In taking a class in Functional Medicine this fall, I was stunned to discover the following:
Twin studies have demonstrated that environmental factors are the most important cause for Parkinson’s disease (Wirdefeldt et al., 2008). Pesticide and heavy metal exposure are commonly cited antecedents and increased risk is seen in those exposed via occupation or simply rural living and consumption of well water (Willis, Sterling, & Racette, 2010). Park, et al. (2006) reported low, yet consistent exposure to inhaled manganese, a common occurrence in welding occupations, for as little as two years doubled the risk of neurological impairment.
Pesticide exposure is another, perhaps more prevalent source of exposure in Parkinsonism etiology. Rotenone and paraquat are two such pesticides that have been positively associated with the disease due to their ability to cause mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress (Tanner, et al., 2011). These can be purchased at your local home and garden center and may be used by your neighbors or even your local Parks and Rec department on greenways, roadsides, and in public parks to keep weeds at bay.
In married couples where both individuals became diseased with Parkinson’s, non-occupational exposure was most commonly noted. Multi-decade residential pesticide use and living within 5 miles of a metal manufacturing/emitting factory was reported in 77.8% of couples analyzed by Willis, Sterling, and Racette (2010). This study was particularly compelling, as it involved cases where one person came down with Parkinson’s and their spouse also fell ill with the same disease, usually within a decade.
While the research I uncovered named two of them, many pesticides work because they destroy an insect’s neurological system. It’s foolish and short-sighted to think we are immune from that, even at regular low doses. Seek alternative deterrents that are non-toxic to control weeds and pests.
This is especially important if you live in a rural area and use well water. I do not know if city filtration systems are effective either.
Also talk to your city to see what they use to keep public green spaces pretty. Our dogs and our children are very close to the very plants and grasses that may be treated and are especially sensitive to pollutants given their smaller size.
Tanner C.M., Kamel F., Ross G.W., Hoppin J.A., Goldman S.M., Korell M., Marras C., Bhudhikanok G.S., Kasten M., Chade A.R., Comyns K., Richards M.B., Meng C., Priestley B., Fernandez H.H., Cambi F., Umbach D.M., Blair A., Sandler D.P., Langston J.W. (2011). Rotenone, paraquat, and Parkinson’s disease. Environmental Health Perspectives 119(6), 866-872.
Wirdefeldt, K., Gatz, M., Bakaysa, S.L., Fiske, A., Flensburg, M., Petzinger, G.M., Widner, H., Lew, M.F., Welsh, M., and Pedersen, N.L. (2008). Complete ascertainment of Parkinson disease in the Swedish Twin Registry. Neurobiology of Aging, 29(12), 1765–1773.
Park R.M., Bowler R.M., Eggerth D.E., Diamond E., Spencer K.J., Smith D., et al. (2006). Issues in neurological risk assessment for occupational exposures: the Bay Bridge welders. Neurotoxicology, 27(3), 373–84.
Willis, A.W., Sterling, C., and Racette, B.A. (2009). Conjugal Parkinsonism and Parkinson Disease: A Case Series with Environmental Risk Factor Analysis. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 16(3), 163–166.
I knew that having a child was going to provide ample distractions and make it challenging to stay focused. That said, I didn’t fully realize the magnitude of perpetual disruption on how connected I would feel to myself and my life’s path. It’s taken two years, but I am finally refocusing and recentering myself for this coming year. For me, it will be a year of reclaiming myself independent of my role as a mother and integrating Mother with Self so that I can operate from a more authentic place and honor who I am in this next phase of my life. While my clients have demonstrated the difficulty of self-care in the face of motherhood, I now understand it at a much more profound level than I did pre-parent and am even more committed to helping mothers reconnect to themselves so they can have a fulfilling life.
This plan is a work in progress, but I invite you to join me in taking the time to do this important work. I would love to hear from you throughout the year on how it is going, what you are discovering and what works and what doesn’t. You can share by commenting below or by sending me an email. I will be sharing my experiences here throughout the year as well.
This is best done not as a goal, but as an essence. As I had no clear sense of what direction I wanted to go earlier this month I went back to an exercise that has been very helpful to me in the past: Jade Teta’s Totem Word exercise. This exercise reliably brings me back to my values and core mission for my life whenever I lose sight of it.
Leonie Dawson is a goddess of Juicy Living. Her niche is helping hippie artist-types find success in their artistic passions, but her messages and products are really useful for anyone
in business or those wanting to bring more creative, right-brained habits to life. This year I am using her 2016 Create Your Shining Year in Life to outline what I want more of and how I am going to get there. This notebook begs for markers, stickers, collaging, and play; something I am betting most of us can benefit from!
Leonie can push my woo-woo tolerance but her message is really grounded and practical and has always benefitted me when I have utilized any of her programs or products. While starting the workbook at the new year gives you the most time to get results, the reality is you can pick up this workbook at any time of the year and use it as a tool for clarifying, outlining and planning the next phase of your life (or business if you get the business workbook)
I’ve started using a passion planner and am really enjoying it as a resource for tracking my actions that are connected to my overall intention for the year. At the beginning of the planner are some exercises to help you get focused on your year ahead so you have a reminder on hand daily. The planner itself offers a weekly focus, space for notes, to-do lists, and quotes and challenges to keep you connected and growing. You can check out these planners at passionplanner.com
I’m also trying a new service this year, “One Little Word”. I’ll be getting monthly writing prompts on the word that I have chosen to serve as my totem word for 2016. I believe there will be some opportunity for crafting as well, which is something that I have wanted more practice with all of my adulthood.
What are your big aims for 2016? I would love to hear your totem word or intention for this coming year!
I've studied nutrition and fitness from a variety of experts for over 20 years. In this time I've come to understand that no diet, nor exercise plan, is right for every body. Your body has a unique set of needs, and by listening and exploring, you and I can learn the language of your body and begin giving it what it needs, so that greater energy, vibrancy, health and happiness can be yours!
A healthy body is a platform for an abundant, vibrant life. It's all yours for the taking. Are you ready for it?