Environmental Toxin, Mold, & SIBO Testing Specialist

Advanced Health Integrative Functional Medical Center -  - Integrative Functional Medical Clinic

Advanced Health Integrative Functional Medical Center

Integrative Functional Medical Clinic located in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, CA

We are all exposed to many different types of industrial toxins, heavy metals and pesticides on a daily basis primarily from consuming “toxic” foods identified by our digestive tract as unsafe. When the stomach’s warning bells are rung, these toxic foods are rejected which triggers acute symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. When these signals are ignored, these toxins begin accumulating inside the bones, kidneys, and liver and trigger autoimmune and other chronic diseases. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D., the senior integrative functional medicine physician and naturopath Dr. Leena Pandhya, N.D. at Advanced Health can help patients identify their toxin load, food sensitivities, and how to effectively detoxify. Get basic laboratory testing (through LabCorp and Quest) and advanced speciality testing to aid in both the diagnosis and treatment of your underlying condition. We can then devise a personalized treatment plan on how to effectively detoxify and jumpstart your health.

Environmental Toxin, Mold, & SIBO Testing

Industrial Toxin & Food Allergy Testing and Detoxification


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The liver is the largest internal organ in the body, with over 500 different functions. Some of the liver’s critical functions include digestion, metabolism of sugar, removal of toxins from the blood, metabolism of sex hormones, cholesterol production, and nutrient storage. The liver is the key organ which removes heavy metals and pesticides plus metabolizing drugs and supplements via stools. It is supported by the kidneys in the removal of waste products by urine.

When the liver and kidneys become increasingly overworked and diseased from excess toxin exposures, stress signals are fired off from the gut in the form of stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. If these signals are ignored, the body becomes increasingly damaged and congested which causes high concentrations of toxins (i.e., heavy metals arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, gasoline derivatives, mold toxins) to longer be excreted from the stool and urine. They are instead stored in the bones, colon, and other organ cavities for a minimum of 8 to 28 years from a one time exposure and setting off rampant disease. One of the first presentations of excess toxin overload and the onset of an underlying disease is food sensitivities and allergies.

Work with integrative functional medicine physician, Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. and Dr. Leena Pandhya N.D., at Advanced Health to learn more about your toxin load and underlying food sensitivities. Together, they can help you safely detoxify the body and begin your risk of developing a chronic disease.

Factors which Directly Harm the Liver:

Trans Fat Foods derived from animal sources and hydrogenated oil, along with GMO crops and Fish

Trans fats are derived from animal sources such as beef, poultry, lamb, eggs, and dairy products. Trans fats are also created by a hydrogenation process which turns healthy oils into solids. On food labels trans fats may be listed as “partially hydrogenated” fats. They are often found in fast foods, processed and pre-packaged ready-made foods (i.e, ready-made baked goods, chips, cereals, granola and protein bars), and margarine.

GMO crops include wheat, corn, soy, and rice. These crops have been genetically modified and hence, are not easily recognized by the microbiome within our digestive tract. GMO foods are also often heavily sprayed by the pesticide rich in glyphosate. Glyphosate is a well-studied carcinogen associated with causing autism, heart and vascular disease, cancers, learning disorders, infertility, autoimmune disorders, liver and kidney failure.

Since the oceans are rich in mercury, all fish are now embedded with extremely high levels of mercury. Consuming any type of fish will instantly cause mercury poisoning. One time exposure to ingested mercury is now understood to stay inside our tissue for 8 to 28 years.

Since the liver of a fish is full of the poisons of our polluted ocean, the oils extracted from the liver of fish (aka., fish oil) are now unsafe for humans to consume.

Your liver cannot safely tolerate any amount of trans fats, mercury poisoning from food, and regular consumption of pesticide-laden GMO crops. The liver reacts by increasing the blood sugar and depositing excess fat cells onto the liver. Liver cells swell causing liver tissue to harden and scar. This leads to liver cell death and eventually fat-induced chronic hepatitis. (a.k.a., cirrhosis), diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, and dementia.

Drinking Alcohol

When we consume alcohol, the liver diverts its energy to convert alcohol into a less toxic substance. Alcohol leaves the liver vulnerable and prevents it from adequately performing its other critical functions. Alcohol is converted to formaldehyde, a toxic byproduct which causes liver inflammation, liver cell death (aka., cirrhosis), and fatty liver disease.

Drinking a minimal amount of alcohol is critical to protecting the liver. Men and women can drink a maximum of 1 drink per day or 5 drinks per week. It is best to drink alcohol with food than alone. It is also best to avoid binge drinking on holidays and weekends since the liver never goes on vacation and hence, can be severely damaged from binge drinking.

If a person already has fatty liver disease, alcohol should be avoided. The reason is it can cause an intense inflammatory reaction and trigger the onset of an autoimmune disorder (i.e., Hashimoto’s, diabetes) or infection (i.e., mono, Lyme, chronic fatigue).

