Episode 40 of The Chemical Sensitivity Podcast is available now!
It’s called “Surviving and Detoxing in Toxic Times.”
It features a conversation with Dr. Jenny Goodman.
Dr. Goodman is a medical doctor specializing in environmental medicine based in London, England. (We share the same last name, but we aren’t related.) She is the author of the 2020 book, “Staying Alive in Toxic Times: A Seasonal Guide to Lifelong Health.”
You’ll hear Dr. Goodman discuss how MCS has become an epidemic in modern times, how environmental physicians search deeply into the roots of people's illnesses, electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), the vital role of nutrition for people with MCS, and seven ways people can detoxify.
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Aaron Goodman 00:06
Welcome to the Chemical Sensitivity Podcast. I'm Aaron Goodman, host and founder of the podcast. I'm a journalist, documentary maker, university instructor and Communication Studies researcher, and I've lived with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or MCS for years. MCS is also known as Environmental Illness, Chemical Intolerance and Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance, or TILT, and it affects millions around the world. Many people with the condition are dismissed by health care workers, employers, friends and even family. Countless people with MCS struggle to find healthy housing, and get accommodation at work and school, and we suffer in all kinds of ways.
The purpose of the Chemical Sensitivity Podcast is to help raise awareness about MCS and amplify research about it. We featured interviews with some of the world's leading experts and researchers on MCS, and lots of people with the condition and we're just getting started. I'm grateful to listeners who support the podcast. If you'd like to make a monthly contribution or a one-time donation, please find links on the website, chemicalsensitivitypodcast.org. Your support help us continue making the podcast available and creating greater awareness of it MCS. Thanks so much. The podcast belongs to the community. And the purpose is to advocate for all of us and your help means a lot.
You're listening to Episode 40. It's called Surviving toxic times. It features a conversation with Dr. Jenny Goodman. Dr. Goodman is a medical doctor specializing in Environmental Medicine and is based in London, England. We share the same last name, but we are not related.
In Dr. Goodman’s medical practice and writing, she focuses on the impacts of toxic pollution on physical and mental health. She is the author of the 2020 book, “Staying Alive in Toxic Times: A Seasonal Guide to Lifelong Health.” Now, the book doesn't specifically focus on MCS, but it contains some excellent information about the health impacts of toxic chemicals, and has a lot of details about nutrition and detoxification.
Unlike many doctors, she deeply explores what is impacting people's health when they have MCS. In our conversation, Dr. Goodman talks about nutrition and seven ways people can detoxify their bodies. I hope you get a lot out of the conversation.
We release new episodes twice a month. Please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Find us on social media, just search for the Chemical Sensitivity Podcast, or podcastingMCS. Please leave your comments below anything you hear on the podcast, and please share the podcast with others. You can find the podcast on YouTube, just go to YouTube, search for the Chemical Sensitivity Podcast, and click subscribe. There, you can read captions in any language you like. leave a review where you get your podcasts. It's a great way to help others learn about the podcast. And if there's someone you'd like to hear interviewed on the podcast or topic you'd like us to explore, just let us know, email email@example.com. Thanks for listening.
Aaron Goodman 03:47
Dr. Goodman, thank you so much for joining me.
Dr. Jenny Goodman 03:40
You're very welcome. It's good to be here.
Aaron Goodman 03:43
I wanted to check in with you about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. You write about a number of epidemics that we're facing in this modern age, including cancer, diabetes, chronic fatigue, me and others. And I wanted to ask at the outset of our conversation, how you view Multiple Chemical Sensitivity? Is it as is it an illness that you encounter in your medical practice? And what are your thoughts on it?
Dr. Jenny Goodman 04:11
Yes, I have definitely seen it in the clinic a lot. And it's one of the hardest things to work with. But it overlaps with other conditions. It certainly overlaps with chronic fatigue. For me and with fibromyalgia, it also overlaps with electro hypersensitivity or electro sensitivity. In my experience, a lot of the people who react really badly to synthetic chemicals also react badly to the electrosmog that surround us. And sometimes it's the same object or the same device, say for example, a computer that can be giving out toxic chemicals and electromagnetic radiation.
So I think in my experience, especially the past five or 10 years, I've seen that they go together I think MCS is an epidemic. But I think it's a hidden one. Partly because the medical profession, you know, as we know, take years and years and years to allow a new diagnosis into the textbook. But also, because often the people are suffering from it, don't know that that's what they're suffering from. I mean, all the people, I guess, who listened to your Chemical Sensitivity Podcast know that they've got it. But there are many people who feel dreadful and ill all the time. And because they're constantly living in a sort of urban chemical soup, and possibly the soup of their own perfumes of air fresheners. And goodness knows what they don't know that that's what it is. But an awful lot of patients say to me how much better they feel when they go on holiday to an island, and they're by the sea. And they think that the benefits are all psychological, lack of stress, lack of jobs to do that, actually, a lot of that is that they've got away from the chemicals.
