So many of our household goods, food, water and even personal care products are all major sources of exposure to toxic chemicals. Continued exposure can lead to the accumulation of toxins and other free radicals in the body. The dangerous substances can impact health in a wide variety of ways from mild to severe include allergies, headaches, triggering DNA mutation, destroying healthy cells or affecting our immune system.
Many of the chemicals found in these items are often endocrine disruptors. They are basically chemicals that interfere with the normal hormone production in the body because they may contain substances mimic the human hormone. One of the most common are substances like xenoestrogen which can be extremely bad for women’s reproductive health because they can block or interfere with normal hormone production. This interference causes adverse effects in your reproduction, neurological and immune systems. Endocrine disruptors can be found in everyday products such as home cleaning supplies, pharmaceuticals and plastic items.
How Do Endocrine Disruptors Work?
A disruptor works by mimicking naturally occurring hormones in your body. In women, they mimic the estrogens and thyroid hormones. They can also bind themselves to a receptor cell thus making it impossible for the endogenous hormone to bind with it. These disruptors also work by blocking the way normal hormones are controlled. For instance, they alter the metabolism of the liver.
Here are some of the biggest endocrine disruptors that we commonly use:
Plastic BPA (Bisphenol A) is a toxin found in plastics known to mimic the estrogen hormone. For those that have to use plastic water bottles, make sure it does not stay in the sun for too long, or the heat can cause the chemical to leach BPA into the water.
To reduce exposure to Bisphenol A, it is advisable that you purchase and only use glass water bottles, or containers. If you have a small child, the best alternative is to use a pacifier.
Perfume is another of the various household items that may responsible for hormone imbalance. The everyday perfume is loaded with all kinds of chemicals. Check the ingredients in your perfume can, if you can find them, and check out the warning listed beside them. Benzaldehyde is a toxin found in perfumes, cologne, bleach and even hairsprays. This is a depressant that is irritating to the mouth, eyes and even lungs.
To avoid the risk that comes with using these products, consider using organic scented oils like gardenia, jasmine, or even rose. They not only smell amazing, but they also cost much less.
Clothes and How You Clean Them
One toxic chemical used to make clothing detergent is known as Nonylphenol elthxylate which happens to be a surfant. Once the hormone disrupting chemicals are absorbed into our bodies, it becomes impossible for the body to differentiate between estrogen and NPE, and this can lead to very serious issues and risk increases with long term exposure. Extensive exposure to these chemicals could cause serious harm in the body.
You should therefore consider purchasing organic or natural detergents.
Additional tips to help you avoid household items that cause hormone imbalance include:
- Buy and eat produce that is organic in nature. Free range organic meats will help reduce your exposure to any added hormones that could be present as well as fertilizers and pesticides.
- Stick to consuming raw foods like fruits (lime, mango and apples) Vegetables (Kale, Spinach and onions) as well as grains (millet, oats and bread). Prepackaged and processed foods tend to contain different chemicals, such as BPA.
What to do if you have been overexposed
So many of us are unaware of how much toxic load we are actually carrying in our system from overexposure to toxins our environment, food and personal care products. Oftentimes we don’t realize that everyday items we use may be the culprit for health issues that we may be experiencing. The good news is that the human body is very resilient and there are things we can do to cleanse, rejuvenate and strengthen our systems in other to limit damage
- Start afresh: look for chemical filled products in your home and quickly discard them. Some of these products even emit fumes that pollute the air and have a negative impact on your health. Shop at local natural grocery outlets for natural alternatives.
- A good detox and cleanse: To help the body in pushing out toxins and waste that may be lingering in your system and creating an unhealthy environment, a good cleanse may be helpful in jumpstarting that process. In the article When Should You Detox, we cover some helpful tips on how to perform an internal cleanse.
- Eat clean and lots of fibrous foods: foods that are high in fiber help to support the systems of elimination by binding with food agents and helping the body to move them to waste quicker.
Many of the everyday products we use at home contain harmful chemicals, in order to protect ourselves, and the people in our lives, there is a need for us to be aware of these potential poisons and limit exposure as much as we can.