infertility

  • Consumers Beware: Toxins Lurking in Your Clothing!

    Focus on Health…

    • Today’s clothing industry is a seven trillion dollar a year industry that uses an astounding 8,000 synthetic chemicals;
    • Consumers have the mistaken illusion that synthetic fibers in clothing are safe;
    • For over half a century people have been reacting negatively to chemicals interacting with their skin causing disorders like infertility, respiratory diseases, contact dermatitis and, yes, even cancer;
    • The more synthetic clothing you wear, the greater your risk of absorbing toxic chemicals that can precipitate health conditions most often not attributed to synthetic fibers.

    Key Points…

    • Your skin is the largest organ of elimination and absorption—what goes ON the skin goes IN the body;
    • When toxins are absorbed through your skin, they are taken-up by the lymphatic system, then into the blood stream and eventually the liver—the chemical-processing plant of the body responsible for removing toxins;
    • Your skin also keeps you healthy by actually venting approximately one pound of toxins daily;
    • Petrochemical fibers restrict and suffocate your skin—shutting down toxic release rather than allowing it to escape—contributing to your total body burden and may be the trigger for the onset of disease;
    • A “toxic soup” is created when combining multiple chemicals that interact to create an even more toxic substance and health consequences than individual chemicals by themselves.

    Fabric may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about living a healthier lifestyle, but it definitely should be considered. Even many “health nuts” don’t realize that synthetic fabrics are teaming with chemicals and dyes that cannot be washed out, making them a potential health hazard.

    Most synthetic fabrics, from towels to dress shirts and bed linens, are treated with chemicals during and after processing. These chemicals not only leach into the environment, impacting groundwater, wildlife, air and soil, but they also may be absorbed or inhaled directly.

    “The use of man-made chemicals is increasing, and at the same time we have warning signals that a variety of wildlife and human health problems are becoming more prevalent,” says Dr. Richard Dixon, Head of the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) Scotland. “It is reckless to suggest there is no link between the two and give chemicals the benefit of the doubt. Urgent action is needed to replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives especially in clothing and other consumer products.”

    WWF is so concerned about one fairly new clothing additive that they advised parents to check their children’s clothing labels. If the chemical is on it, they advise switching to clothing made from natural fibers whenever possible.

    Teflon in Your Trousers
    The chemicals that the WWF was warning about are perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which include the non-stick additive Teflon. These chemicals are increasingly being added to clothing because it makes them last longer and also can make them wrinkle-free. Most clothing labeled “no-iron” contains PFCs.

    I have written about and consulted with patients worldwide regarding their allergic responses from synthetic fibers—bedding, clothing, car interiors, exercise/athletic clothing, mattresses, hats, etc.—that said, the frequency of recent incidents is very alarming to me and it should be to you. The allergic responses now commonly being reported as a result of these synthetic chemicals include, but are definitely not limited to:

    • Skin rashes and lesions that can be cancerous
    • Nausea
    • Unexplained fatigue
    • Burning and itching
    • Unexplained headaches
    • Blurred vision
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Reoccurring sinus infections not previously experienced
    • Sudden inflammation and pain; especially in soft tissues

    Keep in mind that if you have mysterious “invisible illnesses” that linger and yet you’re told “everything is within normal range,” it’s time to look into whether the fibers your clothes and bedding are made of could be the problem; it is for many.

    Recent Case History:
    The following is a quote from a patient of mine who I have worked with via long-distance for years. Hopefully her experience will assist others when mysterious skin eruptions appear and to further make my point about the toxicity of chemicals used in synthetic fibers and coloring.

    “I wore a white cotton tank top with orange embroidery around the neck line. After a few hours the skin around the neck line was scratchy and bothersome so I removed the garment. I noticed small red irritation where the embroidery touched my skin but really thought very little of it as I assumed it would go away. After a few weeks the skin still appeared irritated so I started using my ‘safe’ moisturizing lotion. When this had no affect I saw a dermatologist and explained the situation. He determined the skin was pre-cancerous and prescribed a cortisone ointment for the next five weeks. If the skin is not completely healed at the end of this time the doctor said we need to remove it. I questioned the dermatologist about how and why this happened and he informed me that skin irritations such as these can lead to cancer.

    I have been very careful to wear only 100 percent cotton for years and soak/wash any new clothes four times (powdered milk soak, safe detergent, vinegar, baking soda) prior to use since I have been immune challenged for years.

