The Rain Barrel Effect:
The Real Reason We Get Sick, Tired & Overweight
“Americans of all ages are carrying around over 219 toxic chemicals in their body at any given time…”
- Center for Disease Control, 2009 Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Chemicals
Total Toxic Load
The first time I first heard about “total toxic load,” also referred to as “total body burden,” I was intrigued, but didn’t fully understand what it meant…
I realized that just from normal metabolic cellular processes, we humans are constantly building up waste in our body.
Just like the smoke that comes from burning wood in a fire, every single time we eat or produce energy, our cells and digestive systems create waste by-products.
And it’s like this for every system in our body.
But all that waste must be properly eliminated to stay healthy.
So—our body has that waste to tend to. That’s a primary duty of the body—but now it’s just one out of many, many waste products the body must find a way to eliminate without harming the systems that have to filter all this waste.
But what I don’t think I grasped fully, for some time, because of the sheer magnitude – and the frightening implications for our health—was that on top of the body having all its own waste to tend to—we now have hundreds of toxic chemicals our body now has to find a way to get out of the body without harming the body—without harming those organs like our liver, kidneys, pancreas.
All these invisible and insidious toxins that hide in our atmosphere everywhere.
Quite simply, this is the point. The somewhat frightening point. Our bodies are simply not designed – or properly equipped — to filter out paint fumes, synthetic fragrances, plastics, and other man-made chemicals.
How much can any one organ filter without harming the organ?
When the phase II pathway cannot process it—it stores it somewhere, like fat tissue.
As a result, our body continues to accumulate these particles and store them away in hopes of preventing harm to the internal organs—like the liver and kidneys, that have to excrete these toxins and attempt to transform them into non-toxic substances before they can – a process that is highly exhaustive to these organs as well.
Exhaustive, indeed. The reason everyone is so tired is our system is exhausted by trying to detox all these foreign-to-the-body substances coming in that there’s little left over for us to really enjoy our lives and celebrate them and enjoy others. We’re tired and grouchy when we could be joyous and sociable!
The problem is we eventually meet our upper limit.
Each person’s limit, or threshold, is dictated by their age, genetics, gut microbiome, lifestyle, food intake, and all the other factors that will be explained in the coming DESTRESSTM healing protocol.
National Geographic Article
Many people still refute that toxins are an issue. The reason is that most of the toxins, although very real, are nano particles that can’t be seen.
Scientists know these nanoparticles exist, but only the larger ones, like gold nanoparticles, can actually be observed.
And of course, we can’t see the processes happening inside of our bodies.
But, even for the greatest skeptic, the existence and damaging effects of these poisons in the body are irrefutable for anyone that would like to lab test themselves.
One of the most well-known examples of this occurred when a self-proclaimed skeptical journalist, David Duncan (pictured above), from National Geographic Magazine decided to see what was really going on with our internal toxicity levels.
The article was originally published in October, 2006, and was titled, “The Pollution Within: How Modern Chemistry Keeps Insects from Ravaging Our Crops, Lifts Stains from Carpets, and Saves Lives. But the Ubiquity Of Chemicals is Taking a Toll.”
The article talks about how toxicity in the environment is now inescapable and how
“Each year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviews an average of 1,700 new compounds that industry is seeking to introduce.
Yet the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act requires that they be tested for any ill effects before approval only if evidence of potential harm exists—which is seldom the case for new chemicals. The agency approves about 90 percent of the new compounds without restrictions. Only a quarter of the 82,000 chemicals in use in the U.S. have ever been tested for toxicity.”
(Note: This was written in 2006 and the number of chemicals has greatly increased.)
The National Geographic writer then went on to perform the ultimate test to see if he was harboring any of these toxic chemicals in his body.
After all, he felt like he was a healthy individual. Why would he have any dangerous toxins or metals in his body? Especially any really dangerous chemical accumulation that could disease or cancer down the road.
For the purposes of this article he was tested at the world renowned, Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, by Dr. Leo Trasande.
A Skeptic’s Results
Here are the results of the dozens of toxins found in his body as quoted by Duncan:
industrial chemicals—compounds that are not banned, and, like flame retardants, are increasing year by year in the environment and in my body.
Sipping water after a workout, I could be exposing myself to Bisphenol A, an ingredient in rigid plastics from water bottles to safety goggles. Bisphenol A causes reproductive system abnormalities in animals. My levels were so low they were undetectable—a rare moment of relief in my toxic odyssey.
And that faint lavender scent as I shampoo my hair? Credit it to phthalates, molecules that dissolve fragrances, thicken lotions, and add flexibility to PVC, vinyl, and some intravenous tubes in hospitals. The dashboards of most cars are loaded with phthalates, and so is some plastic food wrap. Heat and wear can release phthalate molecules, and humans swallow them or absorb them through the skin.” 
