Environmental Exposure to Hairspray, Lipstick and Pollution Can Trigger Arthritis

The links between autoimmune diseases, infections and the environment are complex and mysterious. 

But "Spondylo-arthropathies," a group of common inflammatory rheumatic disorders, appear to be triggered by environmental factors.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease afflicting more than 2 million Americans.

The disorder causes your body's own immune system to attack your joints, leading to pain, deformities and a substantial loss of mobility.

One root cause of arthritis is extreme stress, and some medications, such as the birth control pills, might be linked in some cases to the onset of lupus.

Environmental pollution is also a concern for those predisposed to an autoimmune disease. Second-hand smoke, food chemicals or chemicals in the air, jet fuel fumes, UV exposure and other forms of environmental pollution are amongst the triggers considered to provoke the onset of autoimmune diseases. Hairspray and lipstick are also known to be occasional triggers.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

More than 1 million Americans have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and about 75 percent of them are women. Unlike osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your body to break itself down.

I have personally treated over 3,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis in my practice, which is well more than 10 times the amount a typical family physician would treat in their entire career. So I have a fair amount of experience here.

The protocol I used is available for all for all to review

What Types of Environmental Factors May Trigger RA?

One important cause of RA, which is nearly universally present in most all autoimmune diseases, is some kind of severe, traumatic emotional insult. The emotional trauma often occurs before the age the conscious mind is formed, which is typically around the age of 5 or 6, though it can occur at any point in your life.

If that specific emotional insult is not addressed with an effective treatment modality, then the underlying emotional trigger will not be removed, allowing the destructive process to proceed.

In some cases, RA appears to be caused by an infection, and it is my experience that this infection is usually acquired when you have a stressful event that causes a disruption in your bioelectrical circuits, which then causes an impairment in your immune system.

This impairment predisposes you to developing the initial infection and also contributes to your relative inability to effectively defeat the infection.

Therefore, it’s very important to have an effective tool to address these underlying emotional traumas. In my clinic, the most common form of treatment used is called the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT).

If you already have RA, the emotional trauma is best treated by a professional.

Vitamin D Deficiency

In the thousands of patients I saw, it was unusual where this type of emotional trauma and a severe vitamin D deficiency were not present.

In my opinion it is virtual criminal malpractice to treat a person with RA and not aggressively monitor their vitamin D levels to confirm that they are in a therapeutic range of 55-65 ng/ml.

The further you move from the equator, the higher the incidence of RA becomes in the population. The remedy, of course, is to make sure your vitamin D levels are optimized. For more information on vitamin D and how to optimize your levels, please see this link.

Other Environmental Triggers

Aside from the emotional trigger, and possibly in addition to it, other environmental factors also appear to trigger RA and other autoimmune diseases in some people. These include:

  • Certain medications, such as birth control pills

  • Second-hand smoke

  • Food chemicals

  • Air pollution

  • Jet fuel fumes

  • Chemicals in personal care products such as lipstick and hairspray

The bottom line is that you are probably interacting with countless substances that could trigger this illness on a daily basis. For one person, it could be lipstick; for another it could be living near an airport or eating chemicals in processed food.

This underscores the importance of living your life as purely as possible, and you can read more about how to avoid environmental toxins here.

What this also means is that, since these environmental factors are so common and widespread, virtually everyone could be at risk of developing RA. But you needn’t get lumped into this group, because there are a few simple steps you can take that can dramatically lower your risk.

How to Virtually Eliminate Your Risk of RA and Other Autoimmune Diseases

The first step, which I mentioned earlier, is to address your emotional traumas using MTT or another type of emotional repair tool. Ideally, you should do this before you develop an illness, and on an ongoing basis throughout your life.

The next imperative step is to optimize your vitamin D levels, as almost universally, autoimmune diseases have an underlying vitamin D deficiency.

Make Sure You Are Eating Foods You Were Designed to Eat

The final step is to start eating right for your nutritional type. Your unique biochemistry and genetics influence the ratio of fat, protein and carbohydrates your body needs to thrive, so eating for your nutritional type will ensure that you get the optimal macronutrient ratio out of your diet.

There are some general principles that seem to hold true for all nutritional types and these include:

  • Eliminating sugar and most grains

  • Having unprocessed, high-quality foods, organic and locally grown if possible

  • Eating your food as close to raw as possible

  • Getting plenty high-quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil

The treatment protocol I use for rheumatoid arthritis has helped thousands of RA patients go into remission, and following these natural steps will also greatly reduce your risk of ever developing RA in the first place.

Over the years I found that including the use of dietary modification has dramatically improved the response rate.

Other Considerations

One new addition to the protocol is low-dose Naltrexone, which I would encourage anyone with RA to try. It is inexpensive and non-toxic, and I have a number of physician reports documenting incredible efficacy in getting people off of all their dangerous arthritis meds.

The drugs typically used for rheumatoid arthritis treatment are some of the most dangerous drugs used in medicine. High doses of prednisone are common, as well as immunosuppressants and anti-cancer agents to treat the severe pain and swelling.