by Karen Larre, Carla Garcia and Mary Anne Weaver
Suzanne Somers is one of America’s most popular and beloved personalities. In a multifaceted career that has spanned more than three decades, she has achieved extraordinary success as an actress, singer, comedienne, New York Times bestselling author, Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year, entrepreneur, and lecturer. She is the voice and face of alternative medicine. She received an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Host for The SUZANNE Show, her weekly Lifetime Network talk show, which provided a thought-provoking morning show alternative with in-depth information on health and wellness in a casual, entertaining format. Suzanne’s fun, smart, empowering talk show, Suzanne Somers’ Breaking Through, airs online on the CafeMom Studios YouTube channel. Her 26 books include I’m Too Young for This, Somersize Chocolate, After the Fall, Fast and Easy, Ageless, Keeping Secrets, 365 Ways to Change Your Life, The Sexy Years, Wednesday’s Children, Two’s Company and more. Truly Alive has featured Suzanne Somers and three of her books prior, Knockout, Breakthrough and the Sexy Forever Recipe Bible. The March/April, 2019 issue features her newest New York Times Bestseller, TOX-SICK.
Suzanne Somers has developed beauty and health products that are pure and clean, easy and fun! Her products are made with natural botanical extracts, enzymes, skin-nurturing anti-oxidants, organic fruits and vegetables. For an in-home fitness experience, Suzanne Somers delivers products for amazing results. Her simple, achievable guidelines for exercising and eating right help you look and feel better. Purchase her amazing, Certified ToxicFree® skincare products at: https://www.suzannesomers.com/collections/suzanne-organics-skincare.
Truly Alive: You speak frankly in this book about the dangers of the toxic assault that bombards us all. What inspired you to seek out environmental doctors and specialists and explore all the research?
Suzanne Somers: Writing TOX-SICK was very personal for me. After our home burned down, we moved into a rented mountainside house; really spectacular! My husband, Alan, started each morning running up and down the stairs for ten minutes. After two years, I noticed him not feeling well. He is an extremely healthy guy, but every time he walked into the house his eyes watered and were red, his nose ran, and he sneezed constantly. What we didn’t know was that there was unfinished construction under the house with standing water that sent black mold into the house through the heating ducts and drywall, and Alan and I deep breathed it every morning. The black mold had permeated our bodies unbeknownst to us. Alan was hardest hit; eventually the black mold started “eating” through his central nervous system at the base of his cerebellum, causing facial tics and spasms. Going to an orthodox doctor, he most likely would have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and put on strong and damaging drugs, but luckily with my access to the most cutting-edge doctors in the world, we got to the true cause of the problem and started on a lifelong protocol to eliminate toxins from the body. The facial tics have been eliminated and his success, as well as the time it took to get the mold out of my intestines, gave me the impetus to write this book. I knew we were not alone and that there was another (and in my opinion better), answer to dealing with the realities of a damaged planet and bodies too toxic to be able to combat the assault that leaves the immune system weakened and no longer able to fight the elements.
Around the same time, two of our grandchildren were diagnosed with debilitating food allergies and neurological conditions; ADD, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), mold allergies, and then the devastating diagnosis of Lyme disease. My daughter also found her quality of life diminished by unbelievable fatigue, food allergies, unexplained weight gain, puffy face, yellow eyes. Diagnosis: MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities), including allergies to mold.
Clearly something was going haywire. We are a family that does eat right and organic. What was happening? It was then I decided I had to lead the family charge in finding the right environmental doctors for all of us, and out of this very personal experience came TOX-SICK.
TA: What are the symptoms of being TOX-SICK?
SS: Symptoms of TOX-SICKNESS are most often misdiagnosed. They might be called autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, Lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), or Parkinson’s or pre-Parkinson’s, or brain fog, or personality changes ranging from depression to rage. Or it might be a stomach out of control such as my symptoms; bloating, gas, cramping, inability to get my stomach flat regardless of how many sits ups I did. I did not realize that the mold in my body decided to make its home in my intestines. I refer to stomach symptoms from exposure as chemical bellies. Not fun, not pretty, and very dangerous.
TOX-SICK explains that yeast, candida, mold, fungus, and cancers all need dark and moist environments and their favorite meal and catalyst for growth to survive is sugar! That is their “happy meal.” Understanding this is crucial for recovery. Everyone seems to be gluten intolerant these days. The reason is your damaged gastrointestinal (GI) tract from chemicals and toxins. Everyone has witnessed out-of-control mold organisms in their bathroom tile at one point or another in their lives, but we never knew mold was devastating to the human body if the toxic burden is high enough that we are unable to withstand the assault. In today’s world with all of us being bombarded by the greatest environmental assault in the history of humanity, each body is now so “loaded” with toxins, that once-benign things such as mold or non-organic eggs, or pesticides, or weed killer, or genetically modified organism (GMO) foods, or the air freshener at the airport, might just be the exposure that puts you over the top. I call it the “tipping point.” Every body is different and each of us has a different tolerance. Those who are missing genes in their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene complex are the canaries, the ones who go down first, but make no mistake, unless you take your choices seriously, you might likely be next. Such is the state of the planet. Frankly and with all due respect, our orthodox doctors are stymied. That is why I have directed people to these top environmental doctors in the country but also to ForeverHealth.com to find a qualified doctor nearest them who understands the effects of toxins on the human body.
