HAVE YOU BEEN AFFECTED BY THE ‘RED TIDE’ OR ‘TOXIC GREEN ALGAE’ ?
If you are a resident of Southwest Florida, you know that the Gulf has been suffering this summer from a toxic combination of the annual occurrence of red tide infused with excessive blue-green algae blooms flowing from Lake Okeechobee. This ecological disaster has garnered national attention, including that of environmental activist Erin Brockovich. Governor Rick Scott finally declared a state of emergency in seven Florida counties on August 13.
It has been estimated that 90% of 730-square mile Lake Okeechobee was covered in toxic algae blooms in July. Due to heavy summer rains, the Army Corp of Engineers was forced to release water from Lake O to prevent the overtopping of the Hoover Dike. These waters were released into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers, with no filtration. The Caloosahatchee River dumps into the Gulf just south of Cape Coral and north of Fort Myers Beach while St Lucie runs into the east coast of Florida. And the red tide which harbours itself on our coastline has a favorite food: toxic blue-green algae.
The toxic-algae-bloom-meets-red-tide scenario playing out on our Gulf coast has decimated sea life in the Gulf, effectively suffocating everything in its path. We have experienced a horrific loss of sea animals, as evidenced by tons of dead animals washing up on the coast from Naples to Tampa Bay. Wildlife on land has also been affected, as birds and other animals eat contaminated fish and are otherwise exposed to the toxins.
The toxic algae bloom has darkened Gulf waters and the film-like blue-green algae is very visible in canals and sedentary water. There are thousands of species of algae in the ocean, and only a hundred or so produce dangerous toxins. This particular algae bloom contains cyanobacteria, which produces cyanotoxins. Cyanotoxins pose a significant human health threat with direct contact and can also aerosolize in the wind.
If you have been to the beach and come in direct contact with cyanotoxins, it is likely you have already had to seek medical treatment for vomiting, infection, and perhaps even neurological reactions. If you have steered clear of the SWFL beaches during this summer’s disaster, you may still have been subjected to airborne cyanotoxins. Airborne toxins may trigger respiratory problems or worsen conditions such as asthma. Other symptoms may include burning eyes and throat and sinus problems. Acute or chronic exposure to cyanotoxins may cause permanent liver damage and promote neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
PROTECT YOUSELF AND YOUR FAMILY
We recommend taking the following precautions to get you through this Red Tide ecological disaster:
- Avoid the beach. If you decide to walk on the beach, be sure to wear shoes and be very cognizant of washing those shoes before tracking into your house/vehicle. Consider wearing a surgical mask to avoid respiratory issues.
- Consider indoor exercise activities as a substitute for bicycling and walking outdoors.
- Carefully discern the origin of the seafood you eat.
- Keep doors and windows shut and limit outdoor time.
- Eat a healthy diet to promote your immune system.
- Consume fermented foods and drinks + high-quality mushroom supplements to boost your immunity.
- Minimize stresses on your body to keep your body in fighting condition.
- Consider your fur family, for whom this toxicity is also a threat.
COME IN FOR A HEALTH EVALUATION
If you feel you have been exposed to toxins or would just like to have a general health evaluation, Lotus Blossom Clinic is here to help.
Lotus Blossom Clinic offers a number of services and products to help you through this stressful period including acupuncture, food/dietary consultation, medicinal mushrooms, CBD products, and Reiki. If you have not been in to see a Lotus Blossom practitioner recently please give us a call to schedule an appointment. (239) 277-1399
SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT TO CUB REPORTER ALAYNA MANVILLE OF BONITA SPRINGS WHO RESEARCHED AND WROTE THIS ARTICLE FOR US!
To Your Health,
Dr. David & Deb Martin
And all the Providers at Lotus Blossom Clinic
Serving the Greater Fort Myers area with Natural and Holistic Medicine: Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Science-backed Food as Medicine, Energy Medicine.
Resources and References:
News Press, As red tide, algae blooms drag on, health agencies stay mum on what constitutes a crisis, August 8, 2018 https://www.news-press.com/story/news/2018/08/06/red-tide-algae-blooms-drag-some-doctors-worry-while-health-department-stays-mum-what-constitutes/845378002/
“Florida Red Tide”, MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, https://mote.org/pages/florida-red-tide1