And I'm primarily concerned about synthetic chemicals that we've been making, since the Industrial Revolution, so for about 200 plus years, but also mold. Because mold is an indoor toxin that although technically speaking, you could say it's natural, because it is a creature, it is an organism, it's a yeast fungus. But what isn't natural is the way we live indoors, with the doors closed and the windows closed. And, you know, we shower, and we cook, and we breathe out. And so there's condensation, certainly where I am in London, all over the UK, there's mold in all our houses. And that has very similar effect to synthetic chemicals. And it's contributing to multiple chemical sensitivity to cancer to mental health issues and all sorts. So yes, the short answer is.
Aaron Goodman 06:52
There's a lot of information in your book, and you talk about the perspective that you're coming from, and you talk about your background and training. And I wanted to just ask if we could kind of parse these out a little bit? You talk about ecological medicine, and environmental medicine and nutritional medicine. So perhaps we could take one at a time and just unpack them a little bit. I'll just share a quote from your book, if I may. You write about ecological medicine. You write: “It's an approach that sees the whole body as a joined up ecosystem, and also sees it within the ecosystem of the planet we rely on.” So I'll stop there and invite you to share with us what is ecological medicine?
Dr. Jenny Goodman 07:35
Sure, that's right. I mean, that's very well summarized. Thank you. I'll give you an example. First of what I mean by seeing the whole body as one joined up ecosystem, certainly in this country, if you go to your GP, your local family doctor, and you say, Oh, I've got this awful skin rash, and my joints are hurting, and my chest is hurting, I'm wheezing, I can't breathe properly, they will refer you to three specialists, respectively, they will refer you to the dermatologist for the skin rash, the rheumatologist for the aching joints, and the respiratory physician for the wheezing or the chest problem, those three people will never meet, they will never communicate, they'll never be in the same room together. And if you put them in a room together, they wouldn't have the tools, this is not about lack of time, they wouldn't have the intellectual equipment with which to have a conversation about why these three symptoms were manifesting in one person, at one moment, manifesting in three different systems of the body, but in one person's body.
And what you do in ecological medicine is you say what are the root causes here? What is manifesting in these three different systems? And of course, traditional Chinese medicine would say, Well, you know, for example, the guts and the lungs and the skin are all connected or, you know, so it's it's joined up in that sense I call it joined up medicine. The other sense in which it's joined up or ecological seeing the body within the larger ecosystem of the planet is as follows that we breathe the air right we drink the water, we eat the food that the food that's grown in the soil and all the pollution we have been creating since the Industrial Revolution goes into the earth and the water and the air and therefore it cycles through our bodies you know what goes around comes around any atom or molecule that's in my body was previously in the ocean was in the rain was in the soil was in the air and will be again so everything cycles round and round, nothing is static.
So whatever pollutants we are putting into the air, water, the soil and therefore the food, because the food grows in the soil or we eat the animals that eat the plants that grow in the soil, that pollution is in our bodies, there is no way we can separate ourselves from the environment in Any sense, and I mean this in a scientific sense. But of course, the mystics of the old Eastern religions have known this forever, you know, calm calls it into being, you know, we are not separate. But we've been behaving as if we are for a few 100 years. And the results are illness, including, in a way, the most direct and obvious illness that reflects the damage we're doing most clearly. And that is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. And that's why we, you know, we refer I refer to people with MCS as the canaries in the coal mine, because they are a forewarning, a foreshadowing of what's going to happen to everybody else on planet Earth. They're simply the people that are going down first. And my understanding, because I'm always asked, Well, why doesn't everybody get ill? We're all in contact with these chemicals. And that's a really, really important question. And it is to do with genetics, right? Because when we encounter toxic chemicals, some of us by pure genetic chance, have got strong detoxification enzymes in our liver, that can break them down.