David Duncan, like all others who decide to put their skepticism to the test, ultimately came to realize that total body burden is a real thing — and that it is the invisible factor that we need to correct in order to get healthy.
It would be interesting if he would have another test. Or if all of us would. Would that change everyone’s thinking on this? I think so.
I could also go on and on about how David is not just a one-off case study, but instead, I’m going to share with you how you too can run a simple at home test in order to discover your own toxicity levels.
But first, I want to provide you with one more form of scientifically tested evidence that should end the toxic accumulation debate once and for all . . .
The 10 Americans Study
When I was first learning about toxicity it made me upset and angry to think that corporations were knowing putting harmful additives into our foods and dumping chemicals into the environment.
But, this next issue really pushed me over the edge, and I got mad enough and start churning out this book, compiling study after study. I had to do something to inform the public and save as many people as I could from a lifetime of being chained to diagnoses and drugs they didn’t have to be.
We don’t have to live our lives fat, tired, and doomed for dis-ease.
Here’s where the science gets shocking:
Right now, every newborn baby that comes into this world is already filled with man-made toxins that weren’t even a part of our world just about 150 years ago. It is these same chemicals that are able to cause birth defects, autism (now 1 in 68), cancer, and other diseases. It’s unspeakable to think that we know these toxins cause these childhood issues, yet nothing is being done.
A video and study called “10 Americans” by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) was released showing that before a child even enters the world they already have about 287 toxins in their blood and tissues. This data came from 10 newborns whose parents gave permission to have their toxin screens done at birth.
(The 10 Americans video and EWG study above can be seen in its entirety at StephenCabral.com/10-americans)
An average of 200 chemicals was found in each newborn. 47 of those toxins were consumer ingredients such as cosmetics. 212 were from industrial chemicals and pesticide breakdown products. (Keep in mind only about 400 total chemicals were actually being tested for in this study – thousands of others may have been found if larger parameters were used.)
Many of the toxins that were found in these newborns included plastics, flame retardants, and other chemicals that disturb the brain function, IQ, nervous system, and hormones of the baby. Some of these chemicals like DDT, believe it or not, have actually been banned for over 3 decades, but are still being found in blood and urine samples. The reason is that certain chemicals never fully degrade in the environment.
So, as we’ve now discovered, it’s not a question of whether you have disease creating toxins inside your body, but rather which ones and how much.
That’s why I encourage everyone to find out exactly how bad their burden is . . . how and what is your rain barrel filled with?
How Toxic Are You?
Lab testing is a very powerful tool that most Functional Medicine practitioners, like myself, use in active clinical practice.
It allows both the patient or wellness client to see for themselves what the underlying root cause is for why they’re suffering from any number of health issues including weight gain. There is literally a lab for each specific issue and I will provide those in the appendix and RBE resource page.
However, what I’d like to focus on right now is your ability to have your toxicity levels tested by a Functional Medicine practitioner. You can purchase the lab from your doctor, or by yourself right online.
Here’s a sample lab of what those results may look like:
(This is just page 1 of the over 100+ toxins tested for using a simple at home urine test.
When you run this toxicity lab called the GPL-TOX, by Great Plains Laboratory, the higher your levels represented by the black bar the more toxins you’ve been exposed to that you’re holding onto, which are continuing to build up in your system. Over time, these chemicals can cause (or have already caused) major health issues.
Do You Suffer From?
This particular lab company especially recommends running this test if you suffer from any of these conditions linked to total toxic load:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lacteroclerosis (ALS)
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Anxiety Disorder
- Attention deficit (ADD)
- Attention deficit with hyperactivity (ADHD)
- Autoimmune disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Cerebral palsy
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Developmental disorder
- Down Syndrome
- Failure to thrive
- Genetic diseases
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Learning disability
- Mitochondria disorder
- Multiple sclerosis
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Occupational exposures
- Parkinson’s disease
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Seizure disorders
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Nervous tic disorders
- Tourette’as syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
Bringing Lab Testing to the Masses
I remember, the first time I ran this lab,
I was shocked to find that I had any elevated levels of toxic chemicals.
After all, I eat healthy, take my nutritional supplements, etc. However, I tested high on exhaust fume particles. Considering I live in downtown Boston and walk everywhere, it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Every day, I’m exposed to car, bus, and train exhaust that lingers in the air, which I, of course. breathe in.
So, although I’m now clear of all the others after detoxing my body, I understand that if I’m going to live and work in the city, I must continue to keep my system as clean as possible. This is why I follow my own DESTRESSTM protocol (coming in Part 4) to stay well.
