Okay, folks, how are ya? Are you tired of the cold yet? I am. Well, I’m tired of being cold, but not tired of holing up with a good book under tons of blankets. All of this reading I’ve been doing has its benefits for you too, because I came across a book that I want to share with you. It is not a new book, but the information in it is extremely current and helpful, especially if you are dealing with the toxic burden of a mold exposure, like me. The book I’m speaking of is Tox-Sick: From Toxic to Not Sick by Suzanne Somers.
Please don’t stop reading this post. I realize that there are many people who only associate Suzanne Somers with infomercials and the Thigh Master, but her knowledge and depth of research on holistic health practices may surprise you. She began chronicling her health battles beginning in 2001, when she revealed that she had breast cancer and decided to chart to her own path with holistic treatments and recovery protocols. From that rather extreme health scare of her own, and adherence to natural medicine to cure her cancer, she has grown into an extremely knowledgeable, informed, and well-respected natural health guru. I am admittedly a big fan of Suzanne Somers. Her philosophy of achieving optimal health and vitality by unloading the chemical burden on your body both inside and out, is one that I try to live by and to impart to others as well. She has devoted her time, money and life to learning as much as possible about how to get ideal energy, vitality and health out of her body.
In Tox-Sick, Suzanne explores her point of view of toxicity from every angle—environmental (mold, radiation, electromagnetic fields, pesticides, pollution), genetic (DNA predisposition for disease, reaction and absorption of toxins), nutritional (genetically modified foods, food allergies, hormones in foods, chemicals in foods), pharmaceutical (the body’s reaction to medicines, the repercussion of drugs to remove disease symptoms, rather than eliminating or curing the disease, and the long-term side effects of pharmaceuticals), and much, much more.
Suzanne divides the book into 3 parts. Part I, Totally Tox-Sick, explains the toxic threats to our bodies, where they come from, what they do to our bodies, and how to tell if you are being affected. Part II, Bulletproofing Your Body and Home, offers in-depth interviews with the doctors and holistic health practitioners that she trusts to bring the reader as much “inside” information as possible on how to ultimately protect and heal yourself. Then, she closes with Part III, Coming Clean, a section that outlines in detail recommended detoxes, supplements, and advanced techniques that she has used and still uses to get and to stay healthy. The book literally hinges on self-empowerment and the idea that given the proper conditions and tools, our bodies have the power and capability to heal themselves. Medicine can only help or hinder that natural process. It’s so very simple and yet so very profound.
Now, how does all of this information apply to mold/fungal-related illness? Well, there is a large chunk (6 pages in the first Chapter, the entire Chapter 7 and parts of Chapter 8) of the book devoted to mold, and environmental medicine. The reason being, because Suzanne and her husband, Alan, were exposed to toxic mold over a period of four years spent in a rental home.
Their story is unique to them, but familiar in the “mold story” sense, when you have been there too. It goes like this:
Unbeknownst to them, the rental home had standing, stagnant water in an unfinished area below the house that started growing toxic mold. The mold got into the HVAC system and crept up through the walls in the drywall, until it was literally “felt” in every room of the house. It was invisible to the eye, but Suzanne and Alan’s bodies knew it was there. Suzanne’s health wasn’t affected as directly by the mold as her husband’s—she was actually misdiagnosed with cancer again at the time and put in the hospital on IV antibiotics that destroyed all of the healthy bacteria in her gut, making living in the mold an additional attack on her body—Alan had tell-tale symptoms, like red, watering eyes, chronic sinus congestion, and a swollen tongue each time he would go into certain areas of the home. Then, he began “grimacing.” The behavior was totally out of his control and would cause him to close his eyes in a squinted scowl for moments at a time—something that was particularly alarming and dangerous, especially when he was driving.
Thankfully they identified the mold, and left the home and most of their possessions. They had to then embark upon an intensive treatment and detox plan to cure their bodies of the aliments and toxic load brought on by the mold exposure. In doing so, Suzanne sought out some of the most well-known and respected “mold” doctors in the United States to help her and Alan understand what happened and how to heal their bodies. Because of Suzanne’s previous cancer diagnosis, it was extremely important to her to get it right and to remove and continue to remove all of the residual mold toxicity from her body.
Now, do I think this book is worth reading? Absolutely. It is so chock full of useful information on everything from supplements to detox basics to recipes, that I find myself picking it up as a reference numerous times a week for other information, totally unrelated to mold. But, most importantly, this book does (in a very in-depth fashion), something that I am learning to do with my own health as I move forward and since my mold-related sickness began: It looks at the WHOLE picture.
To try to isolate mold and to say that mold is what causes ALL of the sicknesses, and maladies associated with it is not seeing it for what it is. That is a microscopic look at a larger picture of toxic accumulation in our bodies and genetic predisposition. Suzanne’s book proposes that we are born into this world with a toxic burden, some big, some small. Then, we go on with our lives and are continually exposed to more and more toxins. All of those toxins pool in our bodies over time, especially if we are unaware and are not avoiding them, and/or are genetically predisposed to sickness caused by them, or are not detoxing regularly. While only a percentage of people are pre-disposed to mold sickness, and some folks can live comfortably in its presence, eventually, most of our bodies hit their limits. Eventually our bodies succumb. This might happen when one person moves into a moldy home and become incredibly sick, when someone else eats a can of tuna and is unable to form a coherent sentence from the mercury overload, when someone else develops a chemically bloated belly, because she is unable to breakdown and digest what she is eating. The list can go on and on.
Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely the fear factor in play in this book. You cannot read it without wanting to throw out any non-organic food in your home, or to go out and by all of Suzanne’s approved or self-developed products and supplements. But, when you calm down and are able to digest all of the valuable information in the book, I think, you truly come out more knowledgeable and in a better place than when you started.
For example, the interview with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, one of the foremost authorities on mold in the country, is so so valuable to anyone dealing with mold-related illness that I would buy it for that reason alone. Also, this book is what led me to seek out Dr. Eric Wood, ND, (link to post) and to pursue information on starting a liver-specific detox for myself. You see, I am so much better than I was, but for me, 90% isn’t good enough. I want to see if I can remove that final toxic burden from my body and achieve 100%. That fact that 100% could even be possible after what I went through is a pretty amazing notion. This book gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to seek that out.
So, in closing, I highly recommend the book. Here is a link to more information on the book and to purchase information on her website: http://www.suzannesomers.com/pages/tox-sick-from-toxic-to-not-sick
Check it out! You have nothing to lose but your health.