For example, there is one that actually deals with organic organophosphates, right? The organophosphate. Pesticides are some of the nastiest chemicals we've created. They're very toxic, but some people can break him down, and some people can't break them down. Now that difference, it's very important to say that it's not a pathology, if you haven't got the gene to break them down. Because before the Industrial Revolution, that genetic difference would have made no difference to your health outcomes whatsoever. Because you wouldn't have encountered organophosphate pesticides. Now we are encountering them, these random genetic differences are becoming supremely important. And I see it in pilots and cabin crew who get very sick with what I described in chapter seven of my book as aerotoxic syndrome and frequent fliers getting as well, from all the chemicals onboard aircraft. But some are fine. I mean, about 1/3, or quarter to a third of all cabin crew do get very sick, but some don't. And it's like the argument that tobacco industry has always used so well, you know, my granny smoked 60 a day and she lived to be 100. But still, we know that smoking causes lung cancer. So it's random genetic differences, specifically in the capacity to produce the enzymes that happen to detox the synthetic chemicals, that mean that person X gets dreadfully ill, and person, why doesn't. But we must not blame the genetics, we must blame the industrial chemicals that are everywhere. And the people with MCs are simply the people who get sick first.
Aaron Goodman 12:52
Thank you so much for sharing that. The genetics is something that I really want to look at. And I know it's on a lot of people's radars. And it is complicated. So I appreciate you sharing that information with us in a way that's really digestible. You also write about environmental medicine. So ecological medicine you touched on and then environmental medicine. And if I may you write in your book, that the focus of environmental medicine is really on, as you noted “on the engagement of the human body, the encounters we have with 80,000 to 100,000 synthetic chemicals that have been produced since the Industrial Revolution.” And you note that these find their way into “the air, water, soil and food and then into our bodies. And they come in the form of car fumes and pesticides and heavy metals and were exposed to them with little choice,” you write.
And then you also write that many of us are blissfully ignorant, and that we expose ourselves to these chemicals through the choice of body products. We use personal care products, aftershave perfume, deodorant, hairspray, kitchen cleaning, and the list goes on. And I would add toxic laundry products, which I think a lot of people increasingly react to. So the difference, please between ecological medicine and environmental medicine, if there?
Dr. Jenny Goodman 14:10
So basically my understanding of ecological medicine in practice, the way I've done it in practice, and the way my colleagues in the British Society for Ecological Medicine do, it is it has two components. Essentially, environmental medicine, which is exactly what you've said and is in involves taking the bad stuff out doing blood tests, and you can ask me more later about how we test but doing tests for what toxins from the environment have gone into people, taking them out with detox modalities, which we can also discuss, and educating people how not to read toxify themselves. That's the but taking the bad stuff out.
The other half of ecological medicine is nutritional medicine, putting the good stuff back in and that is good food. It's nutrition. It's clean air, it's vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, and all the good foods that we need, and many of which we think we're eating. But we're not, because we're eating the foods that are supposed to contain them. Right, for example, broccoli, you know, one portion of broccoli should contain your daily requirements for magnesium. But it doesn't anymore, because the soil in which it grew, has been depleted and depleted off those nutrients by industrial farming, by agro chemistry, or chemical agriculture, which is doing two things. It's putting pesticides, insecticides herbicides on the earth, which are poisoning the plants. But it's also putting synthetic fertilizers on the plant. Because it's taken so much goodness out by intensive over farming, they use synthetic fertilizers, which enabled the plants to live, but they don't enable the animals like us who eat the plants to thrive, because the plants are missing so many essential nutrients that we need. Magnesium, selenium, zinc, and so on. And so we're getting sick, because we haven't got the good stuff, even though we're eating the right food.
And it's really important to say in this context, that you can't really separate the two halves of ecological medicine, the nutritional and the environmental medicine, because nutrients work largely by being anti toxins. And toxins do their damage largely by being anti nutrients. So for example, heavy metal contamination and metal like cadmium, or nickel, or mercury is pushing out zinc, which is essential. And giving somebody zinc is helping to push out the toxic metals. So sometimes I'll have a patient with whom I know is low in zinc, and I keep giving them things but they think level doesn't normalize on repeat blood testing. I mean, that was 20 years ago.
Now I would know immediately, you look for the toxic metals that stopped the zinc getting in to be a little bit technical about it, what most of the good minerals do, like zinc and selenium is they, they sit on an enzyme molecule, they have a role as what we call a cofactor, a helper if you like. And they sit on the enzymes that have to do a particular job of converting substance X or substance why in the body, if they get displaced by toxic metal like mercury or nickel cadmium, then that enzyme is paralyzed, it can't do its job. And sometimes its job is detoxification. So you get a vicious circle here, and almost all our detoxification enzymes require nutrients, minerals are vitamin C, or most of the B vitamins to be their cofactors. So if you haven't got enough of those, your detox enzymes won't work properly.