The 2nd lab test you may decide to run is a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. It looks at toxic heavy metals such as mercury, lead, aluminum, and arsenic. I’ve also found it quite useful in testing high copper levels in cases of ADD, ADHD, Autism, skin, fatigue, and other mood and learning based health issues.
Again, you can ask your Functional Medicine Practitioner to run this lab for you. Or, you can purchase them and run them yourself at StephenCabral.com/rbe. The choice is always yours to do what you feel is right for your body at this moment in time.
Although the lab test David Duncan ran cost about $15,000 over a decade ago, I’m happy to say you can now run the same lab for just a few hundred dollars. You also don’t need to go to a fancy hospital, or even get your PCP to approve it. You can run this simple urine and/or hair based lab right at home and then mail in your sample to the lab. Just a few weeks later you will get your results, as well as a plan of action to improve your health.
If lab testing is too expensive right now, at the end of this chapter I’ll also be providing you with a Toxicity Quiz to find out just how toxic you are from a symptomatic standpoint. I believe in both symptoms based questionnaires, as well as state-of-the-art lab testing. If possible, you may want to do both.
Now that hopefully we all agree that every person on this planet is infected with most likely dozens of toxic chemicals, I’d like to explain exactly how that then leads to the outward symptoms of disease, weight gain, and an overall wearing down of your body and mind. It is only after understanding this concept that you can then reverse the dis-ease process.
Introducing the Rain Barrel Effect
When I was 20 years old sitting in the waiting room of my allergist’s office and suffering miserably from red, swollen shut, dry itchy eyes, post nasal drip, and chest congestion, I picked up an article lying amongst the magazines.
I had already been dealing with allergies most of my life and had read quite a bit on how to “deal” with them. However, this article immediately caught my attention. I didn’t know it at the time, but it would trigger a new mindset that would be the beginning of my healing journey.
This article mentioned a phrase in passing that I had never once heard uttered by doctors, specialists, or anyone inside the medical community. To this day, it’s still rarely uttered…
It’s called the “Rain Barrel Effect.”
What it is and how it eloquently explains how we get sick, age, gain weight and lose our vitality, is life-changing. Once you know the how and why you got where you are right now, you can then finally begin to heal.
The Rain Barrel Effect is the answer you’ve been looking for. It explains the “mystery illnesses” like the one I had where your blood work looks fine, but you’re still sick and tired. It also answers the question as to why you may have that auto-immune, skin, join pain, headache, or other officially diagnosed disease.
So, without further ado let me introduce you to the biggest concept in natural health and medicine that’s very rarely, if ever, talked about…
The Rain Barrel Effect Explained
The best way to think about how and why you got sick, overweight, or just feeling like “blah,” is to picture a rain barrel, or just a bucket.
A rain barrel is used to catch water and hold onto it every time it rains. No one ever notices the rain is filling up the barrel until of course the barrel overflows…
It’s at that point that the barrel needs to be emptied or it will no longer function properly. Instead of the barrel serving a healthy purpose, it will instead spill over onto your garden or patio and create a dead spot of grass in your backyard.
(Image of rain barrel collecting water from a house gutter)
The same theory holds true for our own bodies. Over time, we accumulate toxins. Some, as mentioned earlier, come from the environment and are man-made. Others come from candida, bacteria, parasites, stress hormones, or other internal metabolic processes.
What happens is that when these natural and synthetic toxins float around in our blood they must be disposed of. This then takes energy, the proper nutrients, rest, and a well-functioning liver to filter out the harmful substrates. As long as your body is getting everything it needs then the process continues to run smoothly and maintain equilibrium.
The issue is that as the years pass we accumulate more and more toxins and our bodies begin to run low on certain reserves. Our bodies then begin to lose the internal battle and our rain barrel begins to fill up faster. But, even as your rain barrel is filling up you still may not see any initial symptoms of not feeling well.
(Photo of rain barrel overflowing)
The problem is that noticeable external symptoms do not arise until your rain barrel begins to overflow. Unfortunately, just like a real barrel that catches the rain you won’t know it’s full (unless you lab test) until it’s spilling over the sides. The reason for this is that at this point your body, and the barrel, can no longer keep up with the demands placed on it. It has no more reserves left.
It’s also at this time, that you will begin to feel the outward symptoms of your internal systemic imbalances. You may see or feel pain, skin issues, headaches, fatigue, inflammation, weight gain, a loss in vitality or really any sign of poor health.
You may even be diagnosed with a disease or specific health condition at this point such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, auto-immune, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, allergies, asthma, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or any other set of symptoms we give a name to for insurance and drug prescription purposes.
You Are Not Your Disease
(REPLACE PHOTO: The illustration above shows how different toxins begin to fill up your rain barrel, which then result in a symptom we call a disease… which we then medicate that symptom.)
