Victory over Toxins
By Steven F. Ayre & George Michelsen
When Lieutenant Colonel Robert Wolfertz participated in his Marine Corps units attack on the Iraqis in Kuwait two days before the official start of the Desert Storm ground offensive, he achieved his objective of clearing the way for the 1st Marine Divisions mechanized armor assault.
He appeared to be unscathed. However, long after the shooting stopped he experienced unexplained and intermittent lower-back pain and a foot rash.
Over the following months, his list of complaints grew to include multiple muscle, joint and tendon pains, fatigue, headaches, short-term memory loss and sleeping problems. It was an extreme turn of events for someone who had been in excellent health six months earlier and who had not been hit by a single round of enemy fire.
The colonel later discovered that his symptoms could be the result of exposure to toxins during his tour in the Persian Gulf, including tablets of pyridostigmine bromide (PB) a purported antidote to chemical nerve agents an anthrax vaccine and clothes impregnated with pesticide.
He had no idea what was slowly eroding his health until, while appearing before the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses in 1996, he met a doctor who knew of an answer that other physicians hed seen did not.
A Constant Improvement
The doctor told Wolfertz about a detoxification program based on the discoveries of author and humanitarian
Over the course of 17 days, he said, I noticed a constant improvement until the 17th day, when I felt wonderful. That was 2 1/2 years ago, and I continue to feel wonderful.
A Marine Reservist who served in the Gulf War had experiences similar to Wolfertzs. He wore clothes saturated with pesticide and popped his PB tablets daily. He breathed air laden with smoke from oil wells set ablaze by the retreating Iraqis and was also exposed to lindane, a pesticide used to delouse Iraqi prisoners.
His symptoms were also similar to those of Wolfertz, although he additionally began to cough up black sputum, his speech became slurred and he suffered from dizziness and nervousness. He, too, was at a loss over what to do about his symptoms until 1996, when he discovered the same answer as Wolfertz.
Undergoing the same detox program, his symptoms improved by at least 80 to 90 percent as a result.1
Another Gulf veteran, whose problems had included such muscle weakness that he could hardly get out of bed, completed the program and wrote, I feel more energetic. I have no more body aches, joint pain or headaches. I also feel stronger now.
Seeking an Answer to Toxins
Years before these and other Gulf veterans began struggling with toxic exposure, countless other individuals faced similar situations arising from all manner of circumstances.
Millions of chemical compounds have been released into the environment since the 1960s with no real understanding of the effects created on any of the species on the planet, let alone the trillions of variations these substances form when combined. Today, some 3,000 chemicals are deliberately added to the foods we eat while 700 have been identified in the water we drink.
Of note, only a small percentage of the more than 85,000 chemicals in domestic and commercial use have been tested for toxicity to the human nervous and immune systems.
Some toxins are as ubiquitous and persistent as the agricultural and manufacturing organochlorine pollutants that concern environmentalists and ecologists today, yet have received scant attention in the fight against pollution. Consequently, when individuals sicken or die, nobody has been able to point meaningfully to a continued exposure to minuscule amounts of personal care products or the pharmacy of drugs originally prescribed to improve health.
Sources of toxins include pharmaceuticals and even ingredients in personal care products, such as sunscreens and shampoo. In addition to their introduction directly into the bodies of the individuals using them, they can find their way via treated and untreated sewage and rainwater runoff into the environment, where they are absorbed by crops, fish and animals, and thence into humans. (See Environmental Poisons.)
Among the victims of toxins was a factory worker in Slovenia who fought her own battle with severe abdominal cramps, muscle aches, extreme fatigue, joint swelling and eruptions of chloracne, a form of acne resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals.
These symptoms plagued her for 16 of the 18 years she was employed at the factory, and during which she rarely wore protective gear. Tests conducted at the University Medical Center of Ljubljana showed high levels of the now-banned chemical PCB, a known carcinogen, in the womans fat tissue. PCB was also found in a bluish-green fluid oozing spontaneously from her nipples.
Heavy industrial applications may seem a far cry from the lives of most, but chemical poisoning can also strike closer to home in fact, in the home, as a 14-year-old girl in New York experienced after her house was treated improperly with the pesticide dieldrin. She began to suffer from headaches, acne and nausea. A DDT metabolite known as DDE, the form the chemical may take from metabolic action, was found in her body.
A 39-year-old athlete in Washington, formerly in excellent health, had all the symptoms of chemical poisoning: fatigue, flu-like symptoms, muscle tiredness and joint pain. Despite eating high-nutrition foods and drinking bottled water, a blood analysis showed very high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE), a carcinogen and nervous system toxin, and TCE metabolites. The toxins came from the water supply in her area, which she soaked up in the three showers she took each day. The poisons were more readily absorbed in the vapors she breathed while taking the showers.
Chemical poisons even reach into the womb. A girl in Ohio was exposed to fumes from a carpet installed in the family home while she was still in her mothers womb. The family was obliged to vacate the house after three weeks because the fumes were so strong. Samples of the carpet were sent to a laboratory, where they killed test mice within hours. By the time the girl was 6, she was chronically ill, unable to leave home or to perform the kind of rudimentary tasks one would expect of someone her age.
You Have Given Me and Our Family New Hope
Utilizing the detox program, the amount of PCBs in the fat tissue of the female factory worker from Slovenia reduced 63 percent; in her serum it fell by 49 percent. The discharge from her nipples ceased entirely. Elated with the results, she was able to return to work.
