Part 1 – How Toxic Chemicals can Affect Your Hormones and Your Fertility
Toxic chemicals are everywhere nowadays! They’re in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, our soil, the personal care products we put on our body, the household products we use in our homes, yards and garden, and the environment we live in.
We’re exposed to more toxic chemicals nowadays in a 30-day period than our grandparents were exposed to in their entire lifetime.
Over time, the toxic burden of these chemicals build up and accumulate in our brain, cells, organs and body affecting how we feel, function, think, perform and look. Infants, children, fetus and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals. Toxic chemicals are passed from the mother to the child through the umbilical cord and breast milk causing pre-polluted babies.
Toxic chemicals are harming your health, damaging your brain, disrupting your hormones and causing disease.
Chemicals are ingested, inhaled or absorbed. There are many things within our control that we can do to reduce our toxic load and the harmful effects of chemical exposure. Lowering our toxic burden can help reduce our risk of hormonal imbalances, cancer and other chronic illnesses. Important factors are awareness, avoidance, and making the necessary adjustments and changes by addressing food, air and water quality, home, garden and personal care, and flame retardant furnishings.
Over the next few months I will be updating you on the 12 Worst Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals, their health effects and how YOU can make simple changes to create better health for yourself and your family. Keep an eye on your inbox.
Many man-made chemicals mimic sex hormones. These are known as xenohormones. Xenohormones have the key to unlock alpha-receptors in many of the cells in our body. Hormones, regardless of what type, are “messengers” and these messengers have a command to give the cell. Once inside of the cell, xenohormones have the ability to give the cells commands. What many people don’t realize is that xenohormones are stronger than our own natural hormones and they can exert a stronger effect on the body.
Not only can Xenoestrogens mimic oestrogen in the body, they can cause our body to produce more of our own oestrogen. This creates a situation where oestrogen can become dominant. Oestrogen dominance is linked to a variety of fertility health issues – endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.
There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.
Bottom line…they can alter how natural hormones are produced, metabolized and eliminated from the body.
Today we will address four of these Endocrine Disruptors
Part 1 – Worst Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals
Bisphenol A (BPA)
This chemical is found in many products, including canned foods, plastics, dental sealants and in thermal receipts paper, and is similar in structure to the hormone oestrogen. Studies have linked BPA exposure with many health problems, including obesity, early puberty and miscarriage.
Do you really want BPA Imitating your sex hormones?
When it comes to Plastics BPA has become a common household term, rarely ever referred to by its full name – Bisphenol A. This is a chemical that has been used in the past to harden plastics, although many newer plastic manufactures have moved away from using it as the potential hazards have gained more recognition. Exposure to BPA has been linked to reduced egg quality and hormonal imbalances, infertility risk, cancers, attention deficit disorder in both children and adults and even diabetes. Most plastics today now contain a “BPA Free” label, to let consumers know the product has been deemed safe.
Of course, “safe” is relative, and the truth is – we still don’t know enough about the other chemicals used in the production of plastic. Even if BPA is not in play, there may still be reason for concern.
These chemicals are used in plastics to make the material more flexible, and in many products as dissolving agents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can be found in detergents, plastic clothes (raincoats) and even personal care products, such as soaps, shampoos and nail polishes, CDC says. Animal studies suggest that phthalates can affect the reproductive system, but the effect on humans from exposure to low levels of phthalates is not totally known.
Vinyl is the worst plastic for the environment. Banned in over 14 countries and the European Union, PVC, also known as vinyl, is found in floors, wall coverings, and toys. Vinyl leaches phthalates (linked to hormone disruption) and lead (a potent neurotoxicant) contaminating air, dust, and eventually you.
Chemicals used as fire retardants, called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are very persistent in the environment. They can disrupt thyroid activity, and have been linked to health effects such as lower IQ. Many PBDEs have been phased out, but because of their long-life, they will likely contaminate wildlife for decades.
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)
These chemicals are found in no-stick cookware and are very persistent. Some PFCs have been linked to lower sperm quality, low birth weight and thyroid disease, among other problems.
Despite being in most Australian kitchens, non-stick cookware can give off gas over high heat, creating toxic fumes. There are many new products on the market that are advertised as “green” or “not non-stick”, but companies are not required to release their safety data to the public. For safer cooking, try cast iron, steel, ceramic, and oven-safe glass.
Studies show that perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which make products stain-and stick resistant are incredibly persistent and can now be found all over the globe, including in the bodies of polar bears. Not only are PFCs found in cookware, but microwave popcorn bags and pizza boxes, some dental flosses, furniture and clothing.
If you would like to limit your exposure to theses nasty chemicals:
– Avoid purchasing water in plastic bottles and never drink water from a plastic bottle that has been left in direct sunlight or heat. This leaches the xenohormones into the water. Choose reusable water bottles that are BPA free, stainless steel or glass.
– Avoid plastics, this includes polyester clothing.
– Store food and leftovers in glass containers, glass bottles and jars.
– Never microwave foods in cellophane or plastic wrap. The heat causes the plastic to through off harmful chemicals, which leach into your food. Better still don’t use a microwave – see Part 2.
– Purchase meat from your local chemical free or organic butcher and have it wrapped in butcher paper.
– Carry your own natural fibre shopping bags.
– Go PVC-free by reading packages and avoiding the #3 in the chasing arrows symbol (usually found on the bottom of a product).
– Avoid toxic cookware. To steer clear of PFCs, avoid products made with Teflon or list ingredients beginning with “fluoro” or “perfluoro.”
– For safer cooking, try cast iron, steel, ceramic, and oven-safe glass.
Chemicals and there influences on our hormones and our health is a huge top, this is the reason I decided to do it in a four part series. You will receive Part two next month, so make sure you check my next blog in you’re in box.
Knowledge is powerful, so make small changes one at a time.
I hope you find this useful. If you would like any support with your hormones or your health, give me a call.
Creating Life In Health and Wellness