When I mention this in clinic I am often met with a blank stare.
What is a hormonal disruptor?
Something that disregulates the way your hormones function. We experience these every single day. For some people the effects of these disruptors are greater than others.
What hormones are we talking about?
It can be all of them but often we see this around estrogen clearance and xenoestrogens (the damaging ones). These disruptors can also affect your thyroid, adrenal glands, thalamus, pancreas any gland that produces hormones.
What can do this?
Well it includes many things especially found in our food and environment. Even something as simple as handling a thermal receipt. These are full of BPA’s, BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages.
BPA can imitate the body’s hormones, and it interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action, function, and elimination of natural hormones. BPA can behave in a similar way to estrogen causing them to become xenoestrogens which are the more harmful estrogens that can contribute to breast cancer.
So what can we do? Well think about how many times you may handle these receipts and try and reduce it. When asked do you need a receipt? Say no or get it emailed rather than taking the thermal paper receipt. I am very conscious of this due to also working in retail where these products are handled on a regular basis.
What else can be a hormonal disruptor? Well maybe rethink the next time you pick up your bottle of round up to kill your weeds! Pesticides, herbicides along with many other environmental pollutants, act as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These have been found to cause cancer, diabetes, obesity, metabolic diseases and developmental problems.
So you may say how can I avoid these endocrine disruptors?
In reality, you can’t totally eliminate, but you can certainly reduce the amount you expose yourself too. There is a staggering fact that estimates by the time the average women reaches for her morning coffee, she has already applied 126 different chemicals in 12 different products to her face, body and hair. And that is only at the beginning of the day!
If you are experiencing health issues and are unsure why, then maybe consider the environment you live and work in. Start at home with one room at a time and assess what products and chemicals you are using? What can you change to reduce exposures?
If you want to some help with this then download the “Understanding your Exposures” brochure.
If you need some help to uncover your health mystery, then book in for a consult. I love nothing more than to investigate a challenging case.
This article was written by Jan Caton Bachelor of Health Science-Naturopathy. Jan is the Director of Magnolia Apothecary, Naturupath, Nutritionist and Herbalist practicing in the Yarra Ranges and Boronia