A Hormone Disruptor is a chemical substance that decreases the body’s natural hormones and consequently causes you to feel tired, achy with loss of your natural libido.
These chemicals can alter how much hormone is actually circulating in your blood at any given time, as well how effective your body’s hormones actually work. Remember, hormones are like the body’s keyboard and they control how your body functions throughout the day.
If your Testosterone hormone is low then you have less energy, less sex drive, and less stamina during physical activity. Likewise, if your Estradiol (Estrogen) hormone is too low you tend to have brittle bones, loss of height and vaginal dryness for women. Progesterone is the feel good hormone, and when it’s deficient you don’t sleep well or feel your best.
These hormone disruptors are everywhere in our environment and contribute to our disease state. It is reported that the average American woman uses 12 personal care products each day that contain nearly 168 different chemical hormone disruptors. American men also have significant exposure.
The European Union has been more proactive in regulating the number of chemicals their consumers are exposed to in cosmetics, but the U.S. has not. The personal care product industry is a 400 Billion dollar industry with millions of products that are allowed to reach the shelves without any prior authorization by any federal agency. So, it is up to each consumer to educate themselves so as to avoid the deleterious effects of these chemical hormone disruptors.
There is a top 5 list of the most common hormone disruptors to avoid according to the EWG (Environmental Working Group / ewg.org).
- BPA - ( Bisphenol A ) found in soft plastic water bottles. BPA has been linked to everything from breast cancer to reproductive problems like sterility, obesity, early puberty and heart disease. According to government tests, 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies.
To reduce BPA exposure; Go fresh instead of canned because many food cans have BPA in their linings. Also have receipts emailed to you instead of receiving a printed copy since thermal paper is often coated with BPA. Avoid plastics marked with “PC,” for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7.
- Dioxin interrupts the delicate signaling processes of the sex hormones which can impact virility. Recent research has shown that exposure to low levels of dioxin in the womb and early in life can permanently affect sperm quality and lower the sperm count in men during their prime reproductive years.
You can cut down on your exposure to Dioxin by eating fewer animal products including meat, fish, milk, eggs and butter. The American food supply is heavily contaminated with Dioxins because Dioxins survive a long time in animals and there is a constant on going industrial release of Dioxins in farm and wildlife.
- Atrazine has been linked to breast tumors, delays puberty and some research has linked it to prostate cancer. It is widely used on the majority of corn crops in the United States, and consequently it’s a pervasive drinking water contaminant.
To reduce exposure to Atrazine I recommend that you buy organic produce and get a drinking water filter certified to remove atrazine.
- Pthalates studies have linked phthalates to significant hormonal changes which have lead to birth defects in the male reproductive system, lower sperm count, obesity, diabetes and thyroid irregularities. So, for those of you who have found it almost impossible to lose weight, Pthalate exposure could be a contributing factor.
To reduce Pthalate exposure I recommend that you avoid plastic food containers, plastic wrap made from PVC, which has the recycling label #3 and plastic children’s toys. Note, some personal care products that simply list “added fragrance,” in the ingredients really means that the product has hidden phthalates.
- Perchlorate is a component in rocket fuel and contaminates much of our produce and milk, according to EWG and government test data. When perchlorate gets into your body it competes with the nutrient iodine, which the thyroid gland needs to make thyroid hormones. Basically, this means that if you ingest too much Perchlorate, you can end up altering your thyroid hormone balance. This can lead to hypo and hyperthyroid disease.
You can use a reverse osmosis filter to reduce perchlorate in your drinking water. (www.ewg.org/report/ewgs-water-filter-buyingguide) You can reduce the potential effects of Perchlorate in your food by making sure you’re getting enough iodine in your diet. Using iodized salt is one good way to help.
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hormone disruptors, but it’s a good start. Overall, I recommend that you do what I am doing. Start with three product switches like shampoo, lotion, and body wash/soap for 90 days.
(order at drmurrayriggins.healthyplacebotanicals.com)
The skin is the largest organ in the body so why use products that are heavy with chemical toxins on your scalp, body, and everything that touches your skin. I now use Hemp infused all organic products; Hemp Suds Shampoo, Healthy Home Soap, and Hemp Spa Lotion. I realize it is just a start, but it has been shown that the toxic levels of these toxins decreases in our body once we stop the constant exposure of these chemicals.
The next step is to substitute one healthy product for every toxic product that you used to use once every month. Example; Sunscreen chemicals like PABA, Benzophenone, Avabenzone, Homosalate and Ethoxycinnmate are absorbed into the body may cause cellular damage and cancer.
So look for sunscreen products that have the EWG symbol. This means that the product was checked by Environmental World Group (EWG) for toxins and hormone disruptors and found to be safe to use.
I know that it is impossible to eliminate every single chemical toxin but you can do your part to reduce the number of chemical toxins your body is exposed to. So remember to eat clean, avoid “chemical heavy” processed foods, and drink plenty of filtered water. Also, only use products that are certified organic if you want to reduce your exposure to chemical hormone disrupters.