Conversely, if you're chemically sensitive, and that means all of a sudden your detox enzymes really struggle to do their job, then they need vastly more of those vitamins and minerals than the person down the street who isn't chemically sensitive. So some of us have far greater nutrient requirements than others. But I think all of us have greater requirements than our ancestors had. Because we're surrounded by pollution that drains the good nutrients, and we're eating less nutritious food from depleted soil. So you know, we need to tackle it on all fronts, we need to always put the good stuff in and take the bad stuff out. And for chemically sensitive people. I think you need to put the good stuff in before you try any heroics to take the bad stuff out.
Aaron Goodman 18:42
Okay, that's fascinating. And I'd like to ask you a little bit more about nutrition in a little bit. You know, I want to just talk a little bit more if I could about environmental medicine, I know not everyone who's listening will have the ability to, to see a doctor who specializes in these areas. You write that in medical school, most doctors are trained not to look very deeply. In other words, use you right? A lot of doctors say, I don't know, and I don't know what's wrong. But for you, if I get this right, in your practice, you go on an investigation?
Dr. Jenny Goodman 19:20
You have to start with a capacity to not know, you have to start with a capacity to say, I don't know. Now, in fact, in medical school, I was not trained ever to say I don't know. Because you have to put the patient in the wrong. I mean, basically, if the patient's description if the patient's symptoms, if what they're experiencing doesn't fit a pattern in your textbook, then instead of saying, oh gosh, I don't know. You're supposed to say it's all in your head. It's psychological. You're making it up, because you don't fit a pattern in my textbook. And ecological medicine is precisely about not doing that. And sometimes the first cause rotation. You don't know what's going on sometimes the second, but you see yourself as a detective. So eventually you get there.
I mean, I ask hundreds of questions that conventional doctors don't ask. So what was your mother's health like when you were conceived? Not just when she was pregnant with you, but before you were conceived? Did she have what you call silver fillings, metal amalgam fillings, which has got mercury in her mouth when she got pregnant with you? Because if so, that's gone through the placenta, into your body and into your brain. You know, why she under enormous stress, because that can affect your hormonal and your immune system? What kind of food did you eat in your childhood?
Crucially, were you breastfed, because if you were not breastfed, there are going to be problems in the microbiome in your gut. And that's very important for people with MCs, because, as you know, this is all about total load and the cocktail effect, you know, it's not one chemical, it's not two, it's hundreds, all at once over a lifetime. But if we can do anything to reduce that total load, it always helps. And some of the toxicity is coming from our own gut, you know, from eating sugar from eating artificial additives, from having a microbiome of gut bacterial flora that has been damaged by stress for antibiotics, by the contraceptive pill, by hormone replacement therapy.
And by the sheer fact of not having been breastfed by all those things damaged the microbiome. So part of healing anyone, especially with MCS is looking at the gut look at the diet, do a stool sample, what bugs in that are in that? Have you got enough of the friendly bacteria? Have you got too many weird and wonderful unfriendly bacteria? Have you got an overgrowth of yeast and funghi? Because all these will be producing their own toxic chemicals that get absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream and add to the toxic load. So start with a gut, I start with food.
Aaron Goodman 22:09
Okay, thank you so much. Why don't we turn to nutrition and I could ask you a little bit more. I know everybody is different and what works for one person may not work for another but you know, you write in the book, “Good nutrition is the single most important way to protect yourself against toxic chemicals. Vitamins and Minerals help keep toxins out. And they also help your liver to get rid of those which do get through.”
Dr. Jenny Goodman 22:39
So basic principle is organic, and organic, and organic. I cannot overemphasize how centrally important that is. Because if you're not eating genuinely organically grown food, you are eating pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, like glyphosate, which are toxic to everyone that carcinogenic, they're implicated in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative conditions. If you eat organic, you can eat less of the stuff you were eating before. And make sure it's organic. Increasingly, you can get organic delivered straight from the farm. You know, it isn't that much more expensive, and there's an awful lot of things you're going to stop getting, like all the processed and packaged foods or the takeaways, all the stuff with rubbish in it. Keep it simple, keep it organic, I would also say buy a water filter, buy a serious water filter, because certainly in the USA, you have got fluoride in your water. And that is a toxic byproduct of the phosphate fertilizer industry. Fluoride is lowering children's IQ, doing the same kind of damage that lead was doing before we took the lead out of petrol or gasoline. And then it's doing incredible damage to brain to bone to the ovary to the kidney to the thyroid gland by pushing out iodine. It's implicating just about every disease.
