Toxicity: It's Closer Than You Think! Impacts and What to Do

Toxicity: It's Closer Than You Think! Impacts and What to Do

Amanda Christodoulou is an Integrative Health Practitioner with a virtual practice serving clients globally who have predominantly been failed by the conventional symptom. She believes that every single health concern can be traced back to a deficiency or toxicity that causes imbalance. She packaged the most common health concerns she has seen with a plan to resolve them into an affordable eBook called Quit Complaining!

Leslie: So just to get started, can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into this space?

Amanda: I am an integrative health practitioner. Underneath that, I am a certified health coach, and I am certified in holistic lifestyle coaching and am a practitioner of naturopathy. I like the integrative Health practitioner title, because it allows me to run functional medicine labs and go deep with finding root causes of what they have going on. It's really a little bit of everything that I do under the holistic umbrella. What brought me to this work is honestly the people in my family– myself included, my friends, and the clients who have been dismissed by traditional medicine.

Leslie: So, I know when we chatted earlier on, you were telling me that you believe that everything can be traced back to deficiency or toxicity. Tell us more about that.

Amanda: So everything has a root, whether it's physical or mental, whether it's a pesky symptom or a serious disease, there is a reason why it's there. And that can be traced back to an imbalance in the body. Imbalances are caused by too much of something that doesn't belong, or not enough of something that's needed. And of course, there's combinations of both and there's overlapping. We're all individuals. In the work I do, I ask, “What kind of reductive therapies do we need to get rid of things? And what kind of additive or tonifying therapies? Do we need to add things in to make the body better equipped to handle life?”

Leslie: Tell us, what do people come to you with in these scenarios? What sorts of symptoms do they have? What are they suffering from that leads you down this path?

Amanda: We're all more alike than we are different, usually. So most people are experiencing a handful of the same exposures and toxic overloads that are just manifesting in different symptoms or disorders, diseases, or syndromes, whatever you want to call them. Most of the time, I'm seeing people that have been exposed to heavy metals experience yeast, bacterial overgrowth, or fungal infections. Coupled with all of these things, we often have parasitic infections.

And then there's also the fact that, maybe you have decent levels of all of those things or your body’s doing a pretty good job of getting rid of the things, but we're never going to be mold free. Most of us are walking around with the ability to get rid of the amount of mold that we're exposed to. But then there's a special group of people that is not able to get rid of it as fast as they're being exposed, which causes it to spill over and cause a lot of symptoms. 

And there's mental ones, too, like anxiety, and depression. And all of them have these lines that can trace back to the things that we are typically exposed to. Then, we can start to mobilize them and detox them and see what changes that could be done. If we take a functional medicine lab and say, “Okay, your levels of mold are shown in the lab. Now, we're gonna go after this first. This is the logical place to start and we're kind of doing a little bit of everything along the way”.

Leslie: The main toxicities you mentioned are fungi, parasites, and mold. Are the symptoms the same for all of those? Are they different? Talk us through some of the more common ones. 

Amanda: There are some big ones. For example, mold often shows up in hair loss and insomnia. And then things that you might find are a little bit more obvious like congestion, blurry vision, and things like that. Metal is interesting, because it can cause a lot of things that you would think are cognitive, such as brain fog, headaches, speech delays, and memory loss. 

And then we have the parasites. Everyone can just assume they have parasites, because everyone does. Again, it's the balance. Parasites serve a purpose. But when you have mold toxicity and parasites, or metal and parasites, they are making sure each one of them lives.

Leslie: So when you talk about parasites, are you talking about gut bacteria, or you talking about something else?

Amanda: I’m talking about actual living little organisms.

Leslie: What's an example of that?

Amanda: So you could look up like a tapeworm or a pinworm. They’re going to be hungry, right? After you eat, they cause intense sugar cravings and insomnia, especially between the hours of one and three, lots of skin rashes, patches, itchiness, anywhere really. Those are some of the big ones for parasites.

And then yeast overgrowth is almost obvious, but not always. They usually mean not being able to digest anything, like you drink water and you feel bloated. Things like that, or even intolerance to supplements. Lots of digestive stuff will show up with yeast overgrowth.

Leslie: Where are we getting these from? 

Amanda: Unfortunately, toxins are rampant. They can be exposed non-stop from the air from tap water. If you're showering without a filter, those are heavy metals that you're taking on. There's heavy metals in all tap water. Mold is going to be from the air, mostly, but there's also a lot in the food we’re ingesting. Mold is in anything that’s aged– dried fruits, aged cheeses, and some nuts. Then, we have buildings, even in our grocery stores. If you walk in and you look up at the ceiling anywhere, oftentimes, you can just see mold in plain sight. I normally see people sick when they're in an office or a home that has water damage. That's really the most common thing that I'm going to see, and again I think there's a statistic where it’s like, “80% of homes in America have some sort of mold”.

Leslie: So that could be a sign that your toxic burden is high if you just can't seem to recover from things the way you used to.

