This post is written by my dear friend, Dr. Jon Meliones, head of Duke University's Pediatric Critical Care Unit which is ranked among the top programs in the world. He is a practicing pediatrician, pediatric cardiologist and pediatric critical care specialist who has cared for thousands of the most critically-ill infants and children over the past 30 years. He is highly regarded by the American Academy of Pediatrics and ranked among the best doctors in the world in his areas of expertise.
I'm excited to announce that Dr. Meliones will be a regular contributor to the ToxicFree® Blog. He has inspired families across this nation to chose products that are ToxicFree®, and continues to educate as to why this is so signifiant.
I've asked him to share his personal story about how the water in his home negatively affected his family's health. Dr. Meliones believes that the quality of the water our families use and drink can have a significant impact on our immune system. So, if you're ready to boost your immune system, read on!
My wife and I are both doctors. Between long hours at the hospital and nine kids, (the youngest being twin toddlers), we often find our “priorities” shifting with new ones replacing the old.
Our family recently learned that small things can have big impacts. In my home, it started with too many health coincidences. I have 5 females in my home and over time I realized they were all suffering and complaining about hair loss and severe skin issues.
One day, during one of their discussions on this issue, I stopped to consider what the underlying commonality was. They all used different products and ate different diets. They didn’t have a history of skin and hair issues. What was the shared factor?
It was time to investigate our water system. It had been on our “to do” list for a while. It just always seemed like there something else more imperative that needed our time.
We were very surprised at what we found! The water we had been drinking, washing our clothes in and saturating ourselves with in the shower contained a lot of heavy metals that are proven endocrine disruptors! We found cadmium, arsenic, mercury, nickel, zinc, aluminum, perchlorate and many more. Even at small levels, these are all endocrine disruptors!
What does it mean when you have heavy metals such as perchlorate, which is used in rocket fuel, in your water?
We have talked about endocrine disruption in the past. These are chemicals that can either block or overstimulate endocrine effects in your body. This means that it may alter hormones in your body. Hormones are the most potent “quarterback” that regulates the physiology and behavior of many vital organs.
Well, hormones can alter many of your daily functions such as your sleep wake cycle, energy, mood swings, immune metabolism and many male/female characteristics. The effects of these culprits can be dramatic such as hair loss, skin breakdown and suppression of the immune system. While the onset can be subtle, it can also come on like a hammer such as rapid hair loss and skin issues. There are so many ways these endocrine disrupters present themselves it can be confusing.
Have your water system tested. For many health reasons, everyone should have their water tested. Unfortunately, the tests bought at local stores are not very helpful.
The best approach is to contact your city's home water department to determine where to have your water tested. This may run around $100, but it is worth it and you could always split the cost with neighbors once you get them educated. After the shock of what is in your water, you will need to decide whether you need a whole house filtration system, like The EWS Spectrum, or simply a drinking water system, such as the Essential Drinking Water System.
The benefit of a whole house system is that it provides water to your showers, washing machine and dishwasher. Often we underappreciate these exposures, but these repeated “hidden” insults to the body could wreak havoc to our endocrine and immune systems.