A rain barrel will of course continue to take on more water, but not without spilling additional contents. It will continue like this until the owner empties its current load. It has no other choice and neither does your body. Luckily, just like a physical rain barrel, you too, metaphorically speaking can empty your rain barrel and lighten your toxic load!
As I said, when I first learned about this discovery I knew it was going to be an important part of me figuring out how to recover from my own “mystery illnesses” that the best doctors and specialists in the world couldn’t figure out. Little did I know, over a decade later that it wouldn’t just play a role in me getting well, it turned out to be the answer that I and many others were searching for…
Chronic Disease Explained
No chronic disease, illness, cancer, or any other health issue happens overnight. It is a slow gradual wearing down of our body’s defenses that eventually gives way to poor health.*
However, what we see is the outcome. We notice the symptoms. And those symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, join pain, skin issues, infertility, auto-immune, digestive, cancer, etc. are the end results.
The image depicted below is something we commonly use in Functional Medicine to show patients how they get sick. It also explains to them how they are not their disease. Their disease is merely their body’s expression of an inward imbalance – or overload of toxins that you’re body is trying desperately to fight, eliminate, and keep existing in spite of — so it can maintain homeostasis within the body.
(The symptoms that we see are only the tip of the iceberg)
Each person will always have their own genetic predisposition to what they may be susceptible to for health issues if their total toxic load becomes too great. For example, in my family. everyone gets rheumatoid arthritis and digestive issues. However, no one seems to get Hashimoto’s, lupus, multiple sclerosis or other auto-immune issues.
The interesting concept, though, is that these dis-ease names are all different expressions from the same malfunctions in the body. We see them as different diseases, but they are not. They are but different manifestations of an imbalanced body trying desperately to rebalance itself. This is why the symptoms you’re dealing with are not the disease itself. Most of the time, symptoms are the outward sign of your body trying to “right the ship” and heal itself.
For example, most people believe when they get a fever they have to reduce it at the first sign. However, the fever is not the sickness. The fever is your body trying to speed up the flow of white blood cells and raise your body temperature in order to naturally kill viruses or an infection. It is only when a fever becomes too high that we should try to lower it.*
Your body knows what it is doing and wants to help you heal. This is why suppressing symptoms will never lead to healing. It can’t. The reason is that when you treat the symptoms you are missing the whole point, since the symptoms are a response of the body to an underlying root cause issue.
The Rain Barrel Effect Connection
The Rain Barrel Effect (RBE) has not only had a powerful impact in my own life, but I’ve now used it many years later to help thousands of people I care for in my practice…
I am able to help them see how over a period of years the stress of school, raising a family, accumulating toxins, taking prescription drugs, and not eating well has begun to take its toll. They begin for the first time to see that their dis-ease did not just happen overnight. It was a slow wearing down of their body’s ability to maintain equilibrium when faced with an accumulation of toxins as described in Part 1.
The more interesting part is that with many conditions such as an auto-immune disease, psoriasis, alopecia, and others there is often a triggering event.
I’ve discovered through thousands of office appointments this triggering event is usually something very personal. It means a lot to them (or it did at the time) and it’s often still difficult to talk about. I’ve also seen it mainly be tied to a relationship difficulty, break up, divorce, loss of a loved one, or some other major stressful time in their life. It can be work related, but the work must mean a great deal to them.
The best way to look at this situation is that their rain barrel had already been filling up, and then they were exposed to a massive “storm.” It was this stressful storm that then wiped out their reserves and filled up their rain barrel the rest of the way.
The 3 Triggers for Disease
After completing over 250,000 appointments in my wellness, weight loss, and anti-aging practice I’ve come to see that all dis-ease states in the body have 3 main cascading events
Once these 3 triggers for disease have taken place in the body you will then see and feel the outward symptoms of the inner turmoil. This is what the Rain Barrel Effect looks like in the real world.
The 1st Trigger: Genetics
Right now, many MDs or specialists will tell you that your cholesterol, auto immune, blood pressure, etc. is just “genetic” and there’s nothing you can do about it except medicate…
That couldn’t be further from the truth. However, before we explain that let’s talk about how and why your genetics do matter.
Inside your DNA lies building blocks called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Inside of your genome you have about 10 million of these SNPs (pronounced “snips”). It is these SNPs that predict how your body will react to medications, drugs, alcohol, stress, weight gain toxins, and what your susceptibility is to diseases.
For example, in my family we have a very difficult time regulating inflammation. We are also prone to higher levels of adrenal stress hormone output. And when it gets too high it can also cause a dis-ease state. In my particular family, this equates to the auto-immune disease is rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, Th1/Th2 immune imbalance, and gut dysfunction like SIBO.
