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Natural Beauty: Beauty Care for the Sensitive Individual

Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Orchis Mascula Flower Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Silk Extract, Fragrance/Parfum, Sodium Citrate, Cocamide MEA, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Polyquaternium-76, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Blue 1.

The list above represents the ingredients of a popular shampoo that is marketed as an herbal hair care product. The manufacturers of this product deceptively promote their shampoo as “fused with Hawaiian Coconut and Orchid”. While the shampoo does contain herbs and coconut, the majority of the ingredients are synthetic chemicals that have various toxicities to humans and the environment.  It seems to me that most of the ingredients listed in this shampoo are unrecognizable unless you have a degree in biochemistry, yet if you merely look at the name, you would think that this shampoo is natural, herb-based and overall “good for you” and your hair. 

I recently consulted with a woman who was suffering from a myriad of symptoms. Her biggest complaint was that she was developing sensitivities to various foods, smells, body products and locations. It seemed like she was becoming allergic to everything!  The patient asked me, “Is there some supplement or medication that I can take to stop my multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS)?”

I said to her, “you must be experiencing other symptoms as well, because I have never seen a patient that is exclusively chemically sensitive without other chronic symptoms”. Sure enough, upon further questioning, she admitted to numerous other symptoms, including fatigue, muscle and joint pains, headaches, sleep issues, and hormonal issues. 

I explained to her that MCS is not a disease, rather MCS is a symptom of internal dysregulation caused by her over-taxed immune system, over stimulated nervous system and burnt out hormonal system.   If you have a sensitivity to chemicals, it means your defenses are weak. Various stressors have overwhelmed the defense mechanisms in your body and you cannot handle any more stress, including the stress of chemical exposures. 

You must understand that your immune system, nervous system and endocrine (hormonal) systems (INE) in your body are designed to deal with the stressors of daily living. Normal types of stressors (in a “natural” environment) include stress related to extreme changes in temperature, the stress of providing for food and shelter, and the stress related to other activities of human survival. Each of these stressors will elicit some sort of “defense” (stress response) by your immune, neuro and endocrine (INE) systems. These defenses include the stimulation of your “fight or flight” response via the secretion of adrenaline from your adrenal medulla and the secretion of cortisol from your adrenal cortex.

Your body is constantly defending itself against various stressors in an attempt to maintain homeostasis (control and balance of your internal environment).

Unfortunately, in today’s modern world, you are being subjected to an overwhelming amount of “unnatural” stressors in the form of artificial food, artificial light, and poor quality air (amongst many other stressors). When your INE system is overloaded by these stressors, your body will be unable to maintain homeostasis and many symptoms will start to develop. Multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) is an advanced symptom which arises when your INE system is overloaded with toxic substances. 

Another very common source of unnatural stressors are the body and hair products that you may be using on a regular basis. Therefore, you should you review the ingredient list in your shampoos, conditioners, makeup, lotions and other body and hair products.  Some of the most noxious products are hair dyes, bleaches, hair straighteners, hair perms and various nail products. These substances are toxic and extremely harmful to your health. Why do you think nail technicians cover their face with masks? The products they work with are pure poison. Think of it this way, if it isn’t safe enough to eat, not safe enough to breathe, then it’s not safe enough to put on or near your body.

If you suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities, there is no “magic remedy”, instead, you must improve your overall health. 

The first (and most important) steps are to improve health habits that will fortify your immune, neurological and hormonal health:

  • Spend time outdoors exposed to sunlight and fresh air
  • Walk barefoot on the Earth 
  • Eat a diet filled of organic meats and vegetables, and healthy fats like eggs and coconuts
  • Stay away from sugar, fried foods, or any other artificial and preservative ingredients 
  • Get at least 8 hours of restful sleep each night in a quiet, dark room

If you carefully follow the steps outlined above, there is a good chance that many of your symptoms will improve. However, if your condition is more advanced, the next step is to consult with a physician (or other health provider) who understands human physiology and can further help optimize your immune, neurological and endocrine systems through individualized nutritional and metabolic therapies based on objective parameters. 

In the meantime, you should try to lessen the “toxic load” associated with your beauty regimen and make sure that you are using all natural, organic products. For example, instead of poisonous perfumes full of artificial smells and volatile compounds, you can use essential oils.  In fact, original perfumes were made entirely of essential oils which have beneficial properties. Take a trip to a local health food store or market, but be sure to read the ingredient list! Moreover, if you are someone who is sensitive to chemicals, you should consider making these changes immediately.

Are you someone who is sensitive to chemicals? Have you been diagnosed with a disease and you notice a heightened sensitivity to chemicals? You may be suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Rothman by calling (732) 268-7663 and get on the road to health and wellness

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To learn more about Michael Rothman MD contact us today by giving us a call at (732) 268-7663, emailing us at [email protected] or by requesting an appointment online.

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