Xenoestrogens, they're everywhere!
If you read my last post you know I quit taking the pill and have been feeling much better since! It's been eye opening learning about how synthetic hormones can effect the body but while doing all this research, I've come across these other things called xenohormones and xenoestrogens and they're EVERYWHERE! So much for just quitting the pill and hoping my hormones would balance themselves out. Apparently it's not that easy, so I've decided to step up my hormone game because my body deserves it and so does yours!
So, xeno-whattt??? Xenohormones means 'foreign hormones'. These are hormone mimicking substances that come from external sources that are not produced naturally. They are strong toxic chemicals like parabens (antimicrobial preservative found in cosmetics), BPA (found in plastics) and xenohormones in our food supply. These kinds of chemicals can also be referred to as endocrine disruptors.
Since there are so many products now a days that contain these xenoestrogens, our bodies are being bombarded and may be storing them. These chemicals are fat-soluble substances and are stronger then our natural hormones produced by our own body. When these xenohormones enter the body they attach to our cells and get stored in our fatty tissue. Studies are starting to show that too much estrogen (estrogen dominance) are linked to conditions such as fibroids, PCOS, endometriosis, weight gain and more.
Avoiding the following items will reduce you exposure to these hormone disrupting toxins!
Cosmetics: parabens and other synthetic xenoestrogens are found in shampoos, toothpaste, makeup, body lotion, sunscreen, deodorant, nail polish, perfume, synthetic fragrances and more. The skin is our biggest organ so products applied directly to the skin are absorbed into our tissue without being detoxified through the liver first. This means products applied topically are much more potent! Choose organic, all natural products whenever possible. Do your research when choosing products since there is ALOT of green washing out there. Many products read ‘all natural’ on the front of the packaging but this can be far from the truth. Read the ingredient list or use the Environmental Working Group website or app which does the work for you!
Plastics: phthalates found in plastic material should be avoided. Do not heat up food in the microwave in plastic containers, avoid plastic wrapped food or drinks in plastic containers. Use glassware to store food and drinks. Bonus, you’ll also be helping the environment if you keep this in mind while shopping!
Foods: avoid foods sprayed with insecticides and pesticides, eat organic as much as possible or avoid the dirty dozen to start with! It's also important to choose dairy, eggs and meat products that are humanly raised, hormone-free and grass fed, think QUALITY over quantity. It's best to look for local sources so you can see exactly how the animals are raised and treated (commercially raised meats are full of growth hormones and antibiotics). Hidden xenoestrogens can also be found in canned food as the can may be lined with a BPA coating, try to also avoid artificial food additives. On a side note, phytoestrogens are plant based estrogens and are found in many food sources. Soy products, soy protein and flax seeds are some of the highest phytoestrogens containing foods, if you choose to eat these it's best to look for organic and GMO-free products. There are many pro and cons of phytoestrogens but that will have to be another post altogether!
Cleaning Products: laundry detergent, fabric softener and other house hold cleaning products can contain xenoestrogens. This is another area where its best to go all-natural. Just like skin care products, you need to read the ingredient label. Look for products that are made with essential oils, are biodegradable or even better, make your own. Side note: some essential oils are high in phytoestrogens so depending on your hormone goal, essential oils may help or hinder your progress. Again, I'm a big supporter of doing your research before using certain products. Knowledge is key!
Well now, thats a lot of stuff to think about! When it comes to this issue I’m doing my best to select all natural, limited ingredient products, organic and GMO free when possible. I’ve switch all our food storage containers to glass and I'm in the process of converting all our house hold cleaners to eco-friend, natural products and I'm more conscious of selecting products at the grocery store that are not pre-packed in plastic. There’s still so much to learn but taking all these small steps will add up to big health results for everyone in my home!
How do you feel about switching products, going organic and choosing eco-friendly items? Have you made the switch? Please leave a comment with any of your tips and tricks that I may have left out!