So filter your water and eat organic. And those are two very, very major things you can do immediately. That will lower your toxic load, make a difference to your health, your energy, your strength. The other thing that's very much within your control is what you alluded to earlier. It's part of it's going to be part of the indoor pollution chapter in my new book. And it's personal care products. Although I'm increasingly they don't care for the body at all. I'm increasingly calling them personal skincare products because they scare me. Like the deodorants, the perfumes, the moisturizers, the makeup, the nail varnish, all this stuff and specially the hair products and they are all nasty, carcinogenic and completely unnecessary. And in chapter five of my new book, I'm going to go through every one of these indoor pollutants and tell you the alternatives. Now that will be different in America from Britain, but you can get safe alternatives for laundry powder, for washing up liquid for washing the dishes, for cleaning the surfaces in your kitchen, for cleaning carpet stains, if you've still got carpets for polishing the furniture, you know humanely red, red bees give you beeswax polish, and all that sort of thing. And they're all safe alternative deodorants, but actually, I'm increasingly thinking, we need to let go of deodorants and just wash you know, we actually don't need this and antiperspirants that stop you sweating are stopping you detoxing. And that is the worst possible thing to stop yourself detoxing we swept in order to detox. Most perfumes are full of carcinogenic substances like benzene, which is strongly connected with leukemia. Most people adults I've seen with leukemia are heavy perfume users. And you have again in the States, you have an excellent research consortium called the Environmental Working Group (EWG). And they found that the average perfume has got not only the toxins that are listed on the label, but 14 unlisted ingredients on average. And the loophole in the law is they don't have to be listed. If they are, if they constitute less than 1% of the volume of liquid. But even if they do, they can still have a big impact. The strong synthetic perfumes of the kind that make you and I move away from the person we're sitting next to on a train, you know somebody I'm not chemically sensitive to the extent of being ill. But certainly, if somebody sits next to me, and they're wearing a lot of synthetic perfume, I have to get up, move to quite a long distance away or even get out of a carriage if I'm in a train. And it's awful.
And I'm thinking, Why can't other people smell it? What's the matter with you guys? How can you put up with these dreadful toxic smell. And that's because the body can't biodegrade it. So it hangs around. And all of these, it's important to understand the politics of this, all of these substances we're talking about whether it's the air fresheners or the moisturizers, or the perfumes that are in everything, they're petrochemicals, they are petrochemicals, and they're all manufactured from crude oil, as are the plastics that are poisoning the ocean and increasing the rate of breast cancer and prostate cancer and everything else. It's all petrochemical. Which, which is one of the reasons it's hard to challenge it, because it's a very powerful industry. But it's not just the direct air pollution from the vehicle that we know about it that is very real and problematic. And the heart, it's the hardest one to deal with by nutrition, because you've just got to get away from that and breathe clean air. Especially if you've got chemical sensitivity, you know, I've had the most extreme patients have had to go and live on desert islands or up a mountain or in a remote forest in order to be completely well. And they do get completely well, but they also get lonely. And we know this is this is a reality.
Aaron Goodman 28:15
It is a reality. Yes. And many of us, you know weigh those decisions a lot and they're not easy decisions.
Hi, just pausing briefly to say thanks for listening to the Chemical Sensitivity Podcast. You’re listening to Episode 40. It's called Surviving Toxic Times. It features a conversation with Dr. Jenny Goodman. Dr. Goodman is a medical doctor specializing in environmental medicine based in London, England. We share the same last name, but we are not related. Dr. Goodman is also the author of the 2020 book, “Staying Alive in Toxic Times: The Seasonal Guide to Lifelong Health.”
I hope you get a lot out of the conversation on this episode. Please subscribe where you get your podcasts. If you'd like to support the podcast, please find links on the website, chemicalsensitivitypodcast.org. Your support will help us continue making the podcast available and creating greater awareness about MCS. Thanks so much. The podcast belongs to the community and the purpose is to advocate for all of us. And your help means a lot.
I wanted to turn to your writing on detoxification, which you go into quite a lot of detail about detoxification in your book. May I just start off by asking is detoxing possible is it effective? Because I over the course of a number of years, I've read different things, that it's just sort of a myth that the best way to detox is just to as you say, eat organic food and avoid.
Dr. Jenny Goodman 29:57
Okay, let's unpack this a bit. First of all, when we say detoxification, I’m not really meaning a medical procedure. It’s a natural physiological process that your body does, or that your body should do, right. Detoxification is a function of the liver enzymes, it's their job to break some substances down, change them from fat soluble to water soluble, and thereby get them out of the body eliminate them. But that system is designed in quote, marks are evolved by nature, for the kind of thing we would encounter naturally.
