Hormone Disruptions: Could we be Contributing to those Imbalances?

by montejosmemorials on September 29, 2015

 

Hormone Disruptions: Could we be Contributing to those Imbalances?
by Joyce Montejo

Since we started on our nutritional journey, 17 years ago, I have believed that if you give the body what it needs, it will work how God designed it to and if not, or if you are constantly bombarding it with toxins, it won’t be able to work properly. I have seen this in my own life when I am conscious of what I am eating, supplementing, surrounding myself with, I feel better and experience greater health. When I don’t, I definitely feel the consequences. I believe this is even more important to look at as we get older, maybe we are in more of a deficit health wise and there are normal hormonal imbalances to deal with as well. I am trying to encourage our kids to be aware now, while they are young, so they don’t have as many imbalances to struggle with.

Because of having thyroid and adrenal issues, I have studied a good bit about what I can do to help those things. A few things that have come up a lot are "xenobiotics" and hormone or endocrine disruptors. What exactly are those? Oxford says they are substances that are foreign to the body or an ecological system. The EPA has this to say.
" Some chemicals mimic a natural hormone, fooling the body into over-responding to the stimulus (e.g., a growth hormone that results in increased muscle mass), or responding at inappropriate times (e.g., producing insulin when it is not needed). Other endocrine disrupting chemicals block the effects of a hormone from certain receptors (e.g. growth hormones required for normal development). Still others directly stimulate or inhibit the endocrine system and cause overproduction or underproduction of hormones (e.g. an over or underactive thyroid)."

When it comes to our health, especially if we have something going on or want to prevent something from going on in our endocrine system, we need to consider these hormone disruptors.

What does the endocrine system actually do? It has eight glands that produce and release hormones that regulate everything from metabolism, growth, and development, tissue function, sleep, reproduction, sexual function, mood, for all humans…  from birth to death. Almost every single cell is affected by the endocrine system. A recent report from the Environmental Working Group states, "There is no end to the tricks 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, and accumulating in organs that produce hormones."

These chemicals, these hormone disruptors, can upset our entire systems! This issue was highlighted by a joint report released by The United Nations and the World Health Organization. It stated that, "Endocrine Disruptors (EDC’s) are a global threat to fertility and the environment."

Wow! That’s a pretty bold statement!

If we take into consideration that a pretty high percentage of what we inhale and absorb on our skin can then go to our blood and endocrine systems, not even considering what comes form our diet, what are some of the things we can avoid to decrease the burden on the body and help it to hear the right signals?

Here’s a list taken from an article written by Ava Anderson, a natural beauty expert and safe cosmetics advocate. You can also google hormone disruptors and tons of info comes up.

1.      Phthalates (THAL-ates)—legally hidden in trade-secret ingredient “fragrance” or “parfum.” More than 75 percent of all products with the ingredient fragrance are tested to contain phthalates, which comes as no surprise, as phthalates are used to extend the life and reach of the secret synthetic scent. Studies have linked phthalates to diabetes, obesity, lower sperm count, birth defects in male reproductive system, early puberty, breast cancer, demasculinization of males, thyroid irregularities, autism and ADHD.AVOID: any product inhaled or absorbed with ingredients listed as “fragrance” or “parfum.”

2.     Parabens—known to disrupt hormone function, an effect linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. Parabens mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells. They also increase the expression of genes usually regulated by estradiol (a natural form of estrogen); these genes cause human breast cancer cells to grow and multiply in cellular studies, says the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. In addition, parabens are linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and skin irritation.

AVOID:  methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, isopropyl-, and all other parabens.

3.      Chemical sunscreen filters—including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. Over the past decade dozens of studies have examined the potential health hazards of these sunscreen chemicals, including possible skin irritation or allergy, hormone disruption, and skin damage that occurs when sunlight acts on sunscreen chemicals, according to the Environmental Working Group.AVOID: above chemicals, and look for “NON-nanoparticle” zinc oxide–based sunscreens, without other added harmful chemicals.

4.     Triclosan—an antimicrobial chemical, registered with the government as a pesticide. Triclosan has been linked to antibiotic resistance and is a known hormone disruptor that has been shown to alter male and female sex hormones in animal studies, which could lead to problems like early onset puberty, reduced fertility, and cancer. Triclosan accumulates in the environment, contaminating surface and ground water, and it survives the wastewater treatment process and persists in “toxic sludge” that is sold to local farmers as “natural fertilizer.” AVOID: triclosan and triclocarban

5.      Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)—fluorine-containing chemicals with unique properties to make materials stain and stick resistant. Found in grease-resistant food packaging, nonstick cookware, and personal care products like shampoo, dental floss, nail polish, and denture cleaners. AVOID: teflon, “fluoro” or “perfluoro” ingredients.

6.      Glycol ethers—solvents derived from fuel, found in cleaning solutions and personal care products, as well as paints, inks, and degreasers. The European Union says that some of these chemicals “may damage fertility or the unborn child.” Children who were exposed to glycol ethers from paint in their bedrooms had substantially more asthma and allergies. AVOID: In personal care products—propylene glycol, ethanol, and other glycols. In cleaning products—2-butoxyethanol and methoxydiglycol.

Here is a more in depth cheat sheet to check the products you use or are going to buy. It’s not all inclusive, but will definitely help you start to make a dent.

 

How do we find products without these ingredients?  After many years of making lots of our stuff and using some things we shouldn’t have, we found Ava Anderson Nontoxic and am loving them! We also make sure to include herbal blends in our diets to help optimize our health.

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