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Environment and IBD

The way I look at it is, since I have Crohn’s Disease I want to do everything I possibly can to optimize my health, the function of my organs and cells, my immune system, and my detoxification pathways. My body is fighting hard enough every day to deal with inflammation and autoimmunity. I want to minimize the risk of other diseases, and support my overall health.

That’s when I think about my environment. The places I spend my time, what I breathe, put in my body, and on my skin. Chemicals in our environment and in our products have been shown to impact most systems in our body: blood and immune system, lungs, cardiovascular system, thyroid, brain, liver, kidney, bone, and skin.

Here is a key list of compounds to avoid:

Pesticides, phthalates, nuclear radiation, PCBs, chemotherapy, manufacturers for rubber and acrylics, radon, UV, benzene, asbestos, silica, dioxins, PAHs, Air pollution, mold, organic chemicals, radon, cigarettes, arsenic, cystalline silica, asbestos, coal dust, pesticides, mercury, arsenic, nitrates, carbon monoxide, flame retardants, parabens, lead, vinyl chlorides, tricholroethylene.

We know that the following are Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (mess with your balance of the chemical messenger system that influences hormones):




-flame retardants



Over 80,000 chemicals are allowed in the US legally to be in our products, and most have not been vetted for safety.

In cosmetics alone, the US has restricted just 11 chemicals, while the European Union has banned 1,300! WHAT?!

When thinking about optimizing our environment for health, think about the energy, comfortability and safety of where you spend the majority of your time. Clutter and messiness, loud noises or light pollution, negative co-workers gossiping all day, can all lead to feelings of unease or stress.

On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with the places you spend your time? Ask yourself these questions: Are my home and work environments healthy, comfortable and safe? Do I have a place where I can relax? Do I try to eliminate my exposure to toxins and chemicals?

What number did you rate yourself? Where would you like that number to be? What would it take to increase that number? Why would it be important to raise that number?

Some great websites to look in to are:, The Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Working Group, The Good Guide, and

Having an autoimmune disease, I don’t want my body to have to fight and process all of these chemicals and harmful substances when it’s already working hard enough

I’m not perfect when it comes to using only clean/organic/non-toxic products, but I do try. And I think every little change we make can contribute to a huge difference in your overall exposure and thus health

If you feel overwhelmed, just start by making one change at a time. Change out your shampoo for something without parabens and phthalates, for example

What's just one thing you are willing to change or enhance? Let me know!


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