The 39-year-old female athlete was entirely free of her symptoms by the end of the program, with no detectable traces of TCE in her body.
The 14-year-old girl whose house had been treated with dieldrin completed the program and her DDE levels dropped more than 90 percent, resulting in significant improvements in her headaches and acne.
The 6-year-old exposed to fumes from carpeting while in her mothers womb also completed the program and was able to finish tasks and leave her home for the first time.
The need for and value of such a program is obvious to those who have done it. Lieutenant Colonel Wolfertz, for example, expressed his hope that other Gulf veterans affected by toxins learn about it and avail themselves of the opportunity it provides.
As Operation Iraqi Freedom unfolded, he told Freedom, I worry about what faces our troops today with conflict in the same region against the same enemy. While I speak of all our troops in general, my concern is heightened in that my son, Andrew, a lance corporal in the Marine Corps Reserve, has been called to active duty. Knowing that the detox program exists provides a measure of reassurance; if toxic exposure occurs, help is on hand.
As the wife of one Gulf veteran wrote, Thank you for sending back the husband I knew before the Persian Gulf War.... He was temporarily overcome by poisons from the Gulf War. You have gotten those poisons out of his system and I am sincerely thankful. You have given me and our family new hope.
A Solution Whose Time Has Come
Anecdotes work well enough for private individuals to sit up and take notice. Yet tens of studies conducted around the world over the last 25 years add further weight to the detox program as a solution whose time has come.
When the program was introduced, the idea that chemical residues could be stored in the fat and go into action years later was not just controversial, but revolutionary.
Word spread in medical and environmental circles, and experts began taking a serious look at this method of eliminating drug residues as a solution for environmental toxins, as well.
In 1984, the first study was undertaken on seven subjects in Michigan who had eaten meat laced with highly carcinogenic PBBs (polybrominated biphenyls) after fire retardant had been inadvertently fed to cows there in 1973.
At the time, it was generally understood that once PBB entered the human body, it was there to stay. The men who participated in that first trial of the detox program were tested using fat biopsies before, during and after the program, and again four months later.
Sixteen separate chemicals were measured at the outset, and all but one reduced by significant amounts: an average of 35 percent during treatment and 59 percent in the four months after. This later reading indicated that the detox program stimulates the bodys elimination mechanisms, resulting in continued reductions in toxicity and improvements in health long after the program was completed a phenomenon confirmed by later studies.
Since the 1980s, additional studies have included firemen and police officers exposed to a variety of hazardous chemicals, painters exposed to lead, factory workers exposed to various toxins, patients exposed to pesticides, drug addicts, and Vietnam veterans exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange.
A former Marine who fought in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange and other toxins said, the program has changed my life, my physical well-being and my attitude toward a much better existence.... There is hope for those Vietnam vets who are still in the Vietnam War syndrome after being out of the war.
Another Vietnam veteran wrote, Memory is much improved, mind clear. I visualized that all of the Agent Orange, arsenic, filthy food and water I consumed in Vietnam came out of me here. Hallelujah! Headaches are gone not one. I feel like Id have to ram my head into a wall to get one ([they were] very frequent before). Back and neck pain are gone. Sleeping well. Cough gone. Overall sense of well-being is beyond description!
The program has also been used for those exposed to radiation poisoning, with several studies successfully concluded on victims of the Chernobyl, Ukraine, nuclear reactor catastrophe of April 1986. Some of the radiation research was carried out at the Medical and Radiological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Numerous bodies have published papers on the detox program, including the World Health Organization, UNESCO, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Society of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, the American Public Health Association, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
What Goes in Can Come Out
The daily regimen includes mild exercise to make the blood flow, followed by sauna to promote sweating, with periodic breaks to cool down, to drink liquids to replace water and electrolytes, and sometimes to shower off toxins being sweated out of the body.
Sound nutrition is required, including a high intake of fresh, green vegetables, as well as plenty of sleep to help the body recover from the added stress of eliminating toxins. A complete and exact regimen of nutritional supplements is followed to replenish those lost in sweating, and to balance the niacin that is consumed in gradually increasing amounts throughout the program.
David Root, M.D., medical director of HealthMed in Sacramento, California, who has overseen the detoxification of more than 3,500 individuals with this program over the past 20 years in his practice, said that roughly 15 percent of the toxins are excreted through the sweat and about 85 percent through the gastrointestinal tract. The lungs and sebaceous glands constitute additional, minor exit routes.
Victory on the Personal Level
The worldwide proliferation of man-made chemicals throughout the 20th century was an unprecedented development in human history. We are only beginning to understand the consequences of this contamination of air, soil, water and the food chain, including increased illnesses linked to toxic exposure.
There has been no escaping this onslaught, although the detox program has provided a simple antidote on the personal level.
While strategic solutions for environmental issues affecting human health must still be implemented, until then, the battle on the personal level has tipped in favor of survival no mean feat given the enormity of the problem that chemical poisoning poses to the health and life of every man, woman and child.
For more information, contact HealthMed at (800) 473-3084; web site www.healthmeddetox.com
* Reference: 1 David E. Root, M.D., Statement Before the Presidential Special Oversight Board for Department of Defense Investigations of Gulf War Chemical and Biological Incidents, November 20, 1998.