So first and foremost, our own hormones, right, the system is designed to break down our own hormones, women have a lot more hormones to broken down than men do, which is why women are more vulnerable to chemical sensitivity than men. Because the liver is very busy using at least a third of its capacity, just detoxing estrogen. And also for things like snake venom, or scorpion bites, or stinging nettles or poison ivy, what kind of toxins we would encounter in nature. That's what the liver detox enzyme system is designed for. And it varies, as I've said, genetically varies between people. But purely by chance, some people are better than other, others, their detox systems are better than others, at dealing with the synthetic chemicals we're now surrounded by.
So it's very individual and I test it, I test it genetically. So you know, if I find that somebody cannot detox organophosphate insecticides or they cannot detox this, that or the other. I know, if they really can't detox anything, they are going to have to move out of the city, they are going to have to live somewhere different, they're going to have to be incredibly strict about organic water filter, nutrition with absolutely no additives in there nutritional supplements, which we can come on to.
But all they're doing is the things that will be good for all of us to do. But for them. It's not just good, it's vital. It's essential. So, um, there's a whole branch of this kind of medicine now called detoxing genomics, and detoxing genomics is looking specifically at how good your body is at detoxing. And you might be really quite good at detoxing a certain class of chemicals but not good at detoxing a different class. That's very useful because it narrows down the range of what you have to avoid.
So when we talk about detoxification as a therapeutic procedure, what we really meaning is helping the liver to do its job. I can't detox you, I can help you create the conditions whereby your liver is better able to do its job. So for example, there's a common herb called milk thistle that helps the liver do its job.
And there are the seven detox modalities I discussed in chapter seven of my first book tox detox. You can't poison the planet without poisoning the people like organic vegetable juicing, saunas, colonic hydrotherapy, sprouting seeds, using specific nutrients for specific toxins and doing Epsom salts baths, I think off the top of my head, that's all seven of them. And we can certainly talk about each of them in detail. But depending on how ill somebody is with multiple chemical sensitivity, they may or may not be able to do those things, they certainly won't be able to do them all at once. And the greatest difficulty I have I my colleagues the same in treating people with severe MCS is that the very vitamins and minerals in which they are deficient, they may react to when you give them as supplements. So you have to start with miniscule doses, you know, particularly I find people desperately deficient in the B vitamins, and I give them a standard dose, they get ill. So what I do is I give it in liquid form, and put like, say 1/10 of the standard dose in a glass of water and say sip that very slowly over the course of the day. And it can take months to build up to just the normal recommended daily amount. But that's what you have to do. You have to do one thing at a time. You have to do it slowly.
But you start by taking an incredibly detailed environmental history, what have you been exposed to? What are you exposed to, you know, did you grow up as a child playing around the slag heap next to a lead mine in Africa, I've had several people for whom that is the case. You know, you have to avoid retox and make sure there's nothing going into that person's body that's making them worse. Then you start building up the nutrients. And only then step three, do you start actively trying to remove the toxins that are there? So you have to go slowly. You have to go gently. And increasingly, I think you have to do the detoxing genomics to find out precisely what this person's detox enzymes can and can't do. And if you find that a particular detox enzyme is really hardly able to work at all, then you look at what nutrients it needs, and you build up to the highest possible levels of that nutrient. Because then that enzyme will be able to work at its full capacity, even if that's only 10% of optimal. Without those nutrients, it was only doing 2%. So it's targeting the nutrition at the genetic detox deficiencies.
Aaron Goodman 35:40
Sounds very sophisticated and incredible. And a lot of people will not be able to take advantage of this, unfortunately. So for those folks, the three principles that you mentioned and write about are these the ones we should be thinking about, avoid, and replace, look after your nutritian. And thirdly, look after your gut.
Dr. Jenny Goodman 36:04
You could say actually start with a gut. If we're being really accurate, you should say, start with a gut and with looking at all your external sources of toxins, I mean, if people read the book, particularly chapter seven, but actually all the way through, it's a more or less comprehensive list of all the toxins you might encounter, in your daily life, I call it the surprising poisonings of everyday life. So just reading it and getting a sense of all the toxins you encounter just in each room of your house, and how you can get rid of 90% of them within a week, because there are safe alternatives, affordable, safe alternatives to just about every substance we use in our bathrooms in our kitchen and on our bodies. Once you've done that, you've massively reduced the toxic load that's going into you.