And although the mechanisms are the same, you may have inherited a different genetic code leaving you susceptible to Hashimoto’s, lupus, psoriasis, alopecia, or any number of other diseases. It is our DNA that allows for the expression of these diseases if our rain barrel overflows…
An old saying in Functional Medicine goes like this, “Genetics loads the gun, but it’s the environment that pulls the trigger.” Our next trigger explains what that really means.
The 2nd Trigger: Environment
Your environment is the 2nd trigger to becoming unwell, run down, or gaining weight. The interesting thing is that your environment is composed of more than you think. It’s not just the pesticides, GMO foods, heavy metals, and polluted water. It’s also what’s happening inside your body.
That’s the environment that we don’t always pay attention to since it’s hidden away inside of us. This means that the stress hormones, neurotransmitters, cellular waste, and other metabolic toxins from our internal workings build up. Additionally, one of the most predominate triggers for disease is increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut).
The reason why I’ve mentioned this multiple times now is that it has literally been implicated in over 90% of all disease. That’s because when you have leaky gut, the foods you eat, as well as bacteria and yeast can move directly into your blood stream. This then turns on an exaggerated immune response and causes massive imbalances and inflammation within the body.
Unless you’ve run an Organic Acids Test or another lab to look for candida or bacterial overgrowth you may be missing the most important factor in finding a major root cause to your current state. (I will provide recommendations and write ups on all the labs in the resource section in the back of this book.)
So even though we’ve now set the stage for dis-ease in the body (either mental or physical) we still need one more trigger to fill up your rain barrel enough for the disease state to take place.
The 3rd Trigger: The Triggering “Event”
There’s always a reason why…
I’ve had the amazing fortune to be able to work with thousands of people in my practice. In almost every single case I’ve been able to tease out what their triggering event was before they finally saw the overflowing of symptoms in their life.
Remember, your genetics simply sets the stage, but it’s the environment that allows for the expression of those genes. The last step is the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.” This is where you’ve left yourself open to this devastating dis-ease state.
This is also why you’ll often see yourself go from nagging digestive issues, headaches, occasional inflammation, joint pain, a few skin rashes, or other initial symptoms, to a major eruption of a sick state.
In my practice this is what I see most often as the triggering events:
- Massive stressful event (break up, death in family, etc.)
- Heavy metal exposure (dental work, vaccine, polluted water, etc.)
- Virus or Infection (Epstein Barr, Herpes, etc.)
- Pesticide (recently sprayed golf course, backyard, etc.)
- Food poisoning (foreign bacteria exposure)
(It is this last triggering event that is the last line at top before symptoms spill over and we become “sick.”)
Side Note: For a more in depth look at these 3 triggers for disease please see the link for my podcast episode #410, the Cabral Concept, which goes in depth on this issue: StephenCabral.com/410
Next up, I want to share with you what these 3 triggers look like in the real world and how they work against you unless you are aware of their influence (which you are now learning about!)
My RBE Story
Everyone has their own RBE story and although we experience it in our own unique way, the undertones are always the same…
In my own life, at 17 years old, I had already been filling up my own rain barrel. It was my 3rd year of taking antibiotics on a daily basis for minor acne that many teenage boys experience. However, my dermatologist prescribed amoxicillin twice a day indefinitely. Each month I filled my prescription not knowing that it was wiping out my gut bacteria and along with it my immune system.
At this same time, I was taking my SATs for college, choosing a school, preparing to uproot from my good friends, relationships, family, and everything I knew in life. This in itself was a major stressor, and when you add on top of it more stress from sports competitions, working out, dating, my after-school job, and homework, you can see how my rain barrel would be getting full.
Now add to those high levels of stress, poor eating, and a lack of sleep, and you can begin to see how I was ripe for some triggering event to cause my rain barrel to overflow. (Remember, even though I was pushing my body to the limit, I still had no outward symptoms – I felt great!)
I should also add that my diet consisted of mainly cereal for breakfast, sandwiches with bread and processed meat at lunch, and pasta or meat for dinner. After dinner, I was also allowed to have a bowl of my favorite neon-green mint chocolate Hood ice cream. For beverages I’d drink juice with breakfast, Kool-Aid during the day, and a tall glass of cold milk with each meal.
Although no one knew it at the time, I clearly had a gluten and dairy food sensitivity issue, which was resulting in frequent sinus infections, ear infections, mucous production, and allergies.
Most cold New England Winter’s would be spent with me catching a cold, getting a sinus infection with post-nasal drip, and then taking another course of a different antibiotic. To me though, all of this was a “normal” part of being a kid, since no one had ever taught my parent or myself otherwise…
Then one day I contracted what’s called, Epstein Barr Virus. Of course, I left myself wide open to this virus since my imbalanced immune system was suffering from the massive leaky gut consequences induced by the over 3,000 capsules of amoxicillin I had already swallowed by 17 years old and from the high amounts of stress, exercise, poor eating, and lack of sleep.
