How Toxic Is Your Environment? You Might Be Surprised!!

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Lyle: The scope of what you do for a patient, an individual you work with is much broader and the amount of time that you spend is considerably more.  And should most practices that have 3 or 4 doctors involved and some specialists.  Shouldn't most practices have a naturopathic doctor as part of that practice?

Dr. Jared Skowron: Definitely.  Every patient needs the best healthcare possible from every expert in the field.  And there's a specialty for everything.  When we don't feel good we go to our PCP, and if we've got heart problems, who do we go see?  The cardiologist, the heart specialist.  And if you've got stomach problems, you go see the gastroenterologist.  But if you want natural health care, go see the specialist, which is the naturopathic physician.  I think everybody out there needs a great PCP, a great specialist and a great naturopathic physician.  Because if you want to treat yourself naturally, you go to the experts.  You go to the person who's had four years of a specialty medical school to learn about natural healing.  That includes analyzing your body from a natural point of view.  How is your nutritional intake, do you have good vitamin levels and mineral levels?  When I talk to physicians, a lot of physicians might test your iron, might test your vitamin D or your maybe calcium levels, but who's testing everything else?  How do you know what you're eating is good for you?  How do you know about all the deterioration in the body?  When we have patients who come in with diabetes, their PCP will give them insulin or metformin or some other kind of drug for diabetes, but how do you know it's not a deficiency in the mineral chromium?  Which can also give you diabetes.  Who's looking at your food intake, or your sugar intake?

A PCP usually spends such a limited amount of time because of the way the insurance structure is set up that they'll tell you to eat healthier and get some exercise, but that's not tangible for anyone.  You really need somebody to sit down with you who's an expert in nutrition and natural health, vitamins, and herbs and say 'this is what you need to do to become as healthy as possible.'  So go see the experts.

Lyle:  You must also talk to people about the environment they live in, don't you?

Skowron: Oh, entirely.  We live in a really dirty environment.  That starts with everything that's surrounds us.  Whether it be the off-gassing of our carpeting, whether it be the plastics.  Have you ever had a water bottle and had that in your car and it's hot and then you taste it?  It tastes funny, it tastes slimy.  It's plastic!  Plastic you're drinking.  You microwave in plastics, you'll get those plastics.

We test every child who comes into my office for toxicities, every single one of them is arsenic poisoned.  Where's the arsenic coming from?  Well, we treat all wood with arsenic.  If you've got a patio, if you've got wood chips in your garden, if you've got toys, it's been treated with arsenic because it kills the termites.  But do you want to eat the arsenic?  They put arsenic in chicken because it plumps the chickens up more with water weight so right before they kill them they fill them with arsenic so they can sell them for more at market.  We're all filled with arsenic.  We're filled with things we can't even imagine.

So, I test everybody that comes into my office for toxins.  I also send people to a website which is www dot scorecard dot org, which is an anti-pollutant group.  You type in your zip code and it'll show you what companies are dumping what toxins and compare you to the rest of the country.  It boggles my mind, where my office is, we have the highest percentile of carcinogens that are released into the air, and guess what?  We've got one of the highest rates of cancer in the country.  So it's not a surprise when we link those things that are out in the environment from businesses and also what's right here in our home.  And your home is the most toxic area.  It's better to be out in you know, air smog, breathing that air than to be in your house.  We also have a lot of patients who have fungal conditions, whether that be candida, whether that be fungal sinusitis.  You look into their central air ducts and it's filled with mold.  People have allergies.  There's different things that will disrupt your hormones that are located in your bed sheets or in your toothpaste or in your shampoo.  They're called endocrine disrupters.  And we're surrounded by these chemicals and it's really, really affecting our health.

Lyle: Relative to that, because everything that we've been talking about, you could probably look at two or three chapters in a good book to learn more about it.  Tell us about your book, Naturopathic Pediatrics, not only for individuals but how you are you using it to help educate that are in the field of helping youngsters and individuals.

Skowron:  Great question.  I feel I'm one of the national experts for natural therapies for children.  And very few doctors are encouraging natural medicine for children.  And that includes both parents learning about it and physicians wanting to do it.  Because there's two most important things when we look at any kind of remedies for children.  Most importantly, is it safe?  We want to make sure everything is safe for our children.  And number two, is it effective. So there are lots of things that are out there whether they be natural therapies or whether they be drugs.  Again, safety, safety, safety.  And if you just look at some of the things that happened this year, the lead paint that was on the McDonalds glasses that were in your happy meal.  That doesn't sound too safe.  You look at the acne drug Accutane that was pulled off the market because that was causing Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.  How many teenagers took Accutane and got inflammatory bowel disease, they need treatments for the rest of their life.  The other drug that is a concern for me is actually the new Gardasil vaccine.  We're getting such an increase in teenagers with cervical cancer after they got that vaccine.  You know, this is 2010, I wouldn't be surprised in a couple years if Gardisil is pulled off the market.  They don't do long-term studies on drugs anymore.  And lets bring that back to natural remedies?  Where's the research on natural remedies?  There's so much.  There's tens of thousands of studies on natural therapies, vitamins, minerals, herbs, homeopathics, for kids, that it's proving that it's safe and effective, but nobody knows this information.  That's why, that led me to write my textbook Fundamentals in Naturopathic Pediatrics, which is a textbook for medical professionals to learn, here's the science behind the natural remedies.  How much, what do I want to give, how much do I give, how much is safe, how much is effective, how much is too much?  There's pages and pages that just lists vitamins and minerals of what you want to give a child by age.  Because one the big pet peeves that I have is RDA percentage.  When you buy something off the shelf and you look at the ingredient list, it says Vitamin C 100%.  What does that mean?  Most people think it means 100 percent to keep me healthy.  But that's wrong, it means 100 percent to prevent diseases.  So we've all heard of scurvy, sailors used to get scurvy because they didn't have vitamin C.  100 percent is just going to barely prevent scurvy.  It's not going to keep you healthy.  It's not going to prevent other disease.  If you want to be healthy, you need to have 500, 600, 800 percent of what's on that list.  And so, you really need to have again a healthy amount.  So in the book is pages and pages of every vitamin based on the age of your child.  How much you have to have minimum and how much is too much.  So we have that information for health professionals in kind of a text book area.  And my new book, 100 Natural Remedies for Your Child from Rodeo, is all this information for parents.  So it makes it a lot more readable, a lot more understandable, I've got a lot of stories in there about my patients, about how they use natural medicine, about how they got better.  So I'm trying to do as much as I can to get this information to parents and health professionals.  Again, safety and effectiveness.


Naturopathic pediatrician Dr. Jared Skowron discusses the importance of having a naturopathic doctor on your side. He also talks about the role they play and how they can compliment your health care. Also find out how damaging but common toxins are in the world and in particular, your house!

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