The second thing is to deal with the gut. And chapter two in my book has a whole section called sprinkly in your gut, not your house, where you can make sure that you're not eating sugar, so you're not feeding the bad bugs, that you are using herbs if necessary to get rid of the unfriendly bugs, you're using probiotics, the friendly bacteria that you're taking, and so on until your gut is happy. And the flora, the bugs in there are producing good substances for you instead of bad substances that give you brain fog. So that stage two really, one, get rid of the chemicals in your environment to sort out your gut three sought out your nutrition, having sorted out the gut, you can then look at the vitamins and minerals. And the reason for doing it in that order is some of the vitamins and minerals that you need. And your cells like the unfriendly bugs in your gut also, like, you know, you can be giving people B vitamins and iron and the gut bacteria are eating them up. Now, that's fine if they're healthy bacteria. But if they're at the unfriendly ones, you're just feeding them. So you have to clear and cleanse the gut before you start working on the nutritional deficiencies. And then finally, stage four is detoxification. And if you're still living in a polluted environment, you'll still read toxic, so it's almost like the detox has to go on forever.
Aaron Goodman 38:20
Perhaps as we move towards wrapping up, I want to ask you, if you think more medical practitioners will soon or at some point acknowledge that Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a real illness and that it's no longer acceptable to dismiss and send people away. And as you alluded to earlier, tell people that it's in our heads,
Dr. Jenny Goodman 38:45
I think it will come, but it will come from below, not from above. It will come from people like you and I shouting, no. And the community to the extent there is a community of people with MCS has to shout loudly, and has to invite our friends and partners who don't have MCs to do the shouting for us if you know if we're too ill to do it. I mean, that's, that's not me. But that may be you and many of the people living listening to the podcast, that people with an illness need people without the illness close to them, who've got the energy to do the writing and the campaigning and the shouting. It doesn't fit with a medical model. Because the medical model, shockingly, is not about looking for causes. It's about finding a drug. And the last thing we need is another chemical in our system, right? So it is going to be an uphill battle. It has to be grassroots.
You know, interestingly long COVID has been recognized as a real illness. But it's really a more severe form of chronic fatigue syndrome, which hasn't been properly recognized. So I think, you know, it's a campaigning issue, but also would say in the States there is the Institute for function No medicine IFM. And the Institute for Functional Medicine, functional medicine is pretty well, similar to ecological medicine. You know, I think it may have different roots, but they're doing quite similar kind of medicine, I think they are being pretty holistic. And you know, if anyone among your listeners can afford to consult a functional medicine practitioner, they can share what they've learned with everybody else. I mean, the reason I've written the book is that instead of just sharing what I know, one to one with each patient, one at a time, an hour, another hour, another hour, I can share it with everybody at once. No, because the principles are the same, more or less, whatever is the matter with you. That's something conventional medicine doesn't understand. But there's a more fundamental reason why it's a fight because fundamentally, medicine, conventional medicine is chemical based. The drug industry, Big Pharma has a stranglehold on it. And Big Pharma is part of the broader chemical industry, which is causing the illness in the first place. So you can see there's a circle there, and we have to break out of it. You know, I mean, herbal medicine practitioners and naturopaths, are going to be more help than most doctors, to people with chemical sensitivity. Partly because the remedies, they suggest they're not going to make it worse. And so yeah, we do need to shout about it. But as I say, I think this is going to come from below, not from not from above, the points
Aaron Goodman 41:34
There have been some quite disturbing examples of researchers and government agencies recently publishing papers, claiming that multiple chemical sensitivity is an anxiety disorder and panic disorder. And those views have been promoted by government bodies. And that kind of thing is is really disturbing to see. How do you view these sorts of things that are put forward by medical professionals?
Dr. Jenny Goodman 42:07
You have to combat that by finding the science that shows the opposite. Alright, so I've just been researching for something very closely connected with these electro hypersensitivity, people who if they're near a cell phone, mast or tower, feel dreadfully ill, who if they hold a smartphone to their ear, feel dreadfully ill, I mean, they stopped being able to think ahead pounds. And I found a lot of studies, something like 20,000 studies showing this is absolutely real. This is not what they're trying to call it, which is a no SIBO effect. But that placebo is quite pleased, benefits. Imagined benefit and or SIBO is imagined harm. But there are 1000s of peer reviewed studies in learned journals, showing that it's absolutely real. And you have to be aware that there's a reason that the good science is suppressed, and the dodgy science is promoted.
Now the dodgy silence is always funded by the industry. If you look, you'll see it's the chemical industry itself, buying scientists and paying them to find that there's no harm and that it's imaginary. And you look at the methodology of those studies, and it is flawed. And I've been finding this again and again with electro hypersensitivity, and it's the same thing. It's profoundly shocking. But I'm going to tell you, one second, a couple of books that will really help your listeners to understand this. This one is called “Merchants of Doubt. How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming.” Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.
