inflammation, addressing emotional stressors and lowering the overall toxic burden via detoxification therapies, chelation therapy and depuration therapies.
Raising glutathione levels and increasing nutrient status via IV Nutrient Therapy can help stop the progression of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s.
For more information, contact Dr. Doug Cutler, N.D. at 248-663-0165 or visit his website: CutlerIntegrativeMedicine.com.