    I have noticed that even if I touch my father’s colored cotton/polyester blend shirts/socks that I feel an odd sensation in my fingertips. This does not persist but is a very strange feeling. I have similar experiences with the cloth grocery bags from health food stores that make me immediately put it down. It is not the exact feeling of a static shock but close. The dermatologist shared with me that he has seen this type of reaction from other patients that can only be attributed to toxic chemicals and dyes used in manufacturing.”

    Which Fabric Finishes “Scream” Toxic Chemicals?

    1. Easy Care—Wrinkle-free, shrinkage-free—these garments release formaldehyde;
    2. Water Repellent—Fluoropolymers (as in Teflon) are used to repel oil and water;
    3. Flame Retardants;
    4. Bacterial and Fungicidal Chemicals—Triclosan and nano-particles are used for these purposes, dangerous neurotoxins and irritants.

    Fabrics containing Formaldehyde—linked to a 30 percent increase in lung cancer, skin/lung irritation and contact dermatitis:

    • Anti-cling, anti-static, anti-shrink
    • Waterproof
    • Perspiration-proof
    • Moth-proof and mildew resistant
    • Chlorine resistant

    It’s also used in dyes and printing to fix the design and prevent “running.” It is widely used in bedding so it’s best to use bedding that is all cotton and in light or white colors to eliminate risk from formaldehyde used to set colored fabrics.

    You Need to Know…

    • Most governments restrict formaldehyde levels in clothing… but NOT the U.S. One of the worst offenders is China. Beware of “Made in China” labels.
    • Use of formaldehyde in clothing is extremely widespread. There have even been lawsuits alleging high levels of it in Victoria’s Secret bras.
    • High temperatures and humidity make “poison clothes” even worse—they open your pores and increase chemical absorption.
    • You absorb formaldehyde from multiple sources daily, so don’t be fooled by manufacturers’ reassurances.
    • Disperse Blue Dyes may look gorgeous—even regal—but they put you at high risk for contact dermatitis. . . especially dark blue, brown, and black synthetic clothing. It’s important to note—laundering does not reverse that risk.
    • Worse. . . Disperse Blue # 1 is classified as a human carcinogen due to high malignant tumor levels in lab animals.
    • Incidentally, you might be interested to know that this dye also shows up in cosmetics and semi-permanent hair dyes.

    Fire and Burn Hazards
    The U.S. Marine Corps now prohibits troops in Iraq from wearing synthetic clothing while off base . . . after too many unfortunate burns from soldiers wearing polyester, acrylic, and nylon—which readily melts in high heat and fuses to the skin. (What did you expect? This stuff is a first cousin to plastic—both products of the oil industry.)

    Of course, that begs the question of whether flame retardants are safer. . .

    Historical Perspective. . .
    Flame Retardant use began in 1971, when government required children’s sleepwear to be self-extinguishing; their solution was to add Brominated Tris. Studies measuring urine samples showed that this chemical is readily absorbed.

    Brominated Tris is a mutagen*, and causes cancer and sterility in animals and have also shown they cause testicular atrophy and sterility.
    *Mutagens cause inheritable mutations by damaging DNA

    Tris was banned in children’s clothing in 1977 (but lives on in upholstered furniture foam, baby carriers, and bassinets). Today most synthetic fabrics contain a new generation of flame retardants bonded into the fabric, which must survive 50+ washings.

    According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Burn Center, only 36 children a year suffer serious injuries from sleepwear catching fire. My heart goes out to these tragic victims and their families. But is the toxic contamination of millions of children worth protecting 36 children per year from burns?

    The Way I See It. . .
    This sort of regulation is a product of the “precautionary principle”—the notion that there should be no limit to the amount of money spent or the amount of inconvenience inflicted on millions of people when it comes to preventing rare dangers that affect a tiny number of people. The mania for making our society risk-proof and accident-proof actually increases danger in many cases.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission exempts certain sleepwear from flammability standards. Two companies selling kids’ sleepwear without flame retardants are L.L.Bean and Lands’ End.

    But it’s not just children’s sleepwear—demand is high for fire-retardant uniforms and civilian clothing.

    Lab studies show that flame retardants (PBDEs) can cause a slew of health issues—thyroid problems, brain damage, ADHD symptoms, fertility problems and even cancer.

    The insecticide permethrin is now in civilian outdoor wear and military uniforms even though no long-term studies have assessed its safety.

