Just finished reading a thought-provoking book The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. Did you know 23.5 million Americans have an autoimmune disease? That’s double the number of people diagnosed with cancer. Most of us are dealing with multiple chronic illnesses, too. I won’t recap the book here, but will say it’s worth a read if you’re interested in how the environment impacts your and your family’s health (if you’re following this blog, I assume you are!). The book also provides an in-depth look at what science is doing to understand, treat and prevent the epidemic of autoimmune disorders. Medicine is making progress, but not nearly as fast as we all would like.
With food allergies and celiac, I’m very tuned in to what I eat. I choose organic vegetables and fruit and wild meats and fish. However, until reading this book, I wasn’t so aware of what I’m breathing in every day. This morning I took note of the cloud of chemical-filled hairspray I inhaled, the dry cleaning I picked up at the cleaners, the winds stirring up the grass and tree pollen in the backyard, and the exhaust from the passing garbage truck as I took a walk on a beautiful Colorado day. Other than wearing a face mask, what can I do to reduce my daily intake of toxic substances? Change to more natural beauty supplies, maybe. Start steaming my dryclean-only clothes. Avoid pollution? What else?