Amanda: Yeah. Definitely. If something's sending you over the edge, you have to look within and ask yourself, “Why am I so close to the edge?”

Leslie: So someone finds out that they have a toxic burden. What should they do?

Amanda: The first step is honestly for anybody who’s never done anything like this before. Any sort of detoxification or work like a functional medicine detox or an extended cleanse or some sort of like a jump start works. And I really do recommend that you have a practitioner because we’re all different.

Leslie: Got it. So a cleanse is sort of like a general step that you would take with somebody. What does that look like?

Amanda: Yeah, so there's a few that I work with and they're all a little bit different and I like to really match it with the person's style and goals, some people can't take supplements, some people only can drink things. Everyone's so different, and that's wonderful because there are options for everyone. So I would say, probably one of my more common suggestions is an extended cleanse that starts by opening up the bowels first. After a couple weeks of doing that, we move on to working with the liver, the gallbladder, the kidneys. And then finally after that, you start to go deep into the bloodstream, which is right about the time that I like to start going after parasites. So that's my most favorite one to work with at this time.

Leslie: That’s funny that you mentioned everyone's different, and how some people can only drink and don't want to have pills. That was one of the reasons I started Vitaminis: because I hate pills. So it's funny you mention that because that's one of the reasons why I started the company, for its more adjustable format. So, what else do you do with your clients? Is it also environmental or lifestyle?

Amanda: So if we're starting with a cleanse, we'll start with the diet and opening things up now. The way that it usually works is that the person starts to feel so much better, and then suddenly they're sleeping better. Then when they wake up the next day, their hormones have had such a positive impact that they're feeling energetic in the morning like they're supposed to and sleepy at night before they go to bed like they're supposed to. Now suddenly they have this extra hour where they're rested and they want to exercise. So then we start to layer that in, and we add in movement. Then we start thinking about, what could they maybe be using as far as personal products go then are disrupting those hormones? And then we start to add that in. But on day one, if I was like, “You're gonna cut out everything that you're eating, you're gonna go throw out your cleaning supplies,  you're gonna throw out all your makeup and your shampoo, and everything is toxic”, I would have no clients. No one wants to work with that type of person. That's just not realistic. 

Leslie: And then, what are things that everyone should avoid? 

Amanda: I feel like my biggest out of everything is tap water, believe it or not. People should drink out of a very good filter, not Britta, but something that really takes out everything from the water. I think it is just as important that you're also not bathing in tap water and that you're filtering your shower as well or your kids' bathtub. And there's things for these that are relatively inexpensive. It's not so cost prohibitive, and tap water is just so bad.

Leslie: Okay, so it sounds like your top two recommendations are both water-related, like drinking and bathing.

Amanda: Yeah, I can make statements for people that keep dairy in their diet or people that don't have issues with gluten and eat really good clean sources. There is something to be said for everything, but for me, there's just no negotiation on tap water.

Leslie: And then you have mentioned supplements. I'm curious, just from a Vitaminis standpoint. What are some of the supplements or regiments that you recommend people incorporate from a detox, or just general health, perspective?

Amanda: Again, I think that it's really important to have a really good foundation, back to the building blocks that you were talking about. So you want to make sure that you've got the bare minimum. I take something called Daily Nutritional Support. And then from there, I think it's really important that everyone's taking vitamin D as well as some sort of an omega-3 support– a really good one, with good balance. From there, you can start to move on to maybe the next tier of things and I'd say that’s anything that's going to support you hormonally or when your cortisol is off. So, you're gonna do a little ashwagandha or something like that.

And then finally, at the top top is where I would say your medicinal mushrooms. There are a lot of people taking things like chlorophyll, which can be helpful, but I think you can get that benefit from veggies.

And so I think the foundation is so important, and there's the non-negotiables. I'll never ever stop taking omega-3s and vitamin D, and I want to kind of throw magnesium in there too because I normally test low. But magnesium could be Tier 2 for someone that doesn't typically test low.

Leslie: Yeah, that's so funny. Our Vitaminis has as much magnesium in it as five cups of spinach. But it's because I put it in for the immune support benefits which is your cell regeneration, your skin barrier, and that kind of thing. But I have just been learning more and more. It is a miracle vitamin– relaxing cramps, getting to sleep, and just hormone balance. It’s incredible, and it's really hard to get it in your diet, not for everyone, but it's leafy greens and things that are maybe not in your daily consumption.

Amanda: Yeah, you need to get some Vitaminis.

Leslie: Yes, thank you so much. I feel like we've covered so much ground. So just to wrap up, where can our viewers find you if they have more questions?

Amanda: So I probably have the biggest presence TikTok. And if you don't do Tiktok, I'm @aholisticcoach on Instagram. My Twitter is @a_holisticmama, and that’s the same for my YouTube channel. There's so many ways to contact me; I'm very, very accessible, and I like to keep it that way. 

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