    Focus on Health…
    • Scientists find that restrictive bras suppress the lymphatic system—needed to flush toxins from your breasts and lymph nodes and to help prevent breast cancer;
    • Despite wide appeal of synthetic athletic apparel, medical studies show that synthetic fibers cause muscle fatigue— which can make the difference between winning and losing for competitive athletes;
    • A study of 24–27-year-old-males, showed that natural linen long sleeved shirts were worn for five hours—and then polyester ones were worn for another five hours. Their arms were monitored during both with electrodes measuring skin temperature and velocity of the men's muscle tissue. No changes were measurable when they wore linen. However, when they donned polyester they endured a range of muscle disruptions.
    Key Points…
    • While individual chemicals might not endanger your health, the synergistic effect of multiple chemicals (a “toxic soup”) interacting can have unpredictable negative health effects;
    • Choose natural fibers. While not always as easy to find, its best to do so when possible:

    Cotton — preferably organic still remains the “king” of textiles. Organic accounts for less than one percent of worldwide production;
    Flax — one of nature’s strongest fibers;
    Hemp — grows without any need for fungicides, herbicides, or pesticides because it’s naturally insect-resistant. Its fibers are reported to be four times stronger than cotton. This is NOT the hemp known for its mind-altering properties;
    Silk —known as the “queen of fabrics.” Watch out for the use of synthetic dyes in this fiber.
    Wool —most of today’s wool is contaminated with chemicals, i.e., pesticides used to kill parasites. But organic wool is becoming more common.
    Other — alpaca, angora, camel, cashmere, mohair, ramie, aluyot.

    You Need to Know…
    The Organic Trade Association estimates that one non-organic cotton T-shirt uses one-third pound of pesticides and fertilizers. Cotton production uses one-fourth of the entire world’s fertilizers. It’s another good reason to choose organic cotton to add to the ones above.

    Don’t get over-whelmed, start small. Choose organic for clothing closet to your skin most of the time—underwear, sleepwear, camisoles, sheets/pillow cases, etc. Build on your organic wardrobe as you replace items.

    Are You Getting a Charge? Electrostatic charges accumulate in synthetic clothing. There are reported incidents of shocking mini-explosions from mixing layers of synthetic clothing with synthetic carpeting. And get this…synthetic undergarments contribute to infertility in men.

    A 24-month study of male dogs wearing either loose-fitting polyester underpants or loose-fitting cotton ones showed that wearing polyester created significant decreases in sperm count and degeneration of the testes. The animals wearing cotton suffered no side effects. (And, please, no emails to the editor about dogs wearing underwear. I agree, it sounds silly but no humans would volunteer!)

    Scientists hypothesize that polyester traps body heat, encourages chemical absorption, and creates electrostatic buildup… which all affect sperm count.

    Personal Perspective...
    I'm mindful of the problems with synthetic fibers and dyes because (cancer concerns aside) I'm sensitive to a wide range of chemicals as are most of my patients.

    A few years ago I bought a beautiful set of sheets from an upscale store. The label said they were 100 percent cotton, but after sleeping in them a few nights I experienced all my old fibromyalgia pains that had long ago resolved (unless I eat foods in the nightshade genre or consume MSG) and I was now again experiencing bone and muscle pain from head to toe. Repeated washings didn't get out whatever the offending substance was—it never does.

    I got a terrible reaction from the dyes or maybe the chemicals used to make those all-cotton sheets "no-iron." You can only imagine what true synthetic cloth can do to us; after all, it's largely a product of the oil industry. After I switched to a high-quality set of organic sheets, all my symptoms were resolved.

    Invisible Saboteurs...
    We have the illusion that clothes made from synthetic fibers are safe, but the materials are in fact full of invisible chemicals the clothing industry prefers we donft think about.

    A hundred years ago, clothing was made of natural fibers like cotton, flax, wool, and silk—synthetics weren't developed until the early 1900s.

    Although rayon was introduced in 1924, the first truly synthetic fiber was nylon, made by DuPont from the petro-molecule toluene. Nylon was first used because it was a popular material for women's stockings and later panty hose.

    Other synthetics followed:
    • Acrylic (1950), aka, "wash-and-wear fabrics"—a "revolutionary time-saving leap" for homemakers.
    • Polyester (1953), "wrinkle free" fabrics developed from xylene and ethylene.
    • Spandex and olefin (1959), which became the mainstay of sportswear, swim suits, and thermal underwear. Olefin is produced by "cracking" petroleum molecules into propylene and ethylene gases.

    The Way I See It
    Don't wait until you or a loved one has a health issue before changing the products you purchase. Yes, organic cotton does cost a bit more...but then...isn't it more cost effective to stay healthy than to get well?

    I'm especially concerned about pregnant woman and their newborn children, make the decision as parents and grandparents to create a safe nontoxic nursery beginning with non-toxic no VOC paint to hard surface flooring, the crib and bedding and the clothing used for a newborn whose immune system is not fully developed to provide maximum protection, naturally. 

