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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Let’s Talk About Toxicity

by Fred Harvey, MD 


We are living in some toxic times, but functional medicine is equipped to deal with toxicity. The concept of total toxic burden guides both our diagnostic and therapeutic plans. Total toxic burden is the effect of all internal and external burdens on our bodies, minds and spirits.  

Nutritional excesses or deficiencies, food sensitivities, allergies, infections, endogenous metabolic toxins, environmental toxins, electromagnetic energies (like microwaves and radiation), psychospiritual stresses and physical traumas all cause burdens which impair our overall health and optimal functioning.  

To operate at optimal capacity, our bodies, minds and spirits must be free of interfering energies and physical or chemical toxins. Lifestyle, employment and hobbies can all offer valuable clues into what could be causing those toxins to manifest. To give an example, a stained-glass fabricator is exposed to lead in solder the same way that a bullet maker is also exposed to lead in the smelting pot.  

Symptoms and signs can also be excellent guides to help identify toxins. Mental changes can indicate metal toxicity or mycotoxin (mold) exposure. Therefore, it is crucial for practitioners to obtain extensive patient history to make an accurate diagnosis. Once we have direction, lab testing for these substances will help focus on the culprit toxins. 

When we discover the toxins, we first eliminate the exposure. For something like lead exposure, the patient would naturally stop lead soldering. If mercury is in the mix, eliminating high mercury seafood would be advisable. If pesticides are present, stop using them in the home or yard. After eliminating the sources, we then treat the issue at hand.  

Each toxin has specific properties, so each requires a unique approach. Functional medicine understands these toxins, how to remove them effectively, and how to help the patient recover from the damage caused by these agents. We use any method available that has been proven to optimize human function. For anyone who might be lost within a toxic space, contact The Harvey Center for Integrative Medicine to receive medical guidance. 


For more information or to schedule your consultation, please call The Harvey Center for Integrative Medicine at 941-929-9355 or email [email protected] The Harvey Center for Integrative Medicine is located at 3982 Bee Ridge Road, Suite J, Sarasota. Telehealth and second opinion consultations are available upon request. 




August 2022 Digital Edition








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