Eating Sugar

Sugar directly damages the liver. Sugar is as toxic as alcohol, and more addictive than cocaine. Sugar in the form of fructose, white sugar (aka., refined sugar), high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners (i.e, Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium) is not tolerated by the liver at any dose. These sugars are instead converted to fats and eventually cause liver disease.

Stick to having natural sugars from fruits, vegetables, and coconut since your liver is naturally designed to digest these sugars. Natural sugars also give us the right kind of energy.

Eating Too Much Salt

Too much salt consumption increases blood pressure in your liver’s main artery eventually leading to chronic liver disease. Try to not exceed more than 1 teaspoon of salt equivalent to 2,300 milligrams per day.

Instead of using salt, try seasoning your food with herbs and spices. Be aware that most fast foods, processed and pre-packaged ready-made food, condiments, baked goods, and bread often contain a ton of salt.

Taking Painkillers and Other Drugs

Many drugs are metabolized by the liver. The following drugs can easily surpass a safe threshold of liver tolerance and can cause significant liver damage:

  • Painkillers containing Acetaminophen (a.k.a., Tylenol), Paracetamol, and Narcotics
  • Sleep pills like Ambien and Benzodiazepines
  • Stimulants/ADHD drugs like Ritalin, Amphetamine (a.k.a., speed)
  • Cocaine and ecstasy
  • Intravenous drugs can transmit infections like hepatitis B and C, leading to chronic liver disease and possible liver cancer
  • Hallucinogenic mushrooms contain chemicals that the liver can’t tolerate
  • Frequent use of cannabis (a.k.a., marijuana) causes liver damage, especially if combined with other liver-metabolizing drugs and other factors which damage the liver (i.e., Hepatitis C, fatty liver disease). Daily use of marijuana will cause severe scarring in the liver and eventually cause permanent liver death (a.k.a, cirrhosis).
  • Nicotine decreases the blood supply to the liver and prevents the liver from effectively clearly dangerous toxins from the body. The liver becomes more vulnerable and is unable to perform its other essential functions. Nicotine use will increase the risk of developing liver cancer.

Check the prescribed dosage of each drug and add up the total dosage. Do not exceed the maximum amount allocated per day. Try to limit use of these drugs for as little time as possible since they can be addictive and also easily lead to liver toxicity.

Taking Certain Supplements and Vitamins

Check with your doctor to better understand which supplements are safe for your liver. For example, taking too much Vitamin A supplementation is not well tolerated by the liver. Instead of taking a separate Vitamin A supplement, obtain Vitamin A naturally by eating red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables every day.

Certain iron supplements are not well digested by the liver leading to excess iron in the bloodstream. Since the body is not able to process excess iron, the iron will accumulate in organs like the liver and eventually lead to liver damage.

Drinking Too Little Water

Water helps flush waste out of the body. This prevents toxins from building up and hurting the liver. Proper hydration makes the blood thinner, and hence, easier for the liver to filter the blood and remove toxins.

Drink plenty of water in between meals but not during meals. Excess water intake while eating hurts digestion. Try to also drink most of your water during the day so that you are not overworking the liver at night and also needing to urinate when you should instead by sleeping.

Without a proper functioning liver, toxins will build up in the body. These “toxic/allergenic” food(s) will kick the immune system into action and trigger a stress response throughout the body. When an immediate intense allergy reaction occurs towards a specific antigen on the “toxic” food, the antibody IgE is recruited from mast cells (a type of white blood cell) which leads to symptoms such as acute urticaria (hives), mouth/throat itching, lip swelling, shortness of breath, and/or generalized body itching without a rash. These symptoms are to inform the person to stop consuming the toxic food in the future.

Other allergy reactions can also occur towards antigens on “toxic” foods which trigger other antibody responses by the immune system. The reactions can initially be mild and gradually intensify causing full-blown damage to the digestive tract in the form of leaky gut and autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as Celiac disease, Crohns, and ulcerative colitis. The gut becomes increasingly unable to digest many large protein molecules found in all animal protein, GMO crops (i.e., wheat, corn, soy, rice), and processed, refined food which causes these “toxic” foods to linger inside the gut for too long and “rotting”. As these toxins begin damaging the surrounding tissues and “eating away” at the gut lining, a systemic autoimmune reaction is triggered throughout the body.

Common Symptoms to Problematic Foods which Have a Delayed Onset of Presentation

The most common symptoms which represent an underlying food sensitivities are any of all of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable stomach.

The immune system consistently reacts to toxins inside foods causing increased food sensitivities and allergies. Some of the most toxic foods rich in additives, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, and industrial toxicants are found in all forms of animal protein, processed ready-made food, refined sugar, alcohol, coffee, and chocolate, They are also found in most pharmaceutical medication, candy, chewing gum,tobacco products, and man-made beverages (i.e., alcohol, coffee, black tea).

To learn more about your toxin exposure and risk of having a food sensitivity/allergy, contact Advanced Health. Talk to our experts, Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. and Dr. Leena Pandhya, N.D. to learn more.