10 Scary Ways Toxins Poison Your Brain
Did you know that by simply breathing, using a common skin lotion, or sleeping on a certain type of mattress you might be harming your brain? The 3-pound supercomputer between your ears is the most metabolically active organ in your body. As such, it is vulnerable to damage from toxins.
Toxins are one of the major causes of psychiatric issues, but traditional psychiatrists almost completely ignore them. During my first decade as a psychiatrist, I ignored them too. But when I started our work with brain SPECT imaging, I quickly began to notice that the toxic patterns that were common in people who were addicted to substances like alcohol or drugs, could also be seen in people who weren’t substance abusers. Why did their brains look so bad?
The Toxic Toll on Mental Health
In time, it became clear that environmental toxins—such as mold, inhalants, and pollution—were often to blame. Environmental toxins impact nearly every aspect of your body and can damage the brain, leading to a variety of physical and “psychiatric” symptoms.
From a psychiatric standpoint, exposure to toxins can increase the risk of depression, suicide, ADD/ADHD, learning problems, memory problems and dementia, brain fog, autism, temper outbursts, and psychotic behavior. On the physical side, issues can include autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cancer, fatigue, numbness, tingling, tremors, allergies, abdominal pain, diarrhea, smelly stools, bad breath, weight issues, skin rashes, sweats, and more.
Our biological systems get rid of toxins (through the gut, liver, kidneys, and skin), but when those natural detoxification processes are overwhelmed, it can cause problems in the brain.
10 Ways Toxins Poison the Brain and Contribute to Mental Illness
1. Reduce cerebral blood flow, which on SPECT scans has been associated with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADD/ADHD, and more. Low blood flow is the #1 brain imaging predictor that a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Disrupt the endocrine system, interfering with hormone production and causing serious imbalances, and increasing the risk of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
3. Impair the immune system, increasing your risk of autoimmune disorders and cancer, as well as anxiety, depression, and even psychosis.
4. Disrupt the gut microbiome, resulting in leaky gut and accompanying problems, such as mood and anxiety disorders, ADD/ADHD, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
5. Increase the risk of diabetes and obesity, since as toxic load rises, so does risk. Toxins are also called diabesogens and obesogens because they contribute to diabetes and obesity, which raise the risk of anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Damage DNA, which can accelerate the aging of the brain and lead to problems with mood, anxiety, irritability, temper, and irrational behavior, as well as memory.
7. Impair enzyme systems, which disrupts many biological processes, including the ability to produce energy and fight free radicals.
8. Harm organs, including the digestive tract, liver, kidneys, and brain. This damage reduces your detoxification system’s ability to do its job, creating an even greater buildup of toxins.
9. Alter gene expression, possibly turning on harmful gene variants and/or turning off beneficial ones.
10. Damage cell membranes and communication between cells.
In my book, The End of Mental Illness, I provide quizzes to help you determine your level of exposure to toxins. And I introduce you to some people who had been suffering from “psychiatric” symptoms for years before brain imaging revealed that toxic exposure—not “mental illness”—was at the root of their problems. Eliminating exposure to the toxins and putting them on a program helped them heal their brain, regain control of their life, and start feeling like themselves again.
The End of Mental Illness is written by psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and brain health expert Dr. Daniel Amen and relies on the latest neuroscience and leading-edge brain imaging to show that mental health is really brain health. The book reveals that “mental illnesses” are really “brain health issues” that steal your mind, and it shows how minimizing your biological, psychological, social, and spiritual risk factors can help alleviate “psychiatric” symptoms. Pre-order your copy here.
If you want to join the tens of thousands of people who have already enhanced their brain health and overcome their symptoms at Amen Clinics, speak to a specialist today at 888-288-9834. If all our specialists are busy helping others, you can also schedule a time to talk.