    Resources:
    1. www.cancerdefeated.com Clement, Anna Maria, and Clement, Brian, Killer Clothes: How Seemingly Innocent Clothing Choices Endanger Your Health . . . And How to Protect Yourself! Hippocrates Publications, 2011. p. 75.
    2. http://www.cool-organic-clothing.com/organic-clothes.html Much of the information in this article was taken from the book Killer Clothes, by the Clements.
    Resources:

    1. www.cancerdefeated.com
    2. Clement, Anna Maria, and Clement, Brian, Killer Clothes: How Seemingly Innocent Clothing Choices Endanger Your Health . . . And How to Protect Yourself! Hippocrates Publications, 2011. p. 75.
    3. http://www.cool-organic-clothing.com/organic-clothes.html

  • FINALLY—A Safe, Natural, Non-Hormonal Contraceptive With No Side Effects

    FINALLY—A Safe, Natural, Non-Hormonal Contraceptive With No Side Effects Sherrill Sellman

    Whenever a woman is considering some form of contraception, her doctor will immediately offer her a smorgasbord of options. Of course, the Birth Control Pill made with a combination of estrogen and progestins will usually be the first recommendation. But, she could also choose an implant called Nexplanon®, a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick that is surgically implanted under the skin of the upper arm, releasing progestin for up to four years. Or, perhaps, she would prefer the NuvaRing®, a small, flexible ring containing estrogen and progestin inserted into the vagina and removed after three weeks and a new ring inserted one week later.

    The choices keep coming. There is always the Depo shot (AKA Depo-Provera), an injection of progestin that prevents ovulation for up to three months. For women who prefer something other than the Pill or inserted devices, there is the Xulane® Patch (which replaced the Ortho Evra birth control patch now only available in Europe and Canada). The transdermal patch sticks to the body and releases synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones directly through the skin. It works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle. A new patch is used each week for three weeks and a week with no patch (during your period).

    A Little Secret About All Hormonal Contraceptives
    The two main ingredients in hormonal contraceptives are either a combination of estrogen and progestin (a synthetic form of the natural hormone progesterone) or progestin-only contraceptives. There are well-noted "minor" side-effects experienced by many women that include breast tenderness, weight gain, skin and acne issues, hair loss, increased facial hair growth, nausea, nutrient depletion, mood swings, vaginitis, varicose veins and decreased libido.

    Major mood changes including depression, anxiety, irritation, and angry outbursts are commonly experienced. A study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that women using hormonal contraception faced a 23 percent greater incidence of developing depression and greater use of antidepressants than women who did not use the drugs. Among teens using these contraceptives, that rate nearly doubled.

    However, there are even more serious problems. The hormonal combinations increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, migraines, high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, benign liver tumors, decreased bone density, infertility and yeast overgrowth. They alter the vaginal environment making it more hospitable to sexually transmitted diseases. Birth control pills adversely affect the beneficial microbiome in the intestines, which means a women is more susceptible to yeast overgrowth, has lower immunity and more frequent infections.

    Using hormonal contraceptives is playing Russian roulette with your health. These hormone combinations increase the levels of clotting factors and are responsible for a three-to four-fold increase in the incidence of blood clots. The FDA warns that the patch version poses an even greater risk because the level of estrogen absorbed from the patch is 60 percent more than the amount delivered by the pills. A blood clot can occur in a leg (deep vein thrombosis) or in the lung (pulmonary embolism) and can lead to death.

    The most alarming, yet least known, problem is the fact that estrogen and progestin can cause cancer. Both the World Health Organization's cancer agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program have listed estrogens and progestins as known human carcinogens. What this means is that taking any of the hormonal contraceptive choices will increase the risk of developing breast, cervical, uterine, ovarian, or liver cancers. And, the younger the age of a woman when she begins using them, the greater her lifetime risk.

    Modern women are caught in a terrible dilemma. While they want to control their fertility, they don't want to have to gamble with their health.

    Smart Women's Choice Vaginal Gel—A Revolution In Totally Effective, Totally Safe Contraceptives.

    There is really good news for women! Thanks to the passion and dedication of one woman to save women's lives, there is now an alternative to the dangerous hormonal contraceptives: Smart Women's Choice. SWC is a vaginal gel that contains no hormones and no spermicides; it is proven 100 percent effective, completely safe and causes no harmful side effects whatsoever.

    Smart Women's choice Natural Contraceptive and birth control cream

    Françoise Farron, PhD, an outstanding biochemist, earned her degree from New Your University Medical School and went on to work at Harvard Medical School, studying control mechanisms of cell growth, as part of a larger program designed to understand the phenomenon of uncontrolled growth in cancer cells.