TA: Talking about weight loss, you say: “It’s not the calories, it’s the chemicals.” How do chemicals in our food, homes, and environment make us gain weight?
SS: The toxins we take in from our food, our cars, our household cleaners, our water, our dry cleaned clothes, our mattresses, and our carpeting are alien to our bodies, so they store the toxins in our fat cells. The more toxins, the more fat. Toxins love to eat sugar but live in fat. Sugar aggravates the overgrowth in your intestines and with their favorite meal of sugar, they grow to enter the bloodstream and find their way to fatty organs, the brain being their favorite target. Thus ADD, ADHD, OCD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, asthma, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, hormone disruptions, thyroid malfunctioning… Because the brain is mostly fat, these dangerous chemicals find their way to our brain which becomes the nesting place, wreaking all sorts of havoc on your health and bodily functions; not good.
TA: The Centers for Disease Control reports that of the environmental toxins measured—DDT, solvents, plasticizers—50% have been found in all of us. You discuss research showing that toxins are passed from mother to child in utero, and infants are born already exposed to damaging chemicals. What can pregnant women do to protect their children?
SS: The health of the mother’s GI tract is more crucial than ever realized. The health of that “second brain” is what the baby will inherit. If the mother has a toxic digestive tract from processed foods, phthalates from plastic water bottles, chemical exposures from household cleaners or workplace contacts, and a lack of healthy gut flora, then she most likely has inflammation, a diminished immune system, and leaky gut. Now that baby might be set up for lifelong food allergies and brain conditions such as ADD, ADHD, OCD and more. This is where it develops.
If that baby is born caesarean, then the child will miss the most important step provided by nature, our journey through the birth canal, and that has tremendous significance. Our first “swallow” is from our mother’s vaginal flora. That is how we colonize a healthy gut. When this step is bypassed, the baby misses this vital-for-a-healthy-life component. So clearly the diet of the pregnant woman is crucial. This is where allopathic medicine falls short. Recolonizing that caesarean baby with probiotics upon birth could help offset lifelong GI problems and brain conditions.
A mother who switches to organic skin care, hair care, makeup, household cleaners, and keeps all the food she ingests real, organic, and without pesticides gives herself and her unborn child the best opportunity for a healthy life.
TA: You say antibiotics have been overused to the point that we have reached a global antibiotic resistance, and pushed our bodies to develop “chemical belly.” What is chemical belly and why is it so damaging?
SS: Everywhere I go, people complain about their stomachs. When I had black mold in my intestines I, too, had chemical belly. It is extremely uncomfortable and distorts the shape of the body. The symptoms are: cramping, bloating, gas, and unexplained weight gain, indicating a toxic stomach loaded with chemicals. If the belly is toxic that means the liver is groaning with toxicity. An overloaded liver “spits out” the incoming toxins, shunting them to the portal vein and these toxins get shoved into the GI tract. Now you are in trouble. Once the GI tract is loaded with chemicals and pesticides and other contaminants, they “eat” through the barrier wall of the GI tract, allowing these chemicals to be free to roam through the bloodstream and cause havoc. Until the digestive tract is cleaned up through detoxification and a change of diet, plus reducing chemical exposure, that person is going to continue to get sicker and sicker. The overuse of antibiotics is often the first step in upsetting the balance of the gut. Anti (biotic) takes away, pro (biotic) puts back. Taking antibiotics without probiotics is guaranteed to distort the balance necessary for well-functioning health. Antibiotics should never be taken frivolously.
TA: Is our toxic burden too big to solve? What can we do now to heal?
SS: No. But it does take tenacity and determination. The answer does not lie in a drug as a solution, the last thing you need when your body is loaded with chemicals is to add more chemical molecules. Detox requires life changes. My husband, Alan, is on Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez’s mold detox protocol and I am on Dr. Gonzalez’s mold and cancer detox protocols. The treatment is essentially the same. Yeast, mold, fungus, candida, and yes cancer, are all similar in their love of sugars. Eliminating sugar is a first step toward regaining health, then switching your diet to organic only, plus cleaning up your life to dramatically reduce chemical exposure is the way to clean up the body. Good nutrition is no joke. It is the difference between health and sickness. It’s that simple. Constant detoxification sadly is also essential to survive and thrive on today’s damaged planet. But it is doable. I have greatly reduced my toxic burden in my body by taking charge of my food intake, household cleaners, skin care, hair care, and makeup. TOX-SICK explains the protocols for detox, a requirement in today’s world for fighting the elements trying to do us in. You can’t keep eating processed foods and expect to get well. The body requires good organic nutrition. With determination and a willingness to be well, you can take the steps and take charge of your personal toxic burden.
TA: What do you hope readers take away from TOX-SICK?
SS: The takeaway is that you are in control. By reading this book you will gain the knowledge of why you are not well, how you got that way, and how to fix it.
I know TOX-SICK will become an invaluable handbook for people suffering with ADD, ADHD, OCD, asthma, autism, bipolar disorder, mold, Lyme disease, food allergies, schizophrenia, hormonal disruptions, joint pain, and brain fog. TOX-SICK will provide my readers the opportunity to have virtual “doctor visits” with some of the greatest environmental doctors in America. Great health is a blessing. It’s the gift you can give to yourself.
Suzanne is the spokesperson for Forever Health (ForeverHealth.com). Forever Health provides a network that allows readers to connect with physicians in their geographic area who specialize in integrative and environmental medicine.