And on a similar theme, “Doubt is their Product.” That's by David Michaels. “How industry’s assault on science threatens your health.” Now, both of these are quoting when they say doubt is their products, they're quoting a tobacco industry executive who wrote in the face of all the evidence that smoking was causing lung cancer. Doubt is our product, we must sow the seeds of doubt in the public mind, and throw doubt on this science. And they funded to the tune of millions of dollars they funded bought scientist to produce dodgy papers, trying to show that smoking didn't cause lung cancer and it didn't cause anything else. And this is going on with every issue like this, including Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.
So be strong, be confident and look at the learning journals. Because what I've discovered is in the medical literature, particularly a journal called Environmental Health perspectives. Yeah, make a note of that and look it up Environmental Health Perspectives, which every doctor should be reading, and hardly any of them do and another one called Science of the Total Environment. Many others which will be referenced in my forthcoming book, the inflammation is all there that all these chemicals make people sick. Now, I haven't looked at the MCS literature in general, but there's vast amounts of evidence showing that the chemicals that make people with MCs sick in an immediate way to make the rest of us sick in a long-term, cumulative way. So the pesticides and the herbicides are linked with cancer with Parkinson's disease with multiple sclerosis, with what you call Lou Gehrig's disease or MI trophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, we call it Motor Neurone Disease, with all these neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, and they're also linked with cancer. And we have to look at the fact that as well as MCS, we've got galloping increases in all these chronic conditions. And that what conventional medicine is good at is treating acute situations, you know, the strokes, a heart attack the broken leg, it's made no headway with all these chronic degenerative conditions. And when the disease increases in frequency, in how common it is exponentially over just one or two generations, then de facto, you are dealing with an environmental external cause something that's changing rather than anything essentially genetic. Because if it was genetic, everybody with Alzheimer's would have an ancestor with Alzheimer's, and the vast majority do not. I said genes change very, very slowly. evolutionary time is slow. But the environment has changed so rapidly, that our bodies can't adapt to it. And the bodies of people with MCs are least able to adapt to it, that we have to keep campaigning for, you know, this truth to be told, and for the environment to be improved, so that everyone can live in it safely. Well,
Aaron Goodman 47:09
I think that might be a good place to end. Thank you so much for taking time and for sharing your expertise and knowledge with me and other listening. Thank you so much.
Dr. Jenny Goodman 47:20
You're very welcome. Can I just tell people that my second book is coming out in July? It's being published by Chelsea Greene from Vermont. And it's probably going to be called, “What's Got Into You?”
Aaron Goodman 47:33
Do you want to talk a little bit about what your new book will it will look at please?
Dr. Jenny Goodman 47:37
“Staying Alive in Toxic Times” has one chapter on toxicity and the rest is mostly nutrition. This is going to be the big picture. And it's going to be looking at what are the sources of pollution that get into us from the environment, I've divided it essentially into four big sections earth, water, air, and fire. So we’re is looking at all the pesticides and agricultural chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, and also heavy metals. Water is looking at chlorine, the fluoride, the sewage, the plastics, the laundry stuff, the microplastics, everything that's getting into the water. Air pollution is pretty self-explanatory. And fire. I'm using metaphorically to discuss both nuclear radioactivity which is still around, and electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones and masts and cell phone towers and that sort of thing. And the fifth chapter is indoor pollution, what's in your home, we spend 90% of our lives indoors, and we can make our indoor environments much, much safer. It's a really short chapter, it's easy to describe. And the final chapter is about mental illness, and how our mental health is being impacted by these very same pollutants. Because the funny thing is when the dismissive doctors say, oh, it's all in your head. Actually, they are literally correct, because these petrochemicals dissolve, in fact, to get through your cell membranes, they get through your skin. And once in your body, they head to the fattiest organ of the body, which is the brain. And when we're testing for the presence of these chemicals in the body, we shouldn't really be testing the blood, we should be testing the fat, we should be taking fat samples. That's where you find the terrifying levels of these, technically, the lipophilic fat soluble chemicals that are saturating our bodies, and in particular, our brains.
Aaron Goodman 49:38
That's disturbing. And once you know, you can do something about it. Well, yes. And if possible, we'd like to invite you to return and talk to us about your new book in the coming months if you're open to it. But thank you so much, Dr. Goodman.
That brings us to the end of this episode of the Chemical Sensitivity Podcast. Thank you very much Dr. Jenny Goodman for speaking with me. We release new episodes twice a month. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. really grateful to listeners who support the podcast. If you'd like to make a monthly contribution or a one-time donation, please find links on the website chemicalsensitivitypodcast.org. Your support will help us continue making the podcast available and creating greater awareness of it MCS. Thanks so much podcast belongs to the community. And the purpose is to advocate for all of us and you helped me a lot.
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