    Francoise knew of the contraceptive formula since her own reproductive years; she used it and it worked for her. But she was not going to abandon her fascinating and successful studies at Harvard to go into the birth control business—until tragedy struck. Her friend's daughter suddenly died from a blood clot while using the NuvaRing®. At that juncture, Francoise felt a personal obligation to bring her discovery of a safe contraceptive to market, to make it available to all women who wanted to avail themselves of its unique advantages.

    Smart Women's Choice, is a novel approach to effective protection from unwanted pregnancies and works in an entirely different way from hormone-based birth control methods.

    In order for fertilization to occur, the sperm must travel from the vagina, were it is deposited during intercourse, up the fallopian tubes to merge with an egg that has been released by the ovaries. But Smart Women's Choice completely immobilizes the sperm in the vagina, within seconds; therefore the sperm cannot make the journey from the vagina into the fallopian tubes and thus, never encounters the egg; so fertilization cannot and does not take place.

    No fertilization = No pregnancy

    Since SWC does not alter or affect a woman's hormonal system, there are no harmful side-effects. Smart Women's Choice is a simple solution to prevent fertilization; it's amazing that no one has thought of it before. It is unique and effective; a patent has been filed and is pending.

    Where's the proof? Dr. Martin Bastuba, Medical Director at Male Fertility Specialists and head of one of the foremost fertility clinics in Southern California, performed a motility test on sperm samples to study the effectiveness of Smart Women's Choice on the motility of spermatozoa.

    The results presented in the accompanying table show unequivocally that SWC vaginal gel immobilizes sperm completely at all dilutions. If spermatozoa are totally immobilized in the vagina and, thus, unable to travel up the fallopian tubes fertilization cannot and does not occur.

    Conclusion: The results presented in the table above show unequivocally that SWC does agglutinate sperm to varying degrees, and immobilizes sperm completely at all dilutions. If sperm is immobilized and thus cannot travel up the fallopian tubes fertilization cannot occur.

    Women around the world who have decided to use Smart Women's Choice are delighted with its effectiveness in preventing unwanted pregnancies and a total absence of ill side effects.

    Smart Women's Choice has been selling for over three years with a terrific track record. More than 1,500 women have been using SWC with no pregnancies reported so far.

    Pharmacist, nutritionist and author, Ross Pelton, RPh, CCN recommends Smart Women's Choice. "I have been a long-time supporter of women's health issues. One of my concerns is the side effects caused by birth control pills. Consequently, I authored 'The Pill Problem,' which teaches women how to prevent the side effects from birth control pills. A safe form of contraception for women would be of tremendous worldwide health benefit to women (and their spouses if women are avoiding the side effects of BC pills & IUDs). I am happy to report that a safe form of contraception for women has been developed. It is named Smart Women's Choice. It works by causing the entire ejaculate to coagulate. Thus, the sperm are prevented from traveling up the fallopian tubes where fertilization takes place. The coagulate exits the vagina at the end of the intercourse and then rinse with water. It is easy and pleasant to use."

    How To Use Smart Women's Choice
    Using it is as simple as one, two, three!

    Step 1: Squeeze approximately one inch of Smart Women's Choice birth control gel onto your middle finger.

    Step 2: Insert into the vagina immediately before having sex. It helps lubricate for comfort, too. If you have sex repeatedly in short succession, you have to reapply SWC every time.

    Step 3: After completion, just rinse with water to restore the vagina to its normal acidity.

    Women Deserve a Safe, Non-Hormonal Alternative!
    Ever since the Pill was first released in 1960, it has been fraught with serious side effects. Some of them have even been fatal. Women were forced to make the difficult decision, Use the Pill or some other hormone-based contraception and take your chances with the many uncomfortable side-effects and potentially dangerous consequences or risk an unwanted pregnancy. It has taken almost 60 years to find a truly safe natural contraceptive. Dr. Francoise Farron, a fiercely determined woman, has been passionate about her mission to save the lives of women worldwide. After years of research, she has succeeded in bringing her vision of a truly safe and effective, non-hormonal contraceptive solution, called Smart Women's Choice, into the world. As usual, it takes a woman! To learn more go to smartwomenschoice.com.

  • The Challenge to Women s Health

    When it comes to women’s health, the knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine embodies may pearls of wisdom. One of the most well-known sayings is that a Chinese doctor would rather treat ten men rather than one woman! It is no surprise that women are the more complex gender. A woman’s unique physiology gives her extraordinary advantages, such as a longer life span. However, altering the very delicate and finely balanced female hormonal system can also predispose women to a long list of health problems that can compromise her physiological, emotional and mental well-being.