That was my triggering event, and when I woke up that October morning, my life would change forever. Since my immune system had been totally wiped out in some areas (I had a SIgA white blood cell count of 0) and overactive in others, my body couldn’t regulate itself. This then led to greater health issues such as auto-immune joint pain, fibromyalgia, debilitating brain fog, chronic fatigue, and Addison’s Disease.
(Illustration of my rain barrel filling up)
I’ve never shared this story before since it was such a dark time in my life. And the truth is that I spent over 5 years searching for an answer that conventional medicine couldn’t give me. I was angry, frustrated, and depressed thinking about the fact that I may have to live this way for the rest of my life.
The good news is that I eventually had a chance encounter with an alternative medicine doctor that opened my eyes to a whole new world of healing. That’s how I began my own recovery and what ultimately led me on this path to now being able to have my team and complete over 250,000 client appointments.
I will share more about my mentor in the next section and you will receive the plan you need to begin your own wellness, weight loss, or anti-aging when I explain my DESTRESS Protocol. But now, I’d like to clear up some misconceptions related to improper dis-ease diagnosis.
Inflammation is Not a Root Cause
Now before I relate how the disease pathology actually stems from toxic accumulation I’d like to just make one note worth remembering…
Many health enthusiasts and practitioners alike that are doing good work are mistakenly treating inflammation as something to remove from the body.
Inflammation is never a root cause issue. It is a symptom that is caused when your rain barrel gets to full. Inflammation is a sign of an underlying health condition that has given way to an immune response or tissue damage (often both). This means that by trying to suppress the inflammation you are not working on the true underlying root cause. And, without rebalancing the underlying issue, you will always be treating inflammation.
This is why I don’t like to use a lot of natural anti-inflammatories in my practice. I like to gauge our progress based on physical symptoms as well as lab results. Therefore, If I’m suppressing symptoms by using curcuminoids (turmeric) or another natural supplement, I am masking tell-tale signs of disease and health.
Now of course, I don’t want anyone to suffer, so in the short-term I take no issue with using some natural anti-inflammatory to relieve pain. I just want to make sure that in the long-term we all realize inflammation is a helpful sign showing us how well our bodies are doing internally.
Now that we know inflammation is not a foe, let’s look at how particular diseases grow in the body.
A Summary of Chronic Disease Stemming from the Rain Barrel Effect
Now that you know why you or a loved one has gotten to this point in your life, let’s talk a little more about how your specific health condition may have come about.
We all deal with sickness, diseases, and our health in different ways. Sometimes our symptoms seem unique to us, but right now I’d like to share an example below giving a brief overview of how particular dis-ease states arise.
I hope that you can then begin to make correlations to your own health or weight issues and see that no matter what you suffer from, it too has an underlying root cause connected to your rain barrel being too full and your body being imbalanced.
The Auto-Immune Connection
As I mentioned in passing earlier, all auto-immune conditions are but different manifestation of our genetic predispositions when the environment has become right for them to be expressed.
Right now, 90% of all auto-immune conditions have their root cause stemming from gut based dysfunction. This means that either bacterial, parasite, or candida infestations have caused an imbalance in the gut bacteria. That gut dysbiosis (more bad then good bacteria) compounded with increased gut wall permeability (leaky gut) causes an exaggerated immune response.
This immune response causes in an imbalance in Th1 vs. Th2 immunity (amongst others such as Th17), which allows for a heightened inflammatory reaction. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a strong predisposition by your body to create CD4 and CD8 immune cells lends itself to a larger degree of tissue destruction. This is mainly explained away as a function of a “confused” immune system, or something called, “molecular” mimicry which states that our immune system attacks our own cells and tissues because they look like that of a toxin that has been marked as an antigen (“invader”).
However, one major fact is being overlooked. Right now, in medical science we are developing stronger microscopes which is enabling us to look deeper inside the cells. In the case of people with auto-immune issues like RA, scientists are finding something they’ve termed “micro-bacteria” or “nano-bacteria.”
This means the bacteria is so small it’s gone undiscovered until now. But, these bacteria inside the cell that shouldn’t be there may now explain why our immune system is actually attacking those cells harboring foreign toxic bacteria that has come from the gut or from other pathogens.
In auto-immune diseases an imbalance is further provoked by heavy metal and other toxic accumulation such as mercury and fluoride. It is metals and toxins like these which can then go on to cause Hashimoto’s or thyroid dysfunction. In this case, it is due to the fact that vital nutrients such as iodine are needed for proper thyroid function and those minerals may get blocked. (This was further explained in Part 1)
All of these underlying imbalances in the body that cause poor health reinforces the idea that to reverse an auto-immune condition or other diseases we must first make the body a hospitable place to live. This means clearing out as many heavy metals, synthetic man-made environmental toxins, gut pathogens, pesticides, and other chemicals keeping us sick.
Luckily all of this is possible and you will soon discover for yourself how to remove the obstacles that are hidden inside of you and keeping you from enjoying the health happy life you deserve!
Had my doctors heard of the “Rain Barrel Effect,” my healing journey could have taken just months and not years to get well. But of course, had that happened I would most likely not be here today sharing this forgotten information with you…
Literally 2/3rds of my Functional Medicine practice is caring for people with gut issues that have never been helped by conventional medicine. They have been diagnosed with terms like IBS, IBD, Crohn’s, Colitis, SIBO, Candida, diverticulitis/ diverticulitis, etc.
(In order to properly heal all dis-eases and weight issues you must ensure that the bacteria in your gut microbiome is balanced)
The problem is that all of the diseases above are really just names for a set of symptoms. And those symptoms are really just different ways of saying that you have “irritable bowels.” Did you really go to your doctor, and GI specialists, to have them tell you that you have irritable bowels? I’m pretty sure you are already knew that…
The unfortunate part is that conventional medicine is only trained to give you more antibiotics for many of the issues above. Antibiotics only compound the dise-ease, further irritate the bowel, and aggravate symptoms because previous prescribed antibiotics for various illnesses are often times the cause of your current gut issues in the first place!
The reason is, of course, that when you take antibiotics, they don’t just kill the “bad” bacteria, but they also wipe out a lot of the “good” bacteria as well.
This is an issue, since when you wipe out your own natural bacteria in your gut, you are creating imbalances in your gut microbiome. Plus, the good gut bacteria are used to help absorb food, manufacture vitamins, and ensure harmful chemicals don’t make their way into your blood stream. Without a positive balance of healthy gut bacteria to negative bacteria and yeast strains, you will feel all of those symptoms of intestinal issues.
The way to heal the gut is to understand how the Rain Barrel Effect caused you to suffer from these issues in the first place. After working with thousands of people with every gut issue imaginable, I’d like to share with you a straight forward example of the how they got into this position in the first place.
A mother passes on her bacteria to a child during a vaginal birth. If the birth was by c-section or the mother’s microbiome wasn’t as healthy as it should be children may start life off with an imbalanced gut. This then sets the stage for a less than perfect immune system, which in conventional medicine warrants a course of antibiotics every time the child gets a cold or infection. These antibiotics further weaken the gut. In time, this leads to additional food sensitivities.
These sensitivities cause inflammation from offending foods, which further exacerbate intestinal lumen openings, also known as leaky gut. And, because of the antibiotic use, candida and other yeast strains tend to overgrown, while more negative forms of bacteria like e. coli are allowed to grow are permitted to proliferate as well.
And if this wasn’t bad enough the intestines are no longer to break down and absorb food particles as well, which leads to a general weakening of the body and ability to produce happy, calming neurotransmitters like serotonin.
This is why by the time people see me in my practice they are in pain, frustrated, unhappy, and at a loss for how to end this vicious cycle. They think probiotics is the answer, but unfortunately most people were told that the time to take probiotics is directly after their first course of antibiotics – but often that’s too late or not the right time to add probiotics.
Adding more probiotics to a gut with too much yeast in it, for example, will only exacerbate cases of many gut issues and is not recommended until you remove the yeast and bacterial overgrowth – because adding more toxins or toxic bacteria to an already full rain barrel is not always the answer.
The DESTRESSTM Protocol will teach you how to Empty Your Rain BarrelTM before adding more of the good, healthy bacteria back in.
In my practice, I work with a lot of women and men trying to lose weight and keep it off. The problem is that we’ve been brainwashed by the media to approach this issue in a totally unproductive manner – and they get obsessed with all the wrong issues, like eating no carbs, or high fat.
But let’s think about why we’re all getting obese, when we’re becoming so much conscious of what we eat at the same time.
Since long-term weight loss and maintenance seems to be a bit of an enigma in our society, I want to spend just a little more time explaining how to end the weight gain cycle once and for all. I believe after reading this you will never look at weight loss as simply a “calories in, calories out” problem ever again…
One of the places our body prefers to store harmful chemicals is our fat cells, that tissue that is called adipose tissue. Our fat is a convenient compartmentalized storage unit. Our blood shuttles these toxins to our fat stores. and then lock the door—sealing the toxins in that fat tissue. Although this shields us from the toxins, in a sense, and keeps us temporarily safe from immediate harm, there are repercussions. We get and fat.
So, one of those side effects of this toxicity is weight gain. As the toxins build up in your fat stores the tissue begins to swell. You start to feel puffier, swollen and your body looks softer—like you’re losing muscle tone.
I speak about this topic all the time on my podcast, and I let people know that often weight gain is not a consequence of eating too much or exercising too little.
The weight gain issues we’re dealing with in our present day has more to do with toxic foods, hormonal metabolic imbalances, and the environment we live in, which subsequently causes inflammation and chemical storage in fat cells. This then leads to unnecessary water weight gain as a result. Practitioners and patients alike often confuse the toxic water weight with actual fat weight.
But these are two very different problems—detoxifying versus weight loss – and without the detox—the weight will stay on the body. So these two issues must be treated individually in order to achieve long-term weight management success.
Toxic Water Weight
One of the other issues with toxic water weight gain from chemicals and hormones is the stubbornness of trying to take it off.
If it were really just about calories in, calories out, you could just eat less and exercise more and the weight would simply melt off the body.
However, as many know and have struggled with it, it’s just not that simple. Anymore.
Some people eat far less than their friends, but they still can’t lose the weight. There is — of course — a reason for this, and a large part of it has to do with this viscous cycle of toxicity.
As endotoxins build up from imbalanced gut bacteria, hormonal metabolite byproducts, and/or you’re exposed to outside exotoxins like heavy metals and plastics, your inflammation and cortisol levels rise and all these toxins will deposit in you fat cells.
(Cellulite is the perfect example of toxins accumulating in your fat cells and causing uneven swelling in your connective tissue)
As fat cells expand and grow, estrogen levels typically rise as well. This leads to additional weight gain and water retention which, in turn, makes it more difficult to lose weight and or decrease inflammation.
When viewing weight gain from a Rain Barrel Effect perspective, we can easily see that an increase in fat tissue on the body is due to an overflowing of your rain barrel.
This could be from too many calories from toxic processed food, but most likely, it’s your environment and internal exposure to toxins like stress, imbalanced gut bacteria, hormonal imbalance and disregulation, lack of sleep, pesticides, plastics, and other toxins.
The end result is an accumulation of adipose (fat) tissue stores.
The problem is that most people and books are only telling you to lower your carbs, or manipulate your diet, or to simply exercise—as if these steps alone will undo all the damage your body undergoes daily, just from living in a toxic world. Perhaps steps like these were great cure-alls, before the industrial revolution. But not now . . .
They completely disregard your external and internal environment, which is why most people aren’t getting the results they want.
Until you start to Empty Your Rain BarrelTM, you will always struggle with keeping the weight off. The good news is you now know how you got here and what can be done to heal the very root cause of all your problems.
(For Rain Barrel Effect examples on almost every dis-ease such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, acne, psoriasis, eczema, headaches, migraines, fatigue, high/low thyroid, anxiety, depression, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s infertility, ADD/ADHD, and many more please visit StephenCabral.com)
The Rain Barrel Effect also explains how and why people relapse even after getting well and losing the weight . . .
I spent close to a half a decade going back and forth between getting well for a few weeks to a few months and then relapsing again, and then feeling sick, tired, depressed, and broken down again. I had no idea what was working to get me well and what was causing the relapse back into illness again.
What I didn’t know back then was that the Rain Barrel Effect held the answers to all these questions.
Now, I know that the reason I relapsed so often was that even when I was feeling well, I had only emptied my rain barrel just enough to get rid of my symptoms. Therefore, I was always on the edge of overflowing my barrel once again . . . All it would take was one night of missed sleep, a stressful exam, a night out with friends, or a food I was sensitive to . . . and I’d be right back where I started.
This is why merely removing the symptoms with pharmaceutical drugs, anti-inflammatory herbs, or other supplements is never the long-term solution.
Plus, although I tell my private clients that they will most likely be feeling alive and well again within just 21 days (due to a draining of their rain barrel), the deeper healing takes place after about 6-12 weeks, as your cells begin to turn over, and your body begins to renew itself from inside out.
This is the innate beauty and amazing healing power of your body. You simply need to give it a helping hand. First, help it to remove the toxins, and then provide it the nutrients it’s missing in order to regenerate.
How full is your “Rain Barrel?”
Are you currently symptomatic or are you on the verge of overflowing?
How to Begin Healing
In this next chapter, I will begin to explain how to get well, lose the weight, and finally feel alive again!
This journey took me close to 20 years of study, a doctoral degree in naturopathy, and reading thousands more books, but even with all that, I still didn’t fully have the answer…
It was only when I spent my first naturopathic internship overseas on a small island Southeast of India did I discover the answer – But before we get to “my search for answers,” I want to make sure you find out your own Rain Barrel Toxicity score by taking this short quiz on the next page:
 EWG. 10 Americans.
Duncan, D. (2006). The pollution within. National Geographic.
 CDC. CDC estimates 1 in 68 children .has been identified with autism spectrum disorder.