Once I made the conscious decision to heal my body after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, I read a book titled My Simple Changes by Brandon Godsey. Brandon has Crohn’s disease and wrote a book about all the little changes he made over the course of many years to reach full remission and a full life. I have read a couple of self-help books before and never felt like they painted a complete picture of what it was like to have IBD. There were suggestions that would probably work for normal people, but in my case I knew these things would not get me anywhere. After reading Brandon’s book though, I realized how easy it could be to start making small, simple changes in my life.
One of those changes was going through all the products I use on my body, such as lotion, shaving cream, soap, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, etc. that may include toxins. Toxins are defined as an antigenic poison or venom of plant or animal origin, that when present in small amounts in the body can cause disease. Before reading this book, I had no idea that toxins could be so detrimental to the body. I immediately went to check all of the products I was using and scanned through the ingredient list for anything concerning.
I have always been a big fan of treating illness with natural remedies because I hate taking medication. In this article from the Institute of Natural Medicine, Joseph Pizzorno, ND describes eight ways that toxins damage our bodies. For somebody with an autoimmune disease, you do not want toxins to be invading your body when it is already attacking itself. Here are some common ingredients in hair and body products that you want to avoid. Parabens, alcohol, synthetic dyes and colors, and phthalates are common ones I find in shampoos, conditioners, and lotions.
In terms of makeup and face products, I have recently discovered Cleen Beauty which is a brand only carried by Walmart. They are very transparent about the ingredients they use and have a small line of products. My favorites are the Vitamin C serum, coconut water hibiscus glow mist, and the grapefruit water gel moisturizer. If anyone has any suggestions on other clean makeup products, let me know! I am always open to trying new things.
After taking a long, hard look at the products I was using, I replaced almost everything in my bathroom. As soon as I made this change, I immediately started noticing an improvement in my disease symptoms and I felt better about the products I was using. This goes back to maintaining a healthy gut. If your gut is receiving too many toxins, it could trigger an inflammatory response and reduce nutrient absorption. You could even go so far as to look into your bedsheets, cleaning products, food, and plastic cups in your home as these could carry toxins too!
I encourage you to go through your home this week and read some ingredient labels. Get rid of anything that has the toxins listed above and search for products that are clean and good for the environment. You won’t regret it!