I’m Dr. Yvonne Burkart, a board-certified Toxicologist and a mom of two. Today, I want to share my personal journey of overcoming a high toxic load and fertility issues.
In my latest YouTube video, I share:
- My complicated health history
- How things turn a took for the worse
- My struggle with hormone imbalance and fertility issues
- The road to recovery
- Major lessons learned on my low tox journey
If you want to watch the full video, press play now! You can also continue scrolling to read more.
I’m Dr. Yvonne Burkart, a board-certified toxicologist and a mom of two. Today, I want to share my personal journey of overcoming a high toxic load and fertility issues. Growing up, I lived a conventional American lifestyle, consuming regular grocery store foods and using products without questioning their impact on my health. Looking back, I now realize that I wasn’t fine as a kid. I constantly relied on antibiotics, acetaminophen, and had respiratory issues requiring an inhaler.
Things took a turn for the worse during my adolescent and teenage years when my periods became erratic, excruciatingly painful, and lasted for weeks. It was a debilitating time in my life, and the pain often left me in the fetal position on the floor or even passing out. I tried various pain relief products, but they only provided temporary relief without addressing the underlying imbalances in my body.
When I started taking birth control pills, it was the first time I experienced relief. My periods became regular, predictable, and painless. It felt like a miracle. In college, I discovered my passion for toxicology, which led me to study the effects of environmental chemicals on reproductive health during my Ph.D. We focused on how antioxidants, particularly glutathione, could protect the ovaries and testes from toxic insults.
After completing my Ph.D., I joined a research fellowship in the field of reproductive endocrinology and medicine. However, I started missing toxicology and decided to explore other career opportunities. That’s when I found a job in the flavor and fragrance industry, which unexpectedly felt like a perfect fit. Moving to Ohio for the job, I left behind friends and family, and although excited initially, the stress gradually overwhelmed me.
I was constantly anxious, unable to switch off from work even outside office hours. My life became centered around my job, and the initial excitement faded away. As a result, my health began to suffer. I developed acne, experienced severe brain fog, digestive issues, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. It was the lowest point in my life, coinciding with studying for board certification and planning an out-of-state wedding.
During this time, my periods disappeared for nearly ten months. Despite seeking medical advice, the conventional approach didn’t provide any satisfactory answers. Eventually, I discovered I was pregnant, even though I hadn’t been having regular periods. However, my joy was short-lived as subsequent medical examinations revealed that the pregnancy didn’t progress.
Feeling desperate, I knew I needed to explore alternatives. That’s when I stumbled upon functional medicine, which became a turning point in my life. I made significant lifestyle changes, including dietary adjustments, stress management through journaling, meditation, and yoga. Within three months, my period returned, and my energy levels soared. It was a transformative experience.
As I approached 35 years old, the pressure to conceive intensified. Despite trying for a baby, I faced disappointment month after month. It was then that my functional doctor discovered elevated mercury levels in my body, likely resulting from the amalgam fillings I had for many years. I learned the importance of proper dental care and sought the help of a biological dentist to safely remove the fillings and detoxify from mercury exposure.
After about nine months of working with my functional doctor, I finally became pregnant. It was an exhilarating yet nerve-wracking time, given my previous pregnancy loss. However, I had faith in my body’s strength and intuition. Thankfully, my pregnancy progressed smoothly, and I ultimately gave birth to two beautiful children without any medical interventions.
This entire journey taught me a crucial lesson: our environment plays a significant role in our health. Despite my scientific background, it was challenging to acknowledge the impact of toxins on my body and fertility. I realized the need to embrace a low tox lifestyle. Contrary to what some might think, it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.
Simple changes like removing shoes indoors, opening windows for fresh air, cooking whole foods, avoiding processed foods, minimizing skincare products, and reducing makeup usage can make a world of difference. Even without fancy equipment or expensive treatments, I’ve experienced remarkable improvements in my health and well-being.
Today, as a toxicologist and a mother, I’m passionate about spreading awareness of the importance of reducing our toxic load. Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal and thrive when given the right environment and support. I hope my story inspires others to take control of their health and consider